True Ropeplaying stories/Ever integrate pop-culture into roleplaying games?

I have dabbled in nearly ever nerd fandom there is. Recently, I have been reading D and D related stuff, such as can be found at Jennifer Diane Reitz’s TRUE GAMING STORIES and Yamara.

As a result, I have a thirst for more. I searched “roleplaying +stories” and got nothing. Thus, I was wondering what interesting stories people might have about roleplaying games, of all categories. I was also wondering if anyone ever played any games that incorporated elements of pop-culture. (“The door in front of you swings open. Inside is Casey Kasem. He’ll swallow your soul!") Other attempts at integrating pop culture can be found here.

I once had an idea for a Werewolf/World of Darkness game that would feature the severed, pickled penis of John Dillinger as a powerful fetish, but never got around to running it.

When I was DM, my players fought demons shaped like Kiss once. Yes, Gene Simmons breathed fire, and yes, their henchmen were called the Kiss Army. A good time was had by all. Except the dead people.

I once built a Champions Campaign right in Manhattan of the current times (1988 or so). It made it so much easier. I used real maps and layouts of the Museums and even the Bronx Zoo. One Supervillian was hiding as a NY Met. It was fun.

Do a search. I started a thread a while back about Memorable RPG moments. And I believe it links to a previous, older version of the same. That should give you plenty of fodder.

The wand of infinite improbablility:

I use the wand of Infinite improbabaility:

Roll dice to deterine book
Roll dice to determine page
Randomly pick element from page
incorporate it into the campaign
What was most fun about it was it could be good or it could be bad – after a while, we moved from just using our compliment of D&D books to encyclopedias and magazines – whatever was handy.

Great fun – I still remember the time the 55 chevy fell from the sky and wiped out a bunch of orcs – and we did it all without the use of drugs-- which made it even more insanely strange.

Ah. . .the misspent days of youth.

Now that I have the keywords “CandidGamera +roleplaying”, I am able to find threads.

Nostalgic RPG stories (A.K.A. come brag about your characters)

Memorable Quotes from D&D (or other Roleplaying) Games

All-Time Classic Roleplaying Game Moments

Dungeons & Dragons turns 5d6 - share your memories here.

Game-Mastering Experiences (with RPGs)

ddgryphon: I don’t get the reference. Could you explain, please?

Miller, vibrotronica, and jrfranchi: Thank you, but could I please ask you to elaborate? What Supervillian? How did your party happen to come across the Kings In Satan’s Service? How where you planning to integrate the [del]panic[/del]penis?, and other such detail, please.

In a relatively recent Champions game, our characters wound up in Iraq searching for a mystical artifact of doom. Along the way, we got ambushed by antimatter-wielding totalitarian robots from the future of an alternate dimension (seriously). We ran like scared little girls, because they were pretty powerful.

However, along the way, The Brick (our teams Brick, oddly enough) used his ridiculously good oratory skill to talk to some locals. he succeeeded. In fact, he suceeded so well that he overcame the penalty for not knowing the actualy language necessary, and pacified the entire city of Bagdad.

We also had one of our number, a psychotic batcase named Matsumoto (built as a clone of Wolverine), try to throw his weight around with the Army. He was decidely PO’d that the grunts in charge of gatekeeping at HQ did not consider his extremely tattered WW2 id card valid. Matsumoto very nearly killed him on the spot, but fortunately we managed.

No comment on integrating pop culture into RPing, except that when I saw this thread on the front page, it cut off at “True Ropeplaying stories/Ever…” I did a doubletake.

Then I figured it was another of those NSFW threads running 'round in here until I got to dipping into Cafe Society and realized what the actual title was. :smiley:

  • for the record, my RPing is more like partnered/group storytelling – no adherence to any 'verses out there, no dice, no nothing. Just a couplethree imaginations seeing what-all they can get up to together. Extra points for dragging obscure points of mythology/literature/etc into the 'verse with a twist if possible.

Well, I suppose I could have said pop-culture/fiction/films/etc. Too late now, I suppose.

Anyway, could I ask you to tell me some of the “obscure points of literature” you and your friends have integrated?

