RPGaDay2023 – Day 17 & 18

Another doubleshot because of laziness. 

Funniest game?  For me gaming humor is like humor in Star Trek, it very very rarely lands, so rarely that I wonder why they bother to try.  Even when it does land it’s generally not actually funny enough to laugh at, it’s funny in the way were you think “Oh, that’s kinda funny.” 

Despite that there’s a lot of attempts at humor in gaming and I wonder, do these people really think what they’re doing is that funny or are they just filling space?  I feel like largely these things are the equivalent of inside jokes, they’re funny to whoever wrote the RPG thing and a couple of their friends and maybe a few other people who know about some backstory that’s involved.  I don’t mind inside jokes, why would I, I’m not even involved, but I find it very distasteful when someone makes a big deal about their inside joke to other people and then tags it with “you wouldn’t get it”.  Grosses me out.  Have some dignity people.

I see that a lot of people have put Paranoia as the funniest game they’re played.  It’s definitely funny in theory.  It’s a funny idea.  Is playing the game itself that funny?  Not to me.  It’s kind of impossible to have a funny game is what I’m saying.  HoL is another one that’s mentioned as a funny game, it is kind of funny that it exists, I enjoy that it’s a thing in the world, but I can’t imagine tee-heeing my way through a game.  Kobolds Ate My Baby?  Same thing, it’s a funny idea, but playing it?  Meh.

Plenty of game sessions are funny.  I laugh my ass off when we’re playing sometimes.  But it wouldn’t be funny to anyone else.  I know a lot of people really like real-play podcasts and youtubes and whatever things are these days but I can’t stand them.  It doesn’t land for me.  Things that are funny to the people doing the thing aren’t going to be funny to me as an observer. 

The only thing that comes to mind as an actual attempt at the game itself being funny that really was funny was a time we played 2ed edition D&D where everyone was a goblin on a quest to steal weapons from the big folk.  Goblin shenanigans ensued and it was amusing.  Which is a very close cousin of funny.

As long as I’m ranting about humor, which is entirely subjective, here’s more of my dumb opinions.  I don’t think there exists an office funny guy that is actually funny AT ALL.  I worked at a HUGE company for 11 years or so and in that time in the various departments there was one guy who called himself the office funny guy and two that were pointed out to me as “the funny guy”, they were all painfully unfunny. 

This was the kind of place where we had stupid all staff meetings constantly and they took attendance to make sure you were there.  One of these meetings was called for the sole purpose of the big boss and funny guy #2 doing a comedy routine.  It was the most awkward horrible thing I have ever seen and everyone else LAUGHED SO HARD PEOPLE FELL DOWN.  I felt like I was in some episode of the Twilight Zone because nothing remotely funny was happening and people were crying laughing.  Wouldn’t surprise me if someone laughed so hard they pissed themselves.  At nothing.  Literally nothing.  That would be a good premise for a Smile type horror movie if it doesn’t already exist. 

Anyway.  Favorite system.  Once upon a time I would have told you Pathfinder 1st edition or D&D 3.5 but playing 5th edition has turned that love to bitter ash.  I still don’t like 5th edition much but now I don’t like those either.  It’s too much you know? 

I love the D6/West End Games Star Wars system but only for Star Wars.  For me it just fits what I want that style of play to be.  Dare I say cinematic?  And I don’t like it for anything else. 

I also like the Cortex/old Firefly system but really only for Firefly.  Other games that use it are alright but somehow meh.  I think it would be a good system for a supers game too but I’ve never tried it. 

I’m tempted to talk about all the game systems that I don’t like but this is supposed to be positive (you can tell because how negative I just was about humor) so I won’t, but I’ll bring it up so you remember that I’m a bitter old crank. 

I guess the closest thing I have to a favorite system would be the White Wolf/World of Darkness/Storyteller/whatever system.  It’s not totally abstracted but it’s not like filing your taxes either.  There’s enough there to grab onto without going bazonkers. 


  1. WEG D6 Star Wars is the best. I purchased the D6 books when they re-printed them in a Fantasy/Adventure/Space grouping, and grabbed a Super-power supplement, but it just didn’t land for me. D6 DC Heroes seems to bridge that gap, but still suffers from the same problem a lot of super power games do, How do you have a team up with Silver Surfer and Daredevil?

  2. It is interesting that there are lots of funny situations that come up during sessions, but it doesn’t really work to make a “funny game.”

    I suppose part of it is just the difference in what each group finds funny. But it also just seems incredibly hard to make rules systems and settings funny by themselves, and that’s 90% of what an RPG manual gives you.

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