[20:33] <+AdamDickstein> My name is Adam Dickstein, and my game is called ‘The Googly Eyed Primetime Puppet Show RPG’.
[20:34] <+AdamDickstein> It is a humorous, rules-lite role playing game inspired by the kind of puppets who have appeared in television shows, and movies over the years.
[20:34] <+AdamDickstein> (done)
[20:35] <~Dan> Thanks, AdamDickstein!
[20:35] <~Dan> The floor is open to questions!
[20:35] <~Dan> As an aside, I keep wanting to stick the word “Great” before “Googly” in the title for some reason. 😀
[20:36] <+AdamDickstein> Funny enough, I did too for a while. I eventually took it off, as the name was already getting long.
[20:36] <~Dan> Ha!
[20:36] <~Dan> So what do PCs do in this game?
[20:38] <+AdamDickstein> PCs in the game are puppets of one of two types, though Human cast members are possible. Generally, the object of the game is to run through a scenario which resembles a variety show, or which follows some other premise. The goal being, making the rest of the players, and the Director (GM) laugh out loud.
[20:39] <+AdamDickstein> Each session may, or may not have an overarching plot, but making each other laugh, and cheer is the real point.
[20:40] <~Dan> (Welcome to #rpgnet, Guest48!)
[20:41] <+AdamDickstein> Making others clap, shoot chocolate milk from their noises, or whathaveyou, gains you ‘Applause’. Applause are points that can be used to effect die rolls, or other elements of the game.
[20:41] <+AdamDickstein> Hi Guest48!
[20:42] <~Dan> That’s an interesting approach… So real-world reactions fuel Applause?
[20:42] <+AdamDickstein> Exactly!
[20:42] <+AdamDickstein> All RPGs can have laughter, but it needs to be really good to get ‘Applause’.
[20:43] <~Dan> (Howdy, Gareth!)
[20:43] <+AdamDickstein> Really bad works too. A groan inducing pun for example.
[20:43] <+AdamDickstein> Hi Gareth! Welcome!
[20:43] <~Dan> (Gareth, meet AdamDickstein, tonight’s guest. AdamDickstein, Gareth just set up a Q&A for the 6th.)
[20:43] <+Gareth> Hey everyone!
[20:43] <+AdamDickstein> Neat.
[20:44] <~Dan> Oh, speaking of which, want to link folks to the game, AdamDickstein?
[20:44] <+AdamDickstein> Sure!
[20:44] <+AdamDickstein> (Link: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/217037/The-Googly-Eyed-Primetime-Puppet-Show-Role-Playing-Game)http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/217037/The-Googly-Eyed-Primetime-Puppet-Show-Role-Playing-Game
[20:45] <~Dan> Do you have a character sheet posted that we can see?
[20:45] <+Gareth> LOL
[20:46] <+AdamDickstein> I know one comes with the game, but yes, I think I do. Hold on a sec
[20:47] <+AdamDickstein> Hope this works, puppets I’m good with, computers not so much. LOL
[20:47] <+AdamDickstein> Oops, one more time.
[20:48] <~Dan> That worked for me.
[20:48] <+Gareth> Yep, I see it
[20:48] <+AdamDickstein> Oh good. It didn’t work for me oddly, but then I know where to get a copy.
[20:49] <~Dan> So let’s see here…
[20:49] <+AdamDickstein> I know the guy who made it.
[20:49] <~Dan> What are the puppet types?
[20:49] <+AdamDickstein> The two types are Custom Puppets and Background Puppets.
[20:50] <+AdamDickstein> Custom Puppets have more Star Power, an element that gives them more clout in the game, and enables them to do a few things Background characters can’t as easily.
[20:50] <+AdamDickstein> They also have better Shticks, which are like skills or abilities.
[20:51] <~Dan> (Howdy, Drew-2!)
[20:51] <+AdamDickstein> The nice thing about Background Puppets are that although they have fewer dice in Shticks, one Shtick remains flexible.
[20:51] <+AdamDickstein> It can be changed again and again to fit the scenario they’re in.
[20:52] <+AdamDickstein> Hi Drew-2. Nice to have you!
[20:52] <~Dan> How does Star Power work?
[20:53] <+AdamDickstein> Star Power is a rating determined in the beginning of the game, usually at character creation, the determines how important the character is to your campaign/show.
[20:53] <+AdamDickstein> In case of ties on die rolls, the one with more Star Power wins.
[20:54] <+AdamDickstein> Star Power can also be used to perform special actions that enable the PC to take over the scene.
[20:55] <+AdamDickstein> After all, if you’re a big star, you get your way.
