So you're in the mood for a post-apocalyptic struggle for survival against harsh elements, blood thirsty mutant cannibals (which would technically mean they eat other blood thirsty mutants I suppose) and strange powers your feeble mind was not meant to comprehend. Then, someone says, "Hell yeah! And Muppets!"
Well, you've got the Muppets RPG but you're going to have to make a few changes.
First, you would be creating a character who looks like they would fit in the Gorch 'universe,' so Shticks like 'Frog', 'Penguin' or 'Ghost' would be dropped for more of what you do or your place in the tribe. Essentially, everyone on Gorch is a mutant something-or-other. Leave it at that.
Applause and Stars could be renamed for flavor but that flavor could also add a bit of depth and meaning to the game. I like the idea that part of Gorch's nature is that it could end at any time, figuratively and literally. Your character and the world he lives in, within and without the 4th wall, is in a lot more danger of being cancelled by the powers that be. To get a little metaphysical, the campaign is both a 'show' and a metaphor and one I don't think enough post-apocalypse games talk about.
What if...If you (the PCs) don't make it, the world doesn't make it. What if the world's survival depends upon your own.
This would be a fantastic thing to consider in any post-apocalypse game but it would seem front and center in the Land of Gorch.
To this end, Applause is called Appeal, as in the character's appeal but also an appeal to the gods to let you live on one more day. Appeal can be obtained by entertaining the group in the same fashion as the regular Muppets RPG but it can also be obtained by accomplishing something that helps the groups survival. Maybe it was you who found shelter or actually understood what the Mighty Favog was talking about.
Star Power is therefore, Staying Power. A character with more Staying Power can attempt to use that power to perform feats similar to those in the regular Muppets RPG (which may expand soon - keep checking back for details-AD).
Now, here's the big twist...Survival depends on Staying Power right? OK. What if, at the end of each session all the players weigh in on who contributed to the Land of Gorch's Staying Power?
If you cheated on your betrothed, ate the last living Glig or failed to milk the Gorkon properly (and hey, we've all been there), maybe you were entertaining but we're all gonna die. Maybe you get voted off the island. See where I'm going with this?
Everyone votes on who did the best job and who did the worst job of keeping the Land of Gorch alive. Gorch itself, the world that is, should start the game with a Staying Power of 5. If a character receives a positive majority vote they get one extra Staying Power mote or a 'Stay' if you will. If anyone gets a negative vote they lose one. If someone loses one, Gorch looses one.
It's the first session.
The Land of Gorch has a Staying Power score of 5.
The secret ballot votes are tallied for the first adventure.As for who did the best at keeping us alive and on the air..
Peuta gets 1 vote
Ploobis gets 1 vote
Scred gets 2 votes
Vazh gets 1 vote
Wisss gets 0 votes
As to who put us on a direct path toward utter extinction...
Peuta gets 0 votes
Ploobis gets 1 vote
Scred gets 1 vote
Vazh gets 0 votes
Wisss gets 3 votes
In the end, Scred gets an extra Stay, Wisss loses a Stay and the Land of Gorch goes down to 4.
If the votes had been one each or one person got 2, another got 2 and another 1, no one would lose a Stay because it was a tie. Likewise, Gorch wouldn't lose one either.
So how does Gorch gain Staying Power? Only together can we make the world a better place...seriously. So if everyone gives up 1 Stay, Gorch gains a Stay.
(I'm thinking this mechanic could also be used in some way to simulate 'saving the Muppet Theater'. A sort of short hand resource management game that keeps the constantly broke Theater a float. More ideas to add! It never ends...!).
One more installment coming...then on to some really strange ideas!
Ploobis: Oh, Mighty Favog! I got a problem.
Favog: BUSINESS, SPORTS OR PERSONAL?
Ploobis: Uh... Scred?
Scred: Medical, your grossness.
Ploobis: Oh, Mighty Favog, it's medical.
Favog: IT'S GONNA COST YA.
( Ploobis looks uneasily at Scred. )
Favog: THREE CHICKENS, TWO SWANS, AND A DUCK.
Ploobis: Holy guacamole. Whatcha got on you, Scred?
Scred: Just two chickens. But that's car fare home!
Ploobis: Oh Favog, I offer you two chickens -- it's all I've got!
Favog: BUSINESS IS SLOW. I'LL TAKE 'EM.
Here's A Muppet News Flash!
I am serious up there when I say ideas keep coming. They Just Keep Coming! I could do a year of posts...well maybe not a year. I do want to talk about other things. Yet this is the most fun I've had in a while. Maybe Muppet Mondays? Hmm...