Thursday, February 14, 2013

Exotic locales and two-fisted action

Planing a game is a very exciting time. Its pregnant with promise. The gestation is a journey of its own, full of little ups and downs. Ewww, ikkie, gruesome metaphor, but well, anyway, its more or less the way it is.

I've managed to knock off a bunch of games and adjust my thinking about preferences.

Shotgun Diaries and MHRP are the fall back games but the goal is to not really play them really at all. Not because they are bad they are great games which I really like. However I want to run the main game the most.

In the past we would fall back to a pick up game if we didn't have a quorum of players which meant if I dint have at lest three we would not do the main game. I've dropped that threshold down to two players, which should be achievable nearly every session as I have two really reliable participants.

I'm still examining what amounts to two major genre areas: Sci-fi and fantasy.

On the sci-fi front my present thinking is towards a hack of my own devising either Traveller, mouse guard/burning wheel or OSR inspired. I've all ways thought a hack of the old Buck Rodgers 25th century game would be a fine thing to do. I do it in the spirit of a Microlite type conversion.  Mainly as I have some time constraints and the microlite format would help that.

Deathwatch and Rogue Trader are both still getting a good looking into. We used to have a lot of fun with WHFRP back in the day. Its one game I've "played" as opposed to GM'ed. As a player I had fun in the game and found the mechanics good until I would suffer a critical - then it was horrid!

Star Wars: The Edge of Empire remains very appealing. I dont know why it has taken me so long to see it as pulp-sci-fi in the mode of the 30's-40's but it did. Its only a recent realization. So the thinking is I can combine my love of pulp with Star Wars goodness and run a fun game ... And I think that can happen easily. Empire = Nazis, Force = Occult, and all the scenery is thematically on cue too. Ancient temples, Far of wildernesses, chase scenes, Big villains with secret or impregnable bases. Its all there. The way Brian Misiaszek puts it "Fast-paced and energetic adventures. Exotic locales and two-fisted action. A wistful and nostalgic glimpse of an era that seems familiar but more simpler, innocent and daring". Like Brian says the adventures have to have
  1. Larger than Life Heroes.☑
  2. Reduced Hero Deaths.☑
  3. Colourful Villains.☑ - Emperor, Vader, Thrawn, Jaba, Gredo (Han shot first) ☑
  4. Gadgets and Weird Science.- DeathStar, Lightsabers, rocket packs, droids, etc. ☑  
  5. Bizarre Crimes and Mystery. - The murder of Alderaan! Han in carbonite.☑
  6. Exotic Settings and Locations. ☑
  7. Lost Worlds.- and even cultures in SW's, jedi, sith, ☑
  8. Cliffhangers. ☑
  9. Deathtraps.- "R2 turn off the garbage compactors on the detention level"☑
  10. The "Feel" of the 1930s-1940s Pulp Era.- John says it best ☑
So yeah I'm really getting swayed by the idea of doing a Star Wars game. It just seems to hit the sweet spot. I can add in what ever tech under the guise of "Gadgets and Weird Science" which is sort of cool I reckon. So all in all this is riding high at present.

On the fantasy rpg front, The One Ring is nudging my interest just a wee bit more then A Song of Ice and Fire Game of Thrones Edition. Strangely the reason for this is the lack of non-human monsters in A Song of Ice and Fire. 

Sure there are both the Others/white-walkers and the Dragons but there is very little else I could take the idea of the coming winter as an excuse for a few supernatural beasts to be popping up. It would be non-canonical sure but if it was fun the players would probably forgive the setting faux pas. The only other consideration would be OSR picking up in Ayurth where we left off.

In terms of direction of the games

Sci-fi near-future game (SWN?) would find the campaign opening upon a well established solar system wide human civilization. The various competing nations and conglomerates, one of whom has managed to make the breakthrough which is leading them to the development of a Trans-Lux drive. So the setting is at the cusp of interstellar travel. There is a conspiracy behind a) the development, of trans-lux (involving a hard-take off singularity) as well as a conspiracy around the release of the technology and the coming potential diaspora to the stars. Add players and faction agendas and mix vigorously.

Star Wars on the other hand would be significantly different yet very much the same. At the very outer rim Elrood, Kathol, Minos areas of space way out past Dagobah well away from the normal stomping grounds of the Empire is where the players find them selves. They are embroiled in smuggling for the criminal cartels and the corporations . They take the job and do the drops, avoiding the Empire has been easy. Until now... These systems have become home to an Imperial research base doing biowarfare experiments (they are researching something termed "the Strain"). The criminal cartels are supplying the Imperials with everything they need, which they cant just get through an application of force (no pun) /power. The Moff, Villis Andal is playing the cartels against one another and against the fermenting rebel presence in the system. Once all sides are weakened by the conflicts Andal conives and it has claimed sufficient civilian casualties, the Empire will move in to restore order and security to its citizens... Until then its Imperial spec ops, sabotage and spy-craft.. for the sake of the citizenry. What is it the Moff is really expecting to gain. What is "The Strain". 

For The One Ring I've all ways loved the Witch King so the game has to centre on the darkening of Mirkwood and the influence of the the once human king on the lands near by. This is good as the game is set up for this in many respects.

In A Song of Ice and Fire I will focus on the intrigue and battles, which given the time of the game may sound hard to do however there are any number of options in this regard. One area I will weave in is Monsters and the nature of what a monster is. John Connolly's Every Dead thing planted a stake in my mind and I'll mine it for some of what I'm thinking for this game. That and the Wizard of Oz... and the Hyperion Canto's. I will just place these elements in easy reach and then watch them as they seep into the awareness of the players. If that doesn't work well one of them may just find they have more in common with Bird then they fist realize. The other facet I'll explore is marriage and finding a bride. Back in the day we had a lot of fun in Pendragon when we found out courtship and marriage was something that was fun to play. I'll introduce that into this game as then you have even more to lose. Yeah with any luck it will be close to the books in that regard. I'll also encourage troupe/entourage play to get past any issues with recovery from wounds.

 If you have any ideas you want to share post them up and I'll look at incorporating them..        


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