Monday, August 22, 2011

Forever Blue - Part 1

Bursts of inspiration (some would say madness) have changed my approach to the mechanics of my Smurfs RPG. Not massively mind you but significantly enough that it's no longer a Faery's Tale Deluxe variant. Not really anyway. It, like my Muppets RPG before it, is gaining an identity on to itself ("Alive... It's alive!..... IT'S ALIVE!!").

First things first, the updated character sheet: 

We begin with a Smurf, its name and its Trait.

I'm a Sci-Fi fan so, inspired by Dreamy's daydream of becoming AstroSmurf (one of my favorite Smurf stories), I create a similarly inspired fellow named CosmoSmurf. Hmmm, no. Rocket Smurf? No. Spacey Smurf! Yes!

Spacey Smurf's Trait? He's Spacey. He is both fascinated by Outer Space and a guy with his head in the clouds. He's always thinking about the future, what it would be like to explore outer space and what aliens eat for breakfast but rarely paying attention to the here and now. Yeah, it's kind of close to Dreamy but a bit more focused. When performing any action that is related to his Trait, he gets to add two dice to his roll. +2D. Unless of course we decide that being Spacey is sort of a negative thing...

Smurf's with a Negative or Hindering Trait, like Grouchy, Lazy or
Drunky (Heheh) may add +2D to any action or activity not related to their Trait by spending a SMURF!. If they can find a use for their Trait they can get the +2D without spending a SMURF! For example, if a PC Lazy Smurf wanted to sleep through a loud thunderstorm that was keeping everyone else in the village awake, he would get the plus 2 dice since that's an example of just how Lazy he is.

Like all Smurf's, Spacey Smurf starts the game with the stats of 2 in Mind, 2 in Body and 2 in Spirit. His Essence is double his Spirit. His starting SMURF! is Essence + Body

The number indicates a number of 6-Sided Dice rolled when performing an action related to the stat in question. Mind for all mental activities (Knowledge of a subject, figuring out a device, speaking a language, etc.), Body for physical activities (Jumping, running, swimming, lifting, fighting, etc.) and Spirit for magic and more esoteric activities (Using willpower to resist eating your favorite treat, casting a magic spell, etc.).

Now, each character gets a +1D to put on any one of those stats (except Essence or SMURF!). Should the +1D be placed on Body or Spirit it does effect your final Essence and SMURF! numbers. I put the bonus +1D on Spacey's Mind. While often found Spacing Out, he is focused and informed about his chosen fields of interest, such as astronomy and aliens.

Now, I noticed that in many cases, Smurfs can do things outside of their distinctive Trait. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes subtle. This is where Knacks come in.

In the continuity of the original Peyo comics, Cook/Baker and Greedy were separate characters but in the Hanna Barbera animated series, Greedy is the Baker of the Smurf Village. So while his trait would be Greedy (a Negative Trait) he would have a Knack for Baking. Numerous Smurfs seem to be pictured being able to play musical instruments but that doesn't make them Harmony Smurf, who actually seems to sing and play badly. I'd give him the Hindering Trait 'Tone Deaf' or something but the Knacks 'Musician' and 'Singer'. As noted in an episode where he finds a magic horn/bugle, he knows how to play it but without the magic of the instrument it would sound terrible as he isn't good at it.

You start the game with three Knacks: One at +1, one at +2 and one at +1D. When I go over the die mechanics this will make a bit more sense but essentially, the +1 and +2 are added to the result of your dice roll, while the +1D is adding a full, additional die. Got it? Cool.

Spacey Smurf's Knacks are Flying (with his Rocket Pack), Ray Gun (Shooting a Ray Gun) and Mapmaking (not directly related to his Trait or theme but perfect for mapping alien worlds. At heart, he is an explorer, so it makes sense to him).

Note that I'm using Spacey Smurf as an example of character creation largely because it's pretty easy to define a character like him and because I am in love with how cool the drawing came out.

Personally, I don't know that I would use him in a Smurfs RPG campaign set in 13th century Flanders. On the other hand, the Smurfs are known for their anachronisms (Dreamy dreaming of being Astrosmurf, Brainy as SuperSmurf, some of Handy's devices, etc.).

End of Part 1...

Barking Alien

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  1. Fabio Smurf . . . definitely need a Fabio Smurf . . .

    - Ark

  2. Hey sir, how about we nail down the mechanics before we start working on crossovers with rayguns and jetpacks! Expedition to the Smurfier Peaks indeed!

    One of my little doodles through high school was "Profanity Smurf" which was basically my OK-ish sketch of a smurf with a word balloon full of !#$@$%@$$ type stuff in it, kind of like you would see in the Q-Bert videogame. Not sure I would use that now but there's another negative trait for you. Maybe treat it like a taunt ability in an MMO.

    I also ran into a City of Heroes character named "Gunny Smurf" - small, blue skin, white hat, camo paints, tactical harness, assault rifle. He was very funny. Think that was the same run where I met "The Skunkerine" so you can imagine what kind of group that was.

    Keep it coming, I'm not the only one in the house that's reading these...

  3. @Blacksteel - It's not a crossover per se, but rather just another aspect of what you can see in the Smurfs comics, animation and game.

    Looking at my own collection, I have Sweepy (the Chimney Sweep Smurf) and a Diver Smurf in full scuba gear. Now the Diver Smurf could be from a more modern era Smurf campaign (more about that in an upcoming post) but we saw Handy build a freakin' wood and steam robot in "A Clockwork Smurf".

    That said, I noted at the bottom of my post that I mostly used Spacey Smurf as an example of character creation because I liked the way the drawing came out. For my campaign I don't know that I'd really use him. Well...not sure. He's growing on me.

    Glad you and yours are enjoying this. I personally can't wait for next month when I actually get to run it.