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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kickstarter - Beasties & Bygones: Raunchy Comedy RPG - Dungeon World & 3.5

If this graphic isn't busy enough to turn one off...
In a recent episode of The Brainstorm Podcast, we discussed using humor in RPGs.  From my experience, it's fine in small doses or when occurring naturally, but when force upon the players or the campaign it is rarely as funny as the adventure author expects it to be. There are exceptions - Paranoia and Toon come rapidly to mind, but neither system was built with the idea of campaign play.

Beasties & Bygones appears to be an attempt to build upon the natural humor that comes from group play and make it the default style of gameplay.

The Kickstarter may very well be successfully funded down the line, but I doubt the final product will be all that successful. I'm seeing visions of Castle Greyhawk in my head, and that is not a pretty sight for anyone to see.
Many Mythical Creatures call Al'tearth their home but most Beasties were tainted upon arrival: 
Some creatures were once a daydream on Earth but now exist only in Al'tearth, like the Dingle Faeries; tainted faeries that are servants to the Excremental Gods.  
Some creatures were morphed into one like the Chupasasquatch; it was created when the Chupacabra of Mexican lore was merged with a Sasquatch or like Mime-pyres; who were Vampires that merged with Mimes. 
Bi-Nicorns are randy animals that were unicorns that grew another horn when they came over. Some say that Hermaphrodite has a special love for these creatures and watches over them, kind-a like we watch Animal Planet. 
Ancient Gods from all mythologies have been twisted into bizarre bygones of their former selves. They govern each other with a yearly award ceremony where they grant positions in the Zodiac Council. All creatures are born under a zodiac sign. The Gods govern the population based on the sign/seat they rule. For example, Leo is a seat at the council of 12. Here are some Bygones: 
Penetor, the God of Fertility was Priapus in Ancient Greece. 
Hermaphrodite wasn't always the androgynous lord of sexual ambiguity, s/he was once Aphrodite, Greek God of love, beauty, and sexual passion. 
Uranus, The Evil Brown Eye...I think you get the picture.
When I was 12, this might have been funny.

Oh, but wait, if you watch the video, you are treated to:


  1. This is bizarre, even for my rotten taste

  2. Bizzare? Yes! Infantile? Yes! Not everyone's cup of tea? Definitely. But where are all the comedy RPGs that aren't family friendly? South Park has a talking Christmas poop and won a peabody. I guess we are giving it the old college try and I understand that it's tricky and comedy is subjective. I do stand-up comedy and Ive been RPGing since I was little. My group loved to be silly, raunchy or irreverent. My adventures will be episodic in nature so you could play only one shots, or just pick out stuff for your campaign. my world is setup to tackle all kinds of taboo adventures

    Here is just one adventure...The players stumble into a small town. They notice that once in awhile the citizens words are bleeped. After more investigation it turns out the ankles are blurred as well by a spell cast. No matter where you are certain words will ever be heard and certain body parts will always be blurred. They find out there is a tower full of Wizards (W.C.C) that are offended easily. Very soon more words and flesh is deemed indecent, an the townspeople are pissed. Can the adventurers stop the Wizards before the whole town is nothing but a bunch of blurry people bleeping at each other. The Ivory Tower of Decency!

    Thank you your feedback.

    1. Humor rarely works when forced. It's just the nature of the beast.

      I hate to point this out, but most stand up comedy is not funny - open mic nights the comedians have to drag friends and family to the show just to get their 5 to 7 minutes of stage time which is mostly painful to watch. Been on both sides of that and it wasn't pleasant for the most part.

      I'll give you points for production value, but your Sourcebook graphic is nigh unreadable.

    2. I always respect someone who will come here and respond in this way whether or not it's a product I would buy.

      Somewhere in that adventure idea is buried what I assume is meant to be some sort of satire on the FCC and broadcAst decency standards, but it's not clear and seems to misunderstand what the FCC is and does. If better thought out, maybe that sort of thing would be cool but it sounds like it would work better as a story or comic book than as a roleplaying game. I enjoy satire and black humor. Black Adder is top on my list.

