Game Analyses: Can I Do ‘The Thing’?

Found these funny little quips on an old reddit post the other day.  Here are the ones I thought were the best – either because they are humorous, incredibly on point, or both:

Apocalypse World:  Yes, you can do The Thing, unless you roll less than a seven, in which case you end up naked, locked up in a shipping container by mutant cannibals.

GURPS:  I think you can do The Thing, let me look through the book for the rules on Thing doing, I know I saw a rule on Thing doing somewhere in here…  Wait. Hold on.  Wrong book. I know its in one of these somewhere.  Maybe its in Powers?  Or maybe not?  Martial Arts?  No?  Crap.  You know what?  Nevermind.  You can do The Thing if you roll DX -3, how’s that sound?  Reasonable enough?  OK, let’s go with that then.

Dungeons & Dragons:  Yes, but it’s really not worth it unless you are a Dream Elf with the Godblooded feat and at least five levels in the Thingomancer Prestige class from Complete Thing.  Or you could just play a Wizard, they get The Thing as a 3rd level spell.

Call of Cthulu:  You can do The Thing, but you REALLY don’t want to.

FATE:  That depends, can you convince the GM that one of your vaguely-worded aspects supports you doing The Thing?

7th Sea:  Only if The Thing is properly dramatic!

Shadowrun:  Yes, but you’ll need a bathtub full of d6s.

Paranoia:  The Thing?  Citizen, mere knowledge of The Thing is grounds for treason!  Are you sure you meant The Thing, and not some other thing?  Because that’s not treasonous!  Oh, hang on, it is now.  So, either way, ZAP ZAP ZAP.

Legend of the Five Rings:  Is The Thing you want to do seppukku?

Edge of the Empire:  You did The Thing!  But also something terrible happened.

Dogs in the Vineyard:  You did The Thing.  Then he did The Thing.  Then you did The Thing.  Then he did The Thing.  Then you ran out of dice and couldn’t do The Thing anymore.

13th Age:  You can do The Thing, but you can do a better Thing if you roll even.

Blades in the Dark:  You can do The Thing, but only if you tell us how you planned weeks ago for the eventuality of The Thing.

Traveller:  You can’t do The Thing because you tried to be a scout and you died in character generation.  Again.

Pathfinder:  You can do The Thing, but since you don’t have Improved Do The Thing, you’ll provoke an attack of opportunity.

World Wide Wrestling:  The Announcer goes, “OH!  MY!  GOD!  I CAN’T BELIEVE HE ACTUALLY DID THE THING!”

Torchbearer:  Sure.  Mark your success on the sheet.  And the turn for your torch.  And you and the party are now hungry, thirsty, angry, sick, tired, and dead.  Oh, and ambushed by statues.

World of Darkness:  You can do The Thing, but you’ll have to give up your humanity to do it.

Savage Worlds:  You can do The Thing, with the same likelihood as anyone else, and with the same effect as any other Thing you could do.

Tenra Bansho Zero:  You can do The Thing but you will do it better if you’re broken, bleeding, and willing to die for it.

Dark Heresy:  The Thing is heresy.  Exterminatus authorized.

Only War:  You just watched fourteen of your friends just die horribly, being torn apart by alien monstrosities while attempting The Thing.  Your turn.

Deadlands Reloaded:  Y’all do The Thang.  So does that there varmint.  Now yer undead.

Fiasco!:  You can do The Thing but it’s likely to result in your death halfway through the game, because you lack impulse control.

Feng Shui 2:  You can do The Thing, assuming you are currently sliding down a banister and/or summoning magical dragons while doing it.  Also doves are flying away in slow-mo.

Pathfinder:  See Dungeons and Dragons, but the rules for doing The Thing have been re-written in ways that may change how The Thing happens slightly.  Also, The Thing is now a class feature for certain Clerics, two Rogue archetypes, and an option for Sorcerers at level 7.  The Thing is not legal in Societies gameplay.

Mechwarrior 3rd Edition:  The Thing happened to you during character generation and left you with a mild addiction.

Don’t Rest Your Head:  You do The Thing, but feel yourself slide even further into a pit of despair, exhaustion, and madness.

Mage: The Ascension:  Yes, but only if it fits your Paradigm.  And you suffer from Paradox.  And the Technocracy will try to put a bullet in your head for it.

Vampire: The Masquerade:  You can, but only if its part of an Antediluvian’s plan.

Dread:  Why would you pick ‘when you’re about to sneeze’ as the time to do The Thing?

Dungeon World:  You did The Thing.  Now tell me, where did you learn to do The Thing?

Dungeon Crawl Classics:  You can roll a d16 instead of a d20 to do The Thing.  It will probably end in you losing a limb.

Monsterhearts:  You do The Thing and OMG it’s so awkward in class tomorrow.

OSR:  You can do The Thing, but since you’re not doing it with a 10′ pole you’re not safe from the trap you sprung.  Roll save vs. death ray.

The Dark Eye:  Yes you can do The Thing after the campaign is over and you trained for it for two years after gaining a teacher’s favor in another small campaign.  That antagonist?  He can do The Thing, he just sold his soul for it.

Kobolds Ate My Baby:  You do The Thing while barking and you’re one step closer to your totally unexpected death.

Tavern Tales:  You use the amazingly powerful Thing trait to do all The Things, then there’s a 50/50 chance something bad happens.

Kingdom: Will the Kingdom do the thing?  You: My character’s fear is that the Kingdom will be destroyed by The Thing.  Your friends: Noted.

3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars:  Is The Thing conductive to exterminating an until now unknown lifeform? Go right ahead!

Golden Sky Stories:  You do The Thing and everyone is much happier!

Maid RPG:  You can do The Thing, but every other player gets to try to do The Thing at the same time.  The winner gets XP.  The losers start crying, binge eating, and crashing the Master’s car into the mansion.  Then Godzilla appears.

King Arthur Pendragon:  You can do The Thing, but does your character REALLY want to? Roll one of your knightly virtues to see whether your character does The Thing or “accidentally” kills an important person out of pride.


Now, I’m pretty familiar with a lot of these systems, but it makes me wonder if I’m too easy on my Apocalypse World players?  I can, however, confirm that the Paranoia and Monsterhearts entries are spot on.

Obviously, it’s impossible to capture all of the intricacies of a specific game in a single witty line, so don’t take these too seriously.  It’s really interesting, though, to see how many different games have a Thing that needs to be done and the many ways you can do The Thing.  If doing one Thing the same way again and again is getting boring for you, maybe there’s another game’s Thing that needs doing that’s just waiting for you to come along.