Real Men, Real Role Players, Loonies, Psychopaths & Munchkins
Systems Failure Edition v. 3.0
With updates by: Mad Dog
You knew it had to start again some time...
REAL MEN WHOOPIN' E.T.'S A$$
General Opion of Systems Failure
- Real Men: Good concept, but not enough power armor and heavy vehicles.
- Real Roleplayers: Interesting concept, but not enough focus on the interplay between
Exterminators and Spliced Humans, nor between Survivalists and their occasional NORAD
suppliers, nor between Sawbones and every other OCC.
- Loonies: Interesting concept, but not enough drinking to go with the heavy weapons.
- Psychopaths: Ask why they can't play Bugs.
- Munchkins: Want to play a Survivalist. Now.
- Real Men: Exterminators and Survivalists, because they remind them of their own families.
Alt: Exterminator. Big guns and an agressive mission statement.
- Real Roleplayers: Sawbones, because its the only class that builds instead of destroys.
Alt: Sawbones. Plenty of "roleplaying opportunities" (ie, is unable to use
firepower to get out of trouble)
- Loonies: Uh... Wackos? Gee, that was tough...
- Psychopaths: Ask why they can't play Bugs.
Alt: Psychic. Nobody *ever* suspects the quiet guy without a gun.
- Munchkins: Want to play a Survivalist until they remember dual classing. Then they want
to play a Survivalist/Spliced Human.
Alt: Try to get the GM to let them play a Mutant from HU2 with Magnetism and
Alter Physical Structure: Electricity. EMPs can be so much fun...
- Real Men: Heckler & Koch G11 Automatic Assualt Rifle.
Alt: the Duke. It's big, and it's named after the Duke.
- Real Roleplayers: J140 "Mega-Soaker" Bug Juice Spray Gun.
Alt: a keen mind and a pure heart (god what a tosser).
- Loonies: Same as above, but load it with hot pink spray paint.
Alt: 50 cal machineguns. It's not his favourite, he just likes the way the GM
groaned when he asked for it.
- Psychopaths: Same as above, but load it with VX.
Alt: knives, big fuck-off shiny ones. You see, knives don't make any noise, so
they'll know we're not afraid to use them. Guns for show, knives for business.
- Munchkins: Z88 Energy Support Cannon with grenade launcher attachment, N&SS Vehicle
Stoppers for sidearms, and ask where the stats are for Stinger SAMs.
Alt: Don't understand why you can't play as a Bug.
Favorite Psionic Power
- Real Men: TK. As always.
- Real Roleplayers: Cure Insanity
- Loonies: Mentally Possess Others, so that the blame won't be put on them.
- Psychopaths: Bio-Manipulation: Pain.
- Munchkins: Doesn't matter since they have them all at 15th level.
Favorite New Equipment
- Real Men: Heckler & Koch G11 Automatic Assualt Rifle.
- Real Roleplayers: Horsies!
- Loonies: Bug Motels. "We'll leave the light on for ya."
- Psychopaths: If there aren't any new knives, they aren't looking.
- Munchkins: NORAD.
Feelings Towards the Bugs
- Real Men: Alien menace? Just another day at the office...
- Real Roleplayers: A pitiful race, overwhelmed by their addiction to pure electricity.
Feel that a peaceful resolution is quite possible. Besides, they already have six alternate
plans for wiping out the bugs in a single blow.
- Loonies: Still haven't gotton past that picture of the Exterminator on page 84.
- Psychopaths: Potential allies, but they'd probably enslave him too. Kill 'em all.
- Munchkins: Still aren't quite clear on how much XP each one is worth.
Feelings Towards NORAD
- Real Men: They got the big guns, but are distrustful of anyone who hides under a mountain
during the Great American Bug Hunt.
- Real Roleplayers: Their six alternate plans for wiping out the bugs in one blow
unfortunately all require the help of NORAD. Oh well.
- Loonies: Couldn't care less.
- Psychopaths: NORAD is government in a post-apocalyptic game. Of course they're going to
- Munchkins: Wonder where they're going to put their throne.
In The First Campaign
- Real Men: Play their Exterminator to the hilt and get killed by a large Bug.
- Real Roleplayers: Play their Sawbones to the hilt and get killed by friendly fire.
- Loonies: Play their Wacko to the hilt and get killed by the first Survivalist the party
- Psychopaths: Play their Splatterpunk to the hilt and get killed by the Real Roleplayer
in a pre-emptive strike.
