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Toon-RPG 5286

Finally, a Munchkin-proof game! (Or not...)


Toon: The Cartoon Role-Playing Game is a silly little role-playing game, originally developed by Greg Costikyan and Warren Spector, and published by Steve Jackson Games. In it, players take on the roles of cartoon characters, then engage in all sorts of slapstick misadventures, either in standalone sessions or the game's equivalent of a campaign, a "show" (a recurring series with the same characters or in the same setting). They can choose just about any sort of species, give them a number of cartoon powers (from super-speed to a Bag of Holding to shape-shifting), and then go nuts.

Several supplementals -- The Tooniversal Tour Guide, Toon Tales, Toon Ace Catalog, Toon: Silly Stuff, and Son Of Toon -- expand the game with new props, new abilities, new scenarios, and other additional forms of insanity.

The game is currently out of print, but e-book versions of Toon: Deluxe Edition (which includes material from the main rulebook, Toon: Silly Stuff and Son of Toon) and The Tooniversal Tour Guide are available from SJ Games' e23 website.


This game features examples of the following tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Used for comedic effect in some of the settings. "Car-Toon Wars", for instance, allows players to equip their vehicles with machine guns that fire jelly beans, cream pie homing missiles, and instant-wall mines.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Characters can successfully pull off certain cartoony stunts by failing a Smarts roll, meaning their character fails to notice that what they're doing (like walking on thin air) should be impossible.
    • Turned Up to Eleven by the Bozonians, an alien race from the "Star Toons" setting of Tooniversal Tour Guide, whose highly advanced civilization stems not from being super-intelligent, but from being too stupid to know that the things they build should be impossible.
  • Adults Are Useless: Invoked in the "Toony Tyke Adventures" setting from Tooniversal Tour Guide.
  • Affectionate Parody: The settings in Tooniversal Tour Guide, Toon Tales, and Son of Toon parody a number of genres, including spoofs of other role-playing games (like CarToon Wars, Dungeons and Toons, and Mektoon).
  • Ace Products: The Toon Ace Catalog is devoted to this trope.
  • Animation Tropes: Just about all of them get a nod here.
  • Bag of Holding
  • Born Lucky: Toons with the Incredible Luck power.
  • Do-Anything Robot: The Coat of Arms power provides a similar effect.
  • Funny Animal: The game provides a long list (several tables' worth!) of suggestions for your character's species.
  • Game Master: The Animator
  • Hammerspace: Your Toon's "back pocket".
  • Improbable Weapon User: Featured prominently in the "Masters of Toon Fu" setting from Toon Tales, with weapons like double-piechuks (nunchuks with cream pies) and the hobo staff.
  • Kaiju: A prominent part of the "Atomic Monster Theater" setting from Tooniversal Tour Guide.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The "Crawl of Catchoolu" setting from Tooniversal Tour Guide.
  • Mr. Imagination: Kid characters in "Toony Tykes Adventures" gain the power "Overactive Imagination" by default, which allows them to enact this trope.
  • Non-Lethal KO: Characters don't die, they "Fall Down", taking them out of the action for a few rounds.
  • Parody Names: All over the place.
  • Pie in the Face: A common threat, and always stuns a PC for one round.
  • Reality Warper: The Cosmic Shift power, which allows limited invocation of Toon Physics.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: The "Apocalyptic Big Finish" tables in the core rulebook and the Ace Catalog.
  • Rule of Fun: The 50-50 rule is explicitly one of these.
  • Rule of Funny: The game literally runs on this. Players can actually get bonus experience points for making the GM laugh.
  • Running Gag: The rulebooks are full of these. The Toon Ace Catalog frequently mentions "small round paisley things that go 'poing'".
  • Sanity Meter: Parodied in "Crawl of Catchooloo"; since toons are already crazy to begin with they have an insanity meter instead, and hanging out with the minions of the Elderly Gods drives the PCs sane, causing them to become boring and strait-laced.
  • Schrodinger's Gun: Toon characters can take up to two "Gizmos", which you later declare "oh yeah, this gizmo is a <thing I happen to need right now>".
  • Screwy Squirrel: Your character can be one, but this pretty much defines the attitude of all Foogle Birds.
  • Toon Physics
  • Tuckerization: The "Toonpunk 2020 1/2" setting features a Toonified version of RL hacker and GURPS Cyberpunk author Loyd Blankenship, called Floyd Blinkingchip.
  • Wild Take: A character who gets "Boggled" (stunned) may pull off one of these.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The game is called Toon. The characters very carefully aren't.
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