Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,
Rowyn
rowyn

Potential Game Settings

The smart thing to do would be to wait until I got some feedback on the "themes" poll and then figured out some settings that worked well with the most popular themes. However, I started work on the settings some time ago and I'm too impatient to wait. Also, I've got 20 minutes left on the exercise bike and I need to do something.

In order of most contemporary, most-fantasy-like, to farther-future and more sf-like (note: I am not a good student of science and my games are not going to be very realistic or grounded in good science no matter what the setting is):

* "Among Titans": The PCs are members of a race of titans. Titans look like humans, but have considerable personal power. They are virtually immortal: they do not age beyond adulthood, are nearly indestructible, immune to exposure and almost immune to starvation. (They do need food, but their metabolisms are highly adjustable and they can hibernate to conserve energy if necessary). They also have other magical gifts that I'll elaborate upon if I actually run the game. :) In the setting, humans outnumber titans about 10 to 1, but humans are almost entirely in service to titans and have few rights in titan society. There are no known independent human nations, only titan ones, because the titans conquered the human nations a long time ago, since the humans are incapable of posing a threat to the titans. Titans can hurt other titans, but generally only in hand-to-hand combat, where a titan's incredible personal strength can be employed to overcome the opposing titan's durability. The social order is vaguely feudal, with titans in lieu of nobles and humans in lieu of serfs.

A terrible calamity is creeping up on the titans, however: some force, be it disease or magic, is striking down titans -- turning them as weak and helpless as a human. The story will revolve around what this menace is and what the PCs do about it.

This is an anime-inspired game: not by the plots of anime but by the tendency of anime characters to swing really big swords around even though guns are readily available. A titan wouldn't use a gun except as a toy, because anything that could threaten a titan (normally) would be immune to gunfire -- but probably not immune to a sword-wielding titan.

* "Wonderland": I've wanted to do a wonderland-style game since I saw "Spirited Away" several years ago. Like other stories of its genre, the game would revolve around a person from the real world entering a fairy-tale wonderland. There'd be one PC playing the newcomer, and the rest of the PCs would be natives to the land. The feel would be similar to Alice in Wonderland, or Neverwhere, or Spirited Away, of a land that is mythic and unreal in style; it would follow its own rules (or, sometimes, break them) but not be explicable in a normal sense. As opposed to the even more popular subgenre of 'normal person falls into a medieval fantasy world'.

* "Terrible Butterflies": I give you Bard's original synopsis, which hooked me back in January:

"A horrible thing is insidiously invading Darville High School. A psychic predator that devours souls and wears the bodies of its victims. An invisible, intangible monster with mysterious powers and hidden motives. A mystical or technological horror from some unknown astral hell, insinuating itself into mundane society for some unknown but surely wicked purpose.

"That's you.


"(The PCs are astral butterflies who have devoured the spirits and are possessing the bodies of high school students, and trying to figure out the universe.)"

+TB+ is notable as the only game I've played where I felt that the rules mechanics made the game a lot more fun outside of combat; generally the best I've hoped for from a system is that it not get in the way too much. If I run this game, I will make sweeping changes to the backstory and some significant changes to the magic system, mainly so it'll be playable and fun for those who've been in the existing PBEM/live games. (I thought a significant part of the fun of the game was experimenting with magic to see how it worked and figure out how to exploit it, so a certain amount of revision would ensure that prior players wouldn't know all the best hooks off the bat.)

* "The Lost Room": this was a nifty SciFi channel mini-series that Lut and I watched at sandratayler's recommendation. It had some very interesting concepts, though I found the ending unsatisfying -- as if it they'd made the first four episodes intending it to be a regular series, and then someone pulled the budget out and told them to wrap the show up in the last two episodes. the show's central conceit was that there were certain ordinary-looking objects that had extraordinary and often quirky or useless powers. It had a contemporary setting rife with conspiracytheorists and strange cults that may have been completely insane or just partly. Because I didn't care for the show's resolution, I'd construct some wholly different backstory for it. So having seen or not seen the show wouldn't have significant impact on participation in the game.

* "The Abandoned Ones": a very near alternate-Earth future. Gods, or aliens, or mages, or psychics -- no one agrees what -- appeared on Earth. They demonstrated massive powers and terrified much of the population just by existing. There were a few magic-related global events, although it's not clear whether these were caused by the new gods or enemies of theirs. The godlings claimed to be friendly and that they wanted to help humankind deal with its problems, which they for them included things like: disease, starvation, poverty, overcrowding, poor transportation, and a general depressing lack of magic in human lives. Using their powers, the godlings gathered together the humans who were most creative and interested in experimenting with magic, and created an island where they set up a colony where miracles were not only possible, but were everyday events. All of this happened very very quickly, in a matter of days. The godlings ran contests for the human colonists and awarded some of them great magical gifts, though there was a general sense that the aliens would eventualy give these to everyone, as soon as they worked out the details. Then, a day after making the colony, which the godlings were still in the process of improving and working out the bugs on, the godlings announced they were going to take a tour of the galaxy. "It won't take us long," they told their mortal friends, "we'll be back in a couple of hours."

Only they weren't.

The game starts a month or so after the gods' Coming and Disappearance. The PCs are human members of the colony, and ones who'd won special powers from the gods. Where this goes from there is up to the PCs, but some questions might be: Can the humans find a way to continue the gods' work without them? Will the colony fall apart? Can the colony use the powers it was given to conquer the rest of the Earth, and if so, should they? Is the rest of the Earth going to launch a preemptive strike against them to prevent that? And what happened to the godlings, anyway?

And if there's something out there *even more* powerful than the godlings, what chance could the people of Earth possibly have against it?

Some of you, I'm sure, can tell what inspired this. :) I won't mention my source here to avoid spoilers.

* "The Frontier": Players live on a partially colonized world dominated by a few large corporations, with minimal government and a few small independent businessess. Law enforcement is somewhat spotty, and people tend to “take care of their own”. Most people know the basics of self-defense, and the world itself poses occasional ... interesting challenges for those living on it to deal with. The scope of the game will revolve around the exploration, politics, and social structure of a single world; this is not a space-faring game. FTL travel is possible, but space flights are still measured in months and years, not days. This setting will undergo significant change over the course of the campaign. Some changes may not be under PC control.

* "Interstellar Geographic": Space exploration adventure. PCs comprise a "second contact" group, exploring virtually unknown worlds, meeting alien races, and making new discoveries. They have a "soft science" approach, supporting their voyages by selling documentary footage and journalist-style articles to the press back home.

Poll #1100672 Settings

Interests: which of the following settings do you like best?

Among Titans
0(0.0%)
Wonderland
2(25.0%)
Terrible Butterflies
1(12.5%)
The Lost Room
2(25.0%)
The Abandoned One
2(25.0%)
The Frontier
0(0.0%)
Interstellar Geographic
1(12.5%)
Other (elaborate in comments)
0(0.0%)

Which of the following settings would you be willing to play in? (Be sure to check your favorite here, too!)

Among Titans
0(0.0%)
Wonderland
0(0.0%)
Terrible Butterflies
0(0.0%)
The Lost Room
0(0.0%)
The Abandoned One
0(0.0%)
The Frontier
0(0.0%)
Interstellar Geographic
0(0.0%)
Other (elaborate in comments)
0(0.0%)
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