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Weird Campaign Idea Confessions

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  • sheliakbob
    It started normally enough. I was interested in running some WW2 era games, from the Russian perspective using The People s Revolution. While looking over that
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 9, 2010
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      It started normally enough. I was interested in running some WW2 era games, from the Russian perspective using The People's Revolution. While looking over that group, I noticed that at least one of them was active during the Russian Revolution. (Read up on Vigilance's SuperLink version of the timeline for more info/ideas.)
      So, I thought it would be fun to design a scenario that had its roots back in the Revolution, but would effect characters in the WW2 "now".
      Did some research...I happen to have a couple of books relevant to the topic on my shelves. Picked up "The Day They Almost Bombed Moscow" and read up on the Volunteer Force, British intervention in southern Russia an so forth.

      Volunteer British pilots of the 47th Squadron flew support for Denikin and Wrangel's White Russian Armies, partly in what they called "Z Flight". Mobile squadron based on a train, following the frontlines.

      Z-Flight is SUCH a comic book superhero team name and in no time I had:

      The PC's would be Flight capable (or Specialty Masters in Pilot and/or Aerial Cbt with custom tech planes) carrying out operations in a secret "War of Supers" against the Bolsheviks.

      The British had Mark V tanks and Whippet armored vehicles in the area. "Mark V" and "Whippet" are both fine names for armored superheroes.

      Next thing you know, I was statting up White Cossak "The One Man Horde" with Duplication and other White Russian supers.

      On the Bolshevik side, they dubbed the city of Tsaritsyn the "Red Verdun" which also makes a great supers name (sort of a Frenkenstein brick stitched together from casualties--the longer the fighting goes on, the bigger and stronger he gets!)
      Tsaritsyn will eventually be taken by the Red's "Steel Division"--also a doable team name.
      So now there has to be armor-wearing elite Bolshevik fighters, led by "The Steel Commissar"--who may or may not be Stalin himself. (A young Stalin gets credit for holding/taking the city in Red histories--the name Stalin itself means "Steel Man" and is a propaganda code name from day one, not Joe's actual birth name).

      And so it goes.
      Now I have a whole campaign centered around flying Brit heroes on a suped up train fighting normal and super opponents in a secret war to control the fate of Russia!
      For the "roots in the Russian Revolution" bit--Tsaritsyn will later be better known to history by its WW2 era name: "Stalingrad".
      Something that happens during the Revolution lies buried beneath the rubble, to one day be unearthed by The People's Revolution, or their Eugenik Brigade enemies....
    • Sean Holland
      Sounds like an excellent framework for a campaign to me. Though it does mean that your setting will have had supers for a lot longer than most comic book
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 9, 2010
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        Sounds like an excellent framework for a campaign to me.  Though it does mean that your setting will have had supers for a lot longer than most comic book worlds do.  Usually WW2 is the first appearance of the costumed supers, should make for an interesting and fun game.

        Good luck.
      • Charles Rice
        I like it! It s also worth pointing out that the Vigilance setting (which I am almost done writing and will be out soon) actually does have supers going way
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 9, 2010
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          I like it!

          It's also worth pointing out that the Vigilance setting (which I am almost done writing and will be out soon) actually does have supers going way (way) back.

          Pulp-style heroes like the original Minuteman date back to the Revolutionary War, so I think your setting is interesting on more than one front.

          On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 9:36 AM, Sean Holland <akaihyo@...> wrote:
           

          Sounds like an excellent framework for a campaign to me.  Though it does mean that your setting will have had supers for a lot longer than most comic book worlds do.  Usually WW2 is the first appearance of the costumed supers, should make for an interesting and fun game.

          Good luck.


        • Jakub
          As a Pole I have difficulty with viewing Russians as heroes. That s part of the reason why I dislike games set in 30-40s, because WWII still a touchy subject
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 9, 2010
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            As a Pole I have difficulty with viewing Russians as heroes. That's part of the reason why I dislike games set in 30-40s, because WWII still a touchy subject for most people. Smashing Nazis and Commies just doesn't work when you know what real-world Nazis and Communists have done. But that's just me, I guess.

            As far as the 'weird campaigns' go, I'm trying to write a short setting that boils down to: "We're not exactly playing superheroes... we're playing action figures of superheroes with actual, toy-scale superpowers in a toy world."
          • Charles Rice
            Jakub, I actually appreciate that sentiment. I know this is an incredibly silly line to draw, but its why the Russians aren t actually listed as heroes,
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 9, 2010
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              Jakub, I actually appreciate that sentiment.

              I know this is an incredibly silly line to draw, but its why the Russians aren't actually listed as heroes, despite their being our allies in WWII.

