By popular request, and by popular I mean the two people who responded to me on Twitter, here’s a post about the tabletop rpg I’m part of. Better known as #rpgfuckyeah, in our caffeine-fueled midgame tweets.
It’s set in the retro post-apocalyptic world of the Fallout video games, with atmosphere provided by papercraft and an iTunes playlist of period music and radio transmissions (awesomely voice-acted by some Pendant folk). Instead of meeting a mysterious person in a tavern, our little band of adventurers was chosen by (possibly rigged) lots to leave the safety of our vault to find a new supply of food. That’s kind of faded into Macguffin territory during the rest of our exploits.
During the first session we nicknamed our group the League of Extraordinary Assholes, because we discovered that all of us had treated Charisma as a dump stat. The most charismatic member of the group has a completely-average Charisma of 5 out of 10. She’s also the one who started our first fight by telling a guy “I’m going to stab you in the face” and attempting to make good on it.
This hasty sketch blatantly traced over a picture of Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove is my character, Joe. Joe is not the brains of the operation. His Intelligence score is 3 out of 10. I’m not a big minmaxer but I threw most of his points into areas that would make him very good at being a giant stupid wall of muscle. In my head he’s voiced by Patrick Warburton (another hint of Kronk), and his height/weight are based on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
So far Joe’s strengths are:
- knocking on doors and yelling “HELLO?”
- axeing questions (see cuz he has an axe …)
- being the height of fashion by wearing the pelt of a dead super cat and a baseball cap he pulled out of the stomach of a scorpion
- sneaking up to a sleeping guy and then completely failing to cut his head off with an axe, chopping into his own leg in the process
- standing around looking pretty while other people kill stuff from very far away
- ingesting every drug we could scrape together to become Super Joe
- acquiring a devoted ladyfriend
He has a wooden plank with a map scratched onto it by a helpful wandering salesperson. When I update it with in-character knowledge, I write with my left hand and spell stuff the way Joe would. What can I say, I have a little method actor in me.
Playing Joe is fun, although it can be a little challenging. I love playing against type, and it’s great doing stuff in the game I’d never be able to do in real life. If I could Do Voices I’d totally have one for Joe. At the same time, the conflict between my ideas as a player and his ideas as a complete idiot makes it a little hard to get any strategery going on. I come up with all kinds of ideas that Joe would never think of. Sometimes I can reframe them into ideas he would have (“I can’t remember all these places! Can you draw a picture on this plank?”) and sometimes I can just blab it out and let someone else’s character have the idea.
As the squishy pewpew folk in the group have gotten better at pewpewing and acquired better guns, Joe’s job as The Meatshield has gotten a little slow. Maybe it’s about time he considered a career change. I wonder if Radio Wasteland DJ Johnny Franks is hiring …
If’n you wanna see the things we put our poor DM through, synopses are here.