Probably Bad Episode 23 – Among Us But Worse, D-Explode, and Clown Drop

D&daniel

Good news everyone. Thanks to your generous donations I finally have a house. It’s made of cardboard, but it’s something. I nibble at it sometimes but it’s not as tasty as dice. Thank you mario, thank you hedwig, thank you matt… Oh and a challenger emerges… Thank you kayla. Night night.

Opening music

Bot voice

Now recording.

MOD PENCIL

I like craig’s recording voice.

PAPER

It’s so dramatic.

MOD PENCIL

Giarc needs to up its game.

PAPER

But it’s its evil twin it says so on the website…

MOD PENCIL

we should start. Hello and welcome to the probably bad podcast a podcast which is…

(pencil fails to speak)

Keep that take in obviously.

Hello and welcome to the probably bad podcast, a podcast which is definitely bad. I’m pencil.

Paper

I’m paper. Todays probably bad rpg idea is… Normal D&D except the DM pulls each player aside individually and tells them they’re a spirit inhabiting the body of their character. You must act as human as possible. Thanks to parafoxiculc for that very spooky season submission.

MOD PENCIL

There’s a lot of this kind of idea all of you are secretly the villains all of you are secretly the big bad or all of you    and I just really, really like it I’m glad people keep submitting it cause it’s just such a great concept of you get to the end and drmatically everyone turns out to tbe an evil spirit?

PAPER

It is powerful especially cause nobody’s going to be suspicious at all, you wouldn’t say that to everyone so everyone’s just weird.

MOD PENCIL

It’s a great way to make players act weird – well they’ll always act weird – it’s a great way to ensure shenanigans cause nobody will expect spirits. I did a game with secrets once, it was set in pre-revolutionary france, it was you’re a spy you’re having an affair, you’re secretly not a noble, you’re a werewolf. I think that would work well just wildly different secrets. Sorry I’m getting off topic, I haven’t eaten or slept, hey guys.

PAPER

You were on topic. What did happen though was your sound quality went worse the longer you talked.

MOD PENCIL

Oh good. If I do this does my voice stay more consistently good?

PAPER

I don’t think good is the right word but it’s more consistent.

MOD PENCIL

Is it useable audio?

PAPER

I love that idea, it’s like the game werewolf like one night ultimate werewolf.

MOD PENCIL

Except no-one knows they’re playing it.

PAPER

Which makes me think what if you did that with all but one of the players.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah you play it with all but one of the players and you tell the human player that one of their companions has been replaced by a spirit.

PAPER

This does remind me of an actual experiment, the rosenhan experiment he pretended to have exactly one symptom got admitted to a psychiatric hospital and would not leave cause it was like obviously you’ve got that label, and ended up telling other places he’d send fake patients, they said it’s obviously this one, and he hadn’t sent any.

MOD PENCIL

So essentially what you want the game to be like is an experiment that exposes ableism in the psychiatric system.

PAPER

Yes and you tell the players one of them is an evil spirit possessing the body and just enjoy whatever happens next.

MOD PENCIL

There’s a lot of ways to inflict paranoia using… To be honest if you take each player aside at the start of the game and you just don’t tell them anything and then send them back…

PAPER

What if you take each player aside, don’t tell them anything and send them back, then they’d assume that everyone else had been told something and you were just pulling them aside to make people not know who knows.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah the logical inversion of this is you take everyone aside and go youre a normal human.

PAPER

I want to do this.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah it’d be a problem cause we’ve said on our podcast we’re doing this.

PAPER

If we wait for long enough after this episode comes out people will forget about the idea.

MOD PENCIL

I estimate about 45 seconds. Yeah.

PAPER

If we go back to the actual idea though… I feel it would lead to some interesting behaviours though. Game groups have one person who tries to make their character as quirky as possible so I feel like cause you basically end up with the situation where a person pretending to be a spirit pretending to be a person and that’s going to look differently in different players.

MOD PENCIL

I like this it doesn’t say anything about what the spirit did, though    you could go into more detail, I like this cause you’re a spirit so like – dubdubdubdub- you tell people you’re a spirit and you’ll see how they think a spirit would act.

PAPER

Yeah you could end up in an Anders justice situation or like a full on possession…

MOD PENCIL

I like the idea of keeping it vague so not only is every person being a spirit, every person is interpreting a spirit in its own way.