[20:55] <~Dan> How is it determined?
[20:55] <+AdamDickstein> 🙂
[20:55] <+AdamDickstein> That’s a big trickier to explain. Basically, when setting up the campaign, the Director, and the players figure out who is in what role.
[20:56] <~Dan> (And I don’t know about that. Kermit is a huge star, but things seldom go his way. 😉 )
[20:56] <+AdamDickstein> Then they agree upon which character is the biggest star, the next biggest, etc.
[20:57] <+AdamDickstein> Yes! He is the MC of his show, and he would probably start with the most Stars, although Piggy might have just as many, especially these days.
[20:57] * ~Dan nods
[20:58] <+AdamDickstein> The MC usually has 3, or 4, the more popular characters have 3, supporting cast has 2, etc.
[20:58] <+AdamDickstein> You can also run a game where everyone is roughly equal.
[20:59] <~Dan> Is there any balancing factor there, or is more Star Power simply better?
[20:59] <+AdamDickstein> Say…a certain show about creatures that live in tunnels and dance their cares away.
[20:59] <+AdamDickstein> 🙂
[20:59] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:00] <+AdamDickstein> There are balancing factors…sort of. If PCs with less Star Power team up, they can combine their Star Power.
[21:00] <+AdamDickstein> In fact, Background characters can ‘Steal the Show’ in this way.
[21:01] <+AdamDickstein> Say all the rats, or all the pigs, or all the monsters team up.
[21:01] <+AdamDickstein> That kind of thing.
[21:02] * ~Dan nods
[21:02] <+Gareth> Is this the sort of game that you could teach to kids to get them into theater and things like that?
[21:03] <+AdamDickstein> Well, yes, you certainly could. I’ve run it with kids, and we had a blast. That said, it is aimed at adult gamers, and taps into the nostalgia of fans of the types of shows it emulates.
[21:04] <+AdamDickstein> One feature I really enjoy is that, usually, each player has more than one PC.
[21:04] <~Dan> Really? How many is standard?
[21:05] <+AdamDickstein> Just like the great puppeteers, each player ‘voices’ a set of characters. The number depends on the nature of your show.
[21:06] <+AdamDickstein> In our test campaign, one fellow was Yuhall, a Rhinoceros, the evil Killer Emu, and various Background Characters.
[21:07] <~Dan> Heh. “Yuhall”. 🙂
[21:07] <+Gareth> Ha Nice!
[21:07] <+AdamDickstein> At conventions we’ve used it to run The Muppet Show, and Sesame Street, among other things. It’s really funny seeing people divide up the character among themselves.
[21:08] <~Dan> Can you give some examples of Shticks?
[21:08] <+AdamDickstein> It is recommended that the GM play the MC, so Kermit, or in our test game, Jekyl the Jackal.
[21:08] <+AdamDickstein> That way, the Director can guide the game without resorting to ‘Narrator voice’.
[21:09] <+AdamDickstein> Sure Dan, Shticks are any signature thing that a puppet character can do.
[21:09] <~Dan> That puts me in mind of the GM playing Holly the computer in the Red Dwarf RPG.
[21:09] <+AdamDickstein> Exactly! Yes!
[21:10] <+AdamDickstein> As for Shticks, say you are playing a particular, well-known, bear comedian.
[21:12] <+AdamDickstein> You might have the Shticks, Bear, Bad Comic, and Dancing Bear.
[21:12] <+AdamDickstein> Not sure about that last one, but for now we’ll work with it.
[21:12] <~Dan> So these are player-defined?
[21:12] <+AdamDickstein> Yes indeed.
[21:13] <+AdamDickstein> At character creation you write down your Shticks, and then pass them around to the other players.
[21:13] <~Dan> You mentioned rolling dice. How are the Shticks rated?
[21:13] <+AdamDickstein> The Shticks are rated from 1-5 usually by each player, including the Puppeteer/Player using the PC.
[21:14] <+AdamDickstein> You average the number at the end, and that’s how many dice you roll for that Shtick.
[21:15] <+AdamDickstein> You need to beat a number on at least one die, sometimes more than one, determined by the Director, or by the die roll of an opposing character.
[21:15] <~Dan> What sort of dice does the game use?
[21:16] <+AdamDickstein> Sixes. Only D6s.
[21:16] * ~Dan nods
[21:16] <+AdamDickstein> I wanted the game to be easy access, easy set up.
[21:17] <~Dan> Is there any limit to the dice assignments? Is there anything keeping the players assigning 5s across the board to everyone?
