Sunday, 17 August 2014

RPG a Day, Day 17 - Funniest Game I’ve ever played – Hol - Images possibly NSFW


When it comes to games being funny, it’s rarely the setting that makes the game funny, but the scenarios that are played with the game.  Certainly some settings lend themselves to comedy, Paranoia, Toon, TMNT and others too numerous to mention.  However, it is one thing for a game to set itself to comedy, it is another entirely to be unable to play the game in a serious fashion at all.

Enter HOL, Stage left...


Hol, Human Occupied Landfill, one of the first books from the Black Dog imprint of White Wolf, a game that was written with complete irreverence for the hobby and in such a manner that to take it seriously would only be to poke fun at yourself.  The amusing thing of this game is that it was one of the first that wrote and then promoted the idea that the rules were an irrelevancy in and of themselves, something that in years to come would be viewed not as a joke, but as the truth of real roleplaying. The game wrote of a world where impossible things took place, some of which are listed below, and the world in which they take place is one that could only be seen as a dark joke.  The adventure section of the book is called “Shocking Sex stories of the Animal Kingdom”...
  

You’re getting the point here, right?

Amazingly enough, not only did HOL do well, it positively thrived, leading to a follow up book called Buttery Wholesomeness and a whole bunch of people who bought it just to smile at what they’d come up with next. 


The question here thought is why was it the funniest game I’ve ever played.

Well, we went through character generation twice, couldn’t latch on to anything vaguely resembling sensible, so took this advice

and just played for a while using the Pregens provided in the book, the scenario that was concocted was one wherein the Silver Surfer of that universe teamed up with the man with no name, Elvis, and Frank the Were Guy to go off and battle a church load of irretrievable b’stards.


And I do mean a church load of irretrievable b’stards...

There are some things of the scenario that I can reveal, there are some that better council has advised that I do not, so we started up  at the top of the universe chasing a space bus full of orthodox priests down a black hole because of the crime of .... that they had just committed, the nuns who .... had taken up with a party of .... children who .... .... .... and then found that .... couldn’t be done because .... was too cold and .... doesn’t work if you’re over the age of ten.  In the end, we .... the pope and Elvis was found .... because .... doesn’t .... and there’s a clear understanding that .... shouldn’t ever be tried in decent company.


You get the idea...

The problem inherent is that there was no way we could progress this, and even with the unique manner in which the game was presented, there was nothing we could do to make this a campaign, so we played it as I suspect the creators had thought of it, as a one off that occasionally breaks the monotony of regular gmes.

To this day though, it remains as an example of what gamers might do if the world didn’t tell them they shouldn’t.  I suspect it couldn’t be made in todays day and age, too many people would be offended when I don’t think that was the intention of the creators at all.



Either way, it does remain the funniest game I’ve ever played, if only for the parts where I was reading through the book to find out what else they could possibly poke fun at, I don’t think the world will see it’s like again, and on the one hand I do understand why, but maybe if everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing rather than what they thought they should be doing, everything would be better...

Maybe not...

Be good to find out though...

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