PAPER

You can guarantee someone is going to be like every person is a spirit inhabiting a body, nerrr.

MOD PENCIL

So if someone does that they get possessed by a spirit in real life. Half the party is told they’ll be playing spirits possessing the bodies of the characters and the other half will have spirits possess their body and play them during the rpg.

PAPER

Beautiful. So you just have to start the session with a seance.

MOD PENCIL

You just take out all your cursed D20s and hand them around, and everyone who rolls a natural 1 is possessed by a spirit, you just wait for – there’s a sign that says act human, and everyone assumes it’s for the game, but when the spirits possess them they’ll read the sign and go ok act human.

PAPER

I think my favourite part of that is the idea that you will summon a ghost and they’ll see a sign that says act human and says ok I’ll do this.

MOD PENCIL

They don’t want to be a dick and ruin the rpg.

Of course if you roll a natural 20-

Paper

Unless ghosts hated rpgs.

MOD PENCIL

The ghost’s unfinished business was to do a 1-20 D&D campaign.

PAPER

But what if we summon a ghost of one of those satanic panic people – I won’t play this this is the devil’s work and then they remember they’re a ghost and sit there awkwardly.

MOD PENCIL

We can just go see they’re going really in character, there are no flaws in my plan to summon forth the dead.

PAPER

What’s the worst that could happen?

MOD PENCIL

If you roll a natural 20 on a cursed d20 you transcend your mortal form and become a pure spirit which is cool but it does make it harder to keep playing so you are going to have to possess the other players.

PAPER

Which is why it’s self perpetuating you keep hanging out in the aether until somebody rolls a 1.

MOD PENCIL

I assume everybody listening to this has a cursed d20 or is willing to get one.

PAPER

That comes with the starter set, so…

MOD PENCIL

That’s what I was assuming.

PAPER

I’m just wondering what else you could pull your players aside and tell them.

MOD PENCIL

Like… The thing that I just –

PAPER

Like in our bonus ninja episode where we kept having betrayals – ok you’re secretly working against a party. It would either be a really long beautiful campaign where people gradually reveal and are forgiven or it would last 10 minutes there is no inbetween.

MOD PENCIL

I feel that’s the sign of a true rpg, you either have the setting of a beautiful campaign or the room would be on fire. My mind jumped to you’re going to die at the end of this campaign and you need to do as much dramatically before it happens…

PAPER

What would the in universe reason for that be?

MOD PENCIL

It wouldn’t be that so much it would be – ok this campaign is tragic you’re going to die at the end or I guess idk you’re under a curse. That’s what you get when you roll low on a d20. The other thing is you’re secretly a clown and need to stop players from figuring out you’re a clown for as long as possible.

PAPER

It’s a concept.

MOD PENCIL

This is a reference only paper and I will get but when nickblake the editor does play characters, they do do them all in weird clown goblin voices and noone can stop them-

PAPER

To be fair their last character was a kermit voice.

MOD PENCIL

If they were playing a clown it would take me a while to notice there was something wrong and it wasn’t their normal character. All of you are secretly clowns, you need to talk in a clown voice with honky clown nose and stop anyone realising. If someone goes you have a red nose and a multicoloured wig you have to go yes cause I’m a clown but unless specifically asked you’re fine.

PAPER

What if there are different kinds of clown…

MOD PENCIL

You’ve got a mime you’ve got circus clown you’ve got ronald mcdonald and you’ve got spooky clown I feel you could do this.

PAPER

You could.

MOD PENCIL

You could do any of our ideas.

PAPER

You could specifically do that if you subscribe to our patreon at probablybadrpgideas cause this homebrew is clowns.

MOD PENCIL

Yes we’re going to do the clown d&d race, which I think at least one person has been asking for.

PAPER

On that note, shall we move onto questions before we end up moving onto among us but d&d.

MOD PENCIL

I think it’s too late for that.

Pigeon coo.

PAPER

We’re now doing messages and ads which you can submit through ko-fi.com/probablybadrpgideas 30 for an ad, 6 for a message. This is from matt, who runs a poetry podcast, poetry of course being the soup of literature, it’s called poetrypodcast101, and it’s on twitter at poetrypodcast, and I hope you get some listeners matt it sounds interesting.

Question music.

