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Primetime Adventures
June 5, 2012 8:25 PM   Subscribe

Primetime Adventures is an innovative, rules-light system for creating your own TV series through roleplaying.

Primetime Adventures for Busy People gives an idea of what the rules are like.

RPGnet has a wiki on how to run a game.

One guy used it to play Bachelor Who - about "Doctor’s younger brother, played by Bradley Cooper affecting an English accent. He’s basically drinking and whoring his way across the universe, hitting on anything female."

Several other play reports were posted at The Forge.
posted by Trurl (30 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love love love the new breed of story-oriented roleplaying games. I've never played primetime adventures, but know its been a huge influence on many of the later episodic rules-light games.
posted by kaibutsu at 8:30 PM on June 5, 2012


Judy's in the bedroom, inventing situations...
posted by neroli at 8:36 PM on June 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


If you can get a good group of creative, fast-thinking people (improv performers do this very well) together, this game is hard to beat for pure fun. We played a game about professional wrestlers that featured no wrestling. The entire thing revolved around the real-world backstage politics of a group of deeply dysfunctional people. It was kind of glorious.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:41 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


We played a game about professional wrestlers that featured no wrestling

Kayfabe?
posted by Trurl at 8:48 PM on June 5, 2012


That sounds super fun.
posted by Artw at 8:49 PM on June 5, 2012


Coincidentally I sent Reddit off on this challenge this morning, which might make for a good seed (as might some of their responses).
posted by Artw at 8:52 PM on June 5, 2012


It's a lot of fun, but you have to be able to RP in an IC/OOC way. It's not for people who want a strictly immersive RP experience.

I produced a season (equivalent to "ran a campaign") of it a few years back and enjoyed it quite a bit. immlass was one of the players and may still have some of her actual play posts somewhere (LJ or the forge or 20x20 or one of the other gaming websites).

Our plot was a very Astro-City-ish real lives and problems of the super powered story, and we had a blast making it.
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:55 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've not played it but Lovecraftian Shorts also looks interesting - it's basically a game in which three people riffing on each other come up with their own HP Lovecarft story.
posted by Artw at 9:05 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, this sounds absolutely great, but also like something I'm unlikely to get around to trying. Definitely need to find some tabletop gamer friends.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:10 PM on June 5, 2012


I think it looks a little rules-heavy compared to, say, Risus, but the concept is great.

DoctorFedora, looks like Tokyo's a bit far, but if you make it this way I'm sure something will work out.
posted by 23 at 10:09 PM on June 5, 2012


It is amazingly fun. I've run two (one-shot) series, one about a private investigator in an urban fantasy world with werewolves and vampires and whatnot, and one that was basically a pastiche of all of the BBC costume dramas, with some supernatural elements as well.
posted by no relation at 10:37 PM on June 5, 2012


I really enjoyed PTA and would love to play it again.
posted by immlass at 10:40 PM on June 5, 2012


I've run two (one-shot) series, one about a private investigator in an urban fantasy world with werewolves and vampires and whatnot, and one that was basically a pastiche of all of the BBC costume dramas, with some supernatural elements as well.

Wait, wait. Wait. There's a BBC-style Dresden Files RPG, and nobody told me? Oh... you haven't merged the two yet. Well?
posted by sysinfo at 11:18 PM on June 5, 2012


I bought the book a few years ago and never found anyone to play with. Total shame. Unfortunately at the ass end of the US smack in the middle of fly over country it's hard to find RPG enthusiasts.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 2:10 AM on June 6, 2012


This game looks fun as hell with the right people. I wish I knew a group of those people to play with. My impression is that, even more than non-story RPGs, story games are excellent with the right people and awful without.
posted by fleacircus at 2:34 AM on June 6, 2012


I have not played this one, but I have played fiasco which I think is one of the games based off of it? Fiasco was mentioned in an AV club article about the writer getting into RPGs (relatively) late in life. For someone who had not played an RPG before, and is closing in on 30, this seemed applicable to me. Someone please pull the link, I don't have the google foo.

I am also super interested in playing dogs in the vineyard, because the setting seems so amazing.
posted by jonbro at 4:12 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've not played it but Lovecraftian Shorts also looks interesting - it's basically a game in which three people riffing on each other come up with their own HP Lovecarft story.