Oh, and smiling bandit, I am assuming that this is a reference to a action movie, perhaps starring the Rock, but I can’t quite place it. Could I ask you to tell me?

The NYC Champions campaign.
All Heroes and NPC were created for the game. The SuperVillians were minimal but strong. It was heavy on fighting Mafia, corrupt Cops and Drug Gangs.
A particularly strong SuperVillians was hiding in Mets uniform as a pitcher. He was generic fastball throwing righty. He started supplementing his money with a variety of drug deals and robberies. They actually had to use some deductive reasoning that the string of similar robberies were only happening when the Mets were home. From that they spent a week observing the comings and goings of the Team and personnel that traveled with the team. They finally caught him in the act. He took out 2 of the players with well aimed bean balls but was subdued by a the brick after the gadgeteer got him in a large, very strong net.
I am trying to remember the Hero Group.
There was a Brick name the White Dwarf who was extremely massive and relatively slow. He was also short and had many disads, definitely couldn’t blend into the public.
There was a female that flew and threw fireballs. Anytime she was angry her hair flamed up.
One NPC was the Paperboy was a junior gadgeteer and skills oriented character. Major Disad of being a 10 year old on a souped up 10 speed.
The Psionisist was heavy on mental powers and especially Telepathy and Clairvoy.
There was a character that had many weak superpowers and a very annoying ferret companion. Faster than normal, stronger than normal, very accurate with throwing any object, bullet resistant, etc.

No problem. It was just remisiscent of Wolverine from some of his less sane incarnations. In other words, at the slightest provocation, he pulled out his claws and gutted someone. The story itself didn’t reflect any particular

The totalitarian robots, however, were basically agents of the Matrix rossed sith Terminators. They were extremely intelligent, utterly fearless, and powered by more juice than you can imagine. They were, in fact, throwing so much firepower around that they seriously put the hurt on us. AT the start, we had no idea there were supervillains that strong.

Later on, they killed me by acident. I used one of my powers to eat their reactor here on earth. That was a mistake. I though it a was fusion reactor - no big deal.

It was a strange matter reactor. Ouch. An NPC who we were teamed up with at the time (we pulled half the supers in New York to take down the nazi-bots) knocked me into orbit to save everyone else. I wound up, very unhappy, as a ghost floating out past Pluto. Not that it stoppped me.

Probably not so obscure, but I don’t know where the bar for obscure falls, so I’m looking at it from the point of view of your random RPG-playing teenager who isn’t so hot on literature.

Sure. Uhm. Lessee. Like animal symbology gathered from a bunch of random New Age websites – we used those for avatar names and traits, plus hints as to how the storyline would go, since we typically start from the metaphorical point of “It was a dark and stormy night, and you’re stuck in a house with no idea of how you got there…”

For example, take the familiar (if you swing like us English/lit majors and have a kink for mythology and symbolism, discounting all the movies) totem of Crow.

He’s a trickster, and moreover, is labelled as a messenger of change on various New Age websites. Enough hooks, so to speak, for us to have fun and games with. Or the related-and-less-well-known totem of the swan – the character who we slapped with that became insanely devoted to his one true love. And I do mean, ah, less than certified legally sane.

We also tend to use bits of folklore, like the fact that there’s a tidbit about Egyptians disliking redheads because they used to be associated with Set, an evil god – that got used to account for the facts that a character type in our story was usually redheaded, came from Egypt, and had Arabic as their first language. And so on.

Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy: The infinite improbability drive – when engaged, anything could happen.

Everything can turn into yarn, for example. :smiley:

Sith Terminators!? Fucking awesome!


Ah, pop culture.

Well, let’s see. Almost any game I run set on Earth will have some pop culture elements showing up; my Pulp Superheroes game had Sherlock Holmes as an actual historical figure, for instance, and the characters had a movie based on their exploits, and I cast actual living actors of that era to play their parts.

My modern Superhero Noir game - I’ve made it a habit for some NPCs to tell the players to envision certain actors playing their parts.


I also once based a D&D adventure on It’s a Wonderful Life.