              Also, as the son of a WWII veteran, one thing I've always taken pains to acknowledge is the vital role the Poles played in the Allied victory over the Nazis in WWII. Its why there's a vital Polish hero in the Crown Guard WWII hero team.

              I think too many Europeans forgot, or never knew, that the Poles invented the Enigma machine that cracked the German codes, and that there were more free Poles fighting with the Allies than Free French.

              Chuck

              On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 11:51 AM, Jakub <erpegis@...> wrote:
               

              As a Pole I have difficulty with viewing Russians as heroes. That's part of the reason why I dislike games set in 30-40s, because WWII still a touchy subject for most people. Smashing Nazis and Commies just doesn't work when you know what real-world Nazis and Communists have done. But that's just me, I guess.

              As far as the 'weird campaigns' go, I'm trying to write a short setting that boils down to: "We're not exactly playing superheroes... we're playing action figures of superheroes with actual, toy-scale superpowers in a toy world."


            • Kurt McCoy
              I m really looking forward to getting that setting! It was the WW1 French hero Verdun mentioned in the SuperLink material that caused that NPC light to go on
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 9, 2010
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                I'm really looking forward to getting that setting!
                It was the WW1 French hero "Verdun" mentioned in the SuperLink material that caused that NPC light to go on when I saw "Red Verdun" in the book.

                This isn't the first time I've toyed with WW1 or thereabouts era supers. I'm interested in Flying Ace Pulp stories and worked on a Brave New World rpg campaign that I called "The Secret Life of Orville Wright"--postulating that the Wright Brothers' first flight worked solely because Orville was a Super capable of both unassisted flight and lifting their plane contraption from the ground. That game would've been WW1 Flying Aces--only with flying heroes replacing a lot of the machinery. I think I might have gotten a session or two out of that one.

                --- On Thu, 12/9/10, Charles Rice <rpgchuck@...> wrote:

                From: Charles Rice <rpgchuck@...>
                Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Re: Weird Campaign Idea Confessions
                To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010, 10:21 AM

                 

                I like it!

                It's also worth pointing out that the Vigilance setting (which I am almost done writing and will be out soon) actually does have supers going way (way) back.

                Pulp-style heroes like the original Minuteman date back to the Revolutionary War, so I think your setting is interesting on more than one front.

                On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 9:36 AM, Sean Holland <akaihyo@...> wrote:
                 

                Sounds like an excellent framework for a campaign to me.  Though it does mean that your setting will have had supers for a lot longer than most comic book worlds do.  Usually WW2 is the first appearance of the costumed supers, should make for an interesting and fun game.

                Good luck.



              • Kurt McCoy
                I can certainly appreciate such difficulties. Real war is always grim and bloody and filled with misery. Not something to be taken lightly. Comic book
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 9, 2010
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                  I can certainly appreciate such difficulties.
                  Real war is always grim and bloody and filled with misery. Not something to be taken lightly.
                  Comic book superheroes have always represented not the historical facts of a nation (or society) but the rarefied idealized version of how people saw their own heroic natures. No one is a "villain" in their own story! Even the Nazis--history's most useful and popular evil-bad-wrong bad guys--didn't see themselves as WW2's "villains".
                  So, when I run a game featuring The People's Revolution they won't be Russians the way history tells us they were. They will be Russians the way that an idealized Russian comic book version would've been. Not as they were, but as they might have seen themselves. They will be Heroes. (and the Nazis get to be dire evil-bad-wrong villains).

                  Actually the Russian Civil War setting will be heroic characters caught in the midst of a bloody, brutal, barbaric conflict that really doesn't have any "Good Guys" but whole armies full of "Bad Guys" intent on slaughter and mayhem. I see it as sort of a mini-series at best!

                  --- On Thu, 12/9/10, Jakub <erpegis@...> wrote:

                  From: Jakub <erpegis@...>
                  Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Weird Campaign Idea Confessions
                  To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010, 11:51 AM

                   

                  As a Pole I have difficulty with viewing Russians as heroes. That's part of the reason why I dislike games set in 30-40s, because WWII still a touchy subject for most people. Smashing Nazis and Commies just doesn't work when you know what real-world Nazis and Communists have done. But that's just me, I guess.

                  As far as the 'weird campaigns' go, I'm trying to write a short setting that boils down to: "We're not exactly playing superheroes... we're playing action figures of superheroes with actual, toy-scale superpowers in a toy world."


                • Kurt McCoy
                  Y know, since I m all into the superheroic historical revision thingie, I could see an interesting Alternate History sort of game where the Germans and the
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 9, 2010
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                    Y'know, since I'm all into the superheroic historical revision thingie, I could see an interesting Alternate History sort of game where the Germans and the Russians invade Poland, but find themselves battling Polish superheroes who aren't inclined to let them get very far. hmmm...

