View Full Version : Help me be funny! (Orc fortress people stay out :P)

2007-09-15, 11:27 AM
Well, I'm running a kick-doors-down type of game right here on the giantitp boards. The players are to infiltrate an orcish fortress and run around sabotaging things, either Sam Fisher style or Master Chief style.

Now, a major feature of this campaign is that players are encouraged to make references, break the 4th wall, metagame for the sake of humor, etc. I'm trying my best to be funny, but a few posts ago I rolled a natural 1 on a Profession (Humor) skill check. I tried a Star Wars reference but, in my paranoia of my players missing the reference, I made it too obvious, and therefore depressingly lame. The fact that I'm simply not a very funny person in general doesn't help things...

Any help from our jokers here? How much is "too obvious"? How little is "too obscure"?

Help! :smalleek:

Iku Rex
2007-09-15, 11:37 AM
For inspiration: Grunts! (http://www.amazon.com/Grunts-Mary-Gentle/dp/0451454537/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-5996105-8701448?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189874393&sr=1-1)

2007-09-15, 12:02 PM
Never play down to the audience. Make whatever references come to mind, and don't downplay them. Remember that your audience is also a group of nerds, and accept that sometimes they won't get it. If they don't get it, chuckle at your own brilliance.

Straight references aren't usually enough, though. Comedy often comes by taking something reasonable and blowing it up (expanding, not explosives) until it becomes comically unreasonable.

If all else fails, that's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comedy#Styles) what (http://en.allexperts.com/q/Jokes-Comedians-1535/Comedy-styles.htm) research (http://www.rinkworks.com/funny/) is (http://www.askmen.com/fashion/how_to/57_how_to.html) for. (http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Funny-Without-Telling-Jokes)

Good luck!

2007-09-15, 01:23 PM
Make one of the Orcs speak and act intelligently, and all of the others are dopes. Then have 'professor' constantly question and complain about the terribly stupid decisions of the others. "What do you mean just leave them tied up and come back later, they're going to escape! Gah!" Then later have the other Orcs accuse him of being a witch for using pronouns.

If that didn't make it clear, I'm not funny either. Good luck.

Dairun Cates
2007-09-15, 02:19 PM
I've always found that if the players know it's supposed to be a comedy campaign, play it straight as the GM. Oddballs in a mundane world is one of the most classic comedy tropes and for good reason. Likewise, if the players are playing it straight, it's often best to make the world weird. If the situation and player attitude switches, switch your outlook. The point is that some form of a straight man is needed. There needs to be a ground to bounce the jokes off of. Otherwise, it's often becomes pointless zaniness that's frustrating rather than fun.

That's only in my experience though, and you should still crack the occasional joke or make the occasional reference. The point is that a ridiculously stupid world is not needed for a funny campaign if the players are weird themselves. This is comedy, not Dada.

2007-09-15, 02:38 PM
You could always play around with what Ic all the 'stargate shuffle' (so named because the best examples are the early Starget episodes 'In the Serpents Lair' and 'Within the serpents grasp') The mian charactersd are going around a supposedly heavily guarded facility, but actually end up walking down empty corridor after empty corridor, occasionally encountering a pair of guards, who can usually be evaded by hiding in a coveniently placed alcove, or a taken down in a swift firefight. They will never call for backup or otherwise alert the others, and the others will never hear them. Essentially, a traditional dungeon crawl.

Paragon Badger
2007-09-15, 02:41 PM
Satire. :-D

D&D is full of things you can snark on.

Hey, why not have Mialee or Lidda from the PHB actually show up mid-campaign, and complain about how no one uses them in their campaigns because everyone recognizes them.

Paragon Badgers are always fun. :)

Vorpal blades of grass....

Have your party pass a group of adventurers that are either terribly cliche (a VERY good gag for evil aligned games, the 'standard good-aligned adventurer party' encounter) or are replicas of the party themselves, a la Linear Guild or the other 'surivivors' if you've seen Shaun of the Dead.

Irony's always good. The BBEG turns out to be a golbin. "Ignore the man behind the curtain!" :-P

Stereotypes are always fun to poke at. A half-orc druid or somesuch, or.. make fun of the stereotype by including them! Look at Chef or Big Gay Al from South Park, it's stereotypes about black or gay people that's being made fun of, not the people themselves. :-P

IC characters acting out of character works too. Oots does that alot, with characters referencing their own mechanics or plot elements.

2007-09-15, 03:38 PM
Hopefully you haven't already let them loot enemy weapons. They should only be able to pick up weapons lying around for no apparent reason. If they ask why, tell them that all of the enemy weapons have been enchanted to detect who is wielding them and only work if an orc is holding them. If they ask why they can use the weapons that they find lying around, blow them off.

Also, cardboard boxes.

2007-09-15, 03:41 PM
If you are not affraid of your party killing, try to let out some pun once in a while. Specially when the scene needs to be somewhat serious. Then shut up and smile, while everyone looks at you funny.
Giving nick names to people (and things) may be fun too.
TWF Ranger: Chopper
Power attacking Fighter: Slammer
Wizard: Fireworks guy
Cleric: Clergy guy
Druid: Boy scout
Rogue: Cat (burglar)
Sorcerer: Shirtless guy (if he wears little clothing)
Bard: Buffoon
Monk: Bruce (or any other famous martial artist)
Paladin: Holy boy
Barbarian: Wild child