Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fantasy Games Part 1: Marvel '78

Although I've been taking a bit of a break to recharge my batteries, Krül remains the game that I'm dedicated to running. Despite that, I suffer from gamer ADD like anyone else and like to fantasize about other games that I'd like to run. In an attempt to excise this demon, I thought I'd go ahead and post about some of those ideas here.

The first game is one that I've discussed before on this blog, MSHRPG. I grew up on Marvel comics and still hold a lot of love for those stories that I read back when. Moreover, I think the system (with some tweaking) still holds up tremendously today.

Back in the '90s I was a big fan of MUSHes, MUXes, and various other text-based online rpgs. If you're not familiar with the concept, what made these places so enticing was that they shared a large decentralized playerbase and a "staff" of administrators and judges. This allowed for many plots to develop simultaneously, with tons of crossover. In short, they were a total blast, like FLAILSNAILS except keeping to a more coherent theme and the various DMs working together to run a world.

I'd love to see a game like this married to the modern convenience of G+, and especially for MSHRPG. In my fantasy game, the basic setup would be a marriage of the campaign frame I talked about previously along with a modified version of the super-villain rules I posted here. The premise of the game would be Marvel '78, set in New York during my favorite period of its history, the era of The Warriors, CBGBs, urban decay, the birth of salsa and hip-hop, Taxi Driver and Welcome to Fear City.  

The game would be set in "year one", the first year when superheroes would first hit the scene. This would be done for the convenience of both the players who aren't as familiar with Marvel comics as I am, and for the judges who wouldn't have to be restricted by comics continuity. Players would start out as street-level characters, a mix of heroes and villains unfamiliar with each other, pursuing their own ends but inevitably meeting up, developing partnerships, rivalries, and everything in-between. Alongside these players would be numerous NPC villains handled by the judges.

Logistically, Marvel '78 would be handled by having players fill out a Google form weekly which would state what they have in mind for the following week and their schedule availability. As events occurred over the course of the week, players would coordinate with judges to play these events out with one or more people involved. As players developed relationships of their own stories would emerge completely outside of the plots of the judges and could handle such encounters by themselves.

Next time I'll talk about what I think it would take to run such a game.


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