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A Preview from Beneath the Sea! - The Art of the Quip

Posted by James Bell (Collaborator)

Greetings, non-moist surface-dwellers,

It is I, James of the Gill-kin, to share another preview of our encounter testing "game" with you. Rally your friends and acquaintances, for a Stretch Goal target looms near...

At $27,000 in funding - A NEW SCENARIO - More adventure to be had with a new scenario PDF, added on to the rewards list for all backers receiving the They Came from Beneath the Sea! rulebook PDF.

At $28,000 in funding! - EXTRA AMPHIBIOUS ANTAGONISTS - A fistful of new threats and antagonists will be created and released as a Threat File! PDF, added on to the rewards list for all backers receiving the They Came from Beneath the Sea! rulebook PDF.

And these extra threat releases will be needed, to hold the genius that will surely be witnessed from those backers who choose the SFX Supervisor reward tier!

But, perhaps the true example of your cleverness will be demonstrated when you use clever quips in a game of They Came from Beneath the Sea!

The Art of the Quip

There is no handier weapon at the monster or alien fighter’s disposal than the Quip. Also a gun. And a ray, some kind of ray. Plus speed, agility. Hiding is good, if you hide from something, so you can organize later, maybe regroup. Punching, also handy.  

But Quips, they are something special, because all they take is some presence, some wit, some wherewithal, and a little bit of imagination. And, before a wave of slime can engulf, before a razor-toothed mouth snaps, or a clutch of allies panic, those words are out of your mouth and no one or no thing can ever put them back. It’s often believed a Quip turned the tide for the Scots at Stirling Bridge, though its actual words are lost to history.

Quip Mechanics  There are six decks of Quips in They Came from Beneath the Sea!, from which you will be drawing your character’s pithy one-liners. If you don’t own the official decks, that’s fine. Appendix One (p. XX) lists each deck’s contents so you can create your own. 

Vows, Defiance, and Tough Talk
These are the Quips that express your steadfastness, dedication, or resolve. They can boost those around you, but they can also boost you. Often, it’s a show of grim determination, a pledge of alliance, or a vow to not give in to fear. These are the Quips we all need from time to time.  

Quip Your Griping
Quips aren’t always about cocky bravado or quick cleverness. They can also express displeasure, a bit of wiseass attitude, often jaded, towards how things are progressing, perhaps even as a criticism of their fellows. This is especially true of hardened veterans who are just not happy with things, the newbie who’s been thrown into more than they bargained for, or the hotshot who wants some action, pronto. These can be sneered, bitten off, and spit out or dropped like that sour note no one wants to hear. Sarcasm often works nicely here.

And Before You Pull That Switch
There will come a time in fighting thaumocs that you are just about to deliver something of consequence. It might be as small as a single punch that carries symbolic weight. Or perhaps an attack that could have great impact, an escape that could turn things around, sometimes a jump from a high place. Often times it means throwing a switch, pushing a button, or pulling a lever that could have devastating effect.  

It is practically a prewritten rule that this be punctuated by something pithy and punchy, usually just beforehand. This Quip carries perhaps less weight than the others. It’s just so satisfying…

Please Enjoy This Great Portent  
Nothing freezes a room full of brass or lab coats like an ominous ton of bricks plopped in their midst by a mere twist of tongue. It reverberates in the air like aftershock, earning the respect and admiration of any doubters, but also as a wakeup call, a rally to go and kick some alien ass. 

No matter what your role in the battle against Things from the Sea, your true mettle is shown when you utter a portentous foreshadowing. Often, it can be an ultimatum. Sometimes… it’s an ultimatum to yourself… 

These can be perceived as being negative but often it’s a harsh truth that must be faced. A reality check of sorts. As if to say: This is it. Now or never. We have to buckle down or we are done for. In this way, it somewhat overlaps the Vow. But it can also be a grave and heroic pronouncement after a perceived victory, even a minor one. 

Why So Glib?
Glibness is crucial to a large portion of well-delivered Quips. It is the humorous heart of the snappy remark. Nothing raises morale in the face of a scaly goggle-eyed horror from the deep more than a brash display of amusement.  

Of course, people on screen have been laughing at danger since the days of Errol Flynn and, before him, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (most effectively recreated in The Princess Bride).  

It can be that devilish rejoinder against all odds as a slimy dripping appendage closes in on your face. Or, most popularly, the triumphant punctuation just prior to pressing that button or pulling that switch or whatever the coup de grâce may be that dispatches one or more horrifying aquatepillars. Again, understatement is key. It implies confidence, coolness, lack of effort. It says, despite your exertion, despite the grueling effort it took to get here, the rising fear you constantly tamp down like so much mud… please accept this wisecrack…  

The Flirtation
Finally, nothing spices up a growing attraction or old movie chemistry like a playful Quip. A string of these can become the light verbal fencing that takes place even in the midst of conjuring the necessary science to battle aquatic nightmares. Slight smirks are welcome.

Draw Your Quips!
You start a session with three Quips, with two drawn from the decks specified, and the third from any deck of your choice:  

  • The Everyman draws one Quip from Why So Glib?, and one Quip from Quip Your Griping
  • The G-Man draws one Quip from And Before You Pull that Switch and one Quip from Vows, Defiance, and Tough Talk
  • The Mouth draws one Quip from Why So Glib? and one Quip from The Flirtation
  • The Scientist draws one Quip from Please Enjoy This Great Portent and one Quip from And Before You Pull that Switch
  • The Survivor draws two Quips from Vows, Defiance, and Tough Talk

New players may wish to choose Quips from their respective selections, while experienced players may opt for a random choice, or leave it to the Director to assign Quips.

If a player chooses to have their character utter a Quip in-game, that player must let the other players and Director know after the Quip is made and look to them for consensus that it was an appropriate (or at least amusing) use of the Quip. The group performs a quick vote, with a tie or victory for the Quip granting the quipper one additional die on the roll associated with the Quip, or the next roll following the Quip. 

After using a Quip, the player can choose to discard the Quip and draw a new one from any selection, or keep it and use it again at a later point. If successful on a later use, the quipper gains three additional dice. This chain of success can continue up to five additional dice for the same Quip used five times in one session. 

At the start of each new session, the number of additional dice resets, along with the Quips. 

Award Winners
When a character belts out a Quip, the player rolls the dice, and rolls at least three successes, the Quip is considered Award Winning. This is the scene from the movie that will be played as a preview clip at the award ceremonies, or at the very least get into the film’s trailer. 

Award Winners allow the character to do one of two things: retain the Quip until the end of the story arc and draw an additional Quip immediately, or instantly use a Cinematic without a Rewrite cost. Characters can have a maximum of five Quips in hand.

It's just so dry here...
It's just so dry here...




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