Monday, 6 March 2017

The Mr Banks RPG

Now that I'm older and I've been forced to watch Mary Poppins more times than I'd like to count, I found I've developed a certain sympathy with Mr Banks, the stern and autocratic father of the story.

The way I've come to see it, Mr Banks manages to run a reasonably successful household - not especially happy, but prosperous - which is then destroyed by the new nanny who subsequently manipulates him into a situation where he gets sacked. To quote the man himself, "it's all that Poppins woman's fault!"

I think that the poor man's plight has been tragically unexplored, until now. I am setting up a Kickstarter campaign to make "The Mr Banks RPG". I am looking to raise £150,000 for production costs. A flavour of the game can be found below.

You are Mr Banks.

You are arriving HOME after a long day’s work at the BANK.You are looking forward to seeing MRS BANKS and your children: JANE and MICHAEL. The children will have been studying hard today as both will be entering preparatory schools soon. The new nanny, MARY POPPINS, will have been instructing them.

You are at the front door.


You have:





You are TIRED. Your happiness is HIGH.

>>Open front door

You open the door, expecting your wife to welcome you home. Tonight, she is at a Suffragette rally. Again. You can’t remember the last time you saw her. The house staff are there, though. They are arguing bitterly with each other.Your happiness is now MEDIUM.


MARY POPPINS, JANE and MICHAEL are here also.

>>Talk to Poppins

MARY POPPINS tells you that today, rather than studying for school, the children have instead gone to a racecourse and consorted with itinerant chimney sweeps. Your happiness is now LOW.

>>Admonish Poppins

After a duet in which you strongly suspect MARY POPPINS mocked your desire for the children to learn about finance and respect your job, you find that you have been manipulated into taking JANE and MICHAEL to work while MARY POPPINS has the day off. Your happiness is now VERY LOW.

>>Take Jane and Michael to the bank

MICHAEL seems resentful at being taken away from MARY POPPINS, despite this being her idea all along. Your happiness level is now EXTREMELY LOW.

>>Teach Michael about finance

MICHAEL has an enormous tantrum, attacks your boss and runs off with JANE.

You have been SACKED.

You no longer have these items: 




>>Go home

You go home and try and build bridges with your wretched and disobedient children by constructing a kite together.

>>Avoid discussing unemployment with Mrs Banks

She’s barely noticed that you’re here. Your happiness level is now CRITICALLY LOW.

>>Go fly a kite

As soon as you leave for the park with your children, MARY POPPINS leaves without giving any notice. Your household is now HEAVILY DISRUPTED. Everything is crumbling around you.

>>Fantasise about getting job back

Inexplicably, the bank’s new chairman is now flying a kite at the park. He promotes you to partner for some reason. Everything is FINE. Your grip on reality is SLIPPING.

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