- Munchkins: Play their APS: Electricity/Magnetism Mutant to the hilt and get eaten alive
by the Bugs.
In The Second Campaign
- Real Men: Plays a Survivalist and does.
- Real Roleplayers: Plays a Survivalist and does.
- Loonies: Plays another Wacko and doesn't.
- Psychopaths: Plays a Freebooter and makes a lot of money off the rest of the party.
- Munchkins: Plays a Spliced Human, because the GM didn't bring any other books this time
and they didn't get the hint from the HU character.
- Real Men: "You mean I can run my play-yourself character without *any* modifications? Sweet!"
- Real Roleplayers: "I'm going to play Vampire. Anyone coming?"
- Loonies: "Can I get a reaaaaaaally big fly-swatter?"
- Psychopaths: "No really, I'm on your guy's side this time! Do you think I want Jimmy the
Traitor to end up Silkworm bait?" Starts passing secret notes to the GM.
- Munchkins: "Whoo-hoo! A real roleplaying game! Bring it on!"
What to do with human slaves...
- Real Men: take use them as bait to kill more bugs.
- Real Roleplayers: talk to them and ask them if they can tell them anything that would
hurt or discredit the bugs.
- Loonies: would dance a jig, and sing a song, creating a distraction, and unintentionally
creating a diversion for the people to escape while the bugs stare perplexed at this wierdo.
- Psychopaths: tell the other PCs that several of the slaves have nosebleeds, forcing them
to open fire
- Munchkins: ask for exp for saving the humans, not before having accidentally dropped an
Excaliber mine frm their backback, killing the slaves.
- Real Men: pick Exterminators for the sheer mochismo, or Survivalists, because its what
they really would be.
- Real Roleplayers: would play Norad Spliced Humans for the inner conflict, or a freebooter
for the interesting Role Play opportunity.
- Loonies: would play anything other than a Wacko(perferably Egghead) just to piss their
friends off after they expected otherwise.
- Psychopaths: play assassin bugs, and of course splaterpunks.
- Munchkins: wonder why you can't play a sentient tank, or lightning bug (complete with
thousands of minions).
When they see a wall socket crackling with blue energy...
- Real Men: blow the bastard up.
- Real Roleplayers: think of a clever way to trap the bug and then convert it to generate energy (hehehe).
- Loonies: stick a penny in it
- Psychopaths: lock the other PC's in the room
- Munchkins: use their orbital satellite of utter destruction (otherwise known as munchnick)
and take out the power plant...... and the place where the PCs were, and incidentally, the
When they find a Ligtning bug...
- Real Men: blast it with everything they've got
- Real Roleplayers: try and reason with it, and end up having a somewhat meaningfull
conversation with the evil bug leader for about half an hour (and then only because the
lightning bug became mindlessly agressive over being outsmarted)
- Loonies: try bug spray, and if desperate, bug spray with a lighter
- Psychopaths: ally themselves to the evil bug, and turn their friends in
- Munchkins: yawn, and release yet another blast from Munchnick
It's October of 1999, and so you are preparing for the comming attack by the bugs
- Real Men: Make sure to pack lots of guns, arrows, knives, and anything that will keep them alive.
- Real Roleplayers: Pack lots of gasoline, spare parts for vehicles, the complete set of
National Geographic, and make sure to have books detailing the construction and use of
alternate power sources (such as steam engines).
- Loonies: Make sure to pack lots of twinkies, computers and wireless telephones (to call
the bugs in case of an emergency).
- Psychopaths: Make sure to pack lots of twinkies (great for luring stupid Loonies out into
the open so you can kill them easier), wireless telephones (dial someone and then leave the
phone in the back of some poor shmucks truck... "HEY! Where'd the bug come fro... URK!"),
and of course, the old Electric Joy Buzzer Trick (First it's a hand, then it's a bug, then
it's a hand, then it's a bug).
- Munchkins: Just ask their parents for a couple of nuclear bombs... and get them!
You are in a small group of maybe 3 other people. You've just been walking along,
when suddenly you are ambushed by a large group of bugs.
- Real Men: Scream out a warcry, and leap into the mass of bugs to keep them busy while the
other members of the group run away.
- Real Roleplayers: Would have successfully used the prowl skill, so he would be ambushing the Bugs.
