Friday, August 12, 2011

Blue In The Face

The Anatomy of a Smurf...

Blue skin? Check.
Three apples high? Check.*
Says "Smurf" A LOT! Check.

OK, so here's the inside smurf on Smurfs...

I am imagining that Smurfs are a strange sort of Faerie folk, originating, like all fae, beyond the misty veil of dreams. They are brought into being by an ancient, mystical ritual that involves alchemy to some degree. If you'll notice, both Papa Smurf and Gargamel are usually creating potions or items to perform a good deal of their magic. Papa is definitely an herbalist as he often heals injured or sick Smurfs with leaves and ointments. Smurfette was made using blue clay, a recipe like spell and a cauldron.

This also explains Gargamel's sometimes fluctuating objectives...Sometimes he wants to eat them, some times he wants to use them to create a potion that turns things into gold and in the film he believes that creating an elixir out of their essence will make him a more powerful sorcerer.

What if he's right?

A mix of Earthly plants, ancient alchemy and Faerie magic, a Smurf is quite an unusual entity. Maybe a Smurfs' essence (or life force if you will) can be used to create a reliable Philosopher's Stone. Process the essence another way (same main ingredient, different recipe) and it can increase your magic powers or make you live forever (Immortality being another power attributed to the Philosopher's Stone). Eat them directly, while a crude method to be sure, and some of their essence must surely be transferred to the consumer.


The base rules I am using here are my variant set for Faery's Tale Deluxe, which only seems apropos considering the subject matter.

So the stats remain Mind, Body and Spirit, with each starting at 2D (two six-sided dice) as per Blacksteel's suggestion. Coincidentally, that is the stat breakdown of a Brownie in Faery Tale Deluxe. Not too far off in my opinion.

The figured stat of Essence is simply perfect. A Smurf's 'Essence' is mentioned continuously. I use Essence as Life and the final resort to turn to when you've lost your 'Glamour' (my additional stat) in Faery's Tale Deluxe. But that doesn't quite work here. Instead, you have your SMURF (or Smurf Points if you prefer). When you want to do anything that will require a special effort, when you want to add extra effort to a mundane task or when you get hurt, you spend a point of SMURF.

Can you see it?

GM: "It looks like the damn is about to break. As the water begins spilling over the lip of the damn, the sound of stressed wood begins to echo in your ears."

Hefty: "I push against the damn and hold it so Handy can get to work fixing or bracing it."

GM: "You...hold back a river with hands the size of peas?"

Hefty: "You bet your smurf I do. I SMURF my Body roll."

GM: "Wow. Good luck you brave, crazy Smurf."

Now as far as Gifts (the magical abilities that faeries come with in FTD) go, here in the Smurfs RPG you get but one. It is one that is directly linked to your character's identifying trait. When performing an action, skill or whathaveyou that falls under this trait, you can perform it with no penalty and one success under normal conditions. You may need to spend a SMURF to perform it under unusual or dangerous conditions or to perform it at an abnormal level of quality. Spending three SMURF would enable you to perform almost magical effects or complete a normal task when plummeting toward the ground, avoiding eagle attacks, while on fire.

I intended on adding some additional info and game mechanics linked to Risus but as of now I can't decide exactly how I want to approach it. I'm going to think on it and get back to you all very soon.
I highly recommend checking out Faery Tale Deluxe for the full details on the rules.I intend to do quite a bit of additional reading and research on the flora and fauna native to the region, as well as more stories from French faerie folklore. I've gone from screwing around with this crazy idea to actually wanting to run this. You'll see why soon enough... In a moment, we make a Smurf PC and look at the world of the Smurfs that lies beyond the Smurfs.

Smurfing Smurf

*"Three Apples High" is a French colloquialism meaning very, very small. The American equivalent would be, "Knee high to a grasshopper." It was not intended to be an accurate measure of how tall they are. However...a number of fans have noted that Europeans crabapples are much smaller than their American cousins and if you stood three of them up on top of each other you would be pretty close to Smurf height.

Also, I just wanted to smurf that this RPG is a smurfy work of Smurf fan fiction and as such is not intended to smurf on any copyright or trademark of the those who hold such things for the Smurfs. This game is for smurfing fun only. It will not be sold and a will not make a single smurf off of it. If however, the powers that smurf want to smurf an official Smurf RPG, please smurf me at BARKINGALIENatGeeMailDOTcom.

Thanks for not suing the smurf out of me. :)


  1. Henchman 24: "Come on! They have one female servicing a large group of males. That implies a species that lays eggs."

    Henchman 21: "Oh my God, you're crazy! They're so obviously mammals!"

    Henchman 24: "Please! She'd be in estrus 24/7 if she didn't lay eggs."

    Henchman 21: "Smurfs don't lay eggs! I won't tell you this again! Papa Smurf has a fucking beard! They're mammals!"

    --The Venture Brothers,
    "Are You There God, It's Me, Dean."

  2. Lord, just a transcript of the venture brothers can make me crack up, because I can hear the voices too.

    I like the rules so far. I think smurf points are extremely appropriate but I'd like to see more thoughts on awarding them, as I would think doing something appropriate to your name would be a good way to earn them, besides being a gateway to spending them. How do you see that working out? Note : I haven't read Faery's Tale (surprise surprise) so I may be missing something.

    Maybe rumors of smurfs hatching from eggs could be the basis of an adventure...

  3. @Blacksteel - Oooh I like that adventure idea! Right on brother!

    Actually I had a bit of a Gaming Epiphany yesterday and I am even more dedicated to not only making this work but starting an ongoing Smurfs campaign. My next post will flesh out the rules and setting ideas even more. Actually, to an all new level I think.