While doing research over the last few months, a few things have become very apparent about the Tabletop gaming genre.
1. Some people will never let go of D&D 2nd or 3.5 edition no matter what and refuse to try anything else.
2. Some people will always read rules in the way that benefits them the most no matter how little sense it makes.
3. Some people don’t understand the words, “in theory”.
4. Some people just take things too seriously.
I bring this up, because it just seems like some people manage to play tabletop games without ever realizing there’s other people at the table. Whether it’s people that literally are so wrapped up in roleplaying that they should just be writing a novel, or people that take the game part of roleplaying game so far that they should be playing a video game instead, some people just seem to forget that they need to get along with the other players. Now, it’s true that every gaming system caters more to one or the other (Pirates Versus Ninjas itself leans just ever so slightly in the direction of gamers), but that doesn’t mean a roleplayer can’t have fun in a gamer’s game without spoiling everyone else’s mood and vice versa.
Most importantly though. these groups seem to practically fracture communities in half. Matter of fact, it seems to resemble a problem I address in another work of mine, How to Play Brawl Like a Man. That’s right. It’s the old casual vs. hardcore gamer argument we’ve seen hundreds of times. The people and names are different, but the mannerisms are the same. Heck, there’s even our friend, the good old Stormwind Fallacy (which I personally think is a crock, but it proves my point on how much this is going around).
How to Play Brawl Like a Man is a series about uniting these two sides by taking their individual interests and combining them together to create a new paradigm. A paradigm of not taking things too seriously but looking at things you enjoy at a new outlook to maximize your fun. So, in that same spirit, I give you 3 rules to follow the third way in Pirates versus Ninjas.
1. Powergame for the Outrageous
One of my beta-tester’s favorite phrases about Pirates Versus Ninjas is “Teamwork is broken”. Ultimately, what he means is that the best way to be powerful in Pirates vs. Ninjas is not to focus on your own build, but rather your synergy with your party. There’s a reason the Kurosawa corollary exists, after all. Of course, most of these combos are ridiculous in practice and lead to some over the top silliness. This might be a problem if Pirates Versus Ninjas wasn’t the kind of system that rewarded that kind of behavior with awesome points. Furthermore, a little bit of powerful combos is a lot more fun when you can include the entire party in on it rather than building a character for yourself.
I don’t suggest breaking any GM’s game, but if you have to, make it silly, make it fun, and include others in on the shenanigans.
2. Epic is Better Than Smart
Anyone can think of tactical and reasonable ways to approach a scenario, but Pirates Versus Ninjas is about being over the top. When a challenge presents itself, it may be possible to solve the scenario with a simple answer like “use the back entrance”, but it’s so much more fun to crash the gates. A lot of people obsess over the fact that their characters should always make the “smart” decision. In Pirates Versus Ninjas, smart is boring. You have my permission as the creator of the game to try something stupid. If anyone calls you on it, just laugh when you get 3 awesome points from your GM and the plan works.
3. Keep Trying New Things
One set of tricks may work 90% of the time for your character, but where’s the fun in that. Try inventing new stunts, new catchphrases, and take new attacks for your character. It may not be the best build to have a LOT of individual attacks, but it can be fun. Set goals, use your attribute score to pull of new insane combos. Just don’t get into a rut. Pirates Versus Ninjas is at its best when everyone is busy trying to one up each other in the coolest thing they can do and then the whole thing climaxes when everyone works together.
So, there they are. Something to get you started thinking “Like a Man” (do not need to be a man to apply). Abuse the mechanics AND have fun. Get into the world and set outrageous goals. Watch my youtube videos if you want to find out more about “Manly Style”. It’s a funny series that I put a lot of effort into. Oh… And of course…
4. No Marth
Just No Marth.