Jonny Nexus

Writing, life, politics

Date: September 7, 2010

James Wallis’s Cop Show… Doing Star Trek

I had an email from John this morning, filling me in on something that came up at last week’s meeting (which I missed due to be at the Discworld convention). They were talking about James Wallis’s (@jameswallis) unpublished game Cop Show, which he was kind enough to let me try out on the guys three years back. I wrote that up on my then blog:

Next Monday’s Game | Cop Show: Character Creation | From Last Night’s Roleplaying… | A Note On My Previous Entry | BlockBuster: Episode II (“The Norfolk Spaceman”)

One of the coolest aspects of Cop Show is the method of character creation, which is designed to create the classic miss-matched pairs of cops you see in film and TV. Each player takes it in turn to say something that their character is good or cool at; the person to their left is then bad/uncool at that. So it might go something like:

Player One: I’m really good at driving cars.

Player Two: Okay, I can’t drive. But I’m good with guns.

Player Three: Right. So I can’t shoot for shit. But I’m good at charming people.

You go round the circle three times, at the end of which each character has three positive aspects and three negative aspects. Of course, with most roleplayers it typically goes like:

Player One: I’m an incredibly fluent and charismatic speaker who can speak dozens of languages!

Player Two: Oh great, what am I supposed to be then, mute? Well maybe I’ve got absolutely incredible eyesight!

Player Three: Thanks. I always wanted to play a blind guy. Oh well, maybe I’ve got incredible hearing in return.

Player One: So I’m deaf?

I seem to recall that in the rules, James comes up with a couple of brilliant jokes along the lines of Ironside clearly having been screwed during character creation and Randall and Hopkirk, Deceased being an example of what happens when one player picks “I’m alive!” as an aspect.

Anyhow, it apparently occurred to John and the guys that the makeup of the character’s in the Original Series Star Trek could be easily explained had this sort of character creation been followed. I thought it was so good I asked John if he’d mind me putting it up on the blog, and he very kindly said yes.

Apparently, he had consumed quite a few squares of Green & Black’s Expresso chocolate when this idea was conceived…

The Captain: [smarmy smile] I’m the Captain. I’m charming, friendly and get on well with everyone I meet, especially the ladies (wink, wink).

The Scientist: [groans as he realises the other player has just shafted him] So I’m not charming, not friendly and don’t get on well with people, especially not with the ladies. But I’m a great scientist, sober, precise and know what I’m talking about.

The Engineer: So I’m never sober, my estimates are way off, and I don’t know I’m talking about. But that’s okay, I’m not a scientist, I’m an engineer. I can fix the engines and build things.

The Doctor: [In character already] Damn it, I’m a doctor not a brick-layer. But remember that what I do keeps the crew alive.

The Captain: Erm.. Does that mean that what I do results in a lot of the crew dying?

The GM weeps.

Last Night’s Game…

The funniest thing last night in our Spirit of the Century game actually related to me remembering an event from the previous session (which was two weeks ago).

Now you have to remember that I’m playing a bloke whose brain has been transplanted into the body of a gorilla. We’re at a ski lodge in the Alps, and everyone there thinks I’m just a pet gorilla of one of the other party members (my NPC friend Georgina). So I’m supposed to be keeping my mouth firmly shut.

The previous week we’d found a body in one of the guest rooms. In the corridor outside had been the young hotel porter who’d let us into the room. I said that I was going to go outside and get him to come in and take a look, so he could see that the room’s guest was dead (I didn’t want us to get the blame).

I didn’t specify how exactly I was going to get him to come in. Fast forward to last night…

Me: [during discussion on event] No, they know that the bloke’s dead because I went and got the hotel boy to come in and have a look.

Someone else: You did what?

Me: Ah. Hang on a minute. Yeah. I didn’t actually say that I was speaking… but I didn’t say that I wasn’t did I? Oh well, it doesn’t matter. He’s just a boy and he’d seen something traumatic so if he tries to tell people that I can talk and they come to me and ask me about it, it’s fine…

[crosses arms, smiles triumphantly]

I’ll just deny everything and say he must have been confused! No, wait…

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