Dungeons and Nouns
One of the things that has gotten me through the past couple of rough years has been my gaming group. We are a mixture of theater nerds, nerd-nerds, and professional comedians/improvisers. Having such a neat and supportive group of friends gave me the courage to create and run a few RPG tabletop games. In this here post, I’m sharing with y’all my second go at creating something simple/fun with which we can be creative and and also laugh so hard that we’re sore the next day.
I must give credit for this game’s inspiration, to our new Young Adult Librarian Heba. She started up a teen D&D group at our library, and the first foe the group fought was named “Karen the Floofy.” When I heard that name my mind immediately was like, “that sounds like something from Mad Libs” to “OMG I WANNA COMBINE D&D AND MAD LIBS.
And that’s what I did.
I made special “pads” for our group to use so that we could spread out and not need a table or other hard surface on which to write or roll dice.
In the photo, you can see one of the pad’s backside. It’s pink and black, and looks like the cover of a hardbound book because that’s what it is. I found a handful of books in our library’s book sale that hadn’t sold in a long time (the pink book was He’s Just Not That Into You. Heh.), and then used a boxcutter to trim them down to size, and an electric drill to create holes.
I didn’t have enough of those round binder rings for everyone the day of the game, so I just used a loop of ribbon, and that worked fine – I don’t think they’d last long, but they survived a single game.
(Scroll down to the next section if you just want the fundamentals)
The other thing that I did, was I kept in mind that I wanted to eventually share this on Hafuboti. So I took notes during the game to improve gameplay, and also reduce the chance of straying into vulgarity. Good luck on that – I did my best.
Game mechanics are also as simple-as-possible: you just need a D10 for yes/no situations. I made 1-5 be a “no,” and 6-10 a “yes,” though if the idea was creative enough, then I’d make it an automatic yes.
I made 7 player roles, and 3 optional roles if you want to have 10 participants + the GM. More than that, then it gets more likely for chaos to ensue. But if chaotic is how your group rolls? Then go with it.
I also included some very basic maps. Very basic. I named all of the shops after the type of magical pet that was chosen. For instance, our group picked a red panda. So I made one building a tavern called The Rusty Panda, a taxidermy shop called Red Panda Express, and a souvenir shop called Red Pandemonium.
We had six players, and I decided to take on the roles of the Princess, the Pet-Napper, and The Pet. Like I mentioned above, you can give all three of those characters to players if you’d like.
And I really just laid this out as bare-boned as possible for as much improv as you’d like. I mean, I decided to have secret passages leading to the various places within the castle walls. I hadn’t thought of that until we were in the game.
I also shaved down the amount of Mad-Libbing for y’all, because I kid you not, we spent about an hour with me filling in the blanks using their responses. The next time (and yes, there’ll be a next time because this was heckin’ fun), I think I’ll have players fill out their own Libs, OR have them fill out what they think are their Libs, and then have them pass their notepads to the player to their right or some such foolery. Heh.
Now for the part that you’ve been waiting for:
THE FREE GAME DOWNLOAD
Click on the left-side heading or the image, and you’ll get a PDF of the game to check out and/or download. This includes the cover image, character sheets, basic story, and maps.
Here are the game-basics:
- Pretty much any type of dice may be used, but we use a D10:
Roll 1-5 = Nope
Roll 6-10 = Yep
- The GM may overrule either roll if it makes the game more interesting/fun, though this should be done sparingly.
- GM may play the Pet-Napper, Prince/Princess, and/or Pet. If a player is the Princess, then the Princess can join the band of Pet-Hunters. Or not. Seriously.
- This game is to be a fun improvisational one.
- I left room at the bottom of the cover for you to put your library’s name/logo on it. Because marketing.
Finally, should you want to make adjustments to any of the sheets, and you have Photoshop, then send me an email (email@example.com), and I’ll send you those editable files.
Finally-finally, if you do end up playing this with a library gaming-group, or your own group, then I’d love to hear about it! Don’t be shy about reaching out online through Facebook or Instagram, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.