Some Amusing Answers
The questionnaire is more than just a way for us to collect contact information and get the basic gist of what you want to play. The questionnaire is also designed to give us some insight into how you think. It's also there to amuse the GMs with your answers.
Usually, these answers vanish into the mists of the GM's email folders, lost to posterity. Below are some of the more interesting answers to two of the essay questions, for your amusement.
These aren't presented in any particular order. Enjoy!
The Happiness Question
Your plush starship cruiseliner is hurtling through hyperspace heading towards the head office on a planet where happiness is mandatory. What position do you hold in the crew, and what are your duties? How do you make the passengers happy?
I am the FUN enforcement officer! You will participate in ship's activities, and you will enjoy it! What? No, I didn't have time to study the crew manual since I switched over to this liner. What?! Oh.
Ahem. Hello everyone, I'm your recreation director, and we have FUN activities for everyone that you won't find anywhere else! Amidships you'll find the tubular swimming pool, always a unique experience, for those who do not suffer from vertigo. In the hyperolarium, you can get a tan in the mysterious hyperspace glow (warning: long-term consequences of exposure have not been evaluated, refer to the release form in your welcome packet.) Relax with our robot massage! And for our grown-up passengers (children, please cover your ears), those of you in the honeymoon suites have no doubt noticed the in-room gravity controls!
Recreation orientation and a tour of the facilities will occur at 0900. You WILL attend and FUN is mandatory! Err, I mean, hope to see you all there!
My position? Assistant Chief of Security, Twilight Shift.
Just call me Mr. Happy.
I love my job. I like nothing better than seeing smiling faces as I make my rounds. I love my uniform. Bright yellow with a smiling face on my chest. Gleaming yellow ablative armor. I think I have the only bright yellow needledart in the sector. Even my PDA is bright yellow and beeps the Ormando Happinesss Song(tm). Everyone likes my uniform too, they always say hello and smile when I stroll by.
While dealing with the occasional stowaway, drunk, cheat or vandal is important, my primary responsibility is the identification, analysis and neutralization of any NotHappies among the passengers. At the start of my shift, I go to the Security Center and review the reports from the Sunshine and Sunset shifts. These reports identify known and possible Boreds and NotHappies. I need to insure that sufficient HappyBots(tm) or crewmembers from the Happiness Onboard Team (HOT) are deployed to monitor and neutralize any ennui the Boreds may be feeling.
I then personally review each possible NotHappy and, when I feel it is necessary, take action to correct the problem. Normally, I will introduction of DreamHappy(tm) into the life support system in the staterooms but, in the case of sonambulant or nocturnal NotHappies, specially equipped JoyBots(tm) can be deployed to inject DreamHappy(tm) directly by hypospray or needledart. A squad of JoyBots(tm) and I then deliver the NotHappy to the Surgical Happiness Suite where the Assistant Medical Chief will implant their own personal HappyChip(tm). I make it a point to visit each passenger taken to the Suite and insure that the HappyChip(tm) is working correctly. Occasionally, a trip to the Elation Chamber(tm) is necessary but I don't like to employ extreme measures. Moderate Happiness Attitude Persuasion and Enhancement (HAP-E) is, of course, covered in the price of the passenger's ticket.
By time the Sunshine Shift rolls around, there are no NotHappies aboard the ship. I then go to the DawnCare Center and lead the children in the morning singing of the Imagineerium Anthem. Oh, no, that's not part of my job. I do it for the kids. I love to see their smiling faces.
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a Happy Day.
Chief Morale Officer--any passenger (or crew member) who does not exhibit the minimum level of happiness** is remanded to the custody of the Chief Morale Officer. After full treatment, if the patient still does not exhibit the minimum level of happiness**, both (s)he and the Chief Morale Officer will undergo Mandatory Emotion Adjustment, and the Assistant Morale Officer will take over the duties and responsibilities of the office.
The CMO's primary tool is HTM (Happiness Through Medication). After a rigorous HTM treatment program, psychological brainwashing followed by religious conversion*** is the prescribed methodology. A mix of psychologist, pharmacologist, and minister, the CMO is one of the most potent weapons against illwill and unhappiness among the passengers (and crew). And when all else fails, the CMO can use "physical persuasion" to achieve the desired happiness levels. Due to his many (and difficult) responsibilities, the CMO is given a great deal of autonomy and latitude in the exercise of his duties.
