Click here for part 1.
I wanted to keep the overall improvised feel of the TV show so I went with the system used by the Doctor Who. In this system it utilises a pretty famous improve tool ‘Yes and…’. The player rolls 2d6 plus an appropriate Attribute and Skill and then compares this to a set difficulty. The margin of success determines what outcome they get:
– Yes and… – Oh my god you’re on fire, you succeed in what you are doing and you gain an extra boon.
– Yes – You succeed (Good for you).
– Yes but… – You succeed but it didn’t go as you planned.
– No but… – You don’t succeed but you salvage something.
– No – Nope, just no.
– No and… – You’ve really cocked up, not only have you filed but things escalate getting worse.
This outcome is built into the very resolution mechanics of the game. Stuck in a groundhog day loop Morty attempts climb up to the where the driver sits on a moving coach to convince the driver to push the plasticine horse pulling the coach harder. This is a Normal task requiring Morty to use his Coordination and Athletics. He rolls a 9 and gets a total of 13. Yes he manages to climb from inside the coach to where the driver sits but he loses his balance and knocks the driver off leaving him alone to drive the horse driven coach.
Story Points give the player characters the ability to control the story and allow themselves to do sweet stuff. Experienced characters like Rick already have Traits that allow them to do sweet moves and therefore have less Story Points but green adventurers like Morty get far more as they are more malleable. This may be simply bumping up your failure to a success, emulating Rick’s scientific expertise, introduce something new to the scene or saving yourself from death.
Summer has just broken herself out of a Galactic Federation interrogation room finding herself in the station’s garage filled with ships. She’s seen Rick fly one of these things before, drunk so how had can it be. She spends a Story Point and she is able to use Rick’s Attribute and Skill to fly the tiny space shuttle instead of her own.
In the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game the combat system nearly almost always lethal and when it isn’t damage comes straight out of the characters Attributes. This is elegantly handled with the systems Initiative mechanic, talkers going first in the Initiative order with runners second, doers third, and lastly attackers.
Rick finds himself face to face with Scanners Rick and Morty. Scanner Rick is sitting in a chair pointing a laser pistol (which does lethal damage) at Rick, he intends to simply shoot Rick where he stands. Luckily, Rick has got something to say so he goes first.
All in all the adventure was fun and was resolved in the 3.5-4 hours of play and the players enjoyed themselves, resulting in some good bits.
Every time I use the Vortex system used in conjunction with the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game I find the resolution system satisfying. Especially in a one shot adventure players has no compunctions with spending their Story Points. But it does take some time. The player needs to roll calculate their outcome, the GM then tells them how well they failed and then waits to see if they would like to spend some Story Points to bump up their success. In a one shot I find this can bog things down a big pace-wise especially in a fast paced shoot at the hip show like Rick and Morty.
A thorn for one of the players was that he felt that one aspect of Rick and Morty are the bits and the scenes. Expressing that a Fiasco playset or using Primetime adventures might give that feel.
Would I run Rick and Morty again? Yes.
Would I run it in the same Fashion? Probably not.
If there isn’t one already I would actually consider creating a Fiasco playset for Rick and Morty.
Otherwise I might try my own chimaera of a system to handle it. I would utilise Primetime Adventures to help build scenes and the characters and use the resolution system from Itras By. These are also inspired by improve but are simply cards that can be randomised.
Until next time Wubba Lubba Dub Dub.