Category Archives: Rick and Morty

Rick and Morty One Shot (Part 2)

Click here for part 1.

 The Game

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.

 The Outcome

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.

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Rick and Morty One Shot (Part 1)

Thursday night and its my rotation as lead game master at our local Brisbane one shots. This week I had decided as an experiment with a Rick and Morty themed game. Rick and Morty for those of you unfamiliar with the hit animated comedy from Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon. It is a show about a jaded cynical scientist, Rick and his impressionable grandson Morty where they juggle inter-dimensional travel and domestic life. The show blurs the lines between improv, dark humour, existential horror and philosophy.


I did my research leading up into the game, mind you this predominately consisted of watching Rick and Morty and looking at common the tropes. It also consisted of researching systems that might best handle the tropes and themes of the TV show, also listening to the RPPR actual play of their own Rick and Morty adventure using a homebrew of Monsters and Other Childish Things.

System Choice

The three systems I felt that would handle a Rick and Morty adventure were; Primetime Adventure, Cubicle 7’s vortex system and Monsters and Other Childish Things (a mod of the One Role Engine).

Primetime Adventures – This is a game that’s very mechanics are aimed at creating scenes in your own or your favourite TV shows. One player takes the role of the producer while the other players take the roles of the actors/characters in the TV show. The game itself is built into 4 acts and is then broken down further into scenes where each player takes a turn and deciding if their character wants a character development scene or if the character wants to succeed in something furthering the plot. This system’s beauty lies in its high level approach to enable the telling of stories of any genre by breaking down the TV structure and gamifying it.

Monsters and Other Childish Things – In this system each a player’s PC is a child but that child also has a beast friend. A monster and they get up to all sorts of michief. Rolls are quite simple and a number of d10 are assigned to each of the child’s attributes. In RPPR podcast altered the system slightly by making the child Rick and the monster Morty. This worked well in the podcast as each of the players played a Rick from another dimension with their own Morty. I ended up avoiding this system for this very reason as I was thinking of running a game with Rick, Morty and some others in the supporting cast.

Cubicle 7’s Vortex System – The Vortex system is the one used in the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. Rick and Morty have many parallels with the Doctor and their companion. Travelling through space and facing existential risks at every adventure. Its just that Rick ad Morty don’t bounce back from the existential horror that the Doctor and his companions do. The system itself utilises those techniques used in improvisations like; Yes and, No but and such forth. The system also uses Story Points that give power to the player to improve their roles or directly change the world. When it comes to combat it is generally lethal and generally pushes players to talk or run their way out of trouble. This is also reflected in how initiative is handled with Talkers going first, then Runners, Doers and finally Fighters.

I ended up going with the Vortex system, as I am very familiar with the system and I was wondering how the system would handle the genre.

In the next part I will give the outcomes from running, including character sheets for Rick, Morty and Summer.

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