** All of the minimum happiness level (MHL) charts can be found in the Office of Morale. Please feel free to stop by to ensure that you are having the requisite amount of fun and are enjoying it at the minimum required levels.
*** There is a half-price special for choosing the featured "cult du voyage". This trip's religion is "Neo-Classical Solipsistic Pantheism of the Plutonian Islands," sponsored by the Plutonian Department of Tourism. Zagat's Surveys says "This 'classical' religion will bring out the 'many unique, godlike facets of you' and allows you to 'explore your inner potential.' Follow it up with a trip to the '(s)lush Plutonian Islands' to 'truly appreciate how important YOU are.'"
I am the Chief Environmental Officer. I make sure the climate on the ship is comfortable and life-sustaining. To make sure everyone is (at least appears happy), I pump up the oxygen ratio in the air mix so everyone is giddy.
Ship's councillor. Of course, this isn't one of the namby-pamby "I sense your inner conflict" type councillors (and I don't look as good in fuzzy pyjamas as Marina Sirtis). If happiness is mandatory, then clearly only the criminally insane are unhappy. My duties involve rounding up the poor unfortunates who are unhappy, and giving them the treatment they so clearly deserve. (Set phasers to "make happy").
I'm Ship's pimp. Out here between the stars we make our own laws, and I for one have no problem helping a few people find happiness. Do you REALLY want to know exactly how I make them happy? Let's just say that between the unusual capabilities of a Froobian and some shiny new toys from Ormando, zero G has never been more fun.
I am the scapegoat. The other passengers are made happy by mocking my misfortunes and blaming their shortcomings on me.
I make the passengers happy by lying to them about what's happening. Or drugging them. Or both. My job is to keep the passengers from freaking out and interfering with the crew. I may masquerade as a security guard or a bartender or a sensitive counselor type who Really Listens. I could even be a lame hologram. The point is, I wish we didn't need passengers. They complicate everything.
Ship's executioner. Kill one random passenger a day. The rest will be happy they're alive.
ISO 9002 - HAPPINESS MANAGEMENT AUDITOR
"BECAUSE HAPPINESS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS"
What is ISO 9002?
ISO 9002 is an internationally-recognised standard for happiness management, ensuring that organisations have proven processes in place to meet happiness requirements.
Why do I need it?
As business becomes ever more competitive, ISO 9002 can be a cost-effective means to demonstrate to customers that happiness assurance is of paramount importance to your organisation.
A recent study of various organisations with ISO 9002 Happiness Certification revealed an increase in turnover, sales, customer satisfaction and savings.
What is the role of our specialised Happiness Management Auditor?
Our 'Keep it happy' audit programme monitors happiness operating systems and effective happiness levels throughout your organisation. Our specialist external consultant will blend with your crew in an efficient yet unobtrusive fashion and monitor all facets of happiness, from the engine room to the bridge to assess compliance with ISO 9002.
[Editorial note: too many of us have played too much Paranoia!]
The Life Pod Question
You're standing in front of the last two-person escape pod with a priest, Captain Kirk, a seven year old blind girl and a six armed, nine foot tall, shocking pink alien from the planet Froob. Who do you put in the pod and why?
Well, the nine foot tall alien would take up too much space, So, its down to me, the priest, the blind girl, and captain Kirk. The priest should be ready in his view of the after-life, so he should stay behind as well.
I sure as hell am not going to either spend a lot of time cramped in a two person pod with Kirk, or spend my last few moments of life with him, so no matter what, we go to different places. That leaves the blind girl definitely in the pod.
Now, I wouldn't normally be selfish, but given the opportunity to either destroy Kirk or save him, I have to vote to destroy him and take that last spot myself. But knowing my luck, Kirk will save the day, rescuing the ship and the alien and priest I just doomed to die, so things will be ok...
The priest will probably refuse to go. He's selfless and can martyr himself, going to his reward in Heaven.
Captain Kirk will either attack or make out with the alien, so leave the two of them to die together.
