April 12, 2012

Today is not even Sunday.

And yet here I am making a post, because I obviously have no respect whatsoever for structure, deadlines and myself. But fret not! The next GGG update is pretty much done and I'm only looking for potentially lethal mistakes in it right now.

In the meantime, I'm continuing this other side project thing. Which I more or less rewrote after it didn't work out as intended.

Brofessionals Draft v0.9

PC's are competing to get the least work done while making sure they can't be blamed for it.

Now with a helpful checklist of things it is supposed to be!

-Brofessionals is a competitive game about shirking responsibility.
-It is meant to be a beer and pretzels type of roleplaying game with minimal rules.
-Tone is casual and party friendly, hence the use of cards instead of dice.
-It encourages temporary cooperation and inevitable backstabbings.
-The use of d6 tables for flavor, because everyone loves tables right?
Theme and Mood
Some games are about valiant acts of heroism whose characters always aspire to rise towards greater heights, other games are about overcoming your worst flaws and the evil that men do, and then there's the games about incompetent jerks who can barely scrape by in spite of all common sense saying they shouldn't. Brofessionals is one of those last games, where slapstick is at the order of the day and disbelief is not suspended but retired altogether.

You're all horrible people and it is a wonder you get along as roommates at all, maybe you have remarkable teamplay when you need to stick together, maybe you actually really get along in spite of being at each other's throats so often, or maybe you're just so awful that no one else can tolerate you for long but each other.

Whichever it is, you don't have time to find out, because the Landlord wants the rent and they want it now. You must concoct filthy get rich quick schemes and somehow get around your own laziness to put them into action, but can you actually play nice with each other long enough to meet your goal while avoiding the landlord's terrible wrath?

Character Creation
Each PC has 3 Vices. These are things that are both descriptive of your particular brand of ineptitude but can also somehow help you during your quest for shinies. Examples of Vices are Really Into Videogames, Check Out My Abs, and I Only Listen to Underground Bands.

The GM is the Landlord and will be in charge of narrating the game and keeping track of things as normal, every Landlord has one Authority Power that strikes terror into your very heart and compels you to get your ass moving. An example Authority Power would be Trained Dobermanns. The Authority Power is how the Landlord's Wrath comes into play when he's had enough of your crap.

Tables of randomly generated Vices and Authority Powers are provided for maximum wacky hijinx potential. Said tables may or may not actually exist as of yet.

You need a deck of cards and poker chips, the Landlord should deal 3 cards to each other Player face down and 3 poker chips. These poker chips will be referred to as Effort Points.

Everyone also has two tracks called Drudgery and Blame, they both start at 0 and the Landlord should be the one noting down the increases to each as the game progresses, they may choose whether or not to inform other people of how much Drudgery and Blame they've got at their own vindictiveness.

Finally, every PC has a Secret Goal.

The PC's win condition is to be the one with the least Drudgery Points by the end of the game, and they gain Drudgery by pretending to be productive members of society and succeeding at it, all while trying not to pick up the Blame for the group's inevitable failure.

Play begins as normal with any roleplaying game but with less adventuring in dungeons and more being useless goons in your apartment watching animal planet or being stoned, until the Landlord barges in and tells everyone that they better have their money ready soon, or else. At that point everyone must come up with one or more plans to raise money feeding off their own Vices while at it, because otherwise work would be like, work, man and that just won't do.

Things proceed as in any roleplaying game, the game may be freeformed without ever using conflict resolution rules until someone attempts to actually work. What passes for Work, however, may vary. The Landlord can decree that even going to the shopping mall is a difficult task, after all a PC could totally get lost on the way there, or be robbed on the way back, or they spend the money on a new TV instead of supplies they needed for a baking sale, or a goddamn meteor crashes down on their car changing the plan of action to getting the insurance people to give you the money you need.

Players should be outlandish and entertaining with their descriptions, because the more they make people laugh the more effort points they're given - from 1 to 3. Either way, at some point they will have to attempt something difficult. That's called Working and is where the cards come into play. Everyone MUST attempt to Work at least once.

Conflict Resolution
The Landlord sets the difficulty of Working by placing one or more face up cards from the deck on the table depending on the craziness of what the PC is trying to do, and the player(s) involved try to match the number in the face up card to succeed. You can add, subtract, multiply or even divide the cards you have in your hand to match the face up number. Face cards cannot be matched and are sent to the discard pile, necessitating another card to be flipped over to replace them. Whenever a Face card is revealed this way, a random event happens, if this card is the Joker then you will be the victim of the Landlord's Wrath in addition to that, you poor bastard.

Unfortunately whenever you succeed at Working, you gain a point of Drudgery because you'd much rather be playing videogames than doing any of this crap. On the plus side you now have gained money! Money has no use whatsoever by the rules of the game so I hope that was worth it.

