Saturday, March 5, 2011
It's Time to Put on Make Up, It's Time to Dress Up Right
"Hi there folks. Scooter here, along with our resident stagehand and janitor Beauregard, to help Mr. Dickstein with the next section of his Muppets Role Playing Game...Props and Costumes."
"Thanks guys. Scooter you can call me Adam. You both can."
"Sure thing Mr. D...ah, I mean Adam. So Props are items in the game just like in our production numbers and Costumes are outfits the characters can wear right?"
"You are correct young man but there is a bit more to it than that."
"Will you be needing this anvil?"
"Well that's the rub Beau. You never know. You never know."
In a fashion similar to Risus, each character needs certain tools to make their Shticks work. Unlike Risus however, the nature of the Muppets lends itself to a slightly different take on their rules for how a lack of proper gear.
If Floyd Pepper, number one happenin' hip cat and major mat of where it's at, is without his Bass Guitar, how can he possibly use his 'Mr. Bassman' Shtick to rock out with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem?
He can't at face value and is reduced to not being able to use his stick until he can find his trusty Unless...If Floyd can find another instrument or even object vaguely resembling a guitar, he can use his Shtick at half his normal dice. If he can find an actual guitar, though not a bass guitar, he can use his Shtick at -1D. If he can find a bass he is golden.
Now some Shticks don't need to rely on Props to work and as such these should not be effected by this rule. If there is some concern in that regard, players are encouraged to come up with the most ridiculous and elaborate excuse possible for why they don't need a fish for their 'Boomerang Fish Act' Shtick. The Director is likewise encouraged to point at them, laugh and then move on to the next character (or in rare cases, if they can make especially good use of Muppet logic and make the Director smile, consider allowing use of the Shtick with a penalty).
In addition, some Props are special and grant bonuses such as a +1, +2 or even (very rare) an automatic Success. Sort of. More on that...darn.
(Pauses. Looks around.)
I said, "More On that..."
(Barkley runs up out of breath.)
"Who..who...give me a second. *Cough-Weeze*...Are you calling a Mor...a Moron?"
"Where have you been?"
"Dude I met this amazing women. Attractive, sexy, super curvy, loves dogs, sings, acts and kind of smells like perfume and bacon."
"Perfume and bacon? No...you don't mean..."
"Yeah...get this...her favorite color? Green! The only problem is she stimulates the guy side of me and the scavenging predator in me at the same time."
"I don't understand. Are you going to date her or eat her?"
OK...while Barkley wrestles with the kind of moral dilemma only a meeting with the Muppets can produce, let's move on to Costumes shall we.
"Hello nerdy little people. I am Miss Piggy and I've been asked by that devilishly handsome green dog to assist in explaining pour vous the importance of Costumes. If you ever want to be a high fashion, actress-slash-model-slash-international superstar like moi you will have to learn that the right outfit is essential."
Costumes are, for the purposes of the Muppets RPG, a 'Bag of Tricks' collection of Props that are always with you as long as you are wearing the Costume. Now not every article of clothing is a 'Costume'. A lot of Muppets wear clothes or have outfits that are not Costumes. A Costume is specifically identified as an outfit that eliminates Prop penalties by providing the tools needed to make a character's Shticks work.
For example, Beauregard's Janitor Costume gives me access to such things as a Mop, a Bucket of Soapy Water, a Rag or whatever else he needs to perform the Shticks 'Janitor' and/or 'He Means Well' (a catch all enabling him to perform a variety of acts such as driving, wrestling a jewel thief, etc. He can't do any of them properly but the end results are usually positive thanks to this Shtick.)
Alternatively, some Costumes, like some Props are special. These superior quality Costumes give the wearer a bonus when performing a particular part.
Miss Piggy will demonstrate...
"Thank you Ahhdam. So here are three Costumes I use in my reoccurring roles as an actress of great versatility.
While I am an accomplished actress, I do not have time to learn all the little details of being a Space Ship Officer, or a Nurse. So these Costumes provide me with the tools I need to appear to be those things on television or in major motion pictures. So if I need to use a ray gun on 'Pigs in Space' or help resuscitate a particularly cute unconscious frog in 'Veterinarian's Hospital' I can apply a bonus to my Actress-Model Shtick. My WonderPig Costume even comes with its own Sticks that only apply when I am wearing it like 'Flying'."
Custom Muppets can own one Costume per Star in Star Power that they have. Remember, that's own. They can always put on a Costume, take it off and put on a different Costume if those are provided to them by the Director. Owning a Costume means at any given time you are assumed to be able to put it on or that you are currently wearing it.
Whatnots do not start out owning any Costume but can wear ones assigned to them as noted for Custom Muppets.
An Optional Rule is that in order to change your Costume you need access to a Dressing Room, the Wardrobe Department, your Trailer or some other area to change clothes.
That was a lot to cover. Next up, the real nitty gritty...Rules of the game.
See you soon. Thank you so much for your help Miss Piggy.
" Oh anything pour vous Ahhdam. Send my regards to Barkley won't you? Adios, mon cherie."
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”
Here's A Muppet News Flash!
Props and Costumes, which I feel are an integral part of the Muppets are nonetheless one of the areas of the rules I have gone over, altered and modified dozens if not hundreds of times. I am pretty happy with how they work now but I am open to suggestions and ideas from the viewing public.
I'm been trying to use the Muppet characters based on the nature of their personalities and who would work best describing what element of the game. There is a strong urge to use my favorite Muppets even when they may not fit just because I like them so much. So far I've been pretty good at holding off until the time is right.
I am considering running this at the next RECESS in New York. I will let you all know how that goes at various steps along the way. I think I still have quite a bite of time before the next one comes up.