Author Topic: Everyone is John  (Read 6623 times)

Offline veekie

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Everyone is John
« on: November 09, 2011, 08:27:51 AM »
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Everyone is John

A competitive roleplaying game for three or more people.

Everyone is John is a humorous, competitive roleplaying game about playing the various personalities of John, an insane man from Minneapolis. One participant is the GM, or, in Everyone is John lingo, "Everyone Else." All of the other players are Voices in John's head.

Everyone is John uses six-sided dice (you really only need one, but it might be easiest if every participant carries one) for play.

Voices
Voices are the Player Characters of Everyone is John. They are defined by a simple character sheet:

Willpower
    Willpower is a pool of points that the Voice can spend to take control of John or improve its chance of success in any given action. Willpower will go down and up a lot in the game, so it might be easier to represent it with tokens rather than numbers on a page. Willpower starts off at 10 for most Voices.
Skills
    Each Voice has two or three skills. This is a freeform game, so just write down a short description of the skill, like "Drives well," or "Good at persuading people." Most Voices have two skills, but you can have three if you start at 7 Willpower instead of 10.
Obsession
    This is kind of like a winning condition: if you complete your obsession more than other Voices complete their obsession, you win. Obsessions come in three grades: Level 1 (pretty easy to accomplish, like "Pigging out on candy"), Level 2 (more difficult or risky, like, "dressing up in women's clothing and hitting on strangers,"), and Level 3 (nearly impossible to accomplish, like, "Blowing up buildings"). The harder obsessions count more than the easier ones.

If you're going to seriously compete with the other Voices, you probably should keep your sheet a secret.

John
John is a totally insane man in Minneapolis. He is controlled by the Voices in his head -- one at a time, of course.

John is not terribly competent; he has difficulty with a lot of things that you and I might take for granted. Whenever John attempts anything that an ordinary person might have any chance of failure at, he needs to roll for success.

The Voice who is currently in control of John does the rolling. If that Voice has a skill that covers the challenge, the Voice needs to roll a 3 or higher on the single d6. If it doesn't have a skill, it needs to roll a 6. However, before the roll, the Voice can spend any number of Willpower points to get a +1 per point spent on the die roll. This can make success automatic.

Becoming the active Voice is a bit of a challenge, though. Whenever John wakes up or gets hurt, a test for control of John happens. Also, whenever the currently active Voice fails a roll or completes its obsession, a test for control of John happens.

When a test for control of John occurs, all of the Voices who are interested simultaneously bid one or more Willpower points (if you're using tokens for Willpower, it's easiest for everyone to just hold out the tokens in their closed hands, and then, when everyone's ready, reveal the number of tokens). Voices don't have to bid if they don't want to (and you can hold out zero tokens if you want to fake out the other Voices). The highest number of Willpower becomes the active Voice. If multiple people bid the same highest amount, then they roll off to see who becomes active.

The Voice who becomes active loses the amount of Willpower it bids. All others keep their bids. It's perfectly acceptible for the previously active Voice to win a bid and remain active.

Whenever John wakes up, the struggle for control of John happens before the GM describes the situation John wakes up into.

John is pretty easily distracted. Whenever nothing exciting is happening for ten minutes or more (such as on a bus ride or the like), the GM should roll a die. On a roll of 4 or higher, John goes to sleep and wakes up whenever (prompting a struggle for control of John). When John naps like this, all of the Voices gain one Willpower.

Playing
Play begins with John waking up in the morning (and a test for control of him). The GM then describes the circumstances into which he wakes up. With John, you never can tell. He could be in a gutter somewhere, or he could be in a palatial estate, or anywhere in between. The Voices really have no idea how they ended up here.

At this point, the Voices should start working on fulfilling their obsessions and avoiding getting John killed. Inevitably, their Willpowers will decrease. Once all of the Voices are out of Willpower, John sinks back into sleep, and the game session is over.

At this point, the Voices reveal their obsessions and count up how many times each was filled. Note that it counts for you if someone else is Active and fulfills your obsession.

Now, multiply the number of times you fulfilled your obsession by your obsession's rank (1, 2, or 3). That's the number of points you have. Highest number of points wins the game, and, generally speaking, is the GM of the next game of Everyone is John.

Everyone is John © 2002 by Michael B. Sullivan. More roleplaying games at Sandor at the Zoo.
Sounds like a fun one shot.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2011, 04:22:50 PM »
I told you NOT to start his again ...  :fu

Or did I ...  :???
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Offline Dan2

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2011, 04:57:45 PM »
I really like this idea.  :clap
Not sure how it would play, but I'll probably give it a shot eventually.
Dan2

Offline veekie

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2011, 01:48:37 AM »
Well it makes a quick casual pickup game. Great for cons and stuff.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline Havok4

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2011, 10:44:52 PM »
That is probably the shortest roleplaying game I have ever seen. It also looks fun. Nice little game with a balance of shared and conflicting character goals.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 10:20:34 PM »
I am John 's smirking revenge. All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I make pancakes like you wanna make them, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not.