I'm obviously the only one out of the 5 of us who can really explain what happened to force us to use the escape pod in the first place (collision, attack, mechanical malfunction?), and maybe help prevent it from happening again. And so it would be myself and the 7 year old girl. If she didn't have any family back on Earth (or wherever the pod is headed), I would raise her on my own, or find someone good to take care of her.
The Seven year old and the pink alien from planet Froob. The priest stays because he can give everybody left on the ship their last rites. Captain Kirk stays because if anybody can get out of an impossible situation, he can, and bring the ship with him. The girl goes, because who knows what lies in a child's future, and it's just good karma to save a kid. And the Pink alien goes because we really need the priest and Kirk to stay on board, and we wouldn't want to inadvertently start a war between our government and Froob's.
Actually, I'd shove the shocking pink alien from the planet Froob in first, then shove the girl in, wait til he'd eaten her, then shove the priest in and jettison the pod. Then me and Captain Kirk would make mad passionate love on the floor of the escape shoots until the starship explodes. Yeah, we'd both be dead, but what a way to go...
Excuse me, what? Sorry, I was too busy putting on the restraining straps and reading the instruction card to notice who managed to get in behind me.
Well, heck, that's easy. the 7-year old girl goes, no question. Capt. James T. Kirk goes with her because if anyone's got a good chance of figuring out how to save the rest of us, it's Kirk. And anyways, he could always go "Jake!!!!!!!!!!!!!" when I'm about to die. Or "Of all the souls I have known, his was the most...Puerto Rican."
As for the priest, he's already made his peace with...whoever it is. And the Froobian? Why should it (him/her I guess would be the proper form) go? I thought all Froobians could take a seed pod form and drift through the cold emptiness of space until they landed on a suitable planet where they would hatch anew as the Phoenix rises from its ashes? Or was that the Phoenix I'm thinking of? Oh well, too late now.
I put the girl and the alien in the pod. Between Kirk and I, we might be able to save this ship (with a little bit of prayer from the priest). If not, Kirk and my duty is to the ship, and the priest should have no fear of death, as it will deliver him into the hands of the Lord.
I convince the priest to pray for salvation, get Captain Kirk to start on one of his long melodramatic speeches and then tell the 6 armed, nine foot tall shocking pink alien from the planet Froob that Captain Kirk called him an idiot. While the priest is busy praying and the alien is beating up Captain Kirk I grab the blind girl and get in the life pod. Why - I save myself because well that's just good self-preservation instincts. I save the girl because she's the least annoying of the other people.
Your question is illogical.
Hmmm, I put the priest and the alien into the escape pod, offering to go down with the ship with Captain Kirk. He takes my statement in a far more sexual manner than I had intended, and I lock myself in my cabin with the seven year old blind girl. She reveals herself as an omnipotent being from a race of aliens which visited the earth in the distant past. Captain Kirk announces over the computer that he doesn't care who she is, she had better release his ship or he will order the Enterprise to self-destruct. The blind girl says that we have passed our test and humanity is spared. Then she disappears. The crew have been saved, except for the priest and the alien, whose escape capsule was tragically destroyed by a interstellar anomaly. Kirk reflects upon the strangeness of fate as we continue our exploration of the universe...
I spare everyone the pain of making the decision and launch the pod immediately. Then we can get down to the business of saving the ship with no nasty mutinous thoughts of running away.
Kirk would never go in the pod, he'd stay with the ship and try to save it. The priest probably wouldn't either, but I don't really care, since I'm an atheist. The Froobian can't be near Kirk, or they'll fight to the death. And nobody but the girl would fit in the pod with the Froobian. So obviously Kirk, the priest, and I have to stay to fight for our lives as time runs out!
Or, that's what you'd LIKE me to think. But you never said the ship was in any danger, you just wanted me to assume the worst. I get Kirk and the priest into the pod somehow, probably by knocking them out. Then I take control of the ship. If the Froobian's friendly, we all win. If it's some kind of monster, I give it the girl, and most of us win.
No one... I hate sitting next to people on trips like this... it makes me motion-sick.
Orrr..... if there was no hope of rescue for a while, I could take the blind girl... this way... if we are starving and have to draw straws, I can tell her she lost and eat her to keep myself alive. :-)
My original answer was: Well, one of the seats is for me! So who gets the other one? Not Captain Kirk; I don't want to be molested. Not the Froobian; I don't want to be eaten. Not the blind girl; it's not like she'll know she isn't on the escape pod anyways, I'd just strap her into a chair in a hallway and tell her to relax, and then blast off! That leaves the priest; good thing too, since I'll need a long hearty confession after leaving the three of them on the ship.
