Recently I decided to run my Trail of Cthulhu game rather like a dramatic day time soap opera. It was a strange narrative decision at the time, but I wanted to give the investigation a bit of a unique feel and make the family situation in the thing almost as tense as the idea of cultists or monsters. After doing so and seeing how much my players actually enjoyed it, despite the fact it wasn’t a typical horror session or indeed, really had much action at all (three total die rolls were made all session) it made me wonder. Has anyone thought of making “Daytime ridiculous US Soap Opera” the roleplaying game?
Just think about it, instead of traditional goals like slaying dragons or saving the universe, your character is out to create as much ridiculous overblown drama as possible. Getting pregnant to your best friends husband, breaking relationships up, digging up long forgotten family secrets to blackmail other members of the family and so on. There is quite the potential in such a ridiculous set up and especially if it’s designed from a meta point of view, with the player characters actually playing characters in this soap. Gameplay would revolve around getting as much “scene stealing” time as possible and attempting to cause as much tension amongst the crew of the show as possible as well. Heck if it goes poorly you could even get the ultimate of insults by annoying the writers of the soap opera enough: Getting killed off camera.
I’m just wondering what kind of system could pull this off or if someone already did think about it. When I finished my Trail of Cthulhu game yesterday, this was the summary of the next half of the investigation as a “reminder” of what happened:
“A bridesmaid who is pregnant with the grooms baby?! A suspicious woman with what looks to be a wire on? What ‘show’ is Damian’s estranged half-brother Joseph and his strange friend Aroha here to see? Where did Yakov end up going and why was he so aggressive to Anastasia’s sister? What’s the deal with these blood covered coins? Who is it that would threaten a wedding?!
AND WHY IS THE MEN’S BATHROOM NOW OUT OF ORDER?!
All this and more on the next episode of: The Last Days of Our Lives and Tentacles”
Then again, maybe this gives me an idea for another potential calling in life….