[21:17] <+AdamDickstein> It’s interesting that if you were trying to emulate a particular show – The Muppet Show, The Great Space Coaster, or Avenue Q, the Shticks are pretty easy to figure out just from what you’ve seen on the programs.
[21:19] <+AdamDickstein> You are suppose to use each number only once. So if I rate something on your PC as 5, I don’t ‘have a 5’ anymore. The next thing I have is a 4.
[21:19] <+AdamDickstein> You don’t have to do it that way, but its suggested.
[21:19] * ~Dan nods
[21:20] <+AdamDickstein> Generally, if you’re playing this game, and you’re worried about being the best, with the most dice, it isn’t really the right game for you. LOL
[21:20] <~Dan> Heh. 🙂
[21:21] <+AdamDickstein> Remember, dice do effect the game, but someone with a lot of Applause can sway a situation, so the player thinking on their feet is as important as die rolls.
[21:21] <~Dan> Is taking an action simply a matter of figuring out what Shtick applies?
[21:21] <~Dan> Sort of like Over the Edge Traits?
[21:22] <+AdamDickstein> Very similar yes. It’s also a little like the Cliches from RISUS.
[21:22] * ~Dan nods
[21:23] <+AdamDickstein> I have seen some wild Shticks, and some very reasonable ones. Frogs who take ‘Frog’ as an example.
[21:24] <+AdamDickstein> They then take any opportunity to hop, catch things with their tongues, swim, etc. All using ‘Frog’.
[21:25] <+AdamDickstein> The Director and other PCs can veto a move if someone tries to use ‘Musician’ to operate a computer, or something like that.
[21:25] * ~Dan nods
[21:25] <+AdamDickstein> Unless the Puppeteer has a reeeally good excuse. LOL
[21:26] <~Dan> Seems like there’d be an issue regarding what it means to be that kind of Frog (or whatever). Like, Fozzie is a bear, but so is…. I forget his name. Bobo? The big grizzly bear Muppet.
[21:26] <~Dan> wb, Silverlion
[21:26] <+AdamDickstein> Good point Dan/
[21:27] <+AdamDickstein> Fozzie is a bear, and being a bear comes up a lot for him. I noticed over the years that the fact that Bobo is a bear is sort of inconsequential.
[21:28] <&Silverlion> thanks Dan
[21:28] <+AdamDickstein> He might not have taken Bear as a Shtick, even though he is one.
[21:28] <+AdamDickstein> Sorry Silverlion, wb.
[21:28] <~Dan> But Bobo is strong like a bear (presumably), while Fozzie isn’t.
[21:29] <+AdamDickstein> Correct. He might has taken Great Strength, or Massive, or something like that as a Quirk.
[21:29] <~Dan> A Quirk? How are those different from Shticks?
[21:30] <+AdamDickstein> Sorry, I meant Shticks. LOL
[21:30] <~Dan> Ah, no worries. 🙂
[21:30] <+AdamDickstein> I’m working on another project and that term is used there.
[21:31] <+AdamDickstein> There are also things that can improve a Shtick temporarily, or give you a temporary Shtick.
[21:31] <+AdamDickstein> Like Props, and Costumes.
[21:31] <~Dan> Oh, yes — I meant to ask about those.
[21:32] <+AdamDickstein> They are very fun. So your character is on a variety show, and you’re about to do a musical number set in the old west…
[21:33] <+AdamDickstein> It is explained in the game that the stage on a tv puppet show is like the Star Trek: TNG Holodeck.
[21:34] <+AdamDickstein> We’ve see people fall overboard from a sailing ship set, and a splash of water come up.
[21:34] <+AdamDickstein> So there you are in the old west, dressed like a cowboy, or cowgirl.
[21:34] <+AdamDickstein> Suddenly you have a Costume that gives you all the props you need to be one.
[21:35] <+AdamDickstein> a Quality Costume might even give you the Shtick ‘Cowpoke’.
[21:36] <+AdamDickstein> Some Shticks don’t work without a Prop. Musicians with no instrument either can’t use their Guitar God Shtick, or they suffer a penalty for using a stand-in prop.
[21:38] <~Dan> Is there a limit to a character’s potential Costumes and Props?
[21:40] <+AdamDickstein> Well, a Custom Puppet Character owns one Costume per Star in Star Power. Background Characters can’t own Costumes, but may be assigned Costumes by the Director, the MC character, or even a PC in some cases.
[21:41] <+AdamDickstein> Say the MC tells the top singer, and dancer the next number is a Icecapades type situation.
