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Chris Goodwin

The sequel: What would you like to run?

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Ok. We've learned what you've done with Hero (though that thread isn't closed by any stretch). What would you like to run with Hero? Or not Hero?

 

One thing I've been mulling over is something I'm calling Tank Wars. There's a new online video game called Tank Wars (possibly on your GameBox III, possibly in the arcades), networked all over the country. You and all your friends are really into it. You get credits (100 credits = 1 point) with which to build your tanks, then you run them against each other in the arena. You can play in a free for all or have teams. The idea is that each player builds his character as a middle- or high-school student with a Multiform, Only In Tank Wars; the Multiform represents your skill at the game. Though, theoretically, Tank Wars the video game isn't limited to kids, my initial concept had school age kids or groups thereof at school talking trash to each other all day then waiting till they get home to settle it in the Tank Arena.

 

Oh, don't forget the cheat codes. Once a month your system downloads a patch with new cheat codes; the old ones go away. You're expected to trade 'em with your friends, find 'em on web sites, etc. Sometimes they get released at odd times; it sucks if they come down while you're at school, even worse after you go to bed cuz there's always someone who stays up later than you and has all the cool cheats before you!

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Two offbeat ideas....

 

Here are two campaign ideas I've been toying with lately, that I'd love to try under Hero:

 

1. Chaos Theory: Members of the Haymaker! APAzine know what this is like. The PCs work for the Global Organization for Order and Decency (GOOD) and must fight against an array of shadow conspiracies bent on world domination. The conspiracies are actually powerful enough to keep each other in check; GOOD is around to make sure no innocent people get hurt in the process.

 

Think of this as a Super Agents campaign, where the PCs dress as clowns to fight overzealous D&Ders, half-witted vampires and werewolves, slacker aliens, incompetent technocrats, and various others. The mood is somewhere between the Marx Brothers, the Zucker Brothers, the Three Stooges, and Get Smart.

 

2. LA Major Cases: This is something at the low end of the power spectrum. The PCs, all Competent Normals, work for the LAPD to solve cases involving celebrities, violent serial offenders, or other high-profile elements. They would include two detectives, two CSIs, an ME, a criminal psychologist (with some background in criminal profiling -- or perhaps one with and one without), and an assistant DA. The approach would be a combination of the Law & Order and CSI franchises, with Crossing Jordan and The Profiler thrown in for good measure.

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Re: Two offbeat ideas....

 

Originally posted by BobGreenwade

2. LA Major Cases: This is something at the low end of the power spectrum. The PCs, all Competent Normals, work for the LAPD to solve cases involving celebrities, violent serial offenders, or other high-profile elements. They would include two detectives, two CSIs, an ME, a criminal psychologist (with some background in criminal profiling -- or perhaps one with and one without), and an assistant DA. The approach would be a combination of the Law & Order and CSI franchises, with Crossing Jordan and The Profiler thrown in for good measure.

 

Sounds like the new Dragnet show, which is the only TV show I currently make a point to watch.

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As a science-fiction fan, I've often considered the merits of a campaign which combines two of the "Giant War Machines" series: Bolos vs. Berserkers.

 

The Bolo series by Keith Laumer was one of the inspirations for Steve Jackson Games' Ogre game. In the Bolo future, humans have made giant robot tanks to do their fighting for them; the humans wrought better than they knew, for the Bolos were honorable, just, and self-sacrificing in the defending their charges.

 

In the Berserkers series by Fred Saberhagen, some alien race had built these immensely powerful robotic warships which were programmed to destroy all life. They are single-minded and very, very competent.

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After watching "Journey to the Center of the Earth" with my kids and discussing the LXG on the Champs board and obsessing over The Phantom all morning, I'd love to run a Victorian aged 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' style agnets/low-power supers game.

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Too many choices

 

While I lack the time to pull even two of these off, they're all so tempting.