- Loonies: Quickly reach into their pockets and put on a pair of antenna and try to pass
themselves as another bug.
- Psychopaths: Use the Ventriloquism skill to make a nearby party member say, "Hey.. you
look familar.. yeah, I think I squished your sister a few minutes ago."
- Munchkins: Pull out their copy of the Systems Failure book, say "Gee, you guys aren't so
tough." and proceed to blow them away with a miniaturized Organitech Bazooka.
The party has just stumbled across a large group of humans. There's maybe 300 of
them, and they are all trying to hide from the bugs.
- Real Men: Stand there and talk with the survivors, trying to convince them to stand up to
the bugs. They finally agree, so he leads his force on to destroy all the bugs in the area
and start a new human civilization.
- Real Roleplayers: Help the people build a new home hidden away (perhaps in the mountains).
Then they build war machines powered by steam engines, and emerge from hiding a few years
later to kick some bug butt.
- Loonies: Get the survivors together and teach them to ice skate. When the bugs are finally
defeated, the loonie and his friends take pride in the fact that they are now the only people
who can do the icecapades in the world!
- Psychopaths: Pull out a telephone, dial a number and then leave it 30 feet from the
humans. Then he climbs up in a tree and laughs as the people are slaughtered by the bugs.
- Munchkin: Walks into the camp, proclaims himself a God and winds up ruling over the entire
city. After a couple of days, the people get tired of him, tie him up and leave him for the
bugs. He spends the rest of his miserable life as a zombie... YAY!!
- Real Men: A nice big pickup, preferably with the biggest gun money can buy strapped onto a tripod.
- Real Roleplayers: a horse. They've just spent half an hour arguing with the GM that petrol
would be ludicrously expensive, and now they want to cash in on that bit of realism they've
- Loonies: clown shoes
- Psycopaths: a horse. Cars don't feel it when you make them keep on going until they stop moving
- Munchkins: Don't understand why you can't play as a Bug
- Real Men: the militias. Plenty of guns and an agressive mission statement
- Real Roleplayers: Radio Free America. Plenty of "roleplaying opportunities" (ie, has no
firepower with which to get him out of trouble)
- Loonies: the David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade
- Psycopaths: the Cadavers. Biochemical weapons, willingness to use them. Do I have to draw
you a diagram?
- Munchkins: Doesn't understand why you can't play as a Bug
Favourite Aspect of the Game
- Real Men: the fact that, between all those militias and bandits and NORAD, the only
sure-fire way to win the game is through a LOT of combat.
- Real Roleplayers: the fact that despite being based on a one-dimensional combat-oriented
idea, SF has enough plot-hooks that allow for "real roleplaying" (prancing around like an
amateur dramatist talking in a dumb "in character" voice and exploring issues without being
involved in combat)
- Loonies: hillbillies, lots of em
- Psycopaths: the knowledge that mankind is in a precarious position, and it wouldn't take
much to fuck things up.
- Munchkins: most of the opponents are hard-to-kill Bugs rather than wussy humans, which
means more experience.
Least Favourite Aspect of the Game
- Real Men: the enemy has overwhelming strength of numbers, and frontal assault is often a
- Real Roleplayers: the game discourages "roleplaying" in favour of shooting things.
- Loonies: they don't have any excuse whatsoever to put crotchless panties on their heads.
- Psycopaths: NORAD psychics can ferret him out, and the Bugs are too alien to regularly
buy the services of traitors.
- Munchkins: Don't understand why you can't just play a bug.
Favorite Place to Be
- Real Men: Texas. It's where the real fighting is
- Real Roleplayers: Silicon Valley. It's about the only place in America where you can
strike a blow for freedom AND get lots of "roleplaying opportunities" (ie the chance to do
things which don't involve any combat whatsoever)
- Loonies: Graceland. They always wanted to pay homage to the King, and this might be their
- Psycopaths: NORAD. There are more important targets living there than any other place in
the United States.
- Munchkins: Don't understand why you can't just play as a Bug
Most feared opponent
- Real Men: Bombardier Beetle. They can pack a wallop and don't go down easily
- Real Roleplayers: Stink Bugs. Just one of them can enslave thousands of innocent Americans.
And they're weak enough that you can defeat one with less combat and more "roleplaying" than
most other Bugs.
- Loonies: Alan Keyes. You just KNOW that you won't be able to beat him in the Republican
Primaries in 2008.
