In this "break from serious role-playing"
setting, the players take on the role of action figures. Think 'Toy Story'
meets 'Army Men' meets 'Honey I Shrunk the Kids'. Campaigns should be fast-paced,
fun and quirky.
The system is a modification of GMS's
system for Time Knights (52pickup02.html).
The game is set in and around Tim's
house. Tim is a typical, grubby, hyperactive 6 year old boy, with a messy
play room and a little sister named Bonnie, who loves to annoy him. Character
classes available at this time are Army Guys, transforming robots, dinosaurs
and Bettys® (the blonde dolls from Bonnie's room.) Readers are encouraged
to come up with their own character classes.
Toys' lifeblood is the attention they
receive from humans. The emotional energy that toys absorb from humans
enables them to move and act. The more a toy is played with or thought
about, the more energy it has. Toys that are favorite collector's items
(like Bettys®) gather strength from the ambient public recognition
and don't have to be played with to remain vigorous. On the other hand,
toys that are forgotten in a year and left in the bottom of the closet
lose strength until they're just a shade of their former selves. So, little
sister's well-loved Betty® could whip up on the fearsome looking but
forgotten transforming robot toy. Toys venerate, or resent, humans as the
source of strength and status.
The most important rule in toy culture
is the Places rule, which holds that no matter what happens when the humans
away, when they return you need to be in the exact spot you were in when
they left. Rare exceptions are allowed if unavoidable (Resulting in a "Hey!
I don't remember leaving that there!" from the human.) This rule is the
cornerstone of toy life. The Betty's® are the self-appointed enforcers
of the Places rule and they deal harshly with those who break it.
Malcontent toys see this as a way for
the popular toys to hang on to human attention. For example, in Tim's room,
the toys that are played with are put in a blue toy chest at the foot of
his bed. Toys he has forgotten about are in the bottom of his closet scattered
among shoes and dirty laundry. Some of the forgotten toys believe that
if they simply moved to where the popular toys are, they'd get some attention.
Plastic People has 5 Attributes: Agility,
IQ, Willpower, Charm and Human Attention. Agility, IQ, Willpower and Charm
are generated by rolling 1d10. Human Attention is a reflection of how much
human emotional energy a toy has at it's disposal and is assigned by the
GM. A popular toy (like a Betty®) will have a 10, while a slightly
less popular toy (like an Army Guy) may have a 6. The Human Attention Attribute
may be raised or lowered at the GM's discretion, if the toy receives more
or less attention from humans.
The Human Attention Attribute is used
for most physical rolls. (It replaces what Strength, Constitution etc might
be used for.) All attacks, whether melee or weapon based, rely on the Human
Attention Attribute plus a combat skill.
Human Attention: 10
Bettys® are the slender, perky
blonde dolls in Bonnie's room.
At Tim and Bonnie's house, the Bettys®
are the strongest power block because of their numbers and unity. There
are two dozen Bettys® who all work together. In addition, all Bettys®
share a telepathic bond and have the ability to hypnotize other toys. The
unlucky victim of Betty® hypnosis will stay hypnotized for ten minutes
during which it will speak in an annoyingly cheerful voice, make derisive
remarks about other toy's fashion choices and body fat ratio and do whatever
the Betty® tells it to. This doesn't include actions that are blatantly
suicidal. For example, a hypnotized Army Guy would do something stupid
or dangerous, like attack his fellow soldiers or pick a fight with a surly
house cat. But he wouldn't throw himself under the wheels of a speeding
minivan. The Bettys'® male counterparts, the Brads® seem to be
constantly be in this state of mindless hypnosis.
(Brads® are available as an optional
character class. They have the same skills and Human Attention score as
Being the most powerful toys in the
house has made the Bettys® paranoid and quick to react to anything
they see as a threat to their position. This is why they go out of their
way to enforce the Places rule. They are also suspicious of any toys they
find sneaking around or near Bonnie's room. They engineered the disappearance
of several Star Princess Jeiya and Power-Gal action figures that they saw
as competition for Bonnie's attention. They seem nervous over the arrival
of several Keena Warrior-Princess figures, but have taken no action.
