Monday, 10 August 2015

Two Roleplaying Cows

I need to blow off a little steam, there are no interesting space launches for another week, and so it's list-making time again. So, with low-grazing non-fruit in mind, I offer my rebuttal to Robert Wiesehan's "Two RPG Cows" bit. I'll skip the graphics, as that's not my area, and instead focus on silly roleplaying jokes about the rules systems I know and care about enough to laugh about.

The D&D family:

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition
You have two cows. One is magic, but becomes entirely useless once it's used its spells. The other has the Etiquette non-weapon proficiency, but never has any opportunity to use it.

Dungeons & Dragons, 3rd Edition
You have two cows. You've calculated and listed and added up their modifiers and sub-modifiers for everything, including things that they can't do, like flying and talking.

Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition
You have two cows. One of them has an Advantage over the other.
 
Forgotten Realms variant
You have two cows. They graze on a very well mapped paddock that everyone's seen at least once, and one is a Zhentarim spy.

Planescape variant
You have two cows. I mean, they're basically cow-like, they fill all the usual cow roles; they just look weird (probably with blades coming out of them) and have a different name, and are vaguely tied to some specific pseudo-philosophical dogma.

Spelljammer variant
You have two cows. You raided them from a magic sailing ship in space. Possibly a cow-shaped ship.

Dark Sun variant
There are no cows. You have sand.


Other games (in no particular order):

Star Wars (any of the various systems)
You have two banthas. The force-using bantha has no need of the other one (and the farmer can't control it after a while either), but they always travel together anyway.

Vampire: The Masquerade
You have two cows. They wear a lot of leather, in a very obvious, intentional irony. If the farmer doesn't give them enough other farm animals to pick on, they turn on each other. The Malkavian cow wears a horned Viking helmet.

Champions (possibly also Mutants & Masterminds)
You have two cows. One is fatally allergic to milk and has a calf dependent on it, the other has a phobia of grass (ever since its parents were killed by it). Consequently, they live in the middle of a busy urban area, using modern urban conveniences to totally ignore their tragically flawed bovinity. They wear spandex, have amazing abilities, and probably never kill anyone.

Call of Cthulhu
You have two cows. They are both entirely ordinary. They visit a small seaside town, one is never seen or heard from again, and the other returns with Mad Cow Disease.

Delta Green
You have two cows. They both work for the government. They visit a small seaside town with a huge arsenal in tow, and refuse to ever let you know anything about what happened there, for your own good.

Star Trek (any of the various systems)
You have two cows. Initially, the fact that they are cows is their only distinguishing feature (apart from whether they wear red, yellow or blue), and so they're terribly ill-suited to flying the starship they're aboard. Very quickly, they become so skilled at so many different things that the fact that they are cows becomes irrelevant.

Kobolds Ate My Baby!
You have two cows. You eat one and are stampeded to death by the other. All hail King Trog!

Fallout PnP
You have one cow with two heads.

Spycraft
You have two cows. One carries an M4A1 with ACOG 4x scope, AN/PEQ-2, assault sling, M9 bayonet/survival knife, full tactical body armour and night camouflage BDUs. The other wears a tuxedo and carries a silenced PPK. Each cow feels that the other has missed the point.

Legend of the Five Rings
You have two cows. One understands all the cultural mores of Rokugan and rigidly follows its place in the clan and caste system. The other thought this was just kung fu D&D and quickly breaks every taboo possible.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
You have one special, super-magical cow that really doesn't need anyone else, as well as any number of other, normal cows.

Warhammer Fantasy
You have two cows. One is secretly a Chaos cultist, the other is little more than a common outlaw in practice. Between them, they have two functioning limbs and an eye.

Dark Heresy
You have two cows. Neither can be trusted, yet both must be relied on to overcome a greater evil that threatens a scarred, failed version of the future. It's all very serious.

Paranoia
You have two cows. Neither can be trusted, yet both must be relied on to overcome a greater evil that threatens a scarred, failed version of the future. It's all "very serious".

Rogue Trader
You have twenty thousand cows. They're the best, most powerful, cybernetically enhanced cows money and influence can buy. You still have to do everything yourself.

Torg
You have two cows. Yesterday, they were cowboy-cows. Today, they're space cows. Tomorrow, they'll be magic cows in Papua New Guinea, circa 1985.