This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 05:01:19 AM by SorO_Lost »
Would you die if you jumped from my perceived ego to your IQ? - Is 15secs of confirmation bias a goal post worth arguing for? - Ever asked a "victim" what they did to deserve it? - Are the words teen, SJW, & liberal synonyms? - "Only Sith deals in absolutes" contains a misspelled word.

Offline JohnnyMayHymn

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2011, 08:38:49 AM »
Get out of my HEAD!  :shakefist   :birthday  :tantrum :sobbing :teach  :banghead
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Offline Revenant

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 04:37:49 AM »
I've DMed this at 3am during a gaming marathon. It was horrible and glorious and I'm definitely doing this again some time. Three people had some form of martial arts skills, but the last player had the shockingly effective "cooking with unusual ingredients" to compensate. Most notable obsessions were "playing with other people's toys" and "talking to a plant and getting an answer". The details are hazy (it was 3am) but the game featured a daring escape from a police van on a skippyball, guards being turned into salad, and a benny hill chase scene through a hospital ward.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2011, 03:38:41 PM »

Oh ... I was at the same game ; and I haven't posted in this thread before.
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Offline Nemo

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2011, 06:33:52 PM »
Looks really fun. Going to bribe my GM into playing this with us. :D

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 06:43:18 PM »
1) ... I drove out into the country side

2) ... I found myself to be milking a Cow

3) ... the Cow started Moo-ing and it was 3 hours later

4) ... which reminded me, I forgot to open my X-mas presents

5) ... Dude, Where's My Car ?!

6) ... the Farmer gave me some cheese

7) ... the Nice Lady helped me find my car
editor's note:  there was no nice lady

8) ... I have a brochure to go camping in the Yukon with Elk
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Offline Tr011

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012, 09:08:41 PM »
Sounds really fun. Anyone got some experience with that game?

Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 11:16:12 PM »
I think this would be a great game for people who have had no previous experience with roleplaying. You know... normal people.  :D
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2012, 01:56:44 PM »

Sounds really fun. Anyone got some experience with that game?


Yes ... yes I do.
 :twitch
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2012, 08:14:25 PM »
 :bs ... has anyone noticed that my kitty avatar
doesn't have any posts on the Garbage board ?
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Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2012, 12:41:19 PM »
I think this would be a great game for people who have had no previous experience with roleplaying. You know... normal people.  :D
OK, I am super-psyched! I'm going to a party  :birthday this weekend with a mix of gamers, and their non-gaming families, and I'm going to be GMing an "Everyone is John" game!!  :jumping

So... I'd like to solicit ideas for places and situations for "John" to wake up in. Since there will be a mix of kids and adults of ages ranging from ~4 to 40+, it needs to be things that as many can relate to as possible and also appropriate for polite company. Although I doubt the very young kids will be playing, they might be around.

I'm thinking we should probably start out somewhere relatively tame like a homeless shelter or bench in a subway, then we can go into more bizarre places like maybe strapped down in a hospital room scheduled for surgery (which he doesn't need), or buried alive.  Slipping in some scenes stolen from popular movies, like waking up dressed in an S&M bondage suit inside a locked chest while two hillbillies outside prepare to commit unspeakable crimes could be fun, too, as long as we can keep it at least PG or PG-13. After all, it's usually better to leave horrible things "off screen" and only hint at them and then let the imagination go wild.  :smirk
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 12:46:06 PM by phaedrusxy »
I don't pee messages into the snow often , but when I do , it's in Cyrillic with Fake Viagra.  Stay frosty my friends.

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2012, 02:55:22 PM »
I have a suggestion: Make the whole thing happen at a recognizable theme park (Disney World works well for this, due to scale).  You have maps and descriptions already, everybody gets a kick out of it (especially the adults who get to trash the place), most things are PG-13, and there's a whole lot of potential for hilarity.
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Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2012, 03:51:05 PM »
I have a suggestion: Make the whole thing happen at a recognizable theme park (Disney World works well for this, due to scale).  You have maps and descriptions already, everybody gets a kick out of it (especially the adults who get to trash the place), most things are PG-13, and there's a whole lot of potential for hilarity.
:lmao :clap Great idea!

So here are the different locations/scenarios I'm thinking of:

1) They wake up sleeping on a plane. They don't know where the plane is headed, or how they got onboard it. (It is headed to Clearwater, FL from an airport near the RL location of the game).

3) They wake up in a swamp in Florida. :D

4) They wake up in Disneyland. I'll have a map on hand, and a place picked out where they first wake up. After that, I'll probably play it by ear.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 04:51:24 PM by phaedrusxy »
I don't pee messages into the snow often , but when I do , it's in Cyrillic with Fake Viagra.  Stay frosty my friends.

Offline veekie

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2012, 03:21:24 PM »
What about say...waking up in the the White House or any bigass government organization, in the middle of a meeting.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Everyone is John
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2012, 03:28:55 PM »
What about say...waking up in the the White House or any bigass government organization, in the middle of a meeting.
Hilarious. That might be a really funny "end scene", after this guy goes around getting into all kinds of insane trouble, we have him wake up in the Oval Office, and then fade to black.  :lmao :clap
I don't pee messages into the snow often , but when I do , it's in Cyrillic with Fake Viagra.  Stay frosty my friends.