Halloweek RPG Talk: I Want Candy

Being a collection of gaming ideas based on vintage candy wrappers.
You're about to go out into that good night, trawling for treats and trolling for tricks, and if you don't have candy on the brain, maybe you're doing it wrong. But if you think getting an apple (sans razor blades) is lame Halloween loot, then you'll want to look at some of the candy made before marketing made sense. Some of these are so strange, they might as well have been produced in an alternate universe where sweets make children sad. Alternate universes? Can we game there? Here are some tabletop RPG ideas for vintage candy.
Jack Rabbit Candy. Between the dour slogan (top) and the fact it's available in canned form (above), we're deep in Watership Down's dystopian Orwellian future. 1984 meets Animal Farm? Big Br'er only wants to feed you candy so you can 1) support his regime and 2) get fat so the predators can eat you. Not that anyone is being eaten, you understand. They just move up the fabled Food Chain to better candy availability. You play the herbivorous rebels in this Bunnies & Burrows / Paranoia mash-up.
Rain. Another bleak candy, apparently predicting a second Great Flood, but what if candy DID suddenly rain from heaven? Your X-Files/Torchwood types investigate the strange weather's connection to Moses' mana, and the candy cult that's sprung up in America's Heartland. Who needs crops when God/aliens/an other-dimensional Candyland is raining the good stuff on our heads. Until Sweetum's comes in with its trucks and mercenary team, of course...
Atomic Fire Ball. The only candy that nukes your mouth. Your cyberpunk game will never be the same after Ferrara comes out with this beauty with the hot cherry taste and raw nuclear energy that unlocks your implants greatest potential. And you thought that gang of 'roid-raging street samurai were already dangerous.
Chicken Dinner. It's not vintage, it's far future! Your PCs live in a time where all the food comes in bars and tablets. You know, on account of all the animals and plants being dead. But in a scenario we should really call "Winner, winner, chicken dinner", your characters are put on the trail of thieves who just pulled off the heist of the millennium - stolen the last chicken from which the popular food bar is being cloned.
Votes. For Dogs. WTH. Okay. Remember that Jack Rabbit Candy adventure? Your rebels successfully depose its rabbit overlord and calls for free and democratic elections. But what happens when the meat-eating, formerly secret masters run for office? Can we insure everyone's safety with a plentiful supply of meat substitutes? Or are we headed for a civil war/buffet? The adventure continues!

And now some shorter adventure seeds:
Old Nick. The Devil's own candy.
Kilzo. Suicide has gone mainstream, and only your characters seem to realize the population is about to sweeten itself out of existence!
Wrigley's. Urban fantasy can be weird, but no one expected gum elves to come riding in.
Wonka Bar. Everything you know about the Chocolate Factory is REAL. Did you get a golden ticket?

Now go out, have fun, be safe, and brush your teeth!


Erich said...

I'm pretty sure that "Life is bleak, eat candy" image is a bit of modern-day photoshop. I googled Jack Rabbit Candy Company, and every image of the actual products (antique tins on eBay, vintage ads, etc.) have the "I stand for quality" motto on the rabbit's image. Of course, considering his body language, he's probably THINKING the "Life is bleak" slogan...

Siskoid said...

It's funnier to think it's real. :)

Jonathan Linneman said...

Great post; thanks!

Craig Oxbrow said...

I've seen a Wonka sequel RPG hook about the rejected kids coming back for revenge, using their stretching, TV-teleportation and... being purple... powers to attack the factor.

Siskoid said...

I'm all for that kind of supers campaign.


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