Here on Castaway Island: A classic comedy comes ashore as a Tricube Tales minigame

Here on Castaway Island RPG lets you play on Gilligan's Island
Here on Castaway Island RPG lets you play on Gilligan's Island

Ask any Gen Xer what life was like in the 1980s, and one thing they’re likely to point out is how TV changed. It went from where you got three channels, maybe four if you had a PBS, to dozens of channels once Cable TV arrived. That gave the Latchkey Generation oodles of options to watch before they left for school and after they got home.

Among the most prominent options was the always reliable “Gilligan’s Island.” This ongoing, if not repetitive, saga told the story of shipwreck survivors who made do on an uncharted island somewhere in the South Pacific. Its never-ending presence on cable TV made it a cultural icon. Easy to understand. Easy to enjoy. And just as easy to make fun of. Goodness knows that comedians of the 1970s, 80s and 90s did!

  1. How come they couldn’t get off the island?
  2. Where did they get all that stuff?
  3. How could so many additional people keep showing up?
  4. Where did they get all those clean clothes?

These were, indeed, questions for the ages.

Tropes on the Tropical Castaway Island

Of course, what seems repetitive to us in the present, weren’t as obvious as they were when the show aired once a week.

The fact of the matter is that the writers and showrunners didn’t want the castaways off the island. They didn’t want their stars to wear rags. They wanted to keep adding guest stars no matter how implausible the situations got.

Why?

Because that’s the way the show operated. That’s what kept the show on the air. It’s what made it fun.

Making sure the same result always happened is what inspired the Tricube Tales game Here on Castaway Island.  Yep, it’s a game about getting nowhere fast.

Here on Castaway Island - Available on DrivethruRPG

Tricube Tales: Here on Castaway Island

The fun the creators and cast had with the show, and the fun the audience had with the show, has been applied to the Tricube Tales roleplaying game system. Called “Here on Castaway Island”, the game lets you adopt a Castaway persona as they try to get off the island.

Well … you kinda try.

The game intentionally pokes fun at the tropes of the TV show by suggesting that you outwardly push your characters in a quest to go back home.

But not really.

In truth you have a Meta agenda as a player: You want everything to go back to normal by the end of the session. Normal, as in stuck on the island.

That’s right, just like the real “Giligan’s Island” you only want the appearance of change at the end of an adventure. Sure, your character might long to return to her place in civilized high society, but you, the player wants them right back where they started: Stranded on Castaway Island. Maybe a little wiser. Perhaps a little smarter. Maybe even a little more skilled but back in your hut nonetheless.

What’s your role in this Tricube Tales game?

Sure the idea of Here on Castaway Island seems a little counterintuitive, but it’s all about having fun along the way.

Start out as a Scientist, Celebrity, Businessperson, Sweetheart, Protector or Worker Bee, and struggle through the challenges, hoping your skills make it better for your fellow Castaway Island residents. Through these adventures, just like any other roleplaying game, you have an evening of fun, snickering at the silliness of the way TV used to be.

Play “Here on Castaway Island” by grabbing the PDF at DriveThruRPG here: Here on Castaway Island (Tricube Tales One-Page RPG) (PocketQuest 2022) – Parade of Heroes | DriveThruRPG

So, just sit right back, and enjoy your tale — it’s the tale of a fateful trip.

Go on Little Buddy, give it a try!

Gilligan's Island RPG Tricube Tales

 

 

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