Naturally, other toys see the Bettys®
as creepy and heavy-handed. The often refer to the Bettys® as the 'Pink
Storm-Troopers' or the 'Blonde Collective'.
Human Attention: 6
Army Guys are battle-hardened fighting
soldier action figures. There are many varieties of Army Guys: Soldiers,
Marines, Sailors, SEALS, Airborne Rangers, Pilots, Tankers, Astronauts,
Ninjas etc. They have a fortified HQ playset within Tim's toy chest as
well as multiple tanks, jeeps, tanks, half-tracks, planes, ships and rockets.
Army Guys are at war with the forces
of the terrorist organization V.I.P.E.R. who are pretty easy to spot as
they all wear blue jumpsuits with a bright red snake insignia across the
chest. V.I.P.E.R. is led by the curiously whiny V.I.P.E.R. Commander.
(V.I.P.E.R.s are available as an optional
character class. They have the same skills and Human Attention score as
Transforming Robot Toys
Human Attention - 3
An old box of robots that transform
from robots to vehicles has been passed down from Tim's older brother.
Tim has never shown much interest in these old toys and they mainly stay
in his closet.
These toys change into variety of vehicles
and in some cases animals. And for some unknown reason, they all have the
ability to fly in robot mode.
The transforming robots used to wage
epic battles. The heroic land-based robots would fight the evil aerial
But they've lost most of the Human
Attention in the last few years and their glory days are over. Since they're
all relegated to the same battered and weather-beaten card board box in
the bottom of Tim's closet, the old wars seem to have lost some of their
importance. They don't battle each other nearly as much as they used to.
They are now at the bottom rung of toy society due to their low level of
Human Attention. But an ember of hope has been kindled with the rumor of
a new Saturday morning cartoon featuring transforming robots this fall.
The robots in Tim's room hope this cartoon will bring more attention, playtime
and reinvigorate them.
Human Attention - 8
The dinosaurs arrived in Tim's room
last Christmas in the wake of the latest Hollywood dinosaur movie. With
their high Human Attention Attribute, they're the only faction that might
be able to challenge the Bettys®. However, their lack of brainpower
makes that unlikely. The dinosaurs, although mighty, fight amongst themselves
a lot and also are easily manipulated. V.I.P.E.R. has a history of duping
the dinosaurs into fighting against the Army Guys. However the dinosaurs
also have short attention spans and tend to wander away from battles when
something sparkly catches their eye.
The IQ of a dinosaur character can't
be higher than 5.
Toys have 1-d10 points to spend on
skills at the time of character creation. It should be noted that certain
skills come automatically with certain character classes and do not have
to be bought (firearms for Army Guys etc.) See the below list for
To determine the chance for success
of a task, the player adds together the appropriate Attribute and Skill.
If the character doesn't have a relevant skill, just use the Attribute.
The total is then multiplied by the difficulty modifier for the action.
Easy:x10. Moderate: x7. Challenging: x5. Hard: x3. Impossible: x1.
Once you've arrived at your target
number, a simple percentage roll, hitting at or beneath the target, is
needed for success.
Combat is run using the same system.
All combat rolls in Plastic People use the Human Attention Attribute, since
it is the source of a toy's strength and vitality. This is true for ranged
attacks (firearms etc.) because any action a toy takes, whether it's throwing
a punch or firing a gun is simply a method of channeling it's Human Attention.
Granted, some methods of channeling that attention will do more damage
than others, but they all come from the same place.
Ranged combat difficulties are based
on range: Point Blank is Easy (x10), Short is Moderate (x7), Medium
is Challenging (x5), Long is Hard (x3) and Extreme is Impossible (x1).
