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Atomic Age Scenario Generator (Work in Progress)

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Mostly inspired by the Challengers of the Unknown, I present a first draft of a scenario generator for “Atomic Age” superhero games.

It's actually a little too underdeveloped to really post, but I haven't got time to finish it just now, and it's better for me to commit myself than let it sink into my pile of unfinished projects.

Feedback and comments encouraged!

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Atomic Age Scenario Generator

Atomic Age scenarios are usually fairly simple: a threat appears, our heroes respond and eventually work out how to defeat it.

These threats often appear in remote locations. Hence there will be a “Location” table.

Generally, the first person who encounters the threat plays a role in the scenario. They often become the threat, voluntarily or otherwise. Therefore there will be a “Person” table. (DNPCs, Hunteds, Contacts and so on can be used instead or as well.)

And then there is the threat itself. My current approach is to describe it in terms of a plot device that the “Person” interacts with. So we have a “Plot Device” table.

Obviously in this draft, there are only six options on each table. Ideally there should be more.

Other tables and subtables might be a good idea. Maybe something involving the threat’s weaknesses?

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LOCATION

Roll 1d6.

1 Cave/Underground

2 Desert

3 Island

4 Jungle

5 Mountain

6 Snowscape (pole, tundra etc)

 

PERSON

Roll 1d6. Substitute or supplement with DNPCs or Hunteds, as you see fit.

1 Archeologist

2 Criminal

3 Geologist

4 Scientist

5 Someone rich

6 Test Pilot/Astronaut

 

PLOT DEVICE

Roll 1d6.

1 Alchemy/Lost Ancient Science

2 Alien/Ancient Being

3 Giant (Animal, Human, Carrot…)

4 Radioactive Mutation

5 Robot

6 UFO

Example: We roll Island, Someone Rich and Alchemy/Lost Ancient Science.

So we get:

“Famous millionaire Croesus Morbucks travels to a remote island in search of the secrets of the ancient Alchemists. Discovering a stash of potions, he very cleverly samples one, gaining odd powers/turning into a monster/I need another table. Now our heroes have to find him/save him/stop him.”

I probably need a “how the heroes get involved” table as well.

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Nice!

 

Might I suggest a random name generator for the appropriate Threat? Something that includes a lot of "K", "G", "R" and "X" sounds (often doubled). Hmm...

 

Roll 1d6 for the number of syllables: (1) One (2-3) Two (4-5) Three (6) Four

Monster name initial and middle syllable - (roll d6) (1-2) Single Consonant plus Vowel (3-4) Compound Consonant plus vowel (5) Vowel (6) Doubled vowel

Monster name final syllable - (roll d6) (1) Single Consonant (2) Compound Consonant (3-4) Doubled Consonant (5) Vowel (6) Doubled Vowel

 

(Compound consonants are like "GR" or "NG". Doubled elements are like "LL" or "EE".)

 

Finish it off with an appropriate epithet. Ignore any you can't make work.

 

So...

[3] = two syllables. [6] = Doubled vowel followed by [3] Doubled consonant. I choose "OODD THE UNSTOPPABLE!!!"

[3] = two syllables. [2] = Single consonant plus vowel followed by [4] Doubled consonant. Our next threat is "KUXX, THE ISLAND THAT WALKS LIKE A MAN!!!"

 

You could make tables to roll the actual letters, but I'd think it would be more restrictive than liberating.

 

Edit: I've already spotted some issues. But like assault, treat this as a rough first draft. As long as you can make "GROOT" and "ORRGO" and the like it's sweet.

 

Edit 2: This link may also be of use...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_monsters_in_Marvel_Comics

 

And it's also vital any name generator be capable of producing XEMNU (THE LIVING HULK!!!)

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Well it's a work in progress, but there are double consonants in there. Triple ones might happen depending on how you roll, but can you suggest any examples? I only know of ones with doubles like KLAGG and SPORR.

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45 minutes ago, mrinku said:

Well it's a work in progress, but there are double consonants in there. Triple ones might happen depending on how you roll, but can you suggest any examples? I only know of ones with doubles like KLAGG and SPORR.

There are no known tripple consonants, prehaps except for Zzzaxxs, and even then that is pushing it. But still why let what has been published ruin your fun?

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Fair point. What *are* missing are name forms like FIN FANG FOOM and TIM BOOM BA. And an epithet generator would be nice, though that's probably just a long list of things like "THE UNTAMED" and "THE HULK THAT WALKS".

 

Got a soft spot for old Xemnu - I used to have a reprint with one of his old stories in it. Nice to see that he got bought back a bit later on (IIRC I also have his appearances in She-Hulk). Squirrel Girl needs to beat him sometime.

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Xemmu says Squirrel Girl will be his bride for he has no mouth.

 

As to the post a point of debate 5 out of the 6 things listed in plot device could also count as an foe chart. Was that intentional? If not you might want to consider restructuring a bit.

 

Plot device

 

6 Alien device

 

Enemies

 

6 ufo/aliens

 

Course there's no reason not to double up the radioactive giant carrot made by the someone rich created a mutated rabbit.

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5 minutes ago, Nothere said:

Xemmu says Squirrel Girl will be his bride for he has no mouth.

