For every great RPG, there’s a great story behind it, and Monochrome RPG is no exception! Our current demo offers only a brief glimpse into the social intrigue we have planned. Hidden behind the smiles and stage makeup is a complex arena of political intrigue and alliances. To make it in the big leagues of show-business, lines must be drawn, but practice caution! There’s wolves in sheep’s clothing, and it’d be dangerous to make such powerful friends (and enemies) without informing yourself on where they stand.
In Vaudeville, an entertainment metropolis, acting ability is the most important skill to have. Interpersonal conflicts are solved with staged bouts, power is gained through attention, and those who can’t dazzle a crowd are left behind. With his crippling stage fright and uncommon appearance, Otto garnered the wrong kind of laughs from his peers. Soon enough, the young toon hid his face and fled from Vaudeville to avoid the constant bullying. He now lives in a pre-furnished house he found just outside Talent Town, in Greyshade Valley, where the rent is cheap and the people are few and far between.
Years pass, and in Otto’s time away, life in Vaudeville grows increasingly stranger. Vaudeville has a new mayor, Mayor Munchen LeStache, with the last mayor seeming to disappear into thin air after the inauguration. The bullish economy is in freefall, the entertainment bubble has burst! Day laborers are disappearing under mysterious circumstances. It seems the world is changing faster than anyone can keep up!
What could be causing these sudden changes? How will they impact Otto’s new life? Play along as this new world will thrust Otto into a series of fun and frightening situations that evolve into the adventure of a century!
Ottomess Blohtz (aka Otto) is an outcast to Vaudevillian society. No one truly knows where he came from, but he’s often pushed around because of his appearance and his occasional awkwardness. His self-esteem is shot, he is always covered by his clothing, only revealing his eyes and ears. Otto believes he’ll never be truly accepted in society but he still wants to find himself.
A strange Toon with multiple eyes who lives in Otto’s basement alongside Gackle. Gazer also enjoys wandering about the dense forest of Greyshade Valley. Until recently Otto didn’t even realize Gazer existed, as the odd creature prefers to blend seamlessly into darkness. Gazer might be a strange bedfellow, but he has more in common with Otto than initially appears.
Rayel is an awkward timid mosquito, as well as one of Otto’s only friends. She often braves past the City limits to visit him. However, being a mosquito, Rayel has often accidentally bitten others with her nose. Because of this stigma, she’s usually avoided by others and has issues with being open about her feelings. Otto and Rayel bound about their estrangement. She works as a nurse in the Hospital and uses her blood-sucking ability with ink transfusions.
Smolder is a moody, mature lizard who is almost never seen without his trademark cigar. He works on the line at the automobile factory. He often acts as an older brother figure to Otto during their adventures and has an interest in hard-boiled detective monologuing and smooth jazz. He’s been crushing on Damezelle.
An extremely tough and bullish resident of the city that has always had it in for Otto. As an outsider, Otto’s an easy target for Bruiser. While Bruiser experiences some estrangement due to his short temper and reliance on violence, he has a run on the streets of the city with his sidekick Hairy Perry. He’s braggadocious and violent, so he can hang around anywhere he wants with little to worry about.
Damezelle, Otto’s sister, is a big star in the world of Monochrome! Often typecasted into playing the heroine who needs saving, her life in Talent Town is certainly never boring but, at times, very frustrating.
A mustachioed toon donning a cape and top hat, nothing is subtle about LeStache. A show man as well as an opportunist schemer, he’s well-connected with a lot of nefarious activities going on, but is very careful to cover his tracks. He is able to store a ton of secrets in his cape, yet his weapon of choice is a solitary six-shooter.
The Stranger is off-putting, always ranting about LeStache’s evil. With each new disguise, he hatches a new scheme to find a way to dethrone LeStache. Otto and The Stranger seem cosmically linked, as their stories begin to intertwine from the very beginning.
Supporting Cast and Crew
A gorilla best described as a gentle giant. Perry is actually one of the few residents in the city to treat Otto decently. However he rolls with Bruiser, so he can’t always stick up for Otto. He attempts to be a voice of reason, but Bruiser isn’t much of a listener. He is strong and can handle himself in a fight, even if he might prefer not to. He has a near-limitless stash of exploding cigars to use on his opponents.
The grumpy captain of the S.S. Crosshatch, a steamboat that delivers the various goods and livestock across the Vintage River and into the city. Smokestack has a gruff exterior, but he cares deeply about his employees. Despite Otto’s missteps and low self-esteem, Smokestack secretly is rooting for him. He thinks of Otto like the son he never had. He packs a punch strong enough to knock most anyone out, but is reluctant to use it unless he must.
Gackle, commonly known as The Gackle in the Vaudevillian Underground, is Otto’s basement-dwelling, party animal roommate. Gackle is a hedonist, throwing raucous parties for anyone who can match his vibe. Otto and the furniture hate how crazy Gackle and the other partygoers can get, but it’s Gackle’s choice and he’s still making his rent.
A Play in Four Acts!
I. Maniacal Morning
II. Grim Greyshade
Otto sets off for work at Smokestack’s barge, as he would any other day though happier than usual. On his commute through Greyshade Valley, Otto runs into a multi-eyed creature named Gazer. Gazer is familiar with Otto, as he’s been to Gackle’s parties. With his unusual panoptical look and shy demeanor, Otto and Gazer bond over their estrangement. Gazer offers to join Otto’s troupe to help Otto out and solve the mystery of where exactly he is. Remembering Otto is still late for his shift at the barge, Otto and Gazer set off through Greyshade Valley together.
III. Trouble in Talent Town
As Otto walks through Talent Town many toons are taken aback that Otto, a lonely toon, is walking around with a new many-eyed friend. On his way to the docks, he’s stopped by Bruiser, the town bully. Otto’s jokes are no match for Bruiser, and he is thoroughly theatrically thrashed. Luckily, Captain Smokestack arrives, saving Otto from a brutal beating. Smokestack drags Bruiser away to Bruiser’s station for the day’s work. Rayel and Damezelle, his longtime friend and his pugnacious stepsister respectively, check in on Otto. The two of them walk him to the barge.
IV. Broken Barge
When Otto and crew reach the barge, they find a crowd of distraught toons in a panic! Otto enters Smokestack’s dock house to find out the barge is broken! Smokestack and Otto must chase after a mysterious creature, who kidnaps Damezelle.
Themes (Mature and Immature alike)
Otto’s story carries him through a wide variety of different troubles, some of which hit on darker themes. Though the game is being developed with a “Teen” rating in mind, Monochrome RPG intends to feature:
- Sexuality (with a focus on LGBTQIA+ themes)
- Attaining wisdom
- Culture shock
- Mind control
- And, in the far future…
Cultural portrayal in Monochrome isn’t focused on direct portrayals but on demonstrating the perspectives of various cultures through empathetic narrative situations. The RPG isn’t about portraying cultural elements directly from this dimension but more about portraying the perspective of various cultures through the society of Vaudeville and the monochromatic toony world! Our studio’s focus on diversity shines through the variety of toon designs and the intertwined relationships between these toons.
Objects in Mirror are more Similar than they Appear...
Much like Otto, we live in interesting times indeed, where life seemingly changes at the drop of someone else’s hat. Monochrome RPG offers an escape into a universe where all the world’s a stage, but the people (ironically) aren’t merely players. As Otto, explore facets of change and empathy’s role in evolving as a community through it.