Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Clone High RPG

So I recently got to flip through Alma Mater: The High School RPG. 


It seems pretty cool. I had read about it a bit before and seems kinda neat. I did a little more research on it and I gotta say I like the idea of a high school rpg game. Judging by the artwork (by Erol Otus) it is meant to be pretty gonzo, but also seems kinda schizophrenic, to me"High School" just seems too broad a topic for an RPG to tackle.

I think you would need to zone in on a specific idea or genre to play a successful high school RPG, perhaps base the game on a TV show or movie set in a high school that the players would be familiar with.

One of my favorite high school TV shows was Clone High. It was a very funny cartoon show which was tragically cut short after only one season. I think an RPG game set in the Clone High universe (or at least a parallel universe) would be very fun.  The basic premise of the show is set up pretty well in the opening theme song lyrics:
Way way back in the 1980's
Secret government employees
Dug up famous guys and ladies
And made amuzing genetic copies
Now their clones are sexy teens
Now they're going to make it if they tried
Loving, learning, sharing, judging
Time to laugh, and shiver and cry

Time to watch,
Clone High
Energetic and engaging
Clone High
Our Angst is Entertaining
Clone High
Our Lives are Never Boring
Who am I?

There's a place that you can go to
And it's never very far
Famous people you can live through
If you don't know who you are
Why, there is so much to live up to
Expectations are so high
I'm not crying
It's my contacts
There must be something in my eye

You all must watch,
Clone High
Insipired and organic
Clone High
Possibly dramatic
Clone High
More fun than watching static
Where am I?
Clone High

Time to laugh, and shiver and cry.

I'll see you at
Clone High
I can't esacpe my name
Clone High
That's the price of fame
Clone High
Life is just a game
That's why...

Clone High

It is honestly a pretty silly show, but there is an interesting softer side about coming of age and living up to unrealistic expectations. The main protagonist of the show- Abe Lincoln, lives in the shadow of his genetic self and worries he won't be able to measure up to the original ( he also has an irrational fear of the theater). I think it would really fun letting the players pick their favorite historical figures to play as high school students. 

As a GM I would get a huge kick out of populating the rest of the school with other historical figures.  You could either play a famous figure toward their stereotypes- like making Genghis Khan a football jock or go the other way and reverse roles- have Marylin Monroe be an unpopular geeky type.


And always lurking in the background of whatever crazy stuff is happening at the school there should be a shadowy and evil government plot brewing, with mad scientists and super mutants.


Anyway- Clone High is cool.

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