    3. "I hate to point this out, but most stand up comedy is not funny..."

      I'd put that even more strongly: most standup comedy is not funny... at all. Standup comedians are pretty much the bottom of the barrel, apart from maybe 1% who are the exceptions that prove the rule.

    4. I'd put it even more strongly than that: Most "comedy" isn't funny. Look at the movies they release as comedies and tell me how many actually make you laugh out loud. Same with books, TV sitcoms, etc.

  3. I guess they never heard of the actual Greek god Hermaphroditus...

  4. Hmmm....seems like the designers are making a f.a.t.a.l. mistake (so to speak)

  5. Using the words "comprised of" says it all.

    Also, what is "magician" a "parody" of? Do they not know what a parody is?

  6. Deliberately "funny" RPGs and adventures are pretty much a guaranteed fail. I don't even think much of Toon and Paranoia, to be quite honest, and those are the cream of the crop.

  7. Took itself is not funny; it requires a GM who is actually and creative to make it so. Any game can be funny if you want it to be. The game this post is about sounds like any number of D&D games I've played where things went a bit goofy; you don't need special rules to make it funny.

    Never owned or played Paranoia

  8. That should say "Toon" not "Took." Damned autocorrect

  9. @Erik, thanks for the points. I will take this constructive criticism to heart. I can make the graphic less cluttered.

    I knew about Hermaphroditus, but the term Hermaphrodite is funnier. Its just a little wordplay. :) Hermaphrodite + Aphrodite = Hermaphrodite.

    @Matt I think you'll find that the W.C.C. adventure is well thought out and will include more in depth details when it's released during the campaign. I just wanted to show an example of humor that isn't potty humor (and I love potty humor) but I understand that some people don't. We have adventures planned for political humor, drug humor, sex and more. These are the topics that have been taboo to traditional publishers.

    Maybe, the title, Campaign Sourcebook is accidentally misleading, we don't necessarily want to imply that it has to be played as a campaign. We may change it to Worldbook, thanks for pointing that out. There will surely be funny concepts and situations in the adventures but, our goal is to weave in moves that allow for humor for Dungeon World and similar mechanics for 3.5. Dungeon World, being more story oriented, I believe lends itself well to comedy. I see the moves we are creating as more setups that the players can fill with punchlines. Plus we are providing a guide/pointers/tips to help create your own funny, satirical adventures.

    Comedy is funny if it makes you laugh. There is no accounting for taste and we certainly can be "tasteless". But as for the statements that comedy isn't funny, saying sometihng like that, makes me think comedy may not be your thing and I can appreciate that. We are making a game that is funny to us and hopefully, other people. That is all we can do as artists. And I never excepted this to be a mass market product. But I love your page and the healthy discussion that is going on here. I will your check out your podcast too :)

    And feel free to stop and check on us, we are releasing sneak peek content throughout dedicated to making quality product.

    1. First let me say, I respect the fact that you're following your dream and creating something - even if I personally have no use for it.

      As far as comedy not being funny goes, I would clarify that most FORCED comedy is not funny, and unrelenting wackiness is pretty much never funny. If you put a god named Hermaphrodite, or a toilet humor adventure, in a regular D&D campaign, it could be hilarious to me - because of the contrast with the NORMAL state of the campaign. But if it's all stupid names and toilet humor and everybody acting like idiots all the time, it loses its impact because there's no CONTRAST. It's the reason I hate sitcoms - everybody is unrelentingly snarky or a complete moron, and none of it means anything because there's nothing NORMAL to serve as a comparison to spark humor. Whereas a dramatic series can do a "funny" episode and be hilarious because of the CONTRAST with the NORMAL behavior of the characters. Your game doesn't sound like it has any contrast. It's all buffoons and riotous idiocy, all the time. I'm sorry, I just don't find that funny.

      Anyway, that's just my two cents. Good luck with your project.

  10. Hahahah. No this KS.. That graphic makes me want to vomit.

  11. I made the graphic less busy. Thank you Erik, but I'm not saying it still won't make people vomit.

    1. i'll give you credit - the new version is readable ;)