Toonaria: An Alternate Reality Cosmoverse

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Toonaria: An Alternate Reality Cosmoverse

Unread postby NexusX » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:14 pm

Powered by Epic Destinies (and inspired by Cosmothea 5.0 and the Cosmoverse), the Toonaria Campaign SettingTM is a secret reality — the mirror Cosmoverse (not a copy, but there are some overlaps, as some creatures and concepts have crossed over at least briefly from one side to the other.

Toonaria has long been a place for me to experiment with alternative stories that don't neatly fit within the main Cosmothea reality. Some sillier than others, some serious, Toonaria is filled with many of the toons I've made over the years, some of which I'm hoping to create comic strips, videos, picture books, T-shirts, etc. for in the years ahead. It's not that the setting is really toons, but rather, that is the way it will be presented.

I've written a number of stories that take place within Toonaria, and have outlined many others. There have been plenty of crossovers with the two universes and some concepts are in both, though sometimes tweaked to suit the setting.

Kickstarted back in 1980 with Minotaur Madness, my first board game, at that time I created a realm for all my toons to play in, and have been using it as the backdrop for many of my other board games ever since. I've been constantly expanding and refining it. I'll be evaluating and polishing everything for needed changes. The art style for Toonaria is not Disneyish nor Hanna Barbera. You'll see more of it in the days ahead. It's likely that I won't have time to do all the art chores, but I'll definitely make the game board and maps. I can make those very pretty and I've done some nice illustrations for it over the years as well. My time is very limited, however, and there are better artists out there than I am, but I'll be handling the art direction to ensure the concept art, mood and style are appropriate.

It's a strange, epic realm, no doubt, but one that has been entertaining for me and mine for many years. I've created greeting cards over the years for some of the characters, and will continue to make games set within Toonaria as I have been for well over thirty years.

The first board game I'll be preparing for publication is one I've mentioned recently: Freeze or Burn: The Volcano Wars board gameTM. Unlike the Toonaria Sourcebook, individual board games set within the Toonaria Universe will not include the full rules - just what is needed to run that board game, but the places within the board games are on the map and could be visited; the events that occur there are also occurring within the Toonaria canon timeline. Fun stuff ahead! Ah, now to find the time!
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Re: Toonaria: An Alternate Reality Cosmoverse

Unread postby warp9 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:17 pm

It is cool that you have these alternate realities within your Cosmothea framework. I'll be watching as this stuff develops.
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Re: Toonaria: An Alternate Reality Cosmoverse

Unread postby NexusX » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:16 am

Thanks. I'm sure it's not for everyone. Last I heard (which was many, many years ago), cartoony RPG's weren't big sellers. It's funny, with all the popularity of "My Little Pony" among young adults, Smurfs and shows like Sponge Bob and other toons enjoyed by all ages (well not by everyone though), I'd think more people would be itching to have their hand at playing a toon RPG. Of course, just as some don't play Scifi rpg's and some don't play horror, probably a larger number don't play toons either.

I know Steve Jackson did one. Not sure if anyone else. I've never really looked into it deeply. I will later. I'll doing it for kids and myself, if nothing else. And the RPG is quite a ways off at this point. I'll be drawing on some basic rules from it for some of the board games though, which will establish a continuity in board game rules that will make it easier for people to play the games and know if they'll like one game by trying another that bears the Toonaria label. Not all of my board games will.

I might even make the basic rules for the RPG free and just sell the adventures and setting material. But it's still all up-in-the-air right now - I'll see if it blossoms or not. Having a blast with making the Freeze or Burn board game. The revamp is coming along nicely!
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Re: Toonaria: An Alternate Reality Cosmoverse

Unread postby warp9 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:40 pm

NexusX wrote:Thanks. I'm sure it's not for everyone. Last I heard (which was many, many years ago), cartoony RPG's weren't big sellers. It's funny, with all the popularity of "My Little Pony" among young adults, Smurfs and shows like Sponge Bob and other toons enjoyed by all ages (well not by everyone though), I'd think more people would be itching to have their hand at playing a toon RPG. Of course, just as some don't play Scifi rpg's and some don't play horror, probably a larger number don't play toons either.

