types of comedy


First Post
As I've mentioned before I'll be running a Discworld campaign. Although, I'm thinking of using a homebrew that is similar to the Discworld with some other things involved. Here's where you come in: What else should I "throw" in?

DISCLAIMER: I'm not asking how to improve the discworld. I see it as perfect. Just not perfect for what I'm doing with it.

Apparantly after reading through the Gurps guide...Discworld does not fit in with puns or slapstick. I, however, will be using both of these *lightly*. Puns here and there but nothing to the point of stupid. (i.e. stick your hand in the box to have your palm red.......and after removing it, what a surprise, your hand has been painted red.) And slapstick will not be added to the point of toon. Well maybe like some cartoons, but not much so. Pain should olny be funny if it hurts (no I'm not sadistic--but it has to be real). I'm thinking more of a farce.

What I'm looking for is other "flavors" I should add. Such as Monty Python. That's a must! or maybe a Lewis Carroll approach (Alice in Wonderland....of course more disc-ish). Maybe some Piers Anthony such as the Immortality series. Tom Holt and Robert Rankin styles are too similar to Terry Pratchett to need to incorporate.

Basically, what other sources of comedy would work well (examples can be taken from books, movies, and well any other source of entertainment.)

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A huge amount of humor in the Discworld books is allusive humor, which can be difficult to pull off in-game. Still, if you have a good idea about your players' taste in books and movies, you should be able to do something with it.

And anyone who says puns do not fit in with the Discworld either hasn't read the books or wasn't paying attention.

The key to all discworld comedy is parody. You need to find something common and turn it on its ear. There are so many fantasy tropes that Pratchett has already twisted (friendly undead, glod loving dwarves, rock scientist trolls, etc.) that it may be hard to find your own niche. Hopefully you are only planning this as a single senario and not an ongoing campaign.


First Post
Word of advice... a majority of the posters in this board are going to warn you against running a humorous campaign, or even a campaign with just a bit of silliness.

Don't listen to them.

Sounds like you're running the type of campaign I'm running. I enjoy it. My players enjoy it. Everyone's happy.

We destroyed Traveller, and bent D&D up pretty good too.


WotC's bitch
There are exactly three types of comedy in the world:

1. Funny;

2. Not funny.

You want as much of 1) as you can, and how you do it doesn't really matter.

Hong "not funny" Ooi


First Post
jaerdaph said:
Here's the formula I was once given:

Comedy = Tragedy + Time

Tragedy = bad things happening to you.
Comedy = bad things happening to others.

(Or, as Tony Randall said, "Tragedy happens to you; comedy happens to the other guy.")



Violence is funny too. :) Remember, it's all funny until someone loses an eye.. then its' freaking hilarious.



Q. In Night Watch people get hurt or killed, sometimes quite nastily. Where does that fit into comedy?

A. Right slap bang in the middle, I think. There's humour in the book, but you can't build a plot out of jokes. You need tragic relief. And you need to let people know that when a lot of frightened people are running around with edged weaponry, there are deaths. Stupid deaths, usually. I'm not writing "The A-Team" - if there's a fight going on, people will get hurt. Not letting this happen would be a betrayal.

There was a famous incident during the Falklands War when a shell landed amongst some squaddies and one yelled "I've lost my leg!" and another one shouted back "No you haven't, it's over here!" And they were so high on adrenalin they all laughed. Humour turns up in strange places. It can unite people, and blunt the edge of terror.

...taken from this interview with Pratchett-


Robbert Raets

I really like this quote from the on-line add-ons at sjgames.com:

"a wide range of enchanted edged ironmongery is available around the Disc, and some of it is even black, sentient, and possessed of personality problems"



Another thing to consider when running a Discworld RPG will be how to set up the encounters/scenes. I'd suggest making sure there is more than one NPC (as much as possible) so that you have some Pratchett banter going on. Be sure to script some idle conversation for use by your NPCs...absurdiems, left-field thoughts, mundane tsks they can discuss, etc.

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