On The Muppet Show Tonight!
"Now we're going to get into the real meat and potatoes of my Muppets RPG. This post covers Character Creation. Here to assist me is Dr. Bunsen Honeydew of Muppet Labs and his assistant, Beaker.
Thank you for your help with this Dr. Honeydew."
"Oh no Adam, the pleasure is all ours I can assure you. Isn't that right Beaky?"
"Mee Mee Beep Bee!"
"Yes indeed. Beaker and I are big fans."
"Well thanks guys. That's great. I'm big fans of yours too.
Just one quick note to the audience...
I recommend using a troupe style play with this game. For those of you unfamiliar with the term it refers to each player having more than one PC to control. While I don't normally go that route for most of my games I think it's the best way to run the Muppets.
For one thing, the Muppets are all about having a large cast of strange characters. If each player runs three to five characters the ensemble cast feeling is achieved. Next, each Muppet Performer voiced several different characters so this reinforces the atmosphere that you're creating your very own Muppet Show. I actually refer to the player as The Performer on the character sheets. Lastly, it's fun to watch a RPG session but much more fun to play. With a group of diverse characters at your disposal there is a better chance that you'll have the right character for a given scene or sketch. Jim Henson had a guy in 'Pigs in Space' (Link Hogthrob) and Veterinarian's Hospital (Rowlf). Frank Oz played Miss Piggy is both sketches. Jerry Nelson played his character Julius Strangepork in 'Pigs in Space' but wasn't in 'Veterinarian's Hospital'. Nurse Janice in 'VH' is played by Richard Hunt whose not in 'PiS' but he's also Scooter so he's got a lot to do in backstage scenes. Basically, you can't be in every scene but you always be doing something.
OK, let's get started."
Character Creation - The Muppet Workshop
"Here at the Muppet Workshop we essentially build two type of Muppets. The Custom Character and the Whatnot.
Custom Characters are designed to very exacting specifications to insure the highest quality of entertainment modern science can achieve."
"Bee Meh Mee Mee."
"Whatnot Characters are anything Muppets, designed to fill in the chorus, work in the background and generally support the custom built stars of the shows.
Both types of characters are built in a similar fashion but not identically. We'll start with a Custom Muppet, shall we?"
The character creation system's core was liberally extracted from Sketch! and then modified with Risus. You start by drawing your Muppet. If you don't think you draw well, look at everyone else's paper. Very likely no one draws well. If one person does, either get that person to draw everyone's character (we recommend hypnotism, blackmail, bribes or if all else fails simply asking politely) or trace, copy, modify with photoshop or otherwise obtain an image for your Muppet.
Once you have them depicted, give the character a name.
Once named, list a number of Shticks, similar in nature to the clichés of Risus, that represent the character. While it's up to you and your Director (the GM of a Muppets RPG campaign) I recommend no less than 3 and no more than 5 Schticks. Note that if your character is of a particular species, definitely include that. Kermit is a Frog, Fozzie a Bear, Rizzo a Rat, etc. If the character's species or nature is not important to who the character is, don't waste a Schtick on it. Scooter, Waldorf, Statler and Floyd Pepper don't really need a Schtick to be 'people'.
Once you've listed the Shticks you think the character should have, pass the illustration, with its name and listed Shticks, to the person on your left (after all, your right hand is probably busy operating the mouth *wink*). Each player than rates how well the picture represents the Shticks and vice versa. Score the Shticks from 1 (Doesn't do it for me) to 5 (That is the idea incarnate!). When the character has gone around once and come back to you, you get to rate your own character. Sure, you could rate everything on your own character 5 but then everyone could that every time. Don't be a putz. Plus you still have to do one final step. To determine the final Shtick ratings, average the scores (including your own) by the number of Performers (including yourself) in the adventure or campaign.
The resulting scores are a dice pool. Basically you have that many 6 sided dice to roll when you want to do something. Designate one die as the Exploding Die (either by making it larger than the others, smaller than the others, a different color, etc.). Since it's an Adam game and a Muppet game a die that 'explodes' was bound to be included. More on that when we get to the rule mechanics.
"Who are you calling a moron?"
Good grief. It's a running gag.
Tonight - An example of Character Creation and a sample Muppet Character!
Gonzo: "As long as I'm here, I'd like to donate my body to science."
Rowlf: "With your body it would be donated to science fiction."
Janice: "To donate your body, don't you have to be dead?"
Gonzo: "So what? I believe in re-incarnation."
Miss Piggy: "What would you come back as next time?"
Gonzo: "How should I know. I don't even know what I am this time."
Here's A Muppet News Flash!
The images of the Muppet Workshop in New York City (which is sadly no longer there as much of the construction is now done on the West Coast and in England) are from a rare book called 'The Art of the Muppets'. This book, published by Bantam Books in 1980, was done in connection with a display of the behind the scenes workings of the Muppets at Lincoln Center in New York in 1979. I went to that exhibition at the age of 10. I did not get a chance to purchase the book itself until a year or so later. I know have two copies, both in mint condition even though I've read them hundreds of times.
I have an idea for a drawing a collection of body shapes, eyes, noses, hairdos, etc. to be included in the PDF so that those of you who feel you can't draw can simply copy, cut and paste a Muppet in minutes. Truth is though, no one is judging you. It can be a googley eyed stick figure. As long as everyone at the table buys into the idea that its a Muppet you're good to go.