Melee attacks have a standard difficulty of Moderate (x7). The target
of an attack has a defensive roll which has a difficulty equal to the final
rolled result of the attacker. For example, Player A attacks, hitting with
a 44. Player B's target for the defense roll is 44 or below. If she
rolls 44 or below on a percentile roll, she dodged or the attack was just
Damage is determined by a base 1d10
plus the Damage Value of the attack or weapon. Melee attacks simply do
1d10. See the combat chart below for details.
Taking general cover from a ranged
attack (i.e. ducking, hiding behind obstacles) subtracts 7 from the defense
Each point in the Betty® Psychic
Shield skill subtracts 3 from the defense roll, against either ranged or
The Betty® Hypnosis attack is handled
as a modified combat attack. The Betty® adds her Human Attention Attribute
plus Hypnosis skill and multiplies by 7 (since hypnosis is moderately difficult).
If the Betty® is successful and rolls beneath the target number, the
victim must roll beneath the final result of the Betty®'s roll to avoid
being hypnotized. The victim's Willpower Attribute is subtracted from the
defense roll. If it fails, the unlucky target will stay hypnotized for
Some transforming robots have a Mega-Merge
skill that allows 4 robots to merge into one giant robot for 4 rounds of
combat. The individual robots can not act independently while in
giant robot mode. During these four rounds, all of the attributes and skills
of the 4 are pooled and used exclusively for the giant robot's actions.
Only the giant robot may use the Mega Plasma Sword skill. See the
weapons chart below for more details and damage values.
Hit Points and Being Broken
Death is not permanent in combat between
toys. A toy that is 'killed' in toy combat goes into a temporary stasis
and awakens in 15 minutes. Damage heals thirty minutes after combat is
finished. For unknown reasons, all toys enter a similar stasis whenever
a human is present. They are aware of what is happening, but they are unable
to act or speak.
True death only occurs when a toy is
Broken - a state that can only be caused by humans. A Broken toy is in
a permanent stasis that can be lifted if she is Fixed by a human. Being
Fixed is the toy equivalent of resurrection and is viewed with awe. From
a toy's perspective, humans are the ultimate takers and givers of life.
Hit points are calculated by adding
the score of the Human Attention Attribute + 1d10.
Every adventure, the GM will award
between 1 and 4 xp points. Points may be spent to raise skills or buy hit
points. Spending 1 point will raise a skill by 1 (or buy a new skill),
except in the case of the Army Guys heavy weapons skill and the Bettys®
Psi Blast Skill which cost 2 points to buy initially and 2 points for each
Spending 2 points will add one hit
Places of Note
The Under the Bed Lounge- Favored R+R
site for toys. Run by a jaded one-armed Super-Guy action figure. This meeting
place is where toys like to relax at the end of the day and keep up on
Bottom of the Closet Ghetto - Chaotic
mess at the bottom of the closet with dirty socks, soccer shin guards and
toys that are never played with reside. The lowest rung of toy society.
Toy Chest - Where Tim's most often
played with toys are stored. The high rent district of the toy society.
Betty® Territory - The area in
and around Bonnie's room. Tim's toys avoid this area like the plague because
of the fearsome reputation of the Bettys®.
Oracle in the Attic - A colorful, cube-shaped
puzzle toy stored in a box in the attic of Tim's house that is believed
to have arcane knowledge. Sometimes, toys in need of guidance will undertake
the treacherous quest to the attic to consult the oracle.
General Attributes for All Characters
Agility (generate by rolling 1d10)
IQ (generate by rolling 1d10)
Willpower (generate by rolling 1d10)
Charm (generate by rolling 1d10)
Human Attention (assigned by GM /not
rolled) used for most physical based rolls as Human Attention is the source
of toys' strength)
General Skills and Damage Values
(damage is 1d10 + DV of the weapon)
Shoe String Lasso- Entangle attack.
