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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 148 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: kill puppies for RPGnet  (Read 11456 times)
Jonathan Walton
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« on: October 31, 2002, 05:28:52 PM »

Wasn't sure where to put this post, but...

My review of kill puppies for satan finally got posted in RPGnet's Halloween offerings.  Yes, I am converting the masses to the petty, unsympathetic evil of Vincent.

http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/reviews/rev_7401.html

Jesus doesn't want me for a sunbeam, either.

Later.
Jonathan
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Emily Care
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2002, 06:48:43 PM »

Good job, Jonathan.  Thanks for spreading the word!

:)
Emily Care,
Hero

(Vincent, have you posted about the quiz yet?  nudge, nudge...)
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Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
jrients
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2002, 04:11:10 PM »

I found the review to be entertaining and informative.  I wonder if an additional squaresville review of kpfs might get a few more people to look into it, though.  You know, less swearing, captital letters, all that drivel.
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Jeff Rients
Jonathan Walton
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2002, 04:27:13 PM »

The review was written to resemble the game being reviewed.  If people don't like the way the review is written, they're not going to like the way the game is written either.  For example, lines like "fucked up is how devious and deviant a motherfucker you are." were taken directly from the game text, lack-of-capitalization included.

Sure, a review in another style might have gotten more people to look at Vincent's game... but they would have stopped reading puppies just as quickly as they stopped reading this review.  That's just the nature of these things.

I wanted to make sure people knew what they'd be getting into.  If you read Clinton's playtest of the game, he did the exact same thing, copying Vincent's writing style in puppies.  It's pretty infectious, scarily enough...

Later.
Jonathan

EDIT:  I just realized that you might have meant something completely different, i.e. another type of review might more carefully point out the point of puppies, which is not immediately obvious to some people.  It could convince some people that the cussing and violence is not just "shock" material.  In that case, I totally agree with you and retract my rebuttal.  Sorry.  I'm still defensive from hanging out on the RPGnet forums.
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jrients
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2002, 07:03:35 PM »

You got me the second time around, dude.  No offense is taken.

I really did dig your review and I'm sure it will draw some people to the game.  I'm just saying a straight vanilla discussion of the game, its premise, yadda, yadda, might attract another group entirely.

Not putting down your review in any way.
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Jeff Rients
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2002, 08:38:37 AM »

I just want to give you an enormous public hurrah, Jonathan.  I've lost count of how many people have asked for pdfs of the game since Thursday, but it's near or at or just over thirty.  I can't open up my inbox without seeing four new requests.  Look, I'll go do it now -- dang, only one (since 9:00 this morning).

They must all be at church.

Seriously, damn fine review, and I owe you.

I'd be interested in a convo about puppies' premise yadda yadda.  What do you have in mind, Jeff?

-Vincent

Edit: did I say 30?  How about 55!
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jrients
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2002, 05:57:01 PM »

To my eyes, kill puppies for satan asks the players something like "How low can you go?"  Up front, all the PCs are satan-worshipping, puppy-killing losers.  They are vile miscreants who are going to hell. (handbasket optional)  We can pretty much assume that they are capable of violating any possible moral, ethical, or legal code.  It would be easy to guess that the PCs are going to usually act from purely selfish motives.

But clearly the sample adventure suggests that PCs should be willing to risk facing security goons with shotguns to save a buddy in distress.  I'm not saying the puppykillers are misunderstood heroes.  I'm pretty sure I'm on target when I say the average PC is a bastard.  Yet the adventure assumes heroic intent.

In some messed up way that means the PCs are both saints and sinners.  They have a teeny-tiny shred of decency.  Occasionally exploring the dimensions of that glimmer of goodness would bring an interesting nuance to the game.

To be honest I'm not sure where I'm going with this line of thought.  If I were to run a kpfs campaign most adventures would NOT be about helping others.  I would expect a typical session to have more in common with Jonny Nexus's Warhammer misadventures or Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.  However, I would sprinkle adventures with an occasional "immoral quandry".  Do we buy crack from the the Illinois Nazis when our regular dealer is in the slammer?  Is it really worth going down on the hideous old land lord to cover the rent?  Things like that.

Hopefully, I'm making some sort of sense here.

