Pencil: Welcome to the Probably Bad Podcast, a podcast which is definitely bad. I’m Pencil
Paper: I’m Paper. Today’s probably bad rpg idea is (dice rolling noise) corporate branded RPGs.
Pencil: Specifically, Feast of Legends, the official Wendy’s RPG. Surprisingly detailed campaign book
Paper: Yeah the book is as long as a D&D Player’s Handbook
Pencil: Yeah, like, I don’t want to spoil things in case for some reason you want to play the official Wendy’s campaign but like…it is a full on campaign it’s got like four adventures with plans for like following on afterwards and…
Paper: Yeah there’s a developed world, a bestiary, so many classes!
Pencil: All with names like “Order of the Baked Potato”
Paper: I do want to mention the classes because the main sort of…conflict(?) in the Wendy’s RPG is the battle against frozen beef
Pencil: The Ice Jester bears no resemblance to any existing corporate mascot
Paper: And, yeah, all sort of definitely not “we hate McDonalds” type characters. But at the same time one of the classes you can join is the Order of Frosty and, while I’m not expecting a huge amount of consistency in a Wendy’s branded RPG…that’s still a lot
Pencil: Yeah like all freezing things are bad, ‘cos you don’t want frozen burgers
Paper: Because freezing for freshness is a myth
Pencil: Like, I feel it’s relevant that I’ve never been to a Wendy’s. I’m British and we don’t have them over here. I don’t know if I’m missing some deep cultural thing
Paper: I know that they do have a whole thing about how their meat is never frozen
Pencil: Mmm. I saw that on the Retweet Tower. The Retweet Tower is also a thing in the setting. It is described as “incomprehensibly large”.
Paper: Because Wendy’s is, as the first page of this damn book says, “The Clapback Queen”
Pencil: That is the official title of Wendy from Wendy’s in the setting, she’s the Clapback Queen” of, I think it’s “Fresh-beef-donia” or something like that? But yeah the Retweet Tower which is incomprehensibly enormous, as it specifies in the rulebook
Paper: Which is so easy to say, is what’s great about that. If you’re in a rush it’s really easy to say “Fresh-beef-donia”
Pencil: My mistake it’s actually “Freshtovia” which is less silly but slightly harder to say so
Paper: Other highlights include…they’re not called critical fails. It’s called a “Big Oops”
Pencil: It might be the biggest oops, which is a direct quote from the book
Paper: Which also calls itself “super dope”. I just…I don’t understand who wrote this, or who the audience is, but it’s definitely a bad RPG idea
Pencil: In what I’m pretty sure might a direct probably bad RPG idea that we’ve done before, so, you get buffs if you eat Wendy’s food during the game, which, you know, makes some sense for a corporate RPG. You suffer penalties if you eat any non-Wendy’s food on the day of the game. You suffer a minus 2 penalty – for context the highest bonus you can get in the game is plus five – so it’s a very significant penalty if you so much as…it explicitly says if you eat crisps or snacks during the game and they’re not official Wendy’s products you get…
Paper: Yeah one really good part is what food, either Wendy’s food or non-Wendy’s food, you have, there’s categories and what food you have determines which stats you get a buff or debuff on. I believe if you eat crisps you become less graceful
Pencil: Yeah, if you eat tacos you become less magical, if you eat fried chicken you become less defensive, if you eat gas station food you become less intelligent, if you eat from Subway you become weaker, if you eat pizza you become less charming and, because they’re weirdly insistent on the frozen burger thing, if you eat from “a frozen burger joint” – which I assume is McDonalds or Burger King – you take plus one ice damage every time you’re attacked. It’s just weirdly detailed for just “eat at Wendy’s”
Paper: The question is do you get a double debuff for gas station tacos
Pencil: One assumes. I don’t know if it’s like cumulative. I don’t know if every time you eat a crisp you get another minus two penalty
Paper: I mean, I think that would be excessive, even for this “super dope” game, but gas station tacos covers two categories.
