What if all of your favorite fantasy movies were remade with Muppets? Arm your felt with broadswords, holy symbols, magic wands, and a ten-foot pole. One does not simply wokka wokka into Mordor.
The Hopalong Kid, played by Kermit, leads the band of rebels known as the Muppy Men. He is joined by Cap’n Swagger and some of his pirate crew, and by Lady Prosciutta and her bodyguard Sir Paragon.
What Is This?
Games like this have been a hobby of mine for decades, and I enjoy mixing up genres (like Muppets + fantasy, or cereal mascots + pulp, or squids + lasers, and such).
If you’d like to play a game of Muppet fantasy yourself, you’ll need the Champions Complete book (or ebook), some handfuls of dice, some players (up to 15), and about four hours.
It’s time to roll the dice now
It’s time for sleight of hand
It’s time to save the kingdom
on the Meeping Borderland
It’s time to grab your weapon
and forcefully expand
It’s time to raise the banner
on the Meeping Borderland
And now let’s get things started
On the most fantastical
This is what we call the Muppet game!
- Kermit: The Hopalong Kid leads the Muppy Men, a group of rebels living in the forest. He believes that all muppets should be free, and fights (politely) against the oppressive monarchy.
- Fozzie: Friar Schmuck was climbing his way up the slapstick ladder to his dream job of becoming a professional jester, when he felt god tapping him on the shoulder. He entered ministry, and felt gratified at his new calling, although a life of comedy still frequents his thoughts.
- Scooter: Tenderfoot is striving to achieve every merit badge he can. To that end, he’s gaining valuable outdoor experience by serving under Hopalong as his chief reconnaissance agent and gofer.
- Sweetums: Fuzz Polearm fell on hard times, and took to marauding travelers on the bridge near his home. When Hopalong defeated him in open combat, he swore loyalty to the only amphibian to ever best him in battle.
- Swedish Chef: Meatball used to act as bodyguard and cook to the king, but was fired for an entrée mishap. Disgraced, he fled the palace and joined up with the Muppy Men. He’s happy to be appreciated for his skills, even though they all speak mit der foony eccent.
- Dr. Teeth: Bedlam had lost his way, musically. It all started to sound stale. His muse had left him. Then he heard tell of a band of rebels fighting the good fight against oppression, and sought to join their ranks. Now that he has a new cause in his life, his lifeblood music flows freely once more.
- Animal: Savage was abandoned in the wilds, and raised by a friendly family of Tasmanian devils. Bedlam “adopted” him onto his travels, when finally they met up with Hopalong and the Muppy Men. Together, they try to teach Savage how to live in civil society. The tough part now is finding a society that actually is civil.
- Rowlf: Allegro is a part of nature, and nature is a part of him. He welcomes other nature-loving folk, and made fast friends with Hopalong and his ever-growing band of Muppy Men.
- Dr. Bunsen Honeydew: Prodigy was chief alchemist to the palace, until his lab exploded, for which he was blamed. Fearing for his life, he grabbed what gear he could, and fled. Becoming lost in the woods, he smelled the campfire smoke of the Muppy Men, and offered his services in exchange for food and shelter. It’s not the strongest alliance, but it’s worked so far.
- Beaker: Jinxalot was born under a curse. His parents took him to witches, doctors, witch doctors, and many other specialists who probed and prodded him relentlessly. Although the curse wasn’t fully lifted, its effects were mitigated through magical and alchemical means, but with a few side effects such as his unintelligible speech. Despite that, Jinxalot showed an affinity for the dark arts, and has studies to become a wizard himself, searching for a cure to his affliction. His search brought him to Allegro, who is trying some natural herbal cures.
- Miss Piggy: Lady Prosciutta Honeybake is eleventh in line to be queen, and loves being referred to as Princess. She uses her natural talent for the magical arts to aid her courtly doings. When Hopalong saved her carriage from bandits, she fell madly in love.
