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The Jon Morris Sketchbuk Roleplaying Game By Zak Arntson Frikkin Genius

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Welcome to the Sketchbuk!
Jon Morris is a simple man, devoting his time to a loving wife, his chicken coop and the most extensive online sketchbook ever conceived. This sketchbook is so huge, in fact, that I decided it would make a great backdrop for a game. But not any game. Friends, welcome to the Jon Morris Sketchbük Roleplaying Game!

In his own words,

Hmm ... I'd better let the game speak for itself.

what yoü need
To play the Jon Morris Sketchbük Roleplaying Game you need:
  • Some ten-sided dice, preferably all alike.
  • A ten-sided die that looks different from the rest; an outcast; a loner.
    This is the Special Die.
  • An Internet connection and, incidentally, a computer.
  • A printer and, incidentally, some printer paper.

character sheets
Every Player must pick a random sketch by pressing this candylike button:

If you don't like the sketch that shows up it's too bad. Make everyone else's life suck for the rest of the game and try and get invited back next week.

Print this page up. You may want to turn off color printing, as these pages are mostly all black and white. Besides, you'll save gallons of ink. This is your Character Sheet. And that freakshow on the page? That's your Character. If there is more than one person, animal or robot in the sketch, pick your favorite. If it doesn't have a name, you may get sick of hearing, "Hey space-monkey-thing with all the freaking tentacles!" So give it a name. Please.

Scarecrow favorite words
Read the text. If you're lucky it will be funny, interesting or about the zany antics of strippers. If you're really lucky it might be two of those things.

Now circle ten of your favorite words. Note that your favorite words had better not include the, is or Jon. You will be counting these words a lot so I'd recommend numbering them from one to ten.

turn ons
Look at the Character to your right. Not the Player, but the Character. Your Character likes something about her. Maybe she's friendly, or you dig Kirby-style duds. Write this down on your Character Sheet.

turn offs
Now take a peek at the Character on your left and write down something your Character hates about him. Does he smell funny? Does his name rhymes with "populous"? Maybe you hate monkeys. Again, write it down on your Sheet.

what for?
During play, whether your own Character's beliefs are correct or not, you must stick to them. If you've decided that Grodd has a crush on you, you cannot be dissuaded. Even when Grodd's scary tentacles try to pulll your arms off ("The big lug! Whatta sweetie!").

gm's türn
As Gamemaster, you get to cause a bit of tension. With the Turn Ons and Turn Offs everyone's got, you shouldn't have much trouble. Simply press the Sketch-o-Matic button, print out the page and use it for inspiration. What is it? A maniacal robot bent on destroying the movie theater? A Superfriend with amnesia lost in the Peruvian jungle? In any case, this paper is also called a Character Sheet. A peppermint-flavored Sketch-o-Matic button is provided to ease your scrolling muscles.

By now, everyone should have a Character Sheet. You should draw ten circles somewhere on your Sheet. If you fancy yourself some kind of artiste, these could be little balloons or Tom Servo heads. Just remember you'll be crossing them out a lot, so you may want to draw them in pen and cross them out with a a pencil. In any case these are your Oomph. Not Oomph Score, not Oomph Points, just Oomph.

Character Sheet Example

Lo-ahd indeed! After a quick thumb war to figure who goes first, it's now my turn to print up a Character Sheet. Whacking the Sketch-o-Matic button gets me Lo-ahd. I decide to play the woman rather than the gargoyle or martini. I scribble "Lucy Lo-ahd" at the top of my Sheet and circle ten words: wife, quick, little, buddy, boy, feedback, folks, tiny, previous, appreciated.

Looking over to my right I see that someone's playing Witchy Woman. I write down, "Lucy wishes she could shop for hats as well as Miss Thang."

Taking a gander to my left I see Riddler in all his uppity glory. This is easy: "What's up with that freakshow beard? Seriously."

Now I get out a permanent marker and doodle ten circles shaped like fat, round gargoyles. Oomph gargoyles, in case you weren't paying attention.

And I'm done!

Let's Play!
most of the game
You will find that between your Characters' alternating love and hatred, and the Gamemaster's interpretive dementia you won't have to look too hard for trouble. While most roleplaying games have some sort of detailed setting or angst-ridden premise, the Jon Morris Sketchbuk Roleplaying Game is all about ...
Jon Morris, What Were You Thinking!?
... it's all about something, anyway.

rolling some dice
Fire-breathing Penguins Whenever a conflict occurs and the outcome isn't painfully obvious you'll be rolling some dice. What is meant by obvious? A team of penguins facing off against some luchadors will probably lose. Unless they're super penguins. Or giant penguins. Do they breathe fire?

In any case, if you started trouble (Player and Gamemaster alike) roll the Special Die to succeed. And if no one speaks up, you automatically succeed! Skip on down to I'm a Winner below.

