Monday, May 9, 2011

Muppet Mondays! - Muppets At RECESS

In between weary moments of trying to catch my breath and relax, I've been thinking about the Muppet Show one-shot that I'm setting up to run at the RECESS Gaming Event in NYC in June.

As I consider my various options on how to go about it a few things came to mind that I thought I'd share and maybe get your opinion on. Let's call these ideas 'Convention Style' Muppets RPGing...

I think I as GM will play two very important roles, aside from those of game referee and Director. Now in a normal game of the Muppets I wouldn't want to do what I am about to suggest but the more I think about it the more it seems the best way to go for a short game (about 3-4 hours I think) with those that are unfamiliar with the game (which, since I created the game, will likely be everybody).

I will play the Guest Star and Kermit.

Why the Guest Star?

First, the theme of this RECESS is Video Games, so in order to prep and match the theme I thought of the top 5 most unlikely or not-quite-appropriate character to have interact with the Muppets. I narrowed it down based on familiarity, visual identification, how much humor I can milk it for, etc. Finally, now that I have my choice, I tried to think of how to get the character into various sketches or situations and realized it would be easiest to do this if I ran the guest.

The second reason is simply one of time management and getting the most bang for your buck if you're a player in this game. I as Director/GM am going to have to explain the rules, help them make up a character (more on that in a bit) and direct where the story and action is heading. If I have to explain or run the mad libbing Guest Star creation sequence it is going to cut into the players' actual play time.

Why Kermit?

I debated this a lot in my head but in the end it only makes sense. In addition to helping me direct the scenario along, if I am Kermit and Kermit is seen as 'head honcho' on the Muppet cast, I can use that maintain order and reinforce the atmosphere of a Muppet style game.

Plus, my Kermit impression is pretty good.

In regards to character creation...I am going to supply the players with a large selection of pre-gens and have everyone choose 3. Then I will have each player generate one original Muppet character (all Customs). If I meet my goal of having 5 players, that will be 20 characters available during the course of the game. That should be more than enough to supply them with an appropriate character regardless of what sketches we come up with.

What do you think? Anything I should alter, add or otherwise adjust?

Also, I almost forgot - Happy Birthday Kermit! Today is the 56th anniversary of the first appearance of Kermit the Frog ladies and gentlemen. I hope I look that good at 56 (though less green I suppose).

Barking Alien

*My Kermit is good but my Gonzo is better.

Strangely I seem to be good at all of Muppet Performer Dave Goelz's characters. My Gonzo is good (especially singing) and my Bunsen Honeydew is right on the money. I find Henson's characters' voices quite difficult actually and while I do some Jerry Nelson ones well (Count Von Count and Floyd Pepper), they're far from perfect.

Frank He is amazing. I can't really get any of his characters right except Yoda and Cookie (and Cookie is only so-so). His voice quality and versitility are much more subtle and flexible than casual fans realize.

I can do Janice and Scooter (originally brought to us curtisy of the late, great Richard Hunt) pretty well also (Janice better than Scooter).


  1. The system is a Risus variant of my own design. Check out my blog posts for the month of March. All of March was dedicated to the idea(s) of creating and running a Muppets RPG.

  2. Thanks,. As a fan of Muppets, I will certainly check it out.

  3. Yay! Any fan of the Muppets is a fan of mine! Wait...heh...not quite right.

  4. Good luck. I would be there if I could. Love the Muppets and gaming both.

  5. I think the GM running Kermit is actually a great idea. Throughout the Muppet chronology, Kermit is and always will be the eternal straight man, the guy nervously reacting to the antics of the lunatics around him. Sounds like the GM to me. :)

  6. Gonzo was a blast. Sam the Eagle was my favorite though. :D This is not cultural.

  7. I think Jamie A. hits on a major factor for my decision to play Kermit myself. Let everyone else be funny, zany and crazy while I hold the whole thing together.

    Thanks for the kind words everybody.