                    (And, I had a game idea that I never ran sort of like this, but more of a "Historical Fantasy" using Gurps, I believe it was. Characters would've had an "Elan" attribute that directly effected damage and armor penetration--so a Polish Lancer riding a horse could actually have driven his lance through the hull of a tank, if his Elan was high enough. I think I was inspired by some of Andre Norton's Witch World books with the Kolder invaders of the Dales.)

                    --- On Thu, 12/9/10, Charles Rice <rpgchuck@...> wrote:

                    From: Charles Rice <rpgchuck@...>
                    Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Re: Weird Campaign Idea Confessions
                    To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010, 12:31 PM

                     

                    Jakub, I actually appreciate that sentiment.

                    I know this is an incredibly silly line to draw, but its why the Russians aren't actually listed as heroes, despite their being our allies in WWII.

                    Also, as the son of a WWII veteran, one thing I've always taken pains to acknowledge is the vital role the Poles played in the Allied victory over the Nazis in WWII. Its why there's a vital Polish hero in the Crown Guard WWII hero team.

                    I think too many Europeans forgot, or never knew, that the Poles invented the Enigma machine that cracked the German codes, and that there were more free Poles fighting with the Allies than Free French.

                    Chuck

                    On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 11:51 AM, Jakub <erpegis@...> wrote:
                     

                    As a Pole I have difficulty with viewing Russians as heroes. That's part of the reason why I dislike games set in 30-40s, because WWII still a touchy subject for most people. Smashing Nazis and Commies just doesn't work when you know what real-world Nazis and Communists have done. But that's just me, I guess.

                    As far as the 'weird campaigns' go, I'm trying to write a short setting that boils down to: "We're not exactly playing superheroes... we're playing action figures of superheroes with actual, toy-scale superpowers in a toy world."



                  • Jakub
                    You re right, and actually, I do appreciate the effort of a common Soviet soldier and I consider the defence of Stalingrad one of the most heroic things ever
                    Message 9 of 13 , Dec 9, 2010
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                      You're right, and actually, I do appreciate the effort of a common Soviet soldier and I consider the defence of Stalingrad one of the most heroic things ever done in human history, but my beef is more with Soviet union as a state.

                      --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Kurt McCoy <SheliakBob@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I can certainly appreciate such difficulties.
                      > Real war is always grim and bloody and filled with misery. Not something to be taken lightly.
                      > Comic book superheroes have always represented not the historical facts of a nation (or society) but the rarefied idealized version of how people saw their own heroic natures. No one is a "villain" in their own story! Even the Nazis--history's most useful and popular evil-bad-wrong bad guys--didn't see themselves as WW2's "villains".
                      > So, when I run a game featuring The People's Revolution they won't be Russians the way history tells us they were. They will be Russians the way that an idealized Russian comic book version would've been. Not as they were, but as they might have seen themselves. They will be Heroes. (and the Nazis get to be dire evil-bad-wrong villains).
                      >
                      > Actually the Russian Civil War setting will be heroic characters caught in the midst of a bloody, brutal, barbaric conflict that really doesn't have any "Good Guys" but whole armies full of "Bad Guys" intent on slaughter and mayhem. I see it as sort of a mini-series at best!
                      >
                      > --- On Thu, 12/9/10, Jakub <erpegis@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > From: Jakub <erpegis@...>
                      > Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Weird Campaign Idea Confessions
                      > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                      > Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010, 11:51 AM
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                      > As a Pole I have difficulty with viewing Russians as heroes. That's part of the reason why I dislike games set in 30-40s, because WWII still a touchy subject for most people. Smashing Nazis and Commies just doesn't work when you know what real-world Nazis and Communists have done. But that's just me, I guess.
                      >
                      >
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                      > As far as the 'weird campaigns' go, I'm trying to write a short setting that boils down to: "We're not exactly playing superheroes... we're playing action figures of superheroes with actual, toy-scale superpowers in a toy world."
                      >
                    • Gerry
                      I like this concept. It s interesting to see games started prior to WWII. I hope when you flesh it out more, you ll post character stats. As a tangent, in the
                      Message 10 of 13 , Dec 10, 2010
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                        I like this concept. It's interesting to see games started prior to WWII. I hope when you flesh it out more, you'll post character stats.