If someone takes issue with your actions, he'd better say so! The challenger grabs the Special Die, puts another regular die in his hand, and rolls 'em. If he rolls doubles, he loses! You laugh all the way to I'm a Winner and shove his face in Crap! Crap! Crap! If he doesn't roll doubles, he wins and you lose unless somebody speaks up.

Lucha Libre! If you object, grab the dice that were rolled, add another regular die and roll 'em. Same rules apply. You roll doubles, you lose. No doubles means you win! That is, unless someone wants to jump in, grab the dice, add another one and roll. Keep it up until no one challenges the winner or somebody rolls doubles.

In a nutshell: When someone tries a controversial action, they get to roll the Special Die. Anyone challenging this must add a regular die and reroll. You succeed unless you roll doubles, or someone else challenges you.

i'm a winner
If you win you should gracefully allow the loser to check off their Oomph (see Crap! Crap! Crap! below) before shouting victory. Now, see what you rolled on the Special Die? Find the corresponding word on your Character Sheet. Use it while you scream your glorious acheivement. You must use this word in some way to succeed!!!

Thunder Lady Here's a handy chart for idiots and hardcore Rolemaster fans:

1 - 1st Word, or Plasma A Critical
2 - 2nd Word, or Radiation C Critical
3 - 3rd Word, or Slash E Critical
4 - 4th Word, or Fire A Critical
5 - 5th Word, or Puncture D Critical
6 - 6th Word, or Tiny B Critical
7 - 7th Word, or Void C Critical
8 - 8th Word, or Shock D Critical
9 - 9th Word, or Impact E Critical
0 - 10th Word, or Internal Disruption B Critical

crap! crap! crap!
You are a loser. Not only do you fail miserably, you count all the matching dice you rolled. If you roll 1, 4, 4, 4, 7 that counts as three matches. You roll 1, 2, 2, 6, 7, 7, that's four matches (a pair of 2's and a pair of 7's). Cross off as much Oomph as you have matching dice.

Once you've crossed off your last untouched Oomph, you suffer from a ...

Getting ¡¡Space Punched!! involves all the pain and suffering its moniker implies. You also also suffer mental and physical anguish for a few minutes of real time (that is, time on a Player's watch or the spooky grandfather clock at the bottom of your grandmama's stairs). The amount of time is up to the Gamemaster. I'd recommend five minutes to keep despair at bay.

During this time, whenever another Player wants to make your life a living hell she says the word. Any word, really, and you fail at whatever you try to do. Even the Gamemaster can be ¡¡Space Punched!! and suffers just as bad as the Players.

Swinging a hammer? It flies from your grasp and gives your secret crush a black eye.

Jumping a puddle? You trip and the puddle's twenty feet deep.

Eating a cracker? A manic chupacabra sets itself on fire and leaps into your mouth. And you bite your tongue.

You get the idea. Once the time is up you get all your Oomph back. Redraw your ten circles or erase your hashmarks and begin plotting your revenge ...


she's got a knife!
While Lucy waves the electric carving knife she exclaims, "Riddler!! That goatee has GOT to go!" I grab the Special Die and roll a 5.

Riddler's Player objects, keeping Lucy from finishing the cut. "Jesus, Lucy! I thought you loved my fashionable demeanor!" shouts Riddler while ducking out of the way. Riddler's Player grabs the Special Die, adds another die and rolls a 2 and 7.

This can't be! "Hold still, will yah!" I grab the two dice and add another, hoping I won't roll doubles. I roll a 1, 5 and 6. Phew!

Worried about losing Oomph, Riddler's player concedes. I laugh maniacally, do a little dance, and check out my Special Die. It was the 6, which is my sixth favorite word or a Tiny B Critical. I choose my sixth favorite word: Feedback. Hopefully the carving knife will distract everyone from my lame improvisation ...

"Feedback's a bitch, Mr. Riddle-me-this! Bzzzzzzzz!!!"

devil woman
Witchy Woman leaps into the back of the VW van where Lucy Lo-ahd is playing pinochle with Steve the Luchador. "Lucy, you stupid drunk!! Where's my hat!?" Scuffling ensues as Witchy Woman tries to wrestle Lucy's attention away from pinochle. Witchy Woman's Player snatches up the Special Die and rolls a 3.

I don't want Lucy to be distracted, so I grab the die, add another and roll a 5 and 4. "Your move, Steve."

Witchy Woman is infuriated; her Player adds another die and rolls a 2, 5 and 8. "I'm giving you to the count of five, Lucy!"

I take a gamble and try to ignore Witchy Woman by adding a die and rolling a 3, 3, 3 and 8. Yikes! I've rolled doubles! In fact, I've rolled three matching dice! I cross off three Oomph and wipe away a tear.

Dancing a triumphant boogaloo, Witchy Woman's player sees a 3 on the Special Die. Her third favorite word is fool.

" ... four ... FIVE!! I pity the fool that don't look at me!! NOW WHERE IS MY HAT!?"

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