The Play’s The Thing: Macbeth

macbeth_by_dievegge-d4n8gl3The Play’s the Thing is an indie RPG about retelling Shakespearean plays as a collaborative effort between players. Caleb ran a session of it, using Macbeth as the play. We had a full group of players as we entered the Scottish moors, waiting for news on the war. Also, Inverness is a bouncy castle. There’s not much else to say, is there? Check out the art based on this episode on our Patreon!

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  1. While I can’t possibly complain when RPPR does my favorite of Shakespeare’s works (Muh, yeaahhs, look how cultured I am) it irks me that no one used any of the really good lines. Not even one “screw your courage to the sticking place” or “wakes it now, to look so green and pale” pun. You’re swimming in a sea here people.
    PS “Great Birnam wood to Bouncy Dunsinane hill Shall come against him!”

  2. The greatest AP.

  3. Alas poor Caleb, I knew him RPPR fans. But alas this game drove him crazy with everyone’s antics.

  4. David did break out the screwy courage at one point but a few people were talking at once. I absolutely loved the bathroom break sabotage session. I was thinking the perfect replacement knife in a bouncy castle would be a pool noodle (either strangulation or extremely thorough pulping), but the Rifts total conversion did make the psychic powers necessary.

    I was super disappointed it was spoiled what kind of dark future it was going to be, though. the enthusiasm with which Caleb embraced the idea would’ve been his eternal downfall once he’d realized what he’d permitted.

  5. oh, and I’m no longer the keeper of the RPPR Dark Tower metaverse! I went back and looked at the Mitchum Clearly time loop thread and remembered Iafhtagn wrote a gloriously detailed writeup of the much more complicated Lucille time loop, which cemented him as champion of the worldlines for the foreseeable future.

  6. I love this AP so much, I would love to know if there are more like this down the pipeline.

    Or even if this is going into the “Best of RPPR” area, because holy crap.

  7. Classic stuff. The Patreon backers voted well.

    I really think I would enjoy playing this game. It’s pretty cool how the actor class types give you guidance on which directions to take the play. While I can see the special abilites getting a little bit fiddly and hard to keep track of, I figure most groups would have it all sorted out pretty quickly.

  8. When’s the “Vampire” LARP? Better yet, bring on the “Maid” campaign. Is Caleb a girl?

    From the action-filled, blood-N-guts days of Palladium & GURPS & ORE …….. to this?
    Guess I’ll be “that guy” & lament the passing of the old uncivilized adrenaline-doping gamers I enjoyed for years.

    Must be the money.

  9. Best thing ever. 🙂 #BornToBeKing

  10. Glorious. Even better than the teaser in the Trail backchatter made it sound.

    /adds another game to the list he wants to play now

  11. Well that was a thing.

    The meta-narrative to drive Caleb mad via thespian conspiracy was quite Shakesperian. The bard would be proud.

  12. But would you do Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead?

  13. Loved it. Not laughed so hard in a while 🙂 I’d love to see some mechanics added around giving each actor a meta-goal around changing the play that aligns with them furthering their career or personal goals (e.g. ‘this community theater of Romeo & Juliet will be my vehicle to rock stardom!’), it might generate some interesting conflict on and off the set. Plus a mechanic for driving the script writer/director insane because of all of your edits would also be cool. Sure you can turn the balcony scene into a glam rock opera but your director is just soooo close to cracking after the mud wrestling scene, do you risk it?

    Obviously a cracked director couldn’t end the game, the show must go on after all, but it might make it a bit more surreal.

  14. @ Frankie Bacon

    You were warned at the start that the game would be “indie as shit”.

    RPPR has always provided a variety of different genres, tones, and systems. They posted low-adrenaline games like Pantheon back in 2010, before they posted any GURPs or ORE games. Even the original New World campaign had a dinner party episode.

    The last episode posted before this one ended with a character crashing a spaceship into a mechsuit during a gunfight, so I don’t think they’ve stopped posting action-heavy, “high adrenaline” games. Dungeon Crawl Classics was full of brutal melee combat, and The Last Flight of 0237 had plenty of full-auto gunfire.

  15. @Erik

    I learned to run it for my class! The teacher guide was a big help!

  16. 5 minutes in and the mind instantly goes to all kinds of rollercoasters going into space or Scotland or somewhere the tracks aren’t supposed to go but somehow it is going. As Caleb or the GM can’t seem to redo a performance, it’s all live so push the button Frank, as this wild AP train is going maybe through a giant brewery in a nebula, a cuddly petting zoo or a pile of hams or who knows. Should be quite fun.

  17. I was leaving for work today and saw the elementary school next to my neighborhood had bouncy castles set up. My first thought was that they were performing Shakespeare.

    Thank you RPPR. Rifts Macbeth would make that use of my tax money worthwhile.

  18. I’d love to see RPPR take on The King in Yellow using this system.

  19. Author

    There’s no canonical text of the play the King in Yellow, which is a bit of a problem.

  20. Way too many great lines and moments in this one to spotlight them all. Definitely a candidate for the Best Of category.

    It’s also another system I’d never heard of before, but am much more interested in checking out after hearing the RPPR crew try it out.

  21. You got your ‘Trenchcoats and Katanas’ in my Shakespeare!

  22. Now do Waiting for Godot.

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