Pencil: Yeah. Yeah like it’s not even…there are questions like that…it’s not even a particularly well-implemented rule it’s just…
Paper: Yeah the rules-as-written raise a lot of questions that they then don’t answer
Pencil: Mmm. Most notably, you can’t die. If your hitpoints drop to zero you’re just immobilised until you can eat Wendy’s
Paper: That’s until you eat Wendy’s in real life. I kind of want to play this game as someone who would…in a country without Wendy’s, as a sort of challenge mode. No buffs. No resurrection.
Pencil: Constant debuffs every time you eat
Paper: Presumably just ending up with the entire party catatonic on the floor
Pencil: Natural 20 is called “feast mode” because you’ve eaten Wendy’s and are therefore full of energy presumably
Paper: Of course
Pencil: I just love all of this. Yeah there is the Order of Baked Potatoes, the Order of Chicken Nuggets which are just…they’re just the worst names for anything I’ve ever heard.
Paper: I maintain that Order of the Frosty is the worst option
Paper: Purely because the bad guys are ice themed! There’s the Ice Jester who is definitely not Ronald McDonald
Pencil: There is also the Creepy King in the Paper Crown which to be fair does sum him up pretty well
Paper: It’s an accurate description
Pencil: There’s full on like, maps and everything
Paper: The worst part is the illustrations are quite good
Pencil: Yeah the illustrations look like something from a legitimate swords-and-sorcery fantasy setting
Paper: Honestly whatever poor starving artist has to draw these pictures, I salute you, because you worked with what you were given and you made something beautiful
Pencil: The actual Ice Jester is like…if you look at his image he’s legitimately quite an intimidating looking villain until you realise he’s literally just a parody of McDonalds freezing their burgers
Paper: We will include a link to this game – because it is free – in the shownotes
Pencil: Yeah…so…yeah, I’m not sure if this is like…I don’t know how you’d implement this idea I guess just play it and order Wendy’s?
Paper: I do want to use this as an opportunity to talk about the weirdest video game I’ve ever played though
Paper: Which was another official game by a fast food brand – “I Love You Colonel Sanders”, the dating sim
Pencil: Oh, yeah I’ve got that. I’ve not mustered up the courage to play it yet because I am a coward
Paper: I know it’s technically outside of our remit but I just wanted to remind people that it exists
Pencil: I think what we need is a crossover, like Colonel Sanders goes adventuring in the Wendy’s fantasy setting and tries to find love
Paper: And he ends up, as must happen in these sorts of games, seducing the Ice Jester.
Pencil: So there we go that’s how you implement it you play
Paper: Fast food fanfic
Pencil: You play an incredibly thirsty Colonel Sanders exploring the Wendy’s dimension in order to fuck Ronald McDonald
Paper: Well if he’s thirsty he can just order a frosty!
Pencil: Aaay. I assume a frosty’s like…I assume it’s like a cold drink or an ice cream?
Paper: I think it’s like a milkshake. I’m only aware of it through memes
Pencil: But yes, I think we’ve sort of roasted the Wendy’s Feast of Legends game enough, we should possibly move onto questions
Paper: You say that but I feel like there are some companies where implementing them in an RPG could be genuinely interesting like, have you considered Jeff Bezos as a BBEG?
Pencil: I mean, I think he’s basically like the real world’s big bad evil guy is the issue. Like we’re all in an RPG where the main villain is Jeff Bezos
Paper: That’s true, but doesn’t that just make you more want to play some sort of paladin of light trying to take him down.
Pencil: There’s definitely something there in a Shadowrun where the companies are just Amazon, Disney, and what have you. Like instead of any advanced sci-fi future ones it’s just you need to take down Amazon
Paper: A zombie game but instead of zombies it’s the bloated corpses of franchises that keep being revived for no good reason
Pencil: I think like, the good RPG idea we’ve come up with here is overthrow the bourgeoisie and implement communism
Paper: I think the RPG idea we’ve come up with is heavy-handed satire, which is just approximately 50% of RPGs
Pencil: I think it’s not really satire at this point it’s just insulting Jeff Bezos which is, you know, an admirable goal
Paper: That’s just a probably good life idea
Pencil: Yeah! So yeah probably good RPG idea: overthrow Jeff Bezos and redistribute his money. I think that’s what we were trying to reach in this episode
Paper: I think so. Shall we go for a question?
