The Crescendolls, Coming to a Game Near You

I am suddenly struck with the urge to run/play an RPG focusing on the Crescendolls, a glamorous, world-famous rock band. It would be an interpersonal drama, flavored by their professional lives, very much in the mold of Grey’s Anatomy or Felicity.

The band themselves are a manufactured pop supergroup. The plots, dilemmas, and challenges would revolve in about equal parts around interpersonal conflicts and misunderstandings and the music business. The standard fare: The lead singer is in love with the lead guitarist, but doesn’t want to break up the band; the drummer feels under appreciated; the manager is very concerned about their sales while the band members want to be taken seriously as musicians; various love triangles come and go–and turn into love quadrangles and love tetrahedrons at times. And so on.

Except, as the story progresses, they start to doubt their own memories and discover clues that their act might be even more manufactured than they thought. And they would gradually discover that they actually have incredible musical talent, which is totally at odds with their personal histories.

The backstory that they wouldn’t initially know is that they are actually an alien supergroup, popular across a vast swath of the universe. An earth secret society with super-advanced tech (think of how far beyond everyone else Reed Richards, Dr. Doom, or Tony Stark–or, more apropos, Cobra or Hydra- are) has decided that the most effective way to conquer the world is to kidnap an alien band, brainwash them into thinking they are no-talent hacks that lucked into a manufactured pop group, get them to climb the charts to superstardom, and ride their popularity to inevitable world domination.

Hey, it’s no more ridiculous than the underwear gnomes’ plan. Heck, it’s less ridiculous than a lot of comic book supervillain plans.

The basic premise is blatantly stolen–bonus points if you recognize where from–but I think it would sustain a lot more story than in the source, gradually revealing that it’s not just a normal band drama. It’s sort of VR.5 meets The Pussycat Dolls Movie.

The question in my mind is what to play it with. Would Umlaut, perhaps slightly tweaked, be right? Or would it fall apart as soon as the story line got away from the band drama? Obviously, Primetime Adventures or Universalis could handle it, but that seems a bit generic–almost like turning to GURPS or Hero System. I’m wondering if there’s a system that would support the memory-discovery thread, without dominating the mechanics or the story?

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4 comments on “The Crescendolls, Coming to a Game Near You

  1. Mantisking says:

    Have you ever looked at Starchildren rpg?

    • woodelf says:

      Yeah, it’s a fun game premise. IIRC, it’s almost the exactly inverse: aliens come here to become rock stars and become underground heroes to save the world, right? In a world where rock is illegal?

      • Mantisking says:

        Yeah, that’s the premise. I just thought the base mechanics might be adaptable to the story you’re trying to tell.

      • woodelf says:

        My [very] vague recollection of the mechanics is that they were fairly vanilla–it was the setting that was novel. I’ll have to give it a look when I get home today.

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