                        As a tangent, in the rpg Brave New World (yeah, I know most people don't like it), the first super was actually an American soldier who gained the power to turn intangible during WWI.
                      • Kurt McCoy
                        Don t get me wrong! I m no fan of the late, not-so-lamented Soviet Union! I just like running games from radically different viewpoints--when I can get away
                        Message 11 of 13 , Dec 10, 2010
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                          Don't get me wrong! I'm no fan of the late, not-so-lamented Soviet Union! I just like running games from radically different viewpoints--when I can get away with it.
                          'Sides, I find Soviet art and propaganda iconography fascinating--and I do think we in the West tend to underestimate or undervalue the role the Soviets played in defeating Nazi Germany. Hitler was beaten on the Eastern Front. The Western Front just sealed the deal.
                           
                          The US, seen from a Sioux or a Mexican historical perspective--doesn't look particularly "heroic"l. I think it does folks good to get outside of their normal cultural identities and take a look at things from a different perspective.
                           
                          More importantly, though, I just like the creative challenge of presenting that different perspective in a fun and entertaining way for my players. Doesn't always work, but more often than not they walk away with the feeling that they got something more than the usual rpg experience.
                          That's what keeps me in the games after more than thirty years of GMing!
                           
                          By the way, I'd love to hear more about that action figure game. Sort of "Toy Story #" with super powers. cool.
                           
                          --- On Fri, 12/10/10, Jakub <erpegis@...> wrote:

                          From: Jakub <erpegis@...>
                          Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Weird Campaign Idea Confessions
                          To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Friday, December 10, 2010, 2:47 AM

                           
                          You're right, and actually, I do appreciate the effort of a common Soviet soldier and I consider the defence of Stalingrad one of the most heroic things ever done in human history, but my beef is more with Soviet union as a state.

                        • Kurt McCoy
                          I m hoping to get stats for a number of characters in the nearish future. Probably will do a folder for the campaign. Right now I ve got:   For the Reds:  
                          Message 12 of 13 , Dec 10, 2010
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                            I'm hoping to get stats for a number of characters in the nearish future. Probably will do a folder for the campaign. Right now I've got:
                             
                            For the Reds:
                             
                            Red Verdun: the casualty-constructed Frankenstein
                            New Soviet Man: a "perfect" product of the Revolution --all 6's in physical stats, 3's in the others
                            Volga-Guard: A female river troll--protecting the river gunboat fleets
                            Red Sabre: Leader of the Red Cavalry units
                            The Steel Commissar: armored--bulltet proof soldier with Emotion Control for rallying the troops
                             
                            I dropped the idea of "The Marx Man" as a super-sniper. Just too corny a pun to try to get away with.
                             
                            For the Whites:
                             
                            White Cossack: an albino white cossack warrior with Duplication 10 and a mystic glass sword. (got his powers while investigating/looting an ancient palace in the Caucases. Found himself in a mirror maze trap--when he shattered the mirrors in frustration and anger, the images came out as solid duplicates and merged into him. He carries a sword made from the shards as a means of controlling his many "other selves". Same experience drained the color from his body.
                             
                            Tsarina: A young woman with a palace guard uniform, a bulletproof jewelled corset, a veil or full face mask of gems with dead white, cold flesh. Some believe she is one of the Tsar's daughters who survived the massacre at Ekaterinburg. Others think she is a member of the all female palace guard that protected the Tsarina & daughters--(there was such a unit--and they were among the best trained and best armed elite warriors in the Empire!)--driven mad by her failure to protect the royal family. Regardless, she's bulletproof and blindingly bright during the day.
                             
                            Vodyanoy: A tyrannical river/sea troll--the opposite number of Volga.
                             
                            Alma: A female hairy hominid captured by locals and recruited for her superhuman strength and hardiness. (there are actual stories of such beings in the area--accounts of one or more being captured and held by villagers). Her exploits are among the secret influences for the hybridizing research that will later spawn Sovi-Ape.


                            --- On Fri, 12/10/10, Gerry <urbwarzine@...> wrote:

                            From: Gerry <urbwarzine@...>
                            Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Weird Campaign Idea Confessions
                            To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                            Date: Friday, December 10, 2010, 3:07 AM

                             
                            I like this concept. It's interesting to see games started prior to WWII. I hope when you flesh it out more, you'll post character stats.

                            As a tangent, in the rpg Brave New World (yeah, I know most people don't like it), the first super was actually an American soldier who gained the power to turn intangible during WWI.


                          • Michael Taylor
                            ... Brave New World was one of the most interesting and origional superhero RPGs ever done. Lousy system, but great background.
                            Message 13 of 13 , Dec 10, 2010
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                              > As a tangent, in the rpg Brave New World (yeah, I know most people don't like it), the first super was actually an American soldier who gained the power to turn intangible during WWI.
                              >

                              Brave New World was one of the most interesting and origional superhero RPGs ever done. Lousy system, but great background.
                               
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