Episode 3 – Tales From the Floating Vagabond

Arithon Kinkaid

This time around, we review Tales from the Floating Vagabond, from Avalon Hill.  It’s a comedic sci-fi roleplaying game set the exact center of a cartoon universe.  Shticks, poorly named skills, boring alien races, and space NAZIs abound!  With such zany highlights as [a cat meows] and [I think one of us farts], we delve into finding out if this classic is worth the paper it’s printed on, and it is printed on surprisingly cheap paper.

8 responses to “Episode 3 – Tales From the Floating Vagabond

  1. You guys have the 2nd printing, which had the worst typo in game history in it, and I have spent 20 freaking years telling people about it. Oops! Points was supposed to be Strength + Luck + 2d6.

  2. This is a good game that suffered from a board game companies half hearted attempt to back an rpg. If you don’t appreciate comedy games in general you wi ‘ll miss the main intent of the game. It’s a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy meets Spaceballs with sprinkling of Ice Pirates for good measure. It’s also highly playable (provided you play the first edition with out the serious character creation flaws). We’ve played it between other more strenuous systems for about 15 years. If you have a witty group of people who are willing laugh at themselves it can be a blast. If you worry about a bastard sword having to be -3 damage points less than a two handed sword.because it’s slightly smaller you will miss the point.

    • I think we actually say “If you’re playing this game to win, you’re missing the point” verbatim in there somewhere. So yeah, we are more or less in agreement with this post.

  3. One of the points i figured out about the skills; the list given (and their wacky names) isn’t exhaustive. If you wanted to add a skill like “Toaster Repair” i think the game not only easily allows that, but also encourages it. And if you can figure out a way to get that skill to be effective in the game… well, i am confident it would result in a memorable moment. If you make a character who uses a weed-wacker as a primary weapon, you can use the name of the weapon in place of “Swing long nasty pointy thing” and it works… heck just rename it “Combat Trimming”. The whole point of the game is to create a silly character with silly abilities and laugh as you play. But i agree… I am not sure it could be a campaign oriented game. Maybe episodic one-shots meant to act like a palate-cleansers between campaigns.

  4. As the prior commenter noted, episodic one-shots works. You can get some mileage out of it if you always play it as “old friends getting back together”–the same characters every year at a con, or the same group of players every few months when they can find time, etc. Assume they’ve spent the intervening period drinking at the bar, and are finally ready to stumble outside and do something fun for a few minutes … it’s workable.

  5. Alright, this bugs me enough to comment on a four year old podcast in the middle of the night. What you’re calling “Actively Adversarial” is not; the DM is not your adversary in those systems. If they were your adversary, they would say, “Alright, everyone dies, I win.” They’re supposed to build something that has a good chance of killing or maiming your characters to challenge you and rule how that works as impartially as they can. AD&D, Hackmaster, and games in that vein aren’t about character builds (unless you consider “I picked a class” a build), they’re about making good decisions.

  6. My schtick is called Running Gag, as long as I’m running, a character of my choice can’t open their mouth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s