Critical Failures Proudly Presents...
Let's Read: TMNT & Other Strangeness
Welcome! Most of you are probably familiar with how this works. I read a book, talk about it, we have a few laughs together, you and I. That sounds like a good time to me.
I'd like to step up and surprise everyone with my Let's Read selection, but you're probably here because you saw the title, so there's no point in being coy about it. We (yes we, more on that later) will be reading a Gaming Cult Classic(tm):
This is what being a kid in the early nineties was about.
However before I delve into this venerable tome, I would like to put forward a disclaimer: this Let's Read will be highly satirical (and maybe a little critical) of the book. I know of Erick Wujcik's legend and anything said is said purely in jest. Also there may be some Fursecution
. With that out of the way, let's dive right in.
For an introduction, there is a lot of text.
I mean, it's an introduction, so it's good that it introduces us, but damn. There's no pictures. Not a Ninja Turtle in sight. Hell, there's not even Other Strangeness
But that's okay, see, because our author has a Thesis Statement
"The concept behind that of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is novel but not new. Over the years there have been animal characters in every comic book ever created."
Hmm. I guess I can buy that. Unfortunately his point is ruined when he uses Howard the Duck as an example and then references furry fandom. Okay he doesn't really reference furries specifically
but it's there. I PROMISE.
Mr. Wujcik goes on to explain that the book is a COMPLETE GAME, because I guess the late eighties/early nineties were filled with half-written books that required other books to pl--waitaminnit he's talking about D&D.
Anyway, then he talks about how the Animal Section is "Incomplete" and then basically tells haters to Step Off because there's like a hobillion
different animals and can't be arsed to put artsy descriptions and stats for all of them. And then he thanks his playtesters, all of whom are Manly Men except for Suzie Zick who is probably someone's girlfriend because come on girls don't play games
What follows is something Magical, which is essentially a miniature essay (ugh reading) on why Random Character Generation Is Better. Well, he doesn't use the word Better persay and maybe he acknowledges that it's personal preference but shut up.
I will not repeat the essay verbatim here; I will outline his three major points.
EXCELLENT PLAYERS CAN ROLE-PLAY[sic] ANYTHING
"An excellent player can play any character and sees a weak character as a challenge, not a liability."
Yeah Gamer McIdiot, maybe you should see your crappy character with no stats above below average as a challenge
and suck it up.
I think the best part is his anecdote:
"Recently a pair of players in a fantasy game were captured by enemies. They managed to escape, but they found themselves lost in a strange desert with nothing but a piece of wire. The roleplaying went on for several weeks, alternating between the lost survivors dodging armored hunters and straining to get water, shelter and food in a hostile land. It was an intensely interesting roleplaying adventure."
Kids, this is why Gaming Stories are bad, and Gaming Stories Making It To Print are ten times worse. We were basically just given a "Ya Had To Be There" story that actually had nothing to do with what he was talking about, except that it happened in a roleplaying game. Well, I guess he's trying to say that if we were all excellent players
we could spend several weeks watching Jim and Chuck eat sand while we save the world.
CONVENIENCE FOR THE GAMEMASTER
He basically says that Random Generation makes making NPCs easier. Okay, that actually makes perfect sense; I do that all the time.
That matters dick-all when Sam hits the RPG equivalent of a Powerball Jackpot and emerges with a Giant Mutant Tigerman with Robotic Gun Arms who shoot grenades out of his ass and Jake rolls up an Anemic Mouse Man with a Chronic Fear of Upholstery.
RANDOM ROLLS REFLECT REAL LIFE
I don't know that I can really say
anything here other than to point out that this is a game about people playing Teenage Mutant Animal People Who Might Be Ninjas or Other Wacky Professions (& Other Strangeness).
Oh wait, I have something.
Next Time: Creating Characters, Featuring Horseshoe!