 

 

Mole Man already tried that schtick. Even mole-napped the iconic landmarks of the world as part of his courtship.

 

End result was NOT Doreen Green, Mole Ma'm, but I'll say no more because of spoilers.

 

Xemnu also tried to make She-Hulk his bride once, but that didn't end well for him.

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My favorite homemade Atomic Age monster, Ghoozgoo Ghallaha, which was basically a giant indestructible alien toddler. (Note: I may of spelled it different in my Atomic Age thread).

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Here are a few Atomic Age scenarios based on movies

 

Giant Insects Discovered and Attack threatening Civilization (Them, Beginning of the End)

 

Aliens Invade and Scientist have to find a way of defeating them (War of the Worlds, Earth Versus The Flying Saucers)

 

World War Three takes place and people try to survival (Panic in the Year Zero, Invasion USA)

 

Strange Creatures are found and people must find a way to escape (Creature from the Black Lagoon)

 

A natural disaster brings the end of the world and unleashes strange creatures to prey on the survivals (The Day of the Triffids)

 

Explorer from Earth travel in space and land on strange worlds with threatening civilizations (Forbidden Planet, Red Planet Mars, Rocketship X-M, Missile to the Moon)

 

Giant Monsters Invade Japan and serve as an allegory for Nuclear Weapons (or America depending on who you ask) (Godzilla)

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On 11/10/2017 at 4:57 AM, Cassandra said:

You have to add Commie Plot.

 

I'll definitely add Spy to the person table at some point. For the moment I'm concentrating on the semantics of it all, rather than expanding the tables.

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On 11/11/2017 at 6:21 AM, Cassandra said:

Here are a few Atomic Age scenarios based on movies

...

 

The current draft can do most of these. There are a couple that it can't.

 

Giant Insects Discovered and Attack threatening Civilization (Them, Beginning of the End)

 

Giant things? 

 

Aliens Invade and Scientist have to find a way of defeating them (War of the Worlds, Earth Versus The Flying Saucers)

 

Easy.

 

World War Three takes place and people try to survival (Panic in the Year Zero, Invasion USA)

 

The system isn't really geared towards this one.

 

Strange Creatures are found and people must find a way to escape (Creature from the Black Lagoon)

 

Alien/Ancient Being. Maybe add a swamp or something to the location table.

 

A natural disaster brings the end of the world and unleashes strange creatures to prey on the survivals (The Day of the Triffids)

 

The system doesn't do this one well. The idea is to stop the natural disaster before it happens!

 

Explorer from Earth travel in space and land on strange worlds with threatening civilizations (Forbidden Planet, Red Planet Mars, Rocketship X-M, Missile to the Moon)

 

This would require an addition to the location table.

 

Giant Monsters Invade Japan and serve as an allegory for Nuclear Weapons (or America depending on who you ask) (Godzilla)

 

Both Giant and Radioactive Mutation can work here. In most cases, the stories will begin on islands or whatever before moving on to stomping Japan.

 

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

 

UFOs, I suppose.

 

I think the system holds up quite well, especially once I extend the tables a bit.

  •  

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On 11/10/2017 at 3:00 PM, Nothere said:

Xemmu says Squirrel Girl will be his bride for he has no mouth.

 

As to the post a point of debate 5 out of the 6 things listed in plot device could also count as an foe chart. Was that intentional? If not you might want to consider restructuring a bit.

 

Plot device

 

6 Alien device

 

Enemies

 

6 ufo/aliens

 

Course there's no reason not to double up the radioactive giant carrot made by the someone rich created a mutated rabbit.

 

It's a bit tricky, but my idea is that it is often the "Person" who is/becomes the real threat. The Plot Device is the enabler for this.

 

Even with only six entries, it's obvious that the entries on the Plot Device table aren't all going to be the same kind of things. Maybe I should break up the table accordingly.

 

Anyway, I should have a second draft together in a while.

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Writing up the second draft is about as much fun as specifying a computer programming language. There is stuff to do, but I'm just not enjoying it.

 

I might just put together a "how the PCs get involved" table and call it a day. The only problem is that the "criminal" entry in the Person table begs to be treated as an exception.

 

Maybe I'll go with a 7(+) entry "how the PCs get involved", and stick on a plus if the "Person" is a criminal. Crude, but it would work.

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The Description Table

(Roll 2d6)

1.1: The Amazing

1.2: The Uncanny

1.3: The Terroraible

1.4: The Horrible

1.5: The Infinited

1.6: The Unbelievable

2.1: From Beyond

2.2: From Space

 

(Well, an example of how a 2d6 table would look. This one is unfinished.)

 

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That's a d66 table, which also works. I was thinking more along the lines of:

 

2d6:

 

2-3:  Ancient Artifact

4:  Invention Gone Wrong

5:  Espionage

6:  Doomsday Device

7:  Giant Monster

8-9:  Aliens

10: Murder Mystery

11: Horde

12: Supernatural

 

Tweaked to taste.

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Just to give you a flavor of the era there is on youtube a Simulated Conelrad Alert (Spring 1962) which as an episode of Password interrupted by Emergency Broadcast System reports of a nuclear attack.

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