25% Of The Time, They Work Every Time – REWORDED

These rules have been rewritten to be more direct and have fewer idioms, in an attempt to be more accessible for readers on the ASD spectrum. If you have any suggestions for how to improve these, please let me know via the contact form.


Dr Corden’s Robot Extravaganza was a seminal moment in the fields of both robotics and marketing.
Dr Corden’s robots, however, were as poorly made as their incredibly well branded launch event was poorly planned. Even the now well-known and socially influencing slogan of “25% of the time, they work every time” wasn’t enough to help Dr Corden recover from the shame that the night in question brought them.


Dr Corden was so confident in their skills when they designed their patented ‘Totally Competent Robot Helpers’ that they put in no fail-safes in case of malfunction. Nor did they think to put in any precautions for the launch night, in case any of the Totally Competent Robot Helpers failed to attend to their duties properly. In fact, all of the staff at the event were robots of Dr Corden’s design.
The only issue was that Dr Corden’s Totally Competent Robot Helpers were far from totally competent. In fact, they were only totally competent 25% of the time.


Players take on the roll of Robots created by Dr Corden. The aim for players is to ensure that the launch event is a success.

Whenever players attempt an action, its success is determined by
rolling a 4-sided dice.
4 – Totally Successful
3 – Mostly Successful
2 – Partially Successful
1 – Total Failure


There are four different types of Robot for players to play as.

Each type of robot has a special talent built into its programming. Roll a 4-sided dice to determine your role.

Each role has an ability that influences the result of a 4-sided dice roll when attempting actions.

4 – Canapés – observant – can change 1s into 2s when trying to
read the room or notice events
3 – Drinks – flare – can change 1s into 2s when trying to be
acrobatic or dexterous
2 – Entertainment – dazzling – can change 1s into 2s when trying
to distract or charm humans
1 – Security – muscle – can change 1s into 2s when trying to use
strength or force


Robots must also follow Corden’s three laws of robotics that are programmed into them.

1 – A robot may not injure a guest or, through inaction, allow a
guest to feel they have received poor service.

2 – A robot must obey orders given to it by guests, except where
such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3 – A robot must protect its own existence as long as such
protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


Every time a result of 1 is rolled, players suffer a Total Failure.

Players must keep a track of each Total Failure. Once a player has rolled four Total Failures, they should roll a 4-sided dice and consult the Malfunction table.

When a player rolls on the Malfunction table, the result takes immediate

4 – No malfunction

3 – For a moment, the robot is convinced that it is

2 – Walk away from the task being undertaken

1 – Perform a short song to the nearest human

Once the effect has been resolved, continue the game as normal.

Players can remove a Total Failure from their tracker by having a Robot Dance Party (Perform a dance – The Robot!).


This is the big launch event for Dr Corden’s Totally Competent Robot Helpers and will be attended by members of the public, members of the press and investors. These guests can be recognised by their ID badges.

Some uninvited members of the public also wish to get into the event.

Roll an 8-sided dice to determine which of the following parties have ended up inside the event.

8 – Evangelical Infiltrators
7 – Rival Robot Engineers
6 – Super Advanced Robots from the Future
5 – Isaac Asimov’s Legal Team
4 – The Labour Union
3 – Charming German Terrorists
2 – Robot Rights Activists
1 – Disgruntled former employees

Finally, roll a 4-sided dice to determine the way in which they will disrupt the event.

4 – A Bomb in the Basement
3 – Poisoned Food
2 – Cutting the Power Supply
1 – Kidnapping Dr Corden

Questions? Clarifications? Send them here