[21:41] <+AdamDickstein> Is that how you spell Icecapades? Oh well…
[21:41] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:43] <+AdamDickstein> The Star has an idea, and tells two penguins to get into Costumes of a particular type. If approved by the Director, they can go to the Dressing Room, or Wardrobe department and get those costumes.
[21:43] <+AdamDickstein> Its more important that it make in game sense (as much as a Googly Eyed Primetime Puppet Show makes sense). 😉
[21:43] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:44] <+AdamDickstein> I find it really fun, and interesting to work within a genre, or setting’s tropes, and make those tropes the rules of the game.
[21:45] <~Dan> How do individual acts work? Like, say there’s a song-and-dance number… What do the players roll against? Is it just a matter of one roll to see if the act is entertaining?
[21:45] <+AdamDickstein> It need only make internal sense – the kind of sense that works on a tv show with puppets. It need not make real world, practical sense.
[21:45] <+AdamDickstein> Well, the act is only ‘entertaining’ if the players and GM are entertained (remember Applause).
[21:46] <+AdamDickstein> However…
[21:46] <+AdamDickstein> If during the Sketch, or Scene, a PC Puppet tries to do something like singer better than another, yes, contested die rolls are called for.
[21:47] <+AdamDickstein> Now, let’s say you want to eat somebody.
[21:48] <+AdamDickstein> TV Puppet Shows are well known for having monsters that try to eat other puppets, or foam letters of the alphabet, or furniture.
[21:48] <+AdamDickstein> Sometimes even cookies!
[21:48] <~Dan> 🙂
[21:48] <+AdamDickstein> 😉
[21:48] <+AdamDickstein> In these cases, the game actually has something akin to combat rules.
[21:49] <+AdamDickstein> I call it Conflict.
[21:50] <+AdamDickstein> A Conflict could be a monster trying to eat a chicken, hecklers heckling a comedian, or something else that involves one puppet besting another.
[21:51] <+AdamDickstein> Dice a rolled, with the objective of getting a higher roll than your opponent. If the attack bests the defender, the defender temporarily loses dice off their Shtick. A Shtick with no dice is unusable.
[21:52] <+AdamDickstein> So, in a fashion not unlike classic Traveller, the longer you fight, the harder it’s going to be to win since you are losing dice as you go.
[21:52] * ~Dan nods
[21:52] <~Dan> What happen if someone uses a weapon (like a huge mallet or something)?
[21:54] <+AdamDickstein> Well that depends – largely a mallet, or a fuse lit bomb is just an extension of your Shtick of Smash Stuff, or Mad Bomber. However, if that mallet is a Prop, it might give you additional dice or some bonus effect.
[21:55] <~Dan> During a singing number, does the player actually need to sing in order to earn Applause?
[21:56] <+AdamDickstein> *Muhuwahaha!*
[21:57] <+AdamDickstein> Sorry, um…no. Maybe. OK, I actually cover that in the rules, saying no, you do not have to actually sing if it makes you uncomfortable.
[21:57] <+AdamDickstein> However, I make a case for doing it.
[21:58] <+AdamDickstein> At conventions, we’ve had some people sing, some bad, some good.
[21:58] * ~Dan chuckles
[21:58] <+AdamDickstein> This isn’t the game where you need to be square-jawed and serious, and its a good bet few people at your table are great singers.
[21:59] <+AdamDickstein> So if you are equally not great, who cares?
[21:59] <+AdamDickstein> The same holds true for drawing your character.
[22:00] <+AdamDickstein> It is strongly suggest you have an image of your character during character creation to help with the Shtick rating process.
[22:00] <+AdamDickstein> Not everyone can draw well, and that is fine.
[22:00] * ~Dan nods
[22:01] <+AdamDickstein> I provide options on how to put an image together, and in the back of the pdf there are same puppet designs drawn by me to help.
[22:01] <~Dan> What happens if a character needs to take an action for which he lacks an applicable Shtick?
[22:01] <+AdamDickstein> Good question! Remember that often, all you need to do to succeed is get a single success.
[22:02] <+AdamDickstein> So, regardless, everyone gets to roll one die to try to do something. Unfortunately, the difficulty can be raised depending on the scenario.
[22:02] <+AdamDickstein> For example…
[22:03] <+AdamDickstein> A Fish wants to drive a car. What? It could happen. Anyway, the Fish doesn’t have an appropriate Shtick, nor arms really.
[22:04] <+AdamDickstein> The Director says he would need a 5, or a 6 to make this happen. The Fish Puppet gets one die, and yeah, he could roll a 5, and now a Fish is driving a car.
[22:04] <+AdamDickstein> Riverbottom Nightmare Band!
