Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sunny the RPG

Been thinking about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and how to realize it as an RPG.

Some elements:
- the gang tries to come up with a plan or scheme, usually in order to get one over on somebody. Let's call this The Plan.
- each member of the gang will attempt to push the scheme in a direction that benefits them most, even at the expense of their friends. Let's call this Taking Advantage.
- getting one over on a friend or someone else seems to give the gang more control over further events: once they've demonstrated their (temporary) superiority to someone else, they tend to keep having success with their endeavors for a while (til random chance smashes it all to pieces in some absurd or contrived way... say, this DOES sound like an RPG!). Let's call this Value - you have to demonstrate it. Value is a currency for getting your way more effectively.
- it does seem, though, that someone with Value can use it for others, if they wish. I see absolutely no reason to stop players from doing this; clearly it's exactly what was going on with the Denim Chicken.

- Of course, if the Plan starts having setbacks, you can always Take Advantage of a fellow gang member in order to regain Value, and drive the Plan back in the direction you want.

Hm. I'm guessing that Keys would be an excellent way to represent the different characters - each of them is about projecting a certain desired persona, and in turn having short-lived moments of fallibility or selflessness for comedic or dramatic effect (usually just comedic, like in Mac's Project Badass tapes).

I think this basic idea could be ported over to other "Cast of Bastards" style shows - as in, a comedic ensemble cast whose members are antagonistic towards each other, yet affiliated with each other in some fashion. In Sunny, the affiliation is that they run a bar together; in Arrested Development, the affiliation is familial.

Goals would probably be a useful device for establishing the interests of protagonists - goals could be short-term and temporary, or long-term and earnest, ranging from the Sunny gang's fleeting financial investments, to Tobias's Queen Mary, to, I dunno, Bender's commitment to boozing and whoring at any chance (though Futurama falls more into the category of pratfall comedy/comedy of errors, with only one Bastard among the protagonists [hint: he was built in Mexico]).

There might be Talents also, which are both the problem-solving appoach a character takes AND things that a character could spend Value on to achieve success. So... Mac could pummel someone, whereas Dennis is more of a scheming, cackling manipulator; Charlie is better at getting into weird, cramped spaces, while Dee is pretty good at fast-talking people.
You can go outside your archetype (and use other people's Talents) by spending Value. If you describe yourself using someone else's Talent without spending Value, they might get a bonus against you - - George Sr. is pretty much a master of teaching people lessons, and usually gets the final word in these sorts of situations.

Hm. Giving this serious consideration...

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