The great thing about Fear the Boot is that I often disagree with them, which gives me stuff to write about here. And when I say ‘often,’ I mean ‘all-the-time.’ So no shortage of content here at IoM.
In last week’s curiously well-timed episode that dropped Friday instead of its usual Wednesday and that I didn’t listen to until today (deep gulp of air), the guys talk about role playing animals. Not animals that role play, but people playing animals as characters in a role playing game. Just thought that needed clarification.
They take the subject from two angles.
They examine animals, not anthropomorphized animals such as Mickey Mouse, but animals absent thumbs. And… well… pants (looks uncomfortably to the left).
Playing an animal
Dan asks the question, “What if somebody made a role playing game based on Watership Down?” Disregard the fact that someone already has. It’s called Bunnies and Burrows and it’s a hoot.
I suppose it’s more accurate to say Bunnies and Burrows is inspired by Watership Down, an epic tale of faith and unlikely heroes. Watership Down chronicles the journey of a group of rabbits (regular rabbits with no thumbs) venturing forth from the comfort of their home to forge a new life. Other than the fact that the rabbits are fully intelligent and that they have their own mythology, they are otherwise normal rabbits faced with the same terrors that other rabbits endure.
The ‘Booters limit the concerns of animals to “Food, F*ck, & Fight,” a limitation I largely disagree with. Nevermind that most RPGs are just about Fight, observations of any number of animal species will reveal a strong play instinct as well as a need for companionship.
“There’s not a whole lot going on there,” Dan describes. “If I was playing in a game where everyone is an animal… A game where we’re a wolf pack? I really don’t see that lasting more than one or two sittings before it gets really boring.”
Hello, unimaginative much?
Off the top of my head, I can think of several game hooks for such a setting:
- Young wolves coming up in age, learning the ropes, working under a cruel Alpha determined to one day lead the pack and do things different!
- The Alpha is dead, now the battle for leadership begins… who will win? And can the new Alpha hold onto the role?
- Other wolves encroaching on territory/encroaching on the territory of other wolves.
- Hunters! Developers!
- Raising a human child as part of the pack
- Moving the pack into or through a city-scape.
I’ve described at least four sessions right there complete with lots of conflict and problem solving. There’s a lot of opportunity here. And while I’ve not spent a great deal of time entertaining such a notion, I could make this an effective campaign setting.
If I can do it, anyone can do it.
Tomorrow? Role playing anthros!