- Psycopaths: NORAD, especially those damn psychics. There's enough stuff inside your head
to incriminate you a dozen times over
- Munchkins: Don't understand the question
First Thing to do in a Bugged City
- Real Men: wait for the real roleplayer to whip the local militia into a fighting frenzy
so he can use the exra firepower to launch a frontal assualt
- Real Roleplayer: take advantage of a "roleplaying opportunity" (a chance to strike a blow
for freedom without having to get involved in combat) by whipping the local militia into a
- Loonies: find out if the local Taco Bell is still open, and whether he can work there
without having to get a bug up his nose.
- Psycopaths: turn over his fellow PCs in exchange for his freedom and a new tank of gas.
- Munchkins: Begin shooting. Proceed until nothing else moves.
First Thing to do in a Free Town
- Real Men: ammo, lots of it
- Real Roleplayers: take advantage of the "roleplaying opportunity" presented by so many
non-combatant NPCs to explore various character issues.
- Loonies: argue loudly that the humans in Starship Troopers should have lost
- Psycopath: it finally becomes clear why he got so excited about finding twenty miles of
cable at an old depot when he uses it to connect the town's electricity supply to the
nearest landlines and proceeds to radio the Bugs for support.
- Munchkins: don't understand why they won't get Xp if they kill townsfolk.
First Thing to do at NORAD
- Real Men: REAL ammo, lots of it.
- Real Roleplayers: talk with some of the killer app technicians, because that's where
"roleplaying opportunities" (ie, the chance to waste hours of time talking in character
without actually achieving anything) are.
- Loonies: ask if it's really like it was in that movie where the kid had to stop the
supercomputer from starting WWIII.
- Psycopaths: it finally becomes clear just what he had in mind when he harvested those
Silkworms and put them in the glove compartment of his car.
- Munchkins: don't understand why they can't just mug people until they've got money to buy
some funky organitech shit.
Desired Goal for Free America
- Real Men: to coordinate Operation Landslide and personally lead the house-to-house
fighting in every major city in America.
- Real Roleplayers: to help achieve the goals of the Killer Ap project, with many
"roleplaying opportunities" (ie, non-violent puzzles) on the way.
- Loonies: to take advantage of the current pro-redneck mood to get funding for a new Dukes
of Hazard series.
- Psycopaths: Operation Spoilsport. Thermonuclear weapons, willingness to use them. Do I
need to draw you a diagram?
- Munchkins: Don't understand what the need for planning is. You just keep shooting until
the Bugs are dead, then work out your experience level.
Favourite non-SF Palladium material for crossover campaigns
- Real Men: Nightbane. Guys with big guns fighting a desperate last-ditch struggle against
alien invaders is all the roleplaying he needs.
- Real Roleplayers: Beyond the Supernatural. It'll allow him to bring some much needed
"roleplaying opportunities" into the combat-oriented farce that is the Real Man's Nightbane
- Loonies: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He just found a copy of the "Ninja Rap" single
Vanilla Ice did, and he's really stoked.
- Psycopaths: Palladium Fantasy. Ain't no way in hell those ass-backwards medieval suckers
could survive a Bug invasion.
- Munchkins: Robotech. It would have been Rifts, but Rifts doesn't have stats on the SDF-1.
Here are the contributers to this list and what they added.
- What to do with human slaves
- OCC's revisited
- When they see a wall socket crackling with blue energy
- When they find a Ligtning bug
- AnubisXy, Mayor of Swankytown
- It's October of 1999, and so you are preparing for the comming attack by the bugs
- You are in a small group of maybe 3 other people. You've just been walking along, when
suddenly you are ambushed by a large group of bugs
- The party has just stumbled across a large group of humans. There's maybe 300 of them,
and they are all trying to hide from the bugs
- "The Lone Enantiomer, Hurtling Through the Lab"
- Alt: Favourite OCC
- Favourite Organisation
- Alt: Favourite Weapon
- Favourite Vehicle
- Favourite Place to Be
- First Thing to do in a Bugged City
- First Thing to do in a Free Town
- First Thing to do at NORAD
- Most feared opponent
- Desired Goal for Free America
- Favourite non-SF Palladium material for crossover campaigns
- Favourite Aspect of the Game
- Least Favourite Aspect of the Game
Real_Systems_Failure.php -- Revised: January 27, 2021.