Page 467 - Theatre of Mysteries

15th Jul 2014, 6:00 AM in Sweet and Elite
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Theatre of Mysteries
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 15th Jul 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
A group of friends given the task to create a shared, improvised entertainment experience will naturally result in a few clowns and comedians.

Now that I think about it, there's a lot to be said about the parallels between roleplaying games and improv games...


Boris Carlot 15th Jul 2014, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Oh man, nothing worse than when you're trying to be all in character and heroic and everyone's too busy making jokes about where you stole the speech from...
Disloyal Subject 15th Jul 2014, 6:19 AM Perform (Oratory) edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Sure there is. If they're heckling at an original speech, it's even more frustrating!
Digo 15th Jul 2014, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
ESPECIALLY when it's an original speech! D:
Most PCs default to something they'll crib from Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, or even (egads) Monty Python.
aerion111 15th Jul 2014, 1:27 PM edit delete reply
I'm always impressed anyone can REMEMBER those speeches. THey're kinda long.
I remember the kinda trouble my class had at just learning a few lines for acting (I went to a weird school), trying to get them to remember a multi-paragraph speech seems like it'd be the work of several days of hard work.
Disloyal Subject 16th Jul 2014, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Don't forget Shakespeare!
Boris Carlot 15th Jul 2014, 6:32 PM edit delete reply
That's what I meant. You're trying to improvise a rallying speech and they're trying to decide if you're doing Independence Day or Pacific Rim this time.
elfolampo 16th Jul 2014, 10:32 AM edit delete reply
That's only when they're not quoting Princess Bride.
Night Sage 15th Jul 2014, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Night Sage
Improve is key to any role-play. Without it, a story will become stale and stagnate. You have to be open, and always expect your players to think of something that you might not have. It would be boring if the Game Master and his players were always on the same page as one another.

Yes, it is the Game Master's job to try and predict how his players would react to certain situations, but even then, they still can't be totally predictable. In my Shadowrun campaign, I sometimes purposefully leave details out of my notes, when I find that I have too much information.

Improvising is a great way to help build one's storytelling skills.
Digo 15th Jul 2014, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, getting too detailed means a lot of stuff is gonna get wasted when PCs skip about. Improv is excellent for filling in those gaps.

In the rare times I was a PC, I enjoyed improv RPing my dice rolls. If I had a string of bad luck, I'd play it off well, like slipping on something on the floor or getting distracted. Fun times.
Joe the Rat 15th Jul 2014, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
GMing is certainly a way to work on your on-your-feet thinking. I've finally taken the captain's chair, and ye gods it's not as easy as it looks.

Something to remember regarding Improv: Like everything else, it's something you need to practice to get good at it.
Toric 15th Jul 2014, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
In a circus-oriented campaign I created for some friends, I'm about to unleash an Anti-Bard character who has a perform skill for heckling and can use his bardic performance to impose penalties on everything instead of bonuses. He's gonna be a lot like the guy from Happy Gilmore who kept calling Adam Sandler "Jackass" but much more resilient and annoying.
Solitary Performance 15th Jul 2014, 8:37 AM edit delete reply
My thought about half way through your comment, Toric, was, "What, you're gonna make one of the grand muppet hecklers?"

For those who may not be versed in muppets, that would be Statler and Waldorf.
Digo 15th Jul 2014, 8:58 AM edit delete reply
Statler and Waldorf are MASTERS at heckling. My brother and I used to do a real good impersonation of those two.
Siccarus 15th Jul 2014, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
Thats where the lesser used Ability Counter song comes into play, You use your preform check to counter another Bards Preform Check/Sonic attack. No matter what your Preform check is. (I countered Shriekers by dancing once)
Disloyal Subject 16th Jul 2014, 11:46 AM Buzzkill edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I always found it funny having my Half-Orc lawyer bard use Perform (oratory) to drone on as dully as possible about legal codes governing busking whenever a more conventional bard managed to tick him off.
Night Sage 16th Jul 2014, 9:16 PM edit delete reply
Night Sage
Used dancing as a counter song?

You do realize that's impossible right? Counter song HAS to be audible, not visual based. Therefore your dancing shouldn't have worked.
you know that guy 16th Jul 2014, 11:53 PM edit delete reply
Tap shoes --> audible dancing.
darkgloomie 15th Jul 2014, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
Heh. It's not a game session until at least one player playfully heckles another.
GrayGriffin 15th Jul 2014, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
Silly jokes are an essential part of any good campaign. As long as you're clear about it being OOC.

You should see our shipping list.
Luna 15th Jul 2014, 8:33 AM edit delete reply
That they are. But all thing in good measure. I'm all for a good joke that will make the table burst in laughter, but at times, the mood need to be a bit more serious or the joking around takes a bit too much time. At these time, when I'm DMing, I tend to get the players back on track, if only so we can put a bit more in the session than jokes and endless puns and pop culture references.
Digo 15th Jul 2014, 8:59 AM edit delete reply
It used to be a tradition to write down the best jokes and quotes made during a session. I've got a vault full of them online. Some are still hilarious to me after all those years.
Euric 16th Jul 2014, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
well you can't just say that and not tell us any! Tell us some.
Disloyal Subject 16th Jul 2014, 1:07 PM Weasel edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
My group's best one I can remember is "Roll Persuasion versus the ground!"
you know that guy 16th Jul 2014, 11:57 PM edit delete reply
"The trading post is built upon a bluff, and you can see the walls are built of"
"I roll sense motive."
"Um, what?"
"When we get closer, I look for the traders, and accuse them of treason."
Odious Call 17th Jul 2014, 5:35 AM edit delete reply
One of my favourite moments from an old campaign is probably when the party druid tried to be a rogue.
"I roll to pick the lock"
"You fail to pick it."
"I roll to intimidate the door!"
*I, the sorcerer subtly cast Knock on the door behind him*
"Uh, you intimidate the door open."

