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Author Topic: Two [censored] at once!  (Read 16768 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: February 24, 2003, 08:03:12 PM »

Hello,

Yesterday, we played two short RPG sessions, first run each for two different games. Each one lasted a couple-plus hours. Now wait for it ...

The first one was Le Mon Mouri and the second was kill puppies for satan. Julie was GM for the first, and I was GM for the second.

I can legitimately say that playing these two games in succession, in one afternoon, is a unique experience. They are ... um, well, depraved. Each one challenges the players to perform more and more heinous actions, more and more outrageous goals, and to get deeper and deeper into bizarre, messed-up relationships. I think the only game I have ever seen match either of them in this regard is Violence Future, the brilliant brainchild of Dav Harnish which he shamefully is not getting around to finishing. To play all three of these games in 24 hours would, I think, be beyond my capacity.

In Le Mon Mouri ... let's see, we had a tea party with a guest who, having been accidentally killed during her invitation, nevertheless participated with one player-character sitting next to her chair, propping up her head, holding her teacup for her, and providing her conversation. One of the characters also spent an evening sitting quietly side-by-side with an NPC, openly watching an undead poet and a living lounge-singer have wild sex.

In kill puppies for satan, lemme think ... oh yes, a character made lutefisk out of a prized goldfish collection and then, when surprised by a blind man in a wheelchair, used Evil to drench him in a phenomenal amount of semi-liquescent shit in order to make his escape. Another character had sex with her boyfriend, partly in public, in the kitchen during a party, and turned herself into a horde of mice halfway through the action, in revenge for having caught unspecified itchiness from said boyfriend. Then she went after the university mascot, an inoffensive marmot ... And another one found herself in a pet store ... oh, I can't bring myself to tell you about that part.

We have lots and lots of questions about the system for Le Mon Mouri and a couple of kpfs questions too. But for now, I'm still in recovery. I mean, this is a group who routinely dealt with issues of rape and incest and adultery in Hero Wars (by "dealt with" I mean addressed, not committed), and combined sexual rituals with insectoid sorcero-biology in Sorcerer & Sword (and here I do mean committed, indeedy), and broke all land-speed records for double-crossing varmint skunkery in Dust Devils.

But I've never seen them ... well, enjoy being utterly depraved quite this much before. I can't talk about the mechanics questions and penetrating* analysis yet. Hold me close ... [shudder] ... just for a little while ...

Best,
Ron

* Penetrating? Did I say penetrating? Aaggghh! The horror ... the horror ...
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Comte
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2003, 11:34:19 PM »

You know I have heard of and read kill puppies for satan but I am sadly ignorant about Le Mon Mouri.  A quick search of this page has left me with no information to go on could you point me in the right direction where I could find out more about this game?
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"I think where I am not, therefore I am where I do not think.
What one ought to say is: I am not whereever I am the plaything of my thought; I think of what I am where I do not think to think."
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lumpley
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2003, 06:35:19 AM »

This is probably still Le Mon Mouri:
http://www.memento-mori.com/lmm

But for reasons of workplace netnanny interference (cursed, cursed workplace netnanny) I can't check to make sure.

-Vincent

Ron: There there.  There there.
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Comte
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2003, 08:36:09 PM »

thankyou.  I knew I had seen that name before I just couldn't put the two together.  Ah well tis what I get for trying to think on nothing resembleing sleep.
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"I think where I am not, therefore I am where I do not think.
What one ought to say is: I am not whereever I am the plaything of my thought; I think of what I am where I do not think to think."
-Lacan
http://pub10.ezboard.com/bindierpgworkbentch
Maura Byrne
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2003, 10:25:57 AM »

I saw Ron's post, and sent him a couple of messages about his apparent misgivings about these two games.  I'm part of the group that played these games, and Ron thought I should post my thoughts here.  (Despite the fact that I haven't been lurking nearly long enough.)  Personally, I was shocked to see that he was so revolted by the stuff we were doing, especially because  Ron openly rewarded nasty, evil, icky things when we played Sorceror.  In fact, he had no apparent misgivings when, in Le Mon Mouri, I caused a woman's face to fall off.  I was also the character who "animated" the tea-party guest when she was killed before she could be seated at Ron's own suggestion.  In fact, I thought that the nasty stuff we did in Le Mon Mouri was far worse than what we did in Kill Puppies.

"So what gives?" I thought.  

It's the puppies.

Killing pets turns out to be the sort of thing that isn't really a lot of fun to plan beforehand or dwell upon afterward.  I was also the character who ... ah ... let's just say I got into the pet store, and leave it at that.  In fact, I didn't dwell on what I was going to do to generate evil, and we glossed over that part pretty quickly.  What I did was think of the violence done to the various animals as the kind of "puppet violence" done on "The Muppet Show."  All kinds of terrible things happened to the various characters (a favorite visual trope was to show two boots being pushed into a monster's giant maw while you heard the victim scream), but usually it was part of the show or the characters would recover.  So this is how I thought of those poor guinea pigs when they met their sad end.  