[22:05] <+AdamDickstein> Sorry, somewhat obscure reference.
[22:05] <~Dan> Yeah, I missed it. 🙂
[22:06] <+AdamDickstein> In the Jim Henson produced Xmas special, ‘Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas’ there is a gang of rough and tumble animal characters called The Riverbottom Gang.
[22:06] <+AdamDickstein> At one point they form a rock band.
[22:06] <+GenoFoxx> I remember that
[22:07] <+AdamDickstein> A Fish, or maybe a Snake, is seen driving a motorcycle. Unclear how, Never comes up. LOL
[22:08] <~Dan> 🙂
[22:09] <+GenoFoxx> Didn’t they form the band to get christmas presents for their loved ones
[22:09] <+AdamDickstein> Obviously this game grew out of my life long obsession with the Muppets, and other Jim Henson produced projects, but it can easily be adapted to Sid and Marty Kroft, and other related properties.
[22:09] <~Dan> You said it can feature humans. How would that work?
[22:09] <+AdamDickstein> That’s what the main characters did. For the life of me I think the Riverbottom boys just did it to be bada**es. LOL
[22:10] <+GenoFoxx> So I take it Gerry Anderson style stories are out of the question?
[22:10] <+AdamDickstein> No, not necessarily,
[22:11] <+AdamDickstein> You could do that too, though you might want to use some of the suggestions in the pdf for customizing the game a bit.
[22:11] <+AdamDickstein> I’ll get to more on that in a moment GenoFoxx. First…Humans.
[22:12] <+AdamDickstein> Character Creation for Humans is really simple, but quite different from Puppets. I wanted them to feel different, so I gave Humans more traditional Stats, and Skills.
[22:13] <+AdamDickstein> While they function like Shticks, they cover more specific, realistic things. A Shtick can be an excuse for a lot of crazy antics.
[22:13] <+AdamDickstein> But a Human with Car Repair, can basically repair cars.
[22:14] <+AdamDickstein> Another kind of Human is the Guest Star, which isn’t usually a given stats of any kind. They are general a fiat character, used to move the plot along.
[22:15] <+AdamDickstein> That said, you can build them if you wish using the Human Actors rules.
[22:15] <+AdamDickstein> As for GenoFoxx’s question…
[22:16] <+AdamDickstein> One thing I suggest is changing the names of some of the elements to fit different genres. For example, in an educational tv program shown on public television…
[22:17] <+AdamDickstein> Instead of Applause and Star Power, we used ABCs and Sunny Days. Instead of Stealing the Show with Star Power, you could Sweep Your Cares Away with Sunny Days.
[22:17] <+AdamDickstein> 🙂
[22:18] <+AdamDickstein> So for a Gerry Anderson show, you’d have to figure out what represents success, and how you measure overall effectiveness. Rename, and viola!
[22:18] <+AdamDickstein> Captain Scarlet!
[22:19] <+AdamDickstein> Welcome Alanonzander.
[22:19] <~Dan> Howdy, Alanonzander!
[22:20] <~Dan> AdamDickstein: In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
[22:21] <+AdamDickstein> I think that one key part of the game is that it can be hard for some to picture how it all works together. At conventions, after I’ve run it, people have told me they could totally do it themselves now, having seen it in action.
[22:22] <+AdamDickstein> I dedicated a part of the pdf to a sort of play-by-play of how to place Scenes, and Sketches together, in hopes of giving people a better sense of how it all works.
[22:23] <+AdamDickstein> I’m pretty proud of that part of the book.
[22:24] <+AdamDickstein> Hey there Janus!
[22:24] <~Dan> Sounds like you’ve given this a lot of thought!
[22:24] <~Dan> Any plans for future supplements?
[22:25] <+AdamDickstein> Yes. In addition to a completely different game I’m working on at the moment, I have a plan to do a GEPPS supplements that focuses on those Puppets with the more realistic eyes, and the textured skin…
[22:26] <+AdamDickstein> The type that live in a fantasy world that may include a big crystal, or perhaps a maze and a British pop star…
[22:27] <+AdamDickstein> Like I noted before…life long obsession. 🙂
[22:28] <~Dan> Thanks so much for joining us tonight, AdamDickstein!
[22:29] <+AdamDickstein> Thank you for having me Dan! It was fun.
[22:29] <~Dan> As a reminder to folks, those wishing to support my Q&A series can do so here: (Link: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/)https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/the-gmshoes-tip-jar/
[22:29] <~Dan> And now, give me just a sec to upload the log and link you!
[22:30] <+AdamDickstein> Great!