- Sam: Sir Paragon believes fervently in truth, justice, and the patriotic way. He devotes himself to his country’s and his god’s service and defense. Upon receiving his knighthood, he was assigned as the personal guard for Lady Prosciutta. He doesn’t approve of her romantic choices, and finds himself at odds with his duty to his nation and his station. He helps Hopalong’s group uneasily, as long as they don’t directly act against the realm.
- Gonzo the Great: Cap’n Swagger is a notorious pirate who used to raid the king’s longships for stores of root beer. When he attacked a poultry ship, he was appalled by the condition of the chicken slaves, and forged an uneasy alliance with Hopalong’s forest men.
- Lew Zealand: Ahab Santiago Cousteau doesn’t usually realize that not everyone is as fascinated by fish as he is. While deep sea fishing, he was pressed into military service by the king’s navy until he was “rescued” by pirates. He came to love the pirate lifestyle and his fellow seafarers and, like Cap’n Swagger, was revolted when he learned that the royal navy bred fish in tanks to feed to livestock.
- Crazy Harry: Pompeii was a “made man” – a member of the Muppia organized crime family. Barely surviving an attack on his family, the explosion may have rattled his brains a little more than he realizes. He has gone mercenary, and chosen to use explosives as his weapon of choice, to honor his family. He booked passage on Cap’n Swagger’s pirate ship, believes the Muppy Men can help him find his family’s enemies.
Some highlights from times that I’ve run this:
- As we were about to sing the theme song, Sam the Eagle’s player got all the other players to “rise for the national anthem.”
- Fozzie had to get the gate sentries (Statler and Waldorf) to laugh in order to enter the castle, but couldn’t come up with a second joke that would get them to laugh, so Animal kicked his legs out from under him, which worked.
- The Swedish Chef got Sweetums to throw him at the airborne Big Bird, and not only was able to grab hold, but succeeded at multiple Riding checks to stay on his back, hacking away with cleavers as his rode the yellow beast through the air.
- Cap’n Swagger disguised himself as a giant fish, convinced that Ahab could then fling him.
- To defeat Count von Count, the counting vampire, Pompeii put some dynamite into Friar Schmuck’s holy rubber chicken, when the Hopalong Kid fired as an arrow.
Cap’n Swagger’s pirate crew is bringing a shipment of root beer from the Barq islands to his pal Hopalong. Hopalong wants to invite Lady Prosciutta to the party, but has to sneak into the castle because he’s a wanted frog. While there, someone is kidnapped by the flying fuzzy flumphs Klaatu and Barada. Kermit and Piggy they rejoin at the hideout camp to launch a rescue.
Along the way, the team encounters Salsa and Marina, who throw tomatoes with deadly accuracy unless the team agrees to pay a toll to cross their bridge. Once across, Papa Pigba is communing with Luau in service of his evil masters. During battle, Hellmo will spring from his firepit. Shortly (ha!) before or after this, Scampi‘s kobolds will take potshots with tranquilizer blowguns, anticipating an easy meal.
The heroes finally see the haunted ruins across the slime swamp. If they cross through the swamp, they’re attacked by its unnatural guardian Swampalupagus who slowly fades in an out of sight and tangibility. Inside the ruins, they are “greeted” by Crumbles the raging barbarian and his bloodthirsty companion Squawk, who swoops in and out with his deadly talons.
The true threats are the alien flumphs who can lay down the mental whammy with their Yip-Yips, Dr. Jif who can summon and control peanut butter (creamy and crunchy), and the true mastermind Countsferatu.
You can get a copy of the character sheets here.
Villains (front, L to R): Papa Pigba the shaman, Hellmo the imp, Scampi and his the kobold tribe, Salsa and Marinara the archers
Villains (middle): Dr. Jif the peanut butter sorceror supreme, Countsferatu the vampire, Crumbles the barbarian, Squawk the gladiator
Villains (back): Klaatu and Barada the flumphs, Luau the fire spirit, Triclops the ettin giant, and Swampalupagus the abberation