Comedy Relief In Role Playing Games

The idea of using role-playing games for comic relief applies not just to games that are already intended for comic relief, either the system itself (such as Paranoia, HOL, etc), but to more standard (usually “serious”) game systems where the players all agree to give comedy a run – playing for comic relief can even be done on a per-character basis, even within a game that is NOT geared toward comedy, though the style, content and intensity of this type of play is best kept within the players’ overall tolerance for “shenanigans” – this is not something one should do at every game, but an opportunity which may present itself from time to time.

While rules-lite game systems tend to lend themselves to comedic role-playing a bit better than heavier number-crunching games, due to the freer narrative without the accompanying requirement for dice rolls to perform every action, even game systems heavy in the mechanics department can provide an entertaining venue for the rpg comedian, or as some internet rpg humor lists refer to them, zanies or loonies.

Using the general theme of the scenario or adventure itself, the fairly-universal semi-insurance that the DM isn’t going to outright kill you if you’re being entertaining (even if not necessarily wise), and the typical probability of the game system’s success/failure mechanics, consistent methods of comedic playing, usually of the “incompetent, bumbling, sidekick” slapstick variety, can be played right alongside the swarthy mercenary and the mysterious elven sorceress. Endearing fumblers have long accompanied more serious and heroic protagonists in novels and movies, and so too it can be in role-playing games.

In the case of a more densely-concentrated rules system, for example 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons, the urge for comedy can spring as inspiration, as much from happenstance or even frustration, as much as genuine premeditated comedic intent. As a practical example, a player in a four-person adventuring party was of a more “cinematic” bent, play-style wise, and felt he was constantly being penalized by the game system used, for his attempted over-the-top heroic actions, possibly more suited to a swashbuckling or buddy-cop martial arts movie, than a gritty fantasy dungeon crawl.

Deciding to make the system work in his favor (or die in the process, most likely), the player’s fairly generic, gruff Dwarf Paladin, evolved into the 토토 cluelessly overconfident Dwarf Paladin who saw himself as a righteous crusader, protected and blessed by his faith, hailed by all as a shining icon of heroism and bravery. The ancient drawbridge leading over the bubbling black water to the tower proper, looks weathered and unsteady – this naturally then would be the time for the plate-mail clad Dwarf to make a prodigious leap to the tower. Failing that, as he did, this would instead be the time for him to crash bodily through the rotten timbers and plummet dozens of feet into the rancid murk below, requiring his companions to lower a rope to pull him out, as he patted himself on the back for taking the risk and sparing his friends the danger.

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