Picks-at-Flies (picks_at_flies) wrote,

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Galaxy Quest: the RPG

After one of the many time I have watched Galaxy Quest, it occurred to me that the characters are classic PCs – bumbling, making stupid decisions and yet somehow coming through. This led to developing a game system to take advantage of this.

_Character creation_
Choose a name.
You have no stats. You are incompetent at everything (including acting).

During the game, character pick up Irony Points. Basically whenever something goes wrong, you get Irony points. Players are encouraged to suggest Bad Things that might happen (to themselves or each other). The funnier the incident, the more you get.

The exception is one player (or two in large games) who decide to ‘play it straight’. The characters instead earn Pomposity Points. These are earned in much the same way, except that:
• The incident must make everyone suffer;
• It must be the result of stupidity/arrogance/greed on the part of this character.
Generally, more Pomposity points are earned per incident, and Irony points are frequently handed out at the same time.
Pomposity points can also be handed out for keeping the characters in the plot (rather than, say, getting distracted at the circus).

_Using Irony and Pomposity Points_

Players can spend the points they earned to achieve something. The harder and less relevant the task is, the more points it takes. The easier and/or funnier it is, the less points it takes. Ultimately it is up to the Storyteller to pick a number out of the air. This doesn’t need to be consistent.

Irony points are particularly good at making embarrassing things happen to others, and are slightly better where personal expertise is called for.

Pomposity points are particularly good at persuading people to do things they probably shouldn’t, and are slightly better for aiding group activities.


That really was the expanded version of the rules. It lends itself to any kind of parody, although police dramas, action movies and any kind of sci-fi are all ripe for taking off. The essential part of the scenario is that the PCs are thrust into a situation in which they are completely underqualified. This normally happens because of mistaken identity. It is recommended that you give the characters minions to order around (it’s much more funny to have minions tripping over each other trying to obey contradictory orders, plus you need /some/ competence in order to achieve anything).

Anyone who has seen Galaxy Quest will know that actors are the default character type (although by no means necessary; roleplayers would also be good!). For the game I never ran, I scribbled some actor archetypes on some cards. I don’t think they are necessary, but they give players a hook. Each player would get one motivation and one archetype.

(As an additional hook, having a script for the PCs to run through at the beginning of the game also seems like a good idea.)
  • Motivations: Ambitious, Bitchy, Bitter, Bubbly, Critical, Naive, Unfulfilled, Ungrateful, Unrelentingly Happy.
  • Archetypes: Clown, Drunkard, Former Star, Queen, Romeo, Shakespearean Actor, Starlet, Veteran, Workaday Actor

Tags: design, galaxy-quest, projects, roleplaying

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