Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This Is What We Call The Muppet Show

"Ladies and gentlemen it looks like we've come to the end of the rules portion of our program. Yes! But before we go on to the next part, let's have a big hand for our guest stars and all the members of the Muppet family who helped. I'm very happy to say we made it through this one with Minimum Fiasco."

"Glad to help Kermit."

"Minimum, we couldn't have done it without you. If there's anything we can do for you just let us know."

"Just don't hire that no account brother of mine, Maximum. Every time I've got to clean up his messes I die a little inside. Do you know how hard it is to get whipped cream out of a tuba?"

Crumbles face and nods)

"Sadly yes."

"Of course you do. Who am I talking to right? Heheh. Take care Kermit."

"All right then. So now..."

"Kermit? May I talk to you a moment?"

"Not now Gonzo I'm introducing the closing number for the rules segment."

"Well, that's just it. I wasn't in the rules segment at all. I mean, you and Fozzie, Piggy and even Big Mean Carl got to be in it. I'm a gamer. I want to be in it too."

"Gonzo look, I wasn't going to mention this but Adam and Barkley have something special planned for you later on in the month. Adam told me you're actually his favorite Muppet."

"Really? He said that?"

"He did."

"Wow. Sorry to interrupt. Carry on. I have to go find my cannon and oat meal vat dancing outfit. He'll want to see that..."

"OK. So now, our closing number...Routines. Yaaaaay!"

This is the last of the basic rules. Additional options and supplemental material will pop up from time to time but these should be the last of the rules you need to play.Routines

Routines are based on three ideas. The first is a way to have a weird sort of Relationship mechanic that reflects the teamwork and family camaraderie of the Muppets. Second, Muppet Logic as I call it, can often defy the natural laws of physics and create numerous surreal situations. Third, tried and true comedy routines are a staple of the Muppets style.

Combining the three ideas I've come up with the following...
Hold Your Applause
As the other players and the Director are laughing at your antics you can tell them to 'Hold Their Applause'. Instead of receiving the Applause and recording them on your sheet you add an Exploding Die to your next action. You can then declare an action that is way outside the norm. Maybe it's eating an entire character whole, maybe it's still being about to talk, sing and dance inside a monster's stomach once eaten, maybe it's rearranging a friend's facial features, etc. The key is you need the Exploding Die and a friend, ally, enemy or whathaveyou with whom you share a Routine.

Miss Piggy can use the Exploding Die in a Karate Chop Routine with Kermit.

Waldorf and Statler can use the Exploding Die when a Heckling Routine with each other.

Most monsters can use the Swallow Whole Routine with smaller monsters.

Bunsen can use the Crazy Invention Routine with Beaker.

Now what is an Exploding Die? An Exploding Die means you take one of the dice in the next Shtick you're going to use and replace with one of a distinctly different appearance (a different color, bigger than the others, smaller than the others, etc.). When next you roll for the Shtick you include the Exploding Die. If the die comes up a '1' you rolls again and the result is not counted unless it's another '1'. In that case you lose the highest success you have on another die. If it comes up a '6' you roll again, adding any successful number to your total number of successes for that roll and roll the Exploding Die again. If it comes up '6', repeat the process. Continue until you have not rolled a '6'.

Note that you can spend Stars during this to add extra dice as normal.

If the results of your action produce Applause, Both participants in the Routine receive the Applause. Also, both characters put a check next to the Routine on their Character Sheet. If the Routine is successfully performed in three separate sessions it's a Regular Routine (sometimes called a Regular Bit) and Hold Your Applause is not necessary. Characters with a Regular Routine can therefore gain more Applause more quickly in theory and two characters benefit from it instead of one.

Can more than two characters be involved in a Routine? Possibly. It's an idea I've toyed with but haven't found a lot of evidence of it in the Muppets work. I leave that up to the individual directors to decide.

Remember to name your Routine and make sure both parties involved have it listed on their sheets.

OK. I think that's it. If there is anything I didn't cover that you think I should please feel free to let me know. Now I begin putting the PDF together and changing the focus of the posts to reflect what to do with this game now that you have it.

Barking Alien

Muppet Quotes

Gonzo: Hey, Kermit, are you busy?
Kermit: Yes, Gonzo, but I can give you my ear for a minute.
Gonzo: What would I do with your ear?
Kermit: [exasperated] Van Gogh impressions.

Here's A Muppet News Flash!

The PDF may take a bit longer than I'd hoped as drawing the Muppet Workshop Design templates is quite a task. I'm a bit obsessive about these sorts of things and won't be happy unless I at least cover all the major character types (Frogs, Dogs, Pigs, Chickens, Bears, Frackles, Monsters (at least a few types), 'People', etc.).

Ideas that entered the rules at one point and were discarded:

Differentiating between hand and rod, live hand and full body costume Muppets.

Random generation of stats, species and other elements of character creation. May include some as option for all you random chart lovers out there.

Originally, instead of Hold Your Applause, character spend Stars on Routines. After using them in five sessions they didn't need to spend them anymore. Let me know which on you think is better. I still flip flop on this.



  1. That's good. I can actually hear the characters talking. You write their voices well. Good job.

  2. Thanks. I feel like I work almost as hard on those sections as I do the rules. Maybe harder, lol. I do this when I GM too. I want everything to be just so.