Playing Face Cards
Face Cards cannot be used to Match, instead they are used for any of the following effects when you're in the middle of attempting work:

-Discard it to draw another card.
-Steal a random card from another player then have them steal a random card from you, the card you stole is eligible.
-Trade hands with another player.
-Cause a random event from the optional tables, according to the type of face card, flipping over a new card to Match as circumstances change.

A special case is the Joker card. The Joker cannot be played, and in fact you do not want to be the one holding it when the game ends, as it will double the amount of Drudgery you possess, as the whims of fate conspire to make you seem way more competent than you are.

Effort Points
You can spend your precious Effort Points to help you succeed at being competent. By spending 1 Effort point and handing the chip back to the GM before playing your cards you may:

-Draw 1 additional card.
-Add or substract 1 to the number you must Match.
-Make another PC lose 1 Effort Point, said Effort Points may not be spent in reaction to this. This costs 2 Effort Points.
-Passing the Buck. This costs 3 Effort Points.

You may spend Effort for the sake of others this way, if you so desire, and other people may also begin to spend Effort on whatever it is you are doing to further their own agendas in a very silly war of Passing the Buck around and playing with the number that must be Matched. You do not draw cards back to your starting hand size after using them, however, so keep in mind that you must work smart, not hard, lest you run out of Effort. If you use at least one of your Vices while you are doing this, then you gain 1 Point of Effort after succeeding.

If you cannot Match the face up cards, don't wish to spend Effort to do so, and cannot be arsed to beg others to help you out, you may Shirk Work altogether. Whenever you Shirk you gain a point of Blame, becoming an eligible scapegoat for the Landlord to elicit their terrible Wrath upon, but you are also now are facing a wholly different problem altogether. Maybe you got lost in the city, you may have been robbed of your precious possessions, or the Landlord now wants your TV as payment, or your car is a pile of useless scrap metal.

This new problem may require a new attempt at Work, which would also require the Landlord to flip over another card, one that hopefully is easier for you to Match. If you really don't want any Drudgery or blame at all, you may Pass the Buck to another Player by spending three Effort, this will get another PC of your choice involved in whatever shenanigans you are part of and force them to solve this problem for you - unless they choose to Shirk themselves.

The Secret Goal
The Secret Goal is a top-notch secret the PC knows about the Landlord and can exploit. Maybe they like to collect tea sets, or they've got an addiction they're trying to hide, or they really want to attend a recital but don't have anyone to go with. If you could obtain the item they need, or proof to blackmail them with, or arrange a way for them to do what they want, then you will have a lot of leverage to earn their favor when the game ends. If you have completed your Secret Goal, you halve your final Drudgery (rounding down), making it super unlikely for you to 'lose'.

The Landlord is well aware that they hold more power over you than you hold over them, so it will not be enough on its own, and if you are not discrete enough in fulfilling your Secret Goal other Players may become aware of it.

Card Tricks
Instead of Matching numbers as normal, you may play a Straight (of at least three cards) of the same Suit, or the mythical combo of three Sevens to succeed at Work without gaining any Drudgery and gaining three Effort Points for it. You may also combo enough cards to form the number 13, or play three Sixes you may Pass the Buck to another making them the target of terrible misfortune as destruction rains from the heavens, automatically summoning the Landlord's Wrath on them in addition to now having to deal with your crap.

The Landlord's Wrath
Eventually the Landlord will have had enough of your asinine tomfoolery and decree you've had enough time to get them their money. You don't have said Money. You don't even have enough Money to sate their bloodlust, in fact, chances are you don't have any money at all. And so one of the PCs must be the sacrificial lamb offered to the Landlord's Wrath.

Whomever has the most Blame will be chosen as the guilty party and will lose three Effort Points and gain that much Drudgery as they're forced to work for them by cleaning up the condos, give them the TV they bought in payment, be sent to jail, or suffer other form of suitable punishment. If multiple people are tied for most Blame, they suffer the Landlord's Wrath together like good partners in crime do.

The game may end at this point, or continue until the next Landlord's Wrath strikes, at the group's own discretion. Basically get to the climax and end with a bang when things stop being fun. When the game ends, the PC with the most Drudgery is agreed to be the one closest to competency and is forced to get a part time job, everyone else gets to narrate how much fun they're having now that they don't have to work any longer, except for the guy who must make money for the rest of them whose life is pain and suffering until they're inevitably fired before the next session.

Background/Secret Goals/Event Tables and Charts
Oh God so much to write, I will have to leave this for later. For Backgrounds and Secret goals they can probably be replaced by traditional GM assignment. As for random events, the idea is that every face card has its own table of random events to use.

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