(As an aside, if I ever do get a chance to run a kpfs game, there's one thing I would consider adding to character creation to get into the spirit of degeneracy.  Each player would be asked what kind of porn their character prefers.  Anyone with an unperverted, plain vanilla answer would be informed that they weren't trying hard enough.)
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Jeff Rients
Maurice Forrester
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2002, 06:23:30 AM »

Quote from: jrients

In some messed up way that means the PCs are both saints and sinners.  They have a teeny-tiny shred of decency.  


That's what I got out of the kpfs session I ran.  The PCs were creeps.  They stole from other people, they stole from each other,  they assaulted a guard, they assaulted a doctor, they tortured one patient and gave a lighter to a pyromaniac.  But in the end, they rescued Gerald, gave him a happy birthday, and showed that there is honor even among satan-worshipping, puppy-killing losers.

Quote

there's one thing I would consider adding to character creation to get into the spirit of degeneracy.  Each player would be asked what kind of porn there character prefers.  


I didn't ask about porn when I ran kpfs.  But one character did steal an old  copy of Swank from the guard's kiosk with the intention of giving it to Gerald as a birthday present.  Then another character stole it from her and claimed it got lost.  Porn does seem to fit right into the game.  Maybe another supplement is in order?
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Maurice Forrester
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2002, 07:49:37 AM »

Been thinking.

Puppies has always been a commentary on other games.  I had specific other games in mind when I wrote it, and gaming in general too.

When the gang of us watched Trekkies, there were bits where I had to leave the room.  I've never hated a movie quite like I hate Election.  But American Movie and Fast, Cheap & Out of Control are two of my faves.  Being a geek is complicated for me, there're these like self-image and self-worth problems I have with my geekiness.  Trekkies was generally sympathetic to its geeks, but not always.  Election had total contempt for its geek.  American Movie treated its geeks with sympathy and humanity, and Fast, Cheap & Out of Control even admired them.

Killing puppies = being a geek.  It gives you power in your own marginal circle, but alienates you from actual society.  I think that many of us have to balance that in our lives, I know I do all the time.  Most games offer wish fulfillment -- in fantasy I'm powerful! I'm rich! I'm sexy! I'm immortal! they fear me now! -- which is appealing, but not that good for me, right?  Puppies is more like American Movie, genuinely sympathetic to me and my problematic geeky life.

As far as morality goes, the puppykillers aren't misunderstood heroes for damn sure, but they aren't amoral monsters either.  I think Satan's guidelines -- don't kill people, don't torture people, don't tempt people to sin -- and the this many people hate me stat provide a pretty solid moral code.  It's not that far off my own, actually.

While I was writing puppies I happened to read in some random game product an entry on trolls: "despite being sentient, they're listed as an endangered species, so you can't kill them with impunity."  Now that's the moral code of an amoral monster.

-Vincent
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jrients
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2002, 09:58:38 AM »

Vincent,

Thanks for the tremendous insight!

In your mind how far do you map  puppy killer = geek?  For example, do you imagine puppy killer conventions?  Are satan's activities debated by ppuppy killers in the same way geeks overanalyze George Lucas's writing & directing?

BTW, this weekend I might be running kill puppies for my old high school gaming buds.  I look forward to seeing if they can correctly identify willard as good ol' Flanagan High.  Of course I will report in this forum if they show up and I can talk them into playing.
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Jeff Rients
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2002, 10:40:07 AM »

Quote from: Jeff
For example, do you imagine puppy killer conventions? Are satan's activities debated by ppuppy killers in the same way geeks overanalyze George Lucas's writing & directing?

Not at all, but damn, that's funny.

-Vincent
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Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2002, 05:10:40 PM »

Hmm, never thought about it quite that way...

I liked kill puppies for satan, it was damn amusing, but I didn't catch the parallels to geek life. Now, of course, I can't *not* see them.

I was monkeying around with the idea of meshing kill puppies' game setting with the mechanics for Ron's game Elfs. You know, have a Worth score (as in "What are you really worth to society?") to be a general stat for everything normal-life related, a Deviousness score instead of a Low Cunning, and a Devil's Luck score instead of Dumb Luck, all of which pretty much matched up perfectly.

Now I'm not so sure. Whereas Elfs was meant to cruelly parody it's characters, it seems kinda wrong to do the same thing...to animal sacrificing satanists. Odd, the moral quandries you find yourself getting into...
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