MOD PENCIL

Our first question is from agenericaccount. Have you ever heard of scenario? I learnt from a kid in camp but never worked out where he got it from. Characters can be anything that can be described concisely and determined by discussion. On their turn the player can take any action they want. They draw from a deck of cards to determine the level of success and discussion of interpretation is encouraged. The players can decide on a goal or fight until one person is left. Have you heard of such a system? No we haven’t.

PAPER

Literal hours trynig to find anything aobut this and found – the closest I found was the improvised rpg drawfee played, but it wasn’t that.

MOD PENCIL

It’s possible you briefly stumbled onto an alternate universe I’m afraid.

PAPER

It sounds fun.

MOD PENCIL

I like the debate encouraged I like the idea if you draw a six of clubs and you have to determine whether a six of clubs is a success of failure – it seems like roll for shoes but more freeform.

PAPER

Yeah there’s a thing in drama system where you draw cards to determine the outcome of things. To be honest I still don’t understand how that works but I wasn’t running the game so that was fine, yeah it’s kinda like multiple half remembered systems mashed together with the word improvisation written across it in glitter glue, but that’s not a bad thing.

MOD PENCIL

There’s a lot of much more – much less rule heavy games and it seems like this game is a precursor to them, when this game entered our reality it started spawning them. Yeah I’m afraid I’m pretty certain this game doesn’t exist but I’d really like to play it.

PAPER

Yeah we may have to do a one shot of this with our d&d group at some point. If we do we’ll report back.

MOD PENCIL

We’ll tell you if this game that comes into existence for 30 seconds and then ceased to be is any good.

PAPER

So –

MOD PENCIL

I bet now we’ve said it doesn’t exist we’re going to get at least ten comments saying this is a real game and I’m playing a campaign of it right now, but such is reality.

PAPER

I am not personally saying it definitely doesn’t exist, I’m saying 3 hours on the internet with MA level research skills did not reveal it to me.

MOD PENCIL

I’m definitely saying it doesn’t exist, if it does I will eat my legs on the podcast.

PAPER

I don’t want that!

MOD PENCIL

I am making some very firm claims here.

Bread and thread promo.

PAPER

So blatella says we’ve heard some of your advice for first time DMs, what’s your advice for veteran DMs.

MOD PENCIL

Stop it.

PAPER

Just stop it. It’s going to be a short episode.

MOD PENCIL

D&d is cancelled. Ok so for veteran dMs…

PAPER

You can use your old army helmet to hold your snacks.

MOD PENCIL

Once you get your DM medal, you can use that to give one no questions asked order to one of the players.

PAPER

If you write numbers around the side of a grenade you can make a really fun die.

MOD PENCIL

I feel we should maybe give some actual advice.

PAPER

You mean you don’t like the danger die?

MOD PENCIL

I love the danger die. Fucking roll a DExplode. So yeah I think um… Yeah so I have been Dming for quite a while now actually.

PAPER

And try to avoid it for a game… Which sounds like bad advice but if you’ve played with people you’ve played before it’l seem less predictable.

MOD PENCIL

I heard you say not done before, I didn’t hear what you said wasn’t done before…

PAPER

Think about what your comfort zone is as a DM and the things you keep doing and then deliberately do something else.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah.

PAPER

So you’ll be more skilled as a GM at the end of it and if you play with people you play with a lot they won’t expect it.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah trying different systems and different um genres is a good idea. Like if you have one genre you usually go to it’s a good idea to try something outside of it. If it’s possible, and it’s not always possible depending on where you are, trying with different players is probably a good idea cause different people have different roleplaying styles and trying with different styles can always be useful.

PAPER

Now is a good time to try a new group, just post somewhere hey does anyone want to play an RPG with me?

MOD PENCIL

With more online game I would be able to poke people who wouldn’t be able to turn up to in person and they’ve universally said no pencil fuck off, but assuming you’re likeable it’s a good idea.

PAPER

I like playing games with you!

MOD PENCIL

So far all I’ve said this podcast is I’m going to gnaw off my legs and nobody loves me.

PAPER

We all have days like that.

MOD PENCIL

Welcome to the mod pencil slow mental breakdown podcast. Best advice for veteran dms is try to expand your horizons, different players, different games different genres, it’s always good to see what you can do the fuck sentence was that.

