I’m working out what an episode will typically look like using a formula similar to the TV series.
Because Power Rangers RPG is based on the popular TV series, I think the RPG episodes/sessions should lay out in a somewhat similar fashion. Not that I think Renegade will take notes, but if they ever get around to making a GM’s guide, I hope it goes something like this.
It’s another typical sunny day in Bennett’s Cove. Class is over for the day and the kids are relaxing at their favorite hangout, The Commons, a strip mall sandwich/smoothie shop and place for people to gather/study. There might be a brief skit with the comedy relief duo. Then, Alpha breaks in with news of a putty attack/monster sighting in ____ (location.)
Rangers, still in street clothes, battle putties for a few rounds, long enough for the civilians to finish fleeing in terror. It’s Morphin time. More punching and kicking of putties and maybe a few shots at the monster itself. The monster of the week (in small humanoid form) does whatever they’re going to do. (Zap a a bunch of civilians or a random Ranger with the weird ray of the week, casts a love spell, or whatever.) The monster then usually drops a threat of “when we meet again, you won’t be so fortunate,” and teleports away.
The Rangers are then left to deal with whatever weird effect they’ve been hit with or regroup at HQ to figure out how to help the zapped civilians. There could also be a next day sequence at school where Blue tries to stop the computer virus or Yellow tries to help a homeless kid. Basically a roleplaying encounter to showcase the non-power talents of one or more of the team.
The Episode baddie is back, causing whatever chaos happened in Encounter 2 on a more grand scale. The Rangers show up and morph to slug it out with the baddies. Along the way, they discover a cure or reverse the effects of whatever the monster did in Encounter 2. The Rangers call for their combined weapon to blast the small version of the monster to tiny bits.
“Gigantify!” A beam comes down from the ship in orbit, zombats, some kind of spell, etc to turn the defeated monster into a giant monster. Zords are called up. Megazord is formed. Rangers use their Mega sword, beam cannon, Shark fist attack, etc to vanquish giant monster. Hopefully no civilians are crushed under the falling monster or injured with all the beams and booms everywhere. (Hint hint. I’m going to make the group take the fight away from town or else.)
With everything back to normal, the Rangers can celebrate over pizza. We have another short vignette with the comedy relief duo. Everyone laughs. Roll credits.
What I forgot to mention:
Somewhere in most TV episodes, one of the Rangers usually receives some sort of power up unique to their color. It usually starts with Red getting some sort of overpowered sword, gun, or motorcycle. Then the rest of the group gets their benefits either as a share with Red or sometimes their own. Unless it’s some of the later seasons of the show in which case one wonders why the rest of the team even shows up. “Ah. No worries. You got this Red. I mean, yay teamwork…”
At some point new add-on Zords will be created to attach or swap out with parts of the Megazord. We might even introduce all new Zords halfway into the season. Of course, I’m again basing a lot of my plans on later series such as Ninja Steel, Megaforce and Super Samurai.
Upgrades are all the rage in the show and with gamers (especially my kids.) I’m still saving the Super armor upgrade for the second part of the season. The TV series usually do this with the second season of whatever team they’re running.
I’m also going to encourage my players to earn extra experience by challenging some of their character quirks in the first, third and last encounters. Maybe someone has an after school job or is tutoring Spanish students. Possibly have the message of the week like “Stay away from drugs,” or “Always be nice to others.” I mean, after all, it can’t always be punching, kicking and blasting our way out of things, right? Hint hint- Ranger Code.
We’re probably going to do some things to make it more “gamey” for the RPG.
We already know I’m not huge on the comedy relief portions of the show. That may go away completely. For example, Bulk and Skull may eliminate themselves in some horrible way early on and never be heard from again… ever. Instead, we may build more on one of the character’s backgrounds. Maybe Red chose impoverished. We’ll do a visit to his parents’ house over in the rough part of town.
Also, I’ve only described a formula for about half of the episodes. Without railroading the players completely, there will be some very specific plots with monsters, lieutenants, and other special characters that are not monsters of the week and may actually be featured in recurring episodes. I even have a specific subplot involving our campaign world’s Zordon that is going to come up. Unlike the TV series, we’re going to be seeing some different things happen across the Multiverse timelines that affect the Rangers of Earth 129. While Rita and Zed haven’t and won’t be making an appearance, I’m not ruling out having the Triumvirate calling upon some other classic baddies.
It’s also no coincidence that the Triumvirate’s battle cruiser is somewhat modeled after Galvanax’s ship from Ninja Steel. I mean, the thing was bristling with firepower and they used it to film a TV series in space called “Galaxy Warriors.” Talk about wasted potential. At some point in the RPG series, that thing is going to open fire on a major Earth city or at least threaten it. More on that next time.
In the next installment of campaign building for Power Rangers RPG, I plan to talk more about behind the scenes monsters and plots. It’s one detail we get in a TV show that can’t really be emulated by an RPG very well. I’m also devising some sort of Monster of the Week tables, since Renegade is, well… Let’s just say I could be more impressed with the “Core” book in those regards.
Not sure how I’m going to cook up a Morphin Monster Manual without art, but we’re going to try anyway. 😁 (See what I did there?) MMM…
I also want to talk more about Earth 218 and Power Rangers: Unworthy
I live to plan stuff like this campaign. Planning campaigns is tons of fun for me. Even if they never run, at least I had some amusement coming up with plots and settings. Many ideas overfloweth from my brain…
Take care. Please remember to hydrate. Please be extra nice to one another.