Pencil: Right, question.
Paper: So this one is anonymous. Comes to us from tumblr. You can send us questions through probablybadrpgideas.tumblr.com. “I have never DMed, and I have been asked to run a campaign for kids at my church. Do you have any ideas for a story?” So my immediate thought was there’s a version of vampire lore in which Judas was the first vampire just as punishment for, you know, being Judas, and I feel like while it might be obvious as the first thing to go for, I feel like it’s the way to get the church to approve of a very vampire-heavy game
Pencil: So firstly I like the implication that he’s not punished for betraying Jesus he’s punished for being Judas, just unrelated to any of his actions
Paper: I think there is one gospel in which he just literally explodes
Pencil: Which will like, you know, kids’ll find that cool
Paper: Maybe that’s what happens when you kill him
Pencil: So for your first RPG for children in a church what you do is track down Judas and make him explode
Pencil: Yeah. To be honest I feel I would have liked that as a kid
Paper: The thing is there are so many quite interesting antagonists in the bible, even if you don’t go for Judas ‘cos, you know, I don’t think it’s canon in any particular version of Christianity that he is the first vampire it’s just…a thing
Pencil: Is a direct quote from the bible
Paper: There are literal evil wizards, like there’s this one guy Simon Magus whose whole thing is “I’m an evil wizard, everyone does as I say” which is just a classic D&D villain! Pencil can you think of any biblical villains you’d like to fight?
Pencil: Hmm, I think like, probably fighting King Herod would be a bit on the nose if you’re dealing with just like children
Paper: But so festive!
Pencil: Yeah! Unless like you make it like all of the children he kills are like annoying in ways that the children you’re playing with are specifically
Paper: Like a “Willy Wonka” type scenario?!
Pencil: Yeah like if you have King Herod, but instead of any particular antagonism towards Jesus, he’s just like doing a Willy Wonka style um castle?
Paper: Whoever survives the tour of my kingdom shall inherit it
Pencil: And you can use that to deliver good life lessons to the children like stop annoying me or King Herod will get you
Paper: still laughing I kind of love this
Pencil: Full disclaimer I don’t actually know that much about the bible
Paper: You stole holy water you lose!
Pencil: You could have like…I don’t know if he has any sort of oompa loompa equivalents, I assume he doesn’t in the bible
Paper: He’s probably got some sort of generic underling
Pencil: Yeah, but they can around and sing songs whenever anything bad happens
Paper: If you really want to impress your priest or pastor or whatever your version of church person is…sing the songs in Aramaic
Pencil: I love the idea of recording full, like, full first century Aramaic songs entirely for your Willy Wonka King Herod game. But yes, I hope that answers your question anonymous!
Pencil: Right, our second question, which is from “Melony Melody” “Ok, so… I have a problem. I’m DMing a pirate campaign (which is super cool, by the way) and I have a toxic player in my table. She’s rude, she complains every time anyone does anything and tries to do MY job as the DM. I tried talking to her, but she just ignored me and kept doing the same shit as before. I’m seriously thinking about taking her out of the campaign, but we’re in a small number of players, and taking her out would reduce us to 3 players. What should I do?”
Paper: Keelhaul ‘er!
Pencil: Yeah, like, I’ve been in games with players who’ve tried to take over, I was in a game with someone who would deliberately build his characters to be better at the other characters’…better than the other characters at the things they specifically tried to do. Like tried to be better at fighting than the fighter and so forth. Yeah it’s…it’s better to have a campaign with a small number of players than a campaign with more players but one of them’s an asshole
Paper: Yeah like I’ve been in campaigns with literally two players and a DM and that is preferable to being in a campaign where you can’t have a good time
Pencil: Yeah, like if you’ve talked to her and she’s not listened then yeah you should probably kick her out.
