In the very first notes I ever made for a Muppets RPG, I had a line that read, "Guest Stars - Rules Needed".
I really never evolved the mechanics much beyond that.
I did generate numerous ideas on what you can do with Guest Stars though, so let's discuss that first and come back to the how of it in a bit.
One of the amazing things you can do in an RPG that you can't do in real life is anything. Spaceships can travel to alien worlds using Faster-Than-Light engines, wizards can do battle with dragons over enchanted forest vistas and superheroes can fly through the sky and punch away meteors that would otherwise destroy the good people of New Miracle City. You can also have superhero wizards battle Faster-Than-Light dragons from on board their forested, miracle city spaceships. You can do anything.
If you're running a Muppets RPG and you need a Guest Star, you have a vast array of choices. Think for a moment what an episode of the Muppet Show would be like guest starring William Shatner. Now what if it wasn't William Shatner. What if it was Capt. James T. Kirk.
Yes. Kirk. Not Shatner. The character of James T. Kirk.
It's an RPG. Your adventure could guest star a favorite deceased actor, a fictitious character or any other celebrity of note from any field. It could star you for that matter!
This is going to be expanded on in a few upcoming posts but what if the basic premise of your adventure or series were changed slightly enabling time travel, dimensional travel or anything of the sort.
"Ladies and gentlemen, our very special guest star, the Superman of Earth Sigma 10! Yaaaay!"
Now as for mechanics...really not sure.
When Humans enter the Muppets 'world' they appear to follow the rules of Muppet logic and physics. They can get eaten, blasted, turned into an alien or drink a serum and change into a monster. You could, therefore, build a Guest Star using the same rules as you would for a Custom Muppet.
At the same time, the Guest Star are nearly all one-shots characters. They can utilize the Applause and Star Power system but always seem swept up in the Muppets antics and rarely the other way around. I don't recall a Guest ever being able to 'Steal the Show' as it were. John Cleese was made to do a musical number even though he refused to sing. Jonathan Winters is aware of a Gypsy curse on the Muppet Show but can't do anything about it until the end of the episode when he pays the Gypsy to keep it going.
In this way, Guest Stars are more like Whatnots. Yes? No? Maybe? Fish?
Not going to deny it, I've worked so hard to create a Muppets RPG that I didn't give as much thought to how to put people in it. At the same time I won't deny that having a Guest is an important part of getting the whole thing to feel right. I mean, in certain instances I wouldn't worry about it (again, see this week's upcoming posts on gaming beyond The Muppet Show) but it is a vital element of what a campaign focused on the Muppet Show is about. Also, deciding how to include Humans could be very important to running Sesame Street as well.
I would really appreciate some ideas and feedback on this one everybody. Let me know your opinion.
Peter Sellers: "There used to be a real me, but I had him surgically removed."
Kermit: "I can't tell you what a thrill it is to have you on this show."
Jaye P. Morgan: "Oh, thank you, Kermit. Nice of you to say so. I'd like to say I'm really indifferent about being here."
Here's A Muppet News Flash!
The next series of posts are dedicated to creating Muppet RPG adventures and campaigns other than those based on The Muppet Show or a similar format. They include numerous ideas for shows that Henson and Company actually devised but never went through with as well as some ideas of my own on how the Muppets can work in different genres.
These posts will be immediately followed by related posts on using the Muppets and/or Muppet themed elements in other games. Muppets D&D? Muppets Gamma World? Muppets & Masterminds? You bet!
The following week I'll tell you how to get, how to get to Sesame Street and what's down at Fraggle Rock.