(pause)

And if that doesn’t work get out your danger dice and throw them at people.

PAPER

We didn’t give much advice but if you’re a veteran you know it already.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah you know what makes mechanically a good game. Just practice and expand your horizons.

Question music

PAPER

So we have one more question which is definitely a response to well not to last episode cause this will be going up after the PSA, I think. But to when we talked about it, I’ve had my level 3-4 wizard take rope trick every day cause it’s so sick but I haven’t used it yet, what do I use it for? JUSTICE FOR ROPE TRICK.

MOD PENCIL

I had to look up what rope trick does exactly. I think the immediate use I can think for it is surprise birthday party. You enter a pocket dimension hold up the rope and when the person comes in you all slide down the rope holding cake and give them cake. You could I guess use that for ambushes in a different way but I’m focusing on a surprise birthday party.

PAPER

You could also use it to escape really fast, provided you’re good at climbing ropes.

MOD PENCIL

You can escape but you’ll be into a box in the air you’ll fall out of.

PAPER

Yeah but after an hour, after which your enemy has given up and gone home.

MOD PENCIL

If you’re in an enemy base it’s not a good idea.

PAPER

Yeah but if you’re being chased by an owlbear…

MOD PENCIL

Which I am.

PAPER

In which case, maybe you could use some rope trick my friend.

MOD PENCIL

I’m looking up the rules for rope trick. It takes you 60 feet in the air cause that’s how long the rope is, and when the spell ends it seems like it’s just a spell that makes you fall 60 feet into the ground.

PAPER

I guess the idea is you climb back out before the spell wears out, but now I’m thinking you can use it for ambush in other ways cause you can leave things behind…    In the extradimensional spcae it leads to you could use it – I realise it’s going back to parties but a balloon drop.

MOD PENCIL

Yeah, balloons or confetti or this is a really useful spell for parties.

PAPER

Also for carpet bombing. Just a very small area.

MOD PENCIL

If you want to carpet bomb this one guy’s sofa…

PAPER

Yeah it doesn’t say how big the extradimensional space is. There’s a window you see through but it doesn’t say how big it is.

MOD PENCIL

If you want to bullshit your Gm and say it’s infinite and hide a whole planet.

PAPER

You can fill the whole sky.

MOD PENCIL

You can fill the sky with clowns… Going back to parties… And when it drops there are clowns everywhere and the party is over.

PAPER

But they would drop from 60 feet. You realise 60 feet is a six storey building. They would not be happy clowns at the end, just meat and rainbows.

MOD PENCIL

It’s a very specific genre of party I admit, but someone’s into it I’m sure. Or you give clowns parachutes so you get loads of clowns dropping on a populated area honking their noses.

PAPER

I need to check whether parachutes work from 60 feet.

MOD PENCIL

I’m just going to assume. Non party uses for rope trick… Like seduction check? Look what I can do isn’t it sexy? You need someone wtih a very specific kink.

PAPER

The answer btw is no unless it can open quicker than a military grade parachute.

MOD PENCIL

It’ll be fine clowns can’t die.

PAPER

Is that canon?

MOD PENCIL

Clowns can’t die. For the sake of our clown characters for balance reasons we are saying they can die, but in real life clowns can’t die.

PAPER

thanks for establishing this. I don’t like clowns.

MOD PENCIL

I’m ok with clowns, they’re also a good source of things. Clowns work really well in a wide variety of contexts-

PAPER

This just in clowns work in a variety of contexts.

MOD PENCIL

It’s like salt in a meal if you put a clown in there isn’t an idea that doesn’t improve in some way.

PAPER

The word improve is subjective here. Are you saying clowns are salt or are they salty boys?

MOD PENCIL

Clowns are salty boys we rain salty clowns on the people of the world.

PAPER

That’s the worst thing you’ve ever said.

MOD PENCIL

And on that note we should maybe end the podcast before I top my previous record.

PAPER

If you have a question or you want to shout at pencil, you can email probablybadpodcast@gmail.com or message us on tumblr probablybadrpgideas.tumblr.com or on our new subreddit the probably bad podcast, as I said we also have a patreon where there’s bonus eps and homebrew, this month’s offerings are clowns and the origins of D&daniel. So thanks for listening and have a probably bad day.

MOD PENCIL

And have a probably bad day.

Closing music

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