I have to admit, though, that I was looking forward to being an agent of the kind of devil you see in the original "Bedazzled."  You know, just picking away at the vestiges of civility in ordinary people until they do the evil stuff.  As a character, I'm already damned, and happliy so.  Couldn't I get points for bringing more people onto the team?  I tried at first to generate evil by bringing a cell phone into movie theaters and ringing it on a regular basis, but I got nothing for the effort.  And I will say that I probably would have taken just as much glee in doing that kind of evil as I would have in ... um ... [pet store].  

In the end, it means that Ron will make certain that I get tons of bad stuff coming my way.  But at least I won't have any good intentions, and I won't worry about what I did to deserve it.
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clehrich
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2003, 10:41:38 AM »

Maura's post brought up a number of things for me about kill puppies for satan, particularly in the present context of sick horribleness for its own sake.

For me, what makes kill puppies funny is precisely that brutality aimed at inoffensive small furry animals is depraved but completely pointless.  Somewhere in the rules, perhaps in cockroach souffle, lumpley points out that the evil the game strives for is the sort that makes people say, "Why, God, why?"  It's absurd, in the existentialist sense (a la Camus and Sartre).

This is also why I like the fact that you shouldn't tempt people to be evil  (I also think it's hilarious that the demons will come kick your ass if you do that, because they're unionized and you'd be scabbing on them).  You have no idea what you're doing here.  If you do something really vicious and evil, people may actually turn to God, which misses the point.  If you try to tempt people to be evil, then what you're doing has real meaning.  Now that sounds like a good thing -- let's have our disgusting evil acts actually mean something -- but it goes back to the puppies.  If your evil is meaningful, then what do the puppies mean?

See, if you start taking the whole process of doing evil seriously, then you have to take killing puppies seriously, and that sounds like a game no decent person should want to play.  But if it's all just pointlessly brutal, and the only thing that really goes bad in a deep way is your own character (who starts out bad and gets worse), then you as a player can still have some moral sense about what's going on.

In my own game, http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=4948" target="blank">Shadows in the Fog, I want to do gritty nastiness more seriously than in kill puppies, having the characters slowly slip into wells of horror and evil.  But they don't kill puppies; they think of themselves as decent people, probably, or at least not bad ones.  The fact that the universe itself is absurd and brutal is something they align themselves against.  And so when they see the really horrible version of killing puppies -- Jack the Ripper in action -- they can at least say that they aren't like that.

I see kill puppies as about wallowing in nastiness, but enjoying it because you can always wash it off later.  If you actually tried to play a game in which evil was really evil, you'd have to ask yourself how and why you came up with such things, and I think it would take a lot of showers to get rid of that soiled feeling.

[Added with edit]

Oh -- and as for the Muppet Show, you might take a look at the Vincent Price episode, in which a big monster eats a little one, then sings, "I've Got You Under my Skin," by Cole Porter.  It's so completely meaningless as an act of violence that it doesn't affect us; in fact, as in kill puppies, we find it hilarious.  The original "Bedazzled" is more complicated, and while I'd be delighted to discuss it in this context, I think it might be off-topic.
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Chris Lehrich
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2003, 10:50:03 AM »

Hi there,

Um, just to be totally clear, we're going to continue playing both games and I'm in it all the way, for all the fun. I don't have misgivings about kpfs so much as experienced a personal jolt at the time. I'll keep my "puppies are the limit" meter from getting in the way, although as Maura pointed out, in-game description is probably going to be minimal.

And again, to be clear, all the awfulness visited upon the other humans in the game (bearing in mind that in kpfs they are quite scurfy, ick-making humans) doesn't bug me a bit. Which only goes to show that the puppy-limit is rank sentimentalism on my part.

Best,
Ron
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lumpley
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2003, 11:34:09 AM »

Sort of randomly, if you ever get the chance to watch the old Muppet Family Christmas, do.  Underlying the sappiness and puns is some real tension, as the Sesame Street muppets are thrust all sweet and virginal into close quarters with the Muppet Show muppets.  Kermit's in a rough spot between them, but most stark is Big Bird vs. the Swedish Chef.  The writers handle the crisis deftly, with a lot of self-awareness, and manage to resolve it without undermining the essential difference between the two sets of muppets or serving Big Bird up with chestnut stuffing.

Also, Gonzo in the Alice Cooper episode might very well be my first, earliest model for a puppy killer.

