How meta is too meta?

Herobizkit

Adventurer
I once pitched a concept to my gaming group.

Modern setting. Players create two characters, a modern and a stereotypical fantasy character.

The premise is that the players are TV actors who are stars of a popular live-action fantasy serial about table top gaming. There will be times when said actors must take on the persona (and mechanics) of their fantasy characters to advance the TV plot (with often hilarious effects, as it's an action/comedy).

In short, the role-players would be playing a game, role-playing the role-players (actors) playing the role-players (characters) in AND out of the context of a role-playing game.

It would be like Gamers - The Game, where the players took on the personae of the actors on and off-set.

Too meta? :D
 

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KirayaTiDrekan

Adventurer
I tried to do a Play-by-Post where the players' primary characters started off as college students in 1974, playing the original edition of D&D. The campaign was meant to progress through the various editions while following the mundane lives of this group as they played through every D&D and AD&D edition, adventure, and campaign setting.

It didn't quite click, though, so I gave up on the idea. :p
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
I wouldn't play it.

Waaaay too "meta" [in the way I think you're using it] for me. Lil' bit of Victor/Victoria whiplash going on: "A gamer pretending to be a character pretending to be a gamer pretending to be a character"?

My immersion is shattered into itty bitty bits before I've even sat down.

But that's me. That's not really important.

What do your players think?
 

Herobizkit

Adventurer
[MENTION=92511]steeldragons[/MENTION] Pretty much the way you think, which is why I dropped the idea. I still think about it, specifically the "Galaxy Quest" angle where ordinary Joes pretending to be heroes are called upon to BE heroes.
[MENTION=6755061]Kiraya_TiDrekan[/MENTION] you tend to come up with lots of great, complicated ideas that require months of build-up. :)
 

KirayaTiDrekan

Adventurer
[MENTION=92511]steeldragons[/MENTION] Pretty much the way you think, which is why I dropped the idea. I still think about it, specifically the "Galaxy Quest" angle where ordinary Joes pretending to be heroes are called upon to BE heroes.

[MENTION=6755061]Kiraya_TiDrekan[/MENTION] you tend to come up with lots of great, complicated ideas that require months of build-up. :)

Which is why most of them never get beyond the idea stage. ;)
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
I'd enjoy the in-story/filming segments, and then be bored by the actor/real world segments. The contrast is too much.

Michael Keaton is the only one who could pull this off.
 

Wild Gazebo

Explorer
Your premise is fine...your implementation needs a little work. I would simply present the idea as playing actors in a modern setting...and then let the details unfold in the game. No need for other stats. I think you would be surprised how much players would flush out their own characters, as actors, in game if presented organically.
 

nijineko

Explorer
unless you were going for a "characters are aware of how game mechanics function as laws of the universe" sort of fantasy setting, which can have it's own form of humor about that.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
For me, I think it would be too meta for a slightly different reason...

That is, I tend to be (often by choice) the "chronicler" of the group. It's easy to forget important details between sessions, so I often keep notes, or draft a quick summary of the previous session a day or two before a new one. Even then, I make mistakes and confuse minor points at times. Having to keep track of two parallel, yet separate, stories would be twice the burden and twice the confusion. Especially since, being "parallel but separate," you could have issues in one story while the other is running smoothly.

I also...don't quite understand the point of the "mundies in reality" story. I mean, it might be interesting to directly experience an intentional progression of editions. That is, jettison the "mundy frame story" and just be myself, playing a character, experiencing the progression. But what's the point of play-acting another totally real person responding to these things? To insulate myself from expressing my own opinions about those games?? That seems unbelievable to me--and I can't see any other reason for doing it. Why not just give your OWN reactions to playing a game whose rules undergo revolutions (minor or major) every now and then?
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I also...don't quite understand the point of the "mundies in reality" story. I mean, it might be interesting to directly experience an intentional progression of editions. That is, jettison the "mundy frame story" and just be myself, playing a character, experiencing the progression. But what's the point of play-acting another totally real person responding to these things?

That would be the quirk here. What exactly is play at the actor's normal life level going to look like? And can it be sustained? I can see a TV series kind of based around it - a group of actors work in the industry and solve crimes on the side kind of thing - but I think that might be hard to translate into a sustainable game.

As an alternative, there are games in which you are playing actors advancing a movie/show plot. It Came from the Late, Late, Late Show is a favorite of mine. You're playing in a B-grade movie plot as the actor. Two of the best skills are Scream (which can bring your fellow players to your location nearly immediately) and Fame (which allows you to call for a stunt double).
 

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