It become a running trick for him to just intimidate any doors we came across.
Digo 17th Jul 2014, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
Some gems from the old Shadowrun campaign I ran years ago:

Henry: "You're not one of those Twilight vampires, right?"
Vampire: "No, I do not glitter in the daylight."
Snowfire: *Shows up with a flamethrower* "Let's test that theory."

Sophia: "I'll land a few blocks away."
Henry: "Is that necessary?"
Sophia: "I don't want to fly over the building only to be taken out by an RPG."
Hugo: "Why would our mortal enemies try and hurt us?"

Auren: "I can kill catering with a thought, I can kill you with a thought, I can kill me with a thought for I am powerful! So why with all this power can I not find a food tray that is dry?
Danny: "Food for thought?"
Auren: "Death by tray it shall be!"

Danny: "Mine was better because it was bigger."
Blackwolf: "Yeah, and I bet it was a lot easier."
Hugo: "I like easy."
Zelda: "What the hell kind of conversation did I just walk in on?"

Troll: *Bursts into a ball of fire*
Hugo: "Where'd the troll get a flame thrower? They're illegal on all planets."
Danny: "I can ask him, but I think he's only going to respond with 'Ah! Ah! Put me out! Put me out!'"

Auren: *Casts an Armor spell on an Emblem model executive helicopter*
Hugo: “Can I get one of those?”
Auren: “I was hired only for the helicopter’s enchanting.”
Hugo: “Can’t you do me after?”
Auren: “No. Not in any sense of that phrase.”

Henry: “You want me to jump out of a moving what onto a moving huh?!”
Blackwolf: “Does this helicopter have a bathroom?”
Ms. M: “No, it does not.”
Blackwolf: “Do we need to stop for a pack of Depends for Henry?”
Snowfire: “Depends.”
Sophia: “Depends on what?”
Snowfire: “Depends on Henry. Unless you want to wear them. Ha ha ha!”
Raxon 15th Jul 2014, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
Riffing on a player is one of the most vital skills a player can have, am I right?
NellzDaBlackKing 15th Jul 2014, 6:37 PM edit delete reply
I think so, it's completely respectful and if done right, you can get a few laughs and merriment at the table, especially if your DM is cool enough to laugh along.
Cygnia 15th Jul 2014, 8:19 AM edit delete reply
I do a weekly improv jam and I've gotten one of my fellow actresses to join up in our 3.5 D&D game. :D
Guest 15th Jul 2014, 9:00 AM edit delete reply
Look at 'em gettin' all MST3K up in this pitch.
Specter 15th Jul 2014, 9:24 AM edit delete reply
This is Skeleton Frame to List-O-Names, Skeleton Frame to List-O-Names, is Operation Party Crashers a go? Over.

(I can only see the rest of the group showing up for SOME reason)
LilyK 15th Jul 2014, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
If you want to invoke the Riff, you must be prepared for the horrors that await.

Twilight probably wrote an Eva godboy story back in the day.
Edgewalker001 16th Jul 2014, 4:10 AM edit delete reply
Let me check my notes...
Drew 16th Jul 2014, 6:13 AM edit delete reply
Welcome to "Whose Turn is it Anyway," where everything's made up and the points make all the difference. Let's get things started with a game called "Natural 1!" It's "Natural 1", ladies and gentlemen. Our performers have to act out a successful roll in a tabletop game, until Colin, the Game Master, comes in and tells them "no, no, you got a 1 on this roll," and they have to act out what REALLY happened on that roll, with the situation and result being based on suggestions from our audience. Start the game whenever you're ready.
Newbiespud 16th Jul 2014, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
This comment made my day. Mad, giggling laughter ensued.
Tatsurou 16th Jul 2014, 12:02 PM edit delete reply
I would watch that show religiously.
Disloyal Subject 16th Jul 2014, 1:09 PM Improv At Its Finest edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Hell, forget D&D - I want to play that now. It's been too long since theatre...
Ether Space 16th Jul 2014, 9:14 PM edit delete reply
Somebody PLEASE make this happen!!!
Disloyal Subject 17th Jul 2014, 6:02 AM Let's Do This edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Working on getting some old friends from high school together... If you're serious, I guess I could try filming it.
Specter 16th Jul 2014, 10:14 AM edit delete reply

I have seen many teams communicate via radio before, many doing it with a spot of accent as well, but this one I remember quite fondly.
Ether Space 18th Jul 2014, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
Would someone like to define "riffing" for me, please? I don't get it.
Ishidan 2nd Aug 2014, 3:00 PM edit delete reply
Riffing is to make fun of something. It is generally distinct from heckling (as AJ and RD point out), as heckling has a lot more directly insulting the person being made fun of.
Statler and Waldorf were the muppet masters of heckling, and Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is a show dedicated to riffing.