However, I thought it over, and realized it's a trick question. You clever people you! I stay on the ship; much more interesting that way, and my fate is secure (I'm coming to that). The priest, because of his piety, would insist that he stay behind. The Froobian and the blind girl are natural pod-mates, they go in the pod together. I'm sure the Froobian (if he's on HOLIDAY!) won't do anything to the girl, and the girl, being blind, will not be frightened of the shocking pink alien. Off they go.
I CLING TO CAPTAIN KIRK LIKE A BARNACLE. Why? Not because of the girdle or the hairpiece. Not even because of Priceline.com. Don't you see? HE'S INDESTRUCTIBLE!! He doesn't die until after the big fight scene with Professor Sorin on that planet in the path of the Nexus ribbon. His fate is already cast! (Unless he does die, which would cause a paradox, probably destroying a huge swath of space-time in it's wake, in which case no escape-pod is going to save you, because, face it, you're just meat.) And hey! even if he does end up on that planet with Prof. Sorin and Captain Picard and the sun-killing missle, at least I get to meet Patrick Stewart.
Are Froobians edible? If so, I take the Froobian as it would provide the most nourishment, thereby maximizing the length of time I can spend awaiting rescue from my insane podmate, whom I was forced to blast into tasty, char-broiled bits with my ray gun.
The alien. Captain Kirk can totally take care of himself, the priest will help the blind girl, and I'm probably going to need some backup when I land, considering how this day is going. Unless the "shocking" part means that he's randomly electrical, which would be uncomfortable. If that's the case, I leave him with Kirk and take the priest (who I hope trained in small-fire arms (or at least was a Boy Scout) when he was younger).
Captain Kirk and the priest. If the rest of us are going to die then they might as well be miserable.
Well that's easy! Captain Kirk! I can't have sex with a priest, a 7-year old girl, or a pink alien!!!
The Froobian, whose pink color indicates s/he is about to spawn a thousand little Froobians, which go for big bucks on the black market-- we can split the profits and retire to the happy planet!
This almost turns into a logic puzzle.
One can assume that, whereever Kirk is, the actual vessel carrying him will not sustain catastrophic failure because he has Major Plot Character Syndrome. However, a peculiar corollary of that is that anyone travelling with him is screwed unless they too are a major plot character. The girl, the priest, and the alien all smack of guest characters, so if Kirk were to get into the pod with them, they will die tragically to demonstrate the potential danger. This probably goes for myself, as well, incidentally.
However, if Kirk does not get into the life pod, the life pod itself has just become expendable, in order to demonstrate the extreme danger that the ship (that Kirk is on) is in. The exception to that is that, if Kirk sends the pink alien off alone, the alien must survive - no action Kirk intentionally takes can cause an irreperable diplomatic incident, and there are no other obvious intersections for the Froobians to perceive that Kirk really is a great man. Therefore, the pink Froobian gets into the life pod - maybe gets captured by the enemy/gravity well/spatial anomaly, but is able to be rescued.
Unfortunately, that leaves myself, a priest, and a little girl looking dangerously like we're wearing red shirts next to Kirk. The most important thing then is to ensure that no aliens or alien presence board the ship - if there's combat in the halls, we're all dead, but if it remains a ship-to-ship episode, we've got a chance. Then, once no alien incursion is established, we stay the hell away from computer panels that might explode if the ship is attacked - in fact, I recommend we stay in our individual quarters (but not in an obnoxious way that eliminates sympathy from my character because I'm disagreeing with Kirk). That way, the camera can't focus on the tragic death of all three of us, the director will get grumpy at having to divide his shots three ways, and perhaps he'll just leave us alone. Of course, if Kirk comes up with an in-depth plan, we go along, because going against the main hero's logic is almost always fatal.
[Editorial note: there's some real issues with the Froob, I see. I only hope they're less assuming about our kind than some of you are about them. As for Captain Kirk, it's clear that you're either for or against him, and the numbers aren't real positive!]