Paper: If she’s that desperate to be the protagonist she can go and play a video game. There’s plenty of them
Pencil: Yes, actual legitimate RPG advice. stumbles over words If you do want to go for the more passive aggressive route which, full disclaimer, you shouldn’t, you should always talk about things out of game if you have a problem with your players or GM but
Paper: But this is probably bad RPG ideas
Pencil: But yes, just have her be turned into a baby magically. All her stats are 1 and she can like cry and that is the extent of her character’s abilities
Paper: Or, as I said, keelhaul her. Either the character or the player whichever’s easiest really
Pencil: Or both! Involuntary LARPing
Pencil: I think like, one thing I did see sort of in a similar, with pirate ships and sort of areas like that like, they tend to not respond well to people…basically. Dadada. I’m going to try to restart this particular point. Basically if the character is trying to take over, and take over the campaign and take over the mission, that is essentially a mutiny and you can have the NPCs react appropriately. Which probably would be keelhauling or something like that
Paper: It would yeah, historically
Pencil: So basically keelhaul her
Paper: Our advice is keelhaul
Pencil: Our advice so far is beat up Jeff Bezos and keelhaul players and rewrite the bible to be Willy Wonka
Paper: We are excellent at this
Paper: We do have one more question which is a little bit less RPG based but I quite like that someone wanted to know “for the podcast how did you meet like was it through campaigning or” and then it just…there’s ellipsis.
Pencil: Like, we thought about it and…I don’t think we quite remember it
Paper: I know it involved the Douglas Adams society but honestly I just remember at some point I became friends with Pencil, I don’t know when that happened. We just weren’t friends and then we were
Pencil: Like at any point one of you might wake up and be friends with me, it just happens
Paper: They are just a cryptid
Pencil: But yeah the one, like the first social interaction I remember with Paper is the time that they said um “I don’t know if I’m up to peopling or not so I’ll compromise and talk to you” which has stuck in my mind as one of the strangest comments someone has said to me but…
Paper: I feel like I probably meant it as “I’m going to talk to an individual rather than join in a group”
Paper: But I can’t prove this
Pencil: I mean like it worked out, we are friends now
Paper: I mean we were housemates for a year
Pencil: Yeah so to answer your question, one day you will just wake up and you will be friends with me and no-one knows how it happens
Paper: You just have this aura. You attract nerds
Pencil: If you roll a natural twenty you just end up becoming friends with me. But yes we went to university, ended up friends, and then continued being friends. It’s not a particularly exciting story I’m afraid
Pencil: Next time we’ll exaggerate it so that we fought demons together
Paper: Well we were playing this game called Feast of Legends
Pencil: And it was just so amazing that we went “we can never not talk to each other after this”. I still love “the Clapback Queen”
Paper: I know it’s just…it’s so innappropriate
Pencil: It’s 100% the name a forty-something year old person would give themselves while trying to talk to teenagers
Paper: I mean, it probably is the name that a millenial gave themself while running the Wendy’s corporate twitter
Pencil: But yeah uh
Paper: But let’s be fair this probably wasn’t run by the same people as the twitter this was probably constructed by a load of men in their 50s and 60s sat in a room for two hours, probably on a Friday just like “oh that’ll do!”
Pencil: Yeah it’s…I can’t tell whether I recommend it or not. I think it’s like “The Room” of tabletop RPGs
Paper: Yeah like, I want to play it? But I also like Piranhaconda, so I don’t think I’m the best judge
Pencil: I think that’s everything we have to talk about
Paper: I think so
Pencil: Extro. Extro? Exit
Pencil: Yeah. Do you want to do it again?
Paper: Yeah so that’s…that’s everything that we’ve got for today. I want to thank my spouse Nick Blake for doing editing and making music and things. If you want to support the show you can head to https://ko-fi.com/probablybadrpgideas where you can donate in increments of £3 to help us with hosting costs or just life. Life is expensive, it’s pay to win. Life is the worst RPG
Pencil: This is why we need to take down Jeff Bezos.
Paper: Exactly! If you have a question for us you can send it to probablybadrpgideas.tumblr.com and
Both: Remember to have a probably bad day