 

Pulp crimebusters

Espionage

Stargate Hero

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Humans vs. Hominids - extra-dimensional war with a parallel earth where homo superior died out 30,000 years ago; tone from The Forever War, with some serious social commentary on the side

Drive-In Hero - from the Joe Lansdale horror novel

Delta Green

Alien Wars hero - just need to be patient for this one

High fantasy Fantasy Hero

Mechwarriors

 

Ask me again next week, and you might get a different answer.

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Crisis on Quite a Few Earths

 

Cosmic-level super-heroes (400+, all pre-made) are called from different time-periods to deal with a menace that threatens the space-time continuum itself. Each time period that the characters come from are corelational to the comics of that period. Thus Champion from 1941 gets his powers from the goddess Athena and utters ridiculous soliloquies like "good thinking, cowled comrade", whereas the Champion from 1959 gets his powers from "cosmic radiation" and utters soliloquies like "Suffering Schroedenger!" The 80s characters would just sit in a corner by themselves and mutter how ridiculous and pointless it all is.

 

I actually petitioned the folks at DundraCon to let me run this, but I never heard back from them.

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Yet another....

 

Here's something I just thought of. I may just go ahead and pull together some people to play it once I get my copies of Terran Empire and The Spacer's Toolkit.

 

The PCs will be members of the Imperial Diplomatic Security Service, stationed on Mon'da to protect the ambassador or Imperial governor (depending on whether Mon'da is a part of the Empire at the time of the game) and/or any visiting Imperial officials. Though most of the work will remain in and around the planetary capital, they'll travel the globe on various assignments in exotic locations (as if just being on Mon'da in the first place wasn't exotic enough).

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I don't know if anyone else has seen the old game "It Came From The Late, Late, Late Show", but I've wondered a few times if it would convert to Hero.

 

For those who haven't seen it, the PCs are actors in bad movies (as in Plan Nine From Outer Space). Each "adventure scenario" is a different movie. Since the PCs aren't typecast, they can end up acting in all sorts of genres.

 

It would take some serious tweaking, though, because the Late Show rules were optimized for the style of play. For instance, every major character has a Stunt Double who can be dragged into combat to take damage for you -- heavily limited Duplication or just an Everyactor Power?

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1899 - Special Security/Intelligence operatives working for Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

 

Present - Animals in a mall pet store after closing time - Attempting to smuggle other animals to freedom and eventually escape themsleves.

 

Near Future - Virtual Roleplaying becomes a spectator sport. Characters are professional players working with and competeing against each other for tournement championships, product endorsements and fame.

 

Future - Characters play Military Security and Research personell on a deep space temporal research station. The station is largely taken over by a terrorist organization - Play alternates between fighting for control of the space station and stopping the terrorists from altering the past.

 

Fantasy - Take a Fantasy City similar to Constantinople and the characters are the fantasy equivilent of shadowrunners.

 

Complete Fantasy - Characters are anthropomorphic fish and sea creatures - Freedom fighters vs the evil Sharks that have taken over the undersea and made deals with various surface dwellers in return for good catches.

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Mythic Modern Hero

 

I don't know if this qualifies as a "supers" game or not, but I've been toying with the idea of running a game inspired by Matt Wagner's Mage comics and Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods. PCs are modern-day normals imbued with the powers of mythological heros, and must thwart the shemes of feuding reincarnated gods before they bring about a multi-pantheonic ragnarok.

 

The campaign's arc begins the characters' search to find the source for their gifts, which brings them to the attention of the gods, who are trying to manipulate the heros to their own ends. As the game wears on, mythic monsters start reappearing (monster-of-the-week scenarios), and mythic events start playing themselves out in the modern setting (New York sinks ala Atlantis, reincarnated Helen sparks a war). Then the non-aligned harbingers of the End Times start appearing (the Four Horsemen). Lines are drawn between the dieties, their adversaries (Fenris, the Titans, etc), and the mortals (and their champions, the PCs). The campaign wraps up with the PCs discovering the source of the return and making the choice to either fight in the final battle, or give up their abilities and retrun the world to it's mundane state.

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