A successful attack leaves the target entangled (can take no action other
than struggling to get free) for 2 rounds of combat.
Slinky Wrangling - Rappelling, swinging
with metal spring toy. Can be used as a weapon. A successful attack will
entangle a target for 3 rounds of combat.
Fast Talk - Charming or deceiving
Melee - Punching, kicking, wrestling
etc. Damage Value=none. Damage is simply the base1d10 for all attacks.
Special Skills for Army Guys
(1d10 points to spend in skills. Automatic 1 in firearms and melee)
Jeep Operation - Driving Jeeps, Humvees,
Tank Operation - Driving tanks. (If
you select this skill, you probably want to go ahead and get Heavy Weapons
as well, so you can fire the tank's weapons)
Heavy Weapons - Operating cannons,
rocket launchers or heavier guns mounted on vehicles. Costs 2 xp to buy
or raise. Damage Value=6
Firearms -Use of general military firearms.
Damage Value for sidearms=3. For rifles=4
Stealth - Being sneaky and undetected
Piloting - Flying helicopters, planes,
hovercrafts, spaceships etc.
Parachuting - self-explanatory
Knife Fighting - Fighting with a knife
(duh). Damage Value=1
Kung Fu Grip - Special Army Guy attack.
Trick Shot - Making a difficult shot.
Special Skills for Betty®
( 1d10 points to spend in skills. Automatic 1 in telepathy, hypnosis, and
Hypnosis - Bends victim to your every
whim for 10 minutes (see details on attack under Combat subheading)
Psychic Shield - Each point in this
skill adds +2 to defense value.
Fashion Sense - Color coordination
Telepathy - Psionic communication with
Corvette Operation - Driving Corvettes
Psi Punch - Special Betty® attack.
Psi Blast - Special Betty® attack.
Costs 2xp to buy or raise. Damage Value=5
Specific Skills for Dinosaurs
(1d10 points to spend in skills. Automatic 1 in trample, bite and claw)
Trample - Overrun an opponent with
brute strength. Damage Value=8
Bite - Biting and chewing and gnashing.
Claw - Claw attack. Damage Value=7
Transforming Robots Specific Skills
(1d10 points to spend in skills. Automatic 1 in deception, laser weapons.
By GM's discretion, may have automatic 1 in mega-merge and mega plasma
Sword Fighting - Some of the changing
robots came with big, clunky swords.
Laser Weapons - Using laser pistols.
Deception - Passing themselves off
as just a vehicle etc.
Mega-Merge - allows 4 robots to merge
into one giant robot for 4 rounds of combat.
Mega Plasma Sword - Massive Plasma
sword that can only be used by the giant robot created by Mega-Merge. Damage
Sample Adventure Ideas:
Odyssey. A platoon of Army Guys has been
lost at a public park. They want to get through the jungles and back to
their home fortress in Tim's bedroom. Along the way, they must deal with
lizards (which look a lot like a dragon when you're 4 inches tall), squirrels
and other lost toys who could be allies or enemies.
Through the Looking Glass. A battered
Army Guy figure comes back from a scouting mission with word of a portal
to 'real' world; a world where bullets really kill and the outcome of battles
really matter. In this world, the battle against the terrorist forces of
V.I.P.E.R. is in dire straits and reinforcements are badly needed. Infighting
erupts as some of the Army Guy's are eager to load up all their plastic
vehicles and head for the 'real' world and others think that the portal
is a lie - a devious V.I.P.E.R. trick. (It's Game Master's discretion as
to whether the portal actually exists or not.)
Enemy Mine. Last Friday, the V.I.P.E.R
commander was sold at a yard sale for $1.25. After his initial jubilation,
the Army Guy General began having troubling visions that told him to contact
the Oracle in the attic. The Army Guy General and his troops undertook
the perilous quest, which involved dodging humans, skirting Betty®
territory, fighting off mice and roaches and scaling the stairs to the
attic. The Oracle told the Army Guy General that with his arch-enemy gone,
he and his friends will receive much less play time and thus grow weaker
and weaker. Realizing this was true, the Army Guy General gathered together
a crack squad to brave the dangers of Outside (dogs, insects, cars, lost
toys, and kids with bottle rockets) and retrieve the V.I.P.E.R Commander.
