Wednesday, April 8, 2020

How would you make a table top Animal Crossing?

Since I have discovered Animal Crossing (only eighteen years late to the party), I decided to see if anyone has made a tabletop RPG about Animal Crossing because of course I did.

The closest thing I’ve found is a one-page Lasers & Feeling hack. 

I swear that Lasers & Feelings is the most hacked system in existence. It doesn’t hurt that it is a one-page, super light system. The original game, inspired by a Doubleclick song, is themed around the original Star Trek with the serial numbers filed off and built around the dichotomy of logic and emotion. I think it’s work well because that’s a conflict that lends itself to Star Trek and, while there is no actual setting, you can just use Star Trek wholesale.

In the Animal Crossing hack, the two ends of the spectrum are Fashion (social) and Animal (physical) The biggest difference mechanical difference is that if you hit the target number exactly, you get a bennie. In the original Lasers & Feelings, the GM gives you more information and you can change your action.

I am glad that David White created this hack and it’s clearly a work of love. But, for me, it doesn’t feel like Animal Crossing. It’s designed around mission-based stories. Which works great for Star Trek but doesn’t jibe with my concept of Animal Crossing, which is infrastructure development. The Lasers & Feelings system is built around conflict and I feel like Animal Crossing would work better as collaborative.

The game that I think would really lend itself to an Animal Crossing hack is the Quiet Year. That’s a game where you collaborate to create the map of a community over the course of a year. No one has their own characters. You jointly own everything. Obviously, an Animal Crossing hack would be more upbeat than the story of a post-apocalyptic community in the year before things get really bad.

Animal Crossing tells a different kind of story than a lot of RPGs (but not board games) It’s interesting to consider how to translate it to the tabletop.

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