-Vincent
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Maura Byrne
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2003, 02:34:23 PM »

Quote from: clehrich

For me, what makes kill puppies funny is precisely that brutality aimed at inoffensive small furry animals is depraved but completely pointless.  Somewhere in the rules, perhaps in cockroach souffle, lumpley points out that the evil the game strives for is the sort that makes people say, "Why, God, why?"  It's absurd, in the existentialist sense (a la Camus and Sartre).


This is interesting, because there's lots of movies that include pointless nastiness of many varieties, and they suck.  And there are others that succeed.  I think it has to do with how "natural" the brutality is in its context.  For instance, the example:

Quote from: clehrich

[Added with edit]

Oh -- and as for the Muppet Show, you might take a look at the Vincent Price episode, in which a big monster eats a little one, then sings, "I've Got You Under my Skin," by Cole Porter.  It's so completely meaningless as an act of violence that it doesn't affect us; in fact, as in kill puppies, we find it hilarious.  


What you have with these two monsters (singing a duet, mind you) is a setting where the characters are acting according to their natures.  Big monsters eat little monsters.  The monsters would have it no other way.  A fish quartet singing "Go Tell Anchovy" would naturally be grilled and eaten by a vengeful audience, leaving their quaking skeletons to return backstage.  But a nondescript teen in a recent movie gets his arm stuck in a cow's rectum for no discernible reason, and it's not funny.  I think that my escapades in the pet store are perfectly natural for my character, who is "sick of people" and gains satisfaction out of making other people miserable.  If we were playing characters who were not inclined to be evil, or who were not inclined to be anything, it wouldn't really work.  (Unless, of course, we played especially hapless people trying to do good and accidentally killing beloved pets in our attempts.)

In any case, I don't really want to belabor this issue, so I'll just mention that, I can understand and agree with the points in this post.  Although now that I might have been scabbing a demon's job, and that Ron may interpret it that way, I know where my next payload of Bad Stuff will come from.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2003, 02:41:53 PM »

Heh,

Two of the characters seriously scabbed demons' jobs during the first session. Session #2 on Sunday.

Smiling contentedly,
Ron
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clehrich
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2003, 03:07:26 PM »

Quote
This [my remark about meaningless brutality] is interesting, because there's lots of movies that include pointless nastiness of many varieties, and they suck. And there are others that succeed. I think it has to do with how "natural" the brutality is in its context.

I agree, not just with the naturalness of brutality, but also with the remark about such films sucking.  The thing is, in a film, you stand at a considerable remove from the characters; a film of kill puppies for satan would suck, too.  But if you actually create the horribleness, it's a bit different.  I think you could do a film (or write a novel) which does this well, but it would dwell on the very meaninglessness of the events, a la Camus.  The problem is that it isn't funny (nor is it intended to be).  The cool thing about kpfs, for me, is that it manages to make this sort of thing funny by capitalizing on the involvement of the players and making it their problem to deal with.
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Chris Lehrich
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2003, 04:29:26 PM »

Suddenly having a "Fuk't" condition in Black Wing doesn't sound so extreme.

Also, wouldn't "A La Camus" make a great title for a game?
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Comte
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2003, 07:32:26 PM »

You know I think it is odd that a conversation involving both muppets and pointless violence is strange in the first place.  What is even stranger that no one has brought up meet the feebles yet, considering that it is a perfect conglomeration of the two.  It's violence is often times pointless to the point where you have no choise but to either laugh or be sickened at it.  Its humor is much along the lines of Kill Puppies for Satan, it is utterly depraved charecters doing utterly depraved things.  Part of the brilliance of the movie is that instead of useing real people Peter Jackson instead decided to use puppets.  It is the movie I would choose to watch in order to put me in the right frame of mind to make a KPFS game session.  

I've been writing papers pretty much back to back all week.  Ordinarly I would go through and back up my point and validate this post.  Right now I am just too tired.  Meet the Feebles is worth watching if for nothing else than the musical number.[/quote]
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"I think where I am not, therefore I am where I do not think.
What one ought to say is: I am not whereever I am the plaything of my thought; I think of what I am where I do not think to think."
-Lacan
http://pub10.ezboard.com/bindierpgworkbentch
jrs
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2003, 07:41:20 AM »

Meet the Feebles.  Yeah, three out of four of the players (Ron, Tod & me) watched it recently.   The most surprising thing to me about the movie was how well crafted it is.  That, and being thoroughly disgusted by the combination of excessive amounts of various bodily fluids and textile-based puppets.

Definitely appropriate viewing for kpfs.

Julie
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Clay
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2003, 09:57:00 AM »

Quote from: James V. West
wouldn't "A La Camus" make a great title for a game?


No, it would not, since it would imply play inspired by Camus' writing. I think I'd rather bath both cats at the same time, thank you very much.
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Clay Dowling
RPG-Campaign.com - Online Campaign Planning and Management
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