Cool, let's get started. I rolled a 6, so I guess my wayward medievalist grad student will be late to the ritual reenactment her slight kook of an adviser set up.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:23 AM on June 6, 2012


Sysinfo> There's actually a Dresden Files RPG already. It's not my cup of tea, but it's very popular.

Jonbro> Sort of. Dogs in the Vineyard isn't so much a setting as a setting-generator with a few premises built into it. The setting generator is really interesting and has been adapted by others to do just about any kind of setting you might be interested in.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 5:31 AM on June 6, 2012


Folks who like Primetime Adventures might find De Profundis interesting.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 5:33 AM on June 6, 2012


We played a game about professional wrestlers that featured no wrestling

FYI, the USA network airs this every Monday night.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:33 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I tried to play Primetime Adventures once, and we started a "pilot," but got bogged down in world-building details.

I think I'd like to try it with someone who knows how to keep things moving better.
posted by Sokka shot first at 5:42 AM on June 6, 2012


Love PTA. Ran a show once where a lone time traveller had to take a one way trip to the past in order to save the world. How? By keeping the Dodgers in Brooklyn.

Been really wanting to play Fiasco (and have been considering writing up a My Little Pony playset), but haven't really had a chance yet, although I have been going to the London Indie Gamers meetup now and then.

Have also run a lot of DitV, and it can get really intense and often rewarding.

From the sound of it, there seems to be a quorum of lonely gamers here. Anyone up for a Skype gaming meetup?
posted by ursus_comiter at 5:46 AM on June 6, 2012


I've played a few times. The first series ended up being about a colony of werewolves in suburban 1950s, trying to keep from being noticed by society while their teenagers rebelled against the insular life they'd put together. We called it Desperate Housewolves.

It really is a blast; a great premise, and a really good system. I'll have to get the group to give it another shot soon.
posted by MrVisible at 6:27 AM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, now we know what to do in case season 4 of Community sucks. To the Dreamatorium!
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:33 AM on June 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


We've played Fiasco twice and it's a hoot. Painfully hilarious. Dogs in the Vineyard I've played and GMed, and I've taken a lot of valuable lessons from it, but I'm not sure I actually enjoy playing it. I also really love In a Wicked Age.

The PTA dream game for me is the one about superheros and maybe a villain in New York all in group therapy together (under another super a la Doc Samson in the Marvel Universe).

This thread has reminded me I need to email the guy trying to get a group together here in Austin.
posted by immlass at 6:45 AM on June 6, 2012


For miniatures gaming fans, 7TV is about recreating classic 60s/70s British action/adventure shows. Dashing special agents wearing Savile Row and leather catsuits, time travelers & sidekicks, supernatural threats, daredevil families with super planes in the garage, secret bases w/ laser shark traps, mad geniuses with overly developed, Rube Goldberg plans for world domination, the good stuff.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:33 AM on June 6, 2012


For British bureaucracy versus the supernatural there's The Laundry RPG - essentially Call of Cthulhu retooled to match the Stross books.
posted by Artw at 7:38 AM on June 6, 2012


It appears that you cannot purchase this game. A new version is coming "in late 2011"...
posted by andreaazure at 11:56 AM on June 6, 2012


andreaazure, IGR has it here (PDF).

We have both the first and second editions, and I don't know what's coming in a third, but if it does happen and boosts the game, I'm all for it.
posted by Mad_Carew at 3:09 PM on June 6, 2012


I've played Primetime Adventures a fair bit. It's one of my goto games for zero prep, instant fun. It does a number of very clever things with the structures and interactions it sets up in the rules.

The basic fact that it frames it as a TV series, so gets players out of certain ingrained RPG habits is subtle, but works really well. This leads nicely into the shift in thinking from "what's the task here" to "what is the emotional conflict at the heart of this scene", which really gets to the heart of the drama.

The big thing of course, is the Fanmail economy, which is just a really nice way of systematically encouraging the players to tell each other what's cool, what works and what they want to see more of in the game/fiction. Sure it looks like plot points, or whatever, on the surface, but the dynamic it creates is totally different.

Managing series creation does require a certain knack to avoid over-thinking though, people seem to always want more detail up front than is really needed. It's definitely a game that rewards a good core idea that you expand through play.
posted by MattM at 4:18 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


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