Moving On Up. A bunch of transforming
robot toys languishing in the bottom of the closet decide they would get
more play time if they moved to the toy chest at the foot of Tim's bed,
where the popular toys are kept. They talk the gullible dinosaurs into
helping them and plan a covert midnight raid to seize some territory. Unfortunately,
the Army Guys who reside in the chest have gotten wind of the plan
Dressed to Kill. The Bettys®
realize that their position as mightiest of the toys would be enhanced
if they could find a way to Break other toys on their own. They decide
to do some research and kidnap an Army Guy. The Bettys®' experiments
will include dropping heavy things on him, trying to flush him down the
toilet and lashing him to a space heater. The remaining Army Guys launch
a rescue attempt into the heart of Betty® territory.
Deal with the Devil. One night at the
Under the Bed Lounge, the V.I.P.E.R commander asks some transforming robots
if they would do him a favor. He wants them to sneak downstairs (and past
the surly house cat) and liberate a bag of rubber bands from the junk drawer
in the kitchen. The Commander needs it for a secret weapon he's working
on. In return, he promises them a coveted spot in Tim's toy chest. Unbeknownst
to the robots, V.I.P.E.R. Commander is hedging his bets and has also sent
a party of his own troops after the same goal.
Shangri-La. A ragged and chewed-up Army
Guy figure that was left at the park last summer struggles back into Tim's
Room. During his wanderings in the wastelands, he has discovered Great
Truths. Humans are not almighty beings and toys can live a life free from
their whims. He proves that he's telling the truth by using a stolen tube
of Super-Glue® to Fix a Broken dinosaur toy. Several toys are inspired
and decide to leave Tim's room to follow the old Army Guy to his paradise.
To the Bettys®, this is heresy and a threat to their way of life that
must be nipped in the bud.
(All non-toy antagonists use Strength
instead of Human Attention for combat rolls and a base attack skill of
Surly House Cat: Strength 19,
Agility 10, IQ 6, Willpower NA, Charm NA, Hit Points: 20000 (effectively
unkillable). Attack Damage Values: Bite 10. Claw 9. Pounce 7
Quirks: The cat is basically too large
to be damaged by a toy's attacks. If it is hit enough times hard enough,
it will become annoyed and flee. Sometimes, toys can avoid combat with
the cat by playing dead. In this case, or if the cat actually "kills" a
toy during combat (ie the toy enters stasis for 15 minutes), he will bat
it around for a bit, before carrying it away and leaving it in some special
spot (behind the fridge, for example).
Lizard (newt): Strength 4, Agility
9, IQ 3 Willpower NA, Charm NA, Hit points 65. Attack Damage Values: Bite
5, Head Butt 6. Quirks: detachable tail
Lizard (Iguana or Gila-Monster):
Strength 10, Agility 7, IQ 4 Willpower NA, Charm NA, Hit points 200. Attack
Damage Values: Bite 7. Tail Swipe 5.
Ant :Strength 2, Agility 4,
IQ 1 Willpower-NA, Charm NA, Hit points 30. Attack Damage Values: Bite
3. Quirks: attacks in swarms
Bee: Strength 1, Agility 5,
IQ 2 Willpower-NA, Charm NA, Hit points 30. Attack Damage Values: sting
Roach: Strength 1, Agility 3,
IQ 1 Willpower NA, Charm NA, Hit points 40. Attack Damage Values: Bite
Mouse: Strength 5, Agility 7,
IQ 3 Willpower NA, Charm NA, Hit points 150 Attack Damage Values: Bite