Maybe. I guess I'd never thought about it that much---I personally prefer things to be on the gritty realistic side, so the TOON stuff doesn't really enter into my consideration.

However. . . . I once played in an Amber game where one of the PCs went out into infinite Shadow (where you can find literally ANYTHING), and brought back Ren and Stimpy. I don't think our GM liked that very much, but as a neutral observer to the whole thing, I thought it was pretty funny.
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Re: Toonaria: An Alternate Reality Cosmoverse

Unread postby NexusX » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:36 pm

warp9 wrote: snip ...
Maybe. I guess I'd never thought about it that much---I personally prefer things to be on the gritty realistic side, so the TOON stuff doesn't really enter into my consideration.

However. . . . I once played in an Amber game where one of the PCs went out into infinite Shadow (where you can find literally ANYTHING), and brought back Ren and Stimpy. I don't think our GM liked that very much, but as a neutral observer to the whole thing, I thought it was pretty funny.


Well, it wouldn't be my first pic for RPG'ing, but sometimes I think it would be a lot of fun. I wouldn't mind running a PbP in that universe. And I know some people really go for that sort of thing. Of course you could also play it very serious and gritty. Not all of Toonaria is happy-go-lucky toons. There is some high adventure here and there, and having a lite-rules version of Cosmothea would be very nice for those new to RPG's and/or new to Cosmothea. Of course there are some simplistic games out there already, like Savage Worlds. Not sure how they'd compare yet. And like I said, I won't be doing the RPG soon, just the board games set in that universe, and anyone that likes less serious board games (and to my knowledge there are tons of gamers out there who do), I imagine our Toonaria board games should go over very well. It's just that when people think of an RPG, they often get all serious and want something grittier. And that's OK. We have that too.

As for Ren and Stimpy, I don't care for those toons and wouldn't appreciate someone trying to do that. But we wouldn't want other licensed characters anyway, though of course the GM could allow it. Might be fun to do some crossovers with licensed toons, heh, but my pick wouldn't be Ren and Stimpy. I could see that it would be a lot of fun to translate known toons into Toonaria rules. That I could really get into, but like I said, I definitely think there's room for some toon games if done right. For now, I'm just going to focus on the setting and tinker with the rules as I go and see where it takes me.
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Re: Toonaria: An Alternate Reality Cosmoverse

Unread postby Pippa » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:18 am

Personally, I wouldn't go anywhere near the place.
Hasn't anyone seen 'Who framed Roger Rabbit'? They kill people with falling piano's over there.
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Re: Toonaria: An Alternate Reality Cosmoverse

Unread postby NexusX » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:45 am

Heh, yeah, I won't say it's a safe place. You could get yourself killed there for sure! That said, In Toonaria, I've toned down the death more by having lots of ways of defeating an enemy without bucket loads of blood being spilled, trying to be off-the-wall a bit and just have fun. Like I said, some areas of it are more serious than others.
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Re: Toonaria: An Alternate Reality Cosmoverse

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:24 am

So, I've been mulling over the idea of releasing some of my 2 dozen + board and card game designs in the days ahead. And since the majority of them (all?) will be based on the Toonaria RPG rules, hence being compatible, it occurred to me that each new game I would release would therefore be mix and matchable with the previous ones, constantly expanding your options and keeping things fresh and new.

So, if you are using the monster cards in one game, you could turn around and add them/swap out some of the ones used in another, thereby continually refreshing previous games as desired and increasing options, building your favorite warbands, adventuring parties, whatever. And they would also be useable in the RPG.

Since all of the cards are compatible, it means that they should be able to smoothly cross over from game to game. Essentially, this means that a new game would include some unique creatures, magic, etc. not found anywhere else (unless there were expansion packs you could buy to get some of the rarer cards or just more of the ones you like) and also some familiar, and they all work together, so games would be more like adventure scenarios. Freeze Or Burn takes place in a volcano with set goals, challenges and monsters. Minotaur Madness takes place elsewhere with its own set of goals, challenges, magic items, technology, etc.

Does this compatibility concept appeal to you?
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Re: Little Epics RPG

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:27 pm

Here's the new thread that I'll use to dive in. :D
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