Welcome to IT CAME FROM THE LATE, LATE, LATE SHOW – the game of bad movies. In this game your characters are actors making a movie – and actors never die, they just get new roles in the next film. Impressive stunts, heroic last stands, and dramatic speeches will all increase your fame – which is your real goal. Go ahead! Overact, stereotype yourself, follow the genre conventions, and act appropriately stupid before you die heroically! As long as you stay in character, there’s nothing like a great death scene to help your career along.
Today’s Epic Adventure is…
Attack of the Jade Dragon Ninja III;
Vengeance From Beyond The Grave
Can the few surviving samurai of Lord Shingen and their motley collection of followers rescue the beautiful Precious Jewel Lotus from the evil Jade Dragon Ninja or will this movie have a crummy ending ? Not even the Director knows for sure ! Can you make the difference ?
I’ve mentioned It Came From the Late Late Late Show a couple of times now – and, in looking around the net, I find that it’s long out of print and the publisher has vanished.
That’s really too bad. It was a good game built around a simple idea: the characters were actors making B-grade movies. You played it a lot like any other game – but you could die dramatically and your character simply went on to another role in the next movie / game session. You could be coached the skills you’d need for a role, provided with props, and even be given special effects. The more famous you were, the harder you were to “kill” (why hire a big talent and not use them?). You could even demand concessions from the director when the situation was simply impossible. Four samurai against two hundred ninja? Stomp off the set and demand that the director rewrite the scene and get rid of most of them. No escape? Burn some Fame and pick up the action a little later with everyone safe thanks to some silly excuse. About to perish in battle? Call for your stunt double. Want to gain fame faster? Stick to the genre conventions for your film and act appropriately stupid.
It let you keep the same basic character but switch roles, abilities, background, and motivation from session to session.
Put all that time you spend on TvTropes to use. Go ahead. Trot out every bad cliche, stupid monster, and stereotyped supporting cast member that you can think of. Mercilessly mangle that great piece of literature. Have that showdown at high noon. You know you want to.
From the depths of the old files, here are the two summary sheets I used to hand out when I was running the game at conventions (go ahead, right-click on them so you can read them at full size). The first is a character sheet and a brief summary of the conventions of the system. The second was the prop and role sheet for a movie. Honestly, given a good game master, that should be enough inspiration to run a Late Late Show game with pretty much any rules set that comes to hand. Remember; it’s only a movie.
How did you distribute the roles? It was usually best to hand them out at random and let people trade around if they didn’t like what they got. It wasn’t like who got any given role was exactly critical; they’d be getting new ones next week.