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Retro Styled Campaign

Retro Styled Campaign  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Decade For A Campaign?

    • The 1940s
      12
    • The 1950s
      8
    • The 1960s
      6
    • The 1970s
      11
    • The 1980s
      8


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It was tough picking a favorite, but since I was first introduced to comic books in the '70s I am most nostalgic about the characters of that period, but Cassandra's idea of an updated 1940s style is cool, too.  In particular, a 1940s without the instutionalized racism would be great.  I love the style, music, movies of the era and most of the attitudes, just not all of the attitudes.

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1970s Actresses as Superheroines

 

Jaclyn Smith as Phantom Lady

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman

Lindsay Wagner as Black Canary

Barbara Rhoades as Hawkgirl

Cheryl Ladd as Liberty Belle

 

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We've done a 1980s campaign.  I liked it, but culturally the 80s aren't that different from today.  Other than the fact that nobody has a cell phone (ours was set in '83) and computers are more primitive, it still feels pretty "modern".  And with the kind of advanced tech that you get with superheroes, even the tech isn't that far behind.  Other than changing a few pop culture references, it feels the same.

 

The 1940s are great, but it's honestly been done to death.  I don't know how many times somebody has said "how about we do a WWII game?"  I can't say we've had that many successful Golden Age campaigns, but we've certainly started a bunch.  Even if they usually run aground after a few sessions.

 

I'll go with the 1970s.  Steal the plots of bad TV shows.  Riding across the USA in a van.  Go out there and find America.  Help the little girl save the family farm when the evil businessman steals her prize horse.  There are tons of adventures straight from the Incredible Hulk/Wonder Woman/Shazam TV genre.

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Well... Happy Days is actually late 50's early 60's. It's effectively early Silver Age. Starts out in 1955 and roughly advances one year per season up to the mid-60's. Laverne & Shirley ran parallel, but started later (1958).

 

The only 1970's show actually set during the 40's that comes to mind is The Waltons (well, later seasons). For Australians, The Sullivans is similar, but is more explicitly WW2.

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On 11/5/2017 at 1:48 AM, Lord Liaden said:

On a more personal note, if I'm going for a "retro" game I prefer it to be far enough back that it really feels to the players like a different era. The closer we get to the present day, the differences become less substantive and more cosmetic.

 

That's exactly the aesthetic I'm going for and why I didn't include the 90s or the 00s.  

 

On 11/5/2017 at 5:26 PM, mrinku said:

I like 'em all, though since I've played in 80's campaigns I didn't consider that too much.

 

Golden Age is a great love, but has been done to death and is really well covered. Silver Age would be fun. Atomic Age 50's falls between the two and would be interesting. A lot of giant monsters and alien invaders to fight. Also the era of the James Bond books (as opposed to the films and the more outré spy craze of the 60's).

 

Ended up going with '70s - Disco and swinger heaven. You also have the CB Radio/Trucker craze, Energy Crisis and post-space race space stuff. The UFO craze peaks in the 70's as well. 

 

I ran a really fun online campaign set in the Atomic Age.  I really tried to peel the veneer back from the idyllic 1950s with the Red Scare, the government knowing 'what was good for everyone' and the nearly unchecked power of Organized Crime during the era.

 

And thanks for the suggestions for the 1970s, almost forgot about the UFO stuff.  Have to start watching In Search of...on the YouTube again.

 

On 11/5/2017 at 5:44 PM, mrinku said:

 

Oh, I didn't even get started on 70's television :)

 

Rockford Files, Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky & Hutch, Shazam!, Kojak, Wonder Woman, Charlie's Angels and those are just some of the superhero/crime ones!

 

I'm being tempted more by 1950's now I think about it. A lot of giant monsters and alien invaders to fight. Also the era of the James Bond books (as opposed to the films and the more outré spy craze of the 60's). Pre- or very early Space Race. I'd plumb for pre-, since players may not initially realise there's no satellites, or what that implies. Weird Horror before "Seduction of the Innocent". Golden Age heroes having largely retired at the end of the War, but some staying on to fight the Reds. The growth of McCarthyism.

 

You're almost convincing me to do the 1950s again, see above.

 

On 11/5/2017 at 8:21 PM, Hermit said:

 

Though I do remember playing Saint fondly in the 50s

 

You and me both, brother.

 

Thanks to all for the votes and the suggestions...keep 'em coming even if you've voted.

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I voted for 1950s, because what I really want is 1960 to 1963, and the characterization of the 1960s in the poll is for the last three or four years of that decade, and what is listed as 1950s is closer to what I like.  I want a Silver Age vibe but with a Dawn of Manned Space Flight context in terms of tech and word events.

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For those interested in any adventuring from 1938 to 1953 I would suggest the Republic Serials, including Captain America, The Adventures of Captain Marvel, G-Men vs. The Black Dragon, The Black Widow, The Purple Monster Strikes, and The Crimson Ghost.  Atom Man vs. Superman, and Batman were made by Columbia, but are worthwhile.

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For myself I think one of the problems is assumptions.  We collectively tie the year of the campaign with the feel/style of real world comics the existed at that time. 

 

I prefer the feel/style of superHeroes that are staunchly non-lethal GOOD GUYS who are well respected by both the public and law enforcement.  Set in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s or what have you.  I prefer an era with computers but no wireless and no cell phones.  70s-80s.

 

In all comic book "periods" there were Heroes as well as casual killers and outright ass-hats.  In an RPG the decade and the feel/style should be selected separately.  At least IMO.

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5 hours ago, Spence said:

In all comic book "periods" there were Heroes as well as casual killers and outright ass-hats.  In an RPG the decade and the feel/style should be selected separately.  At least IMO.

 

 

That's mostly true, but in the Silver Age, under the most restrictive version of the Comics Code you won't find any killers on the hero side. Even with the bad guys they tended to downplay that. The Joker was a stone killer before and after, but not during as a rule.

 

Plenty of ass-hats, though :)

 

And I fully agree that all that only applies if you're going for the feel of the code comics, which ignored far more important issues of the time than vigilantes killing criminals (Any kind of protest against authority such as Anti-war, civil rights and women's liberation movements, or depicting political corruption, or anything hinting at sex aside from married couples having a child were all forbidden).

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On 11/6/2017 at 5:32 PM, mrinku said:

Well... Happy Days is actually late 50's early 60's. It's effectively early Silver Age. Starts out in 1955 and roughly advances one year per season up to the mid-60's. Laverne & Shirley ran parallel, but started later (1958).

 

The only 1970's show actually set during the 40's that comes to mind is The Waltons (well, later seasons). For Australians, The Sullivans is similar, but is more explicitly WW2.

Methinks He was talking about  SUPERFRIENDS than Happy Days,Laverne & Shirley or the Waltons.

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