Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Exorcising a story idea from my mind.

This is just one of the random things bouncing in my head. The idea would be to describe an RPG campaign in the style of Darths & Droids or DM of the Ring.

You'll never actually see it, since I'm no good at writing, but the idea could potentially be amusing, at least.

The story goes something like this:

GM: I've been planning this new campaign, in the spirit of wuxia movies, set in... I'm not really sure. Mythic China seems the obvious choice, but I've been thinking, maybe something like modern day but with supernatural elements - you know, kinda like The Medallion or... well, it's a work in progress. Interested?

As-of-unnamed-player: I guess... which rules will you be using?

GM: Well, I was thinking, we could stick to the stuff available for free in the web, so maybe D20 SRD and D20 modern SRD, using Gestalt...

A-o-u-p: Gestalt? With Modern? You'll get some really high-powered characters that way. I mean, not that I mind that much, but players will be wanting quite a bit of combat.

GM: Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm after. If you're interested, why don't you try creating a character? You don't have to fill it all the way out yet, we'll check it before I approve of it. We'll start at level, oh, five or six. Maybe six.



Aoup: ...So, what do you think?

GM: A nine-year old half-giant natural were-ape monk? Are you serious?

Aoup: Well, yeah, although I'm thinking of it as a more of a new race, with tail.

GM: Apes don't have a tail, you know? Oh well...

GM: .... Fine. You can have your tail. I'm also making you twelve, and giving your some stat penalties instead of a level adjustment, so it'll hopefully be playable. You do realize that you only have that high strenght in ape or hybrid form, right? And you'll still likely be terribly underpowered.

Aoup: Nah, I have a good feeling about this one. Besides, if I die, I can roll a new one, right?

GM: Whatever. I still say you're going to be terribly underpowered.


Ben said...

^_^ It's best if you read slowly and have an in-depth knowledge of Dragonball and Dragonball Z.

(And don't read ahead like I have the habit of doing. ;)

Esa Karjalainen said...

Yeah... There are some snatches in the execution, though...
like, my examples can use screencaps from live movies...

BTW, DB Kai is interesting. Not a slow moment thus far - it's a shame I already know the storyline, really.

WangZheng259 said...

I like this idea. It is funny any time one suggests that a version of the Great Sage Equal to Heaven is underpowered, but you've added more to that. However, I think the length of the series would tend to preclude it. Even if one uses the cutdown version that I hear they are making, there is a big difference between the length of Dragonball and the length of three, six or ten movies.

I also read Darths and Droids, and I used to follow Shamus Young.

Aoup doesn't seem all that bad of a name to me, although that may be because there are very few surnames that one will not be able to find in America. George Martin is the first idea that comes to mind for the GM charactor.

I hadn't heard of the gestalt rules. They make my inner munchkin drool.

One thing that comes to mind rules wise is the Seawasp's Ki Rules, which were on the internet for a while before he stopped keeping the site up. The main copyright on them was a don't copy them to your hard drive request. I'm not sure what version of D&D they were for, but surely they could be adapted into something broken.

Another is the Anime D20 rules that Guardians of Order, IIRC, put out a PDF quite some time ago. They already had rules for blowing up the planet with.

My nitpicking side has a problem with refering to an adaptation of the Handsome Monkey King as an Ape with a Tail. I suspect that my nitpicking side is a bit of a jerk.

Another concern is this. LotR and SW are genre defining stories that were produced fairly recently. The earliest real comparable prior art to Star Wars, The Lensmen books, were fairly distinct and written starting in the 1930s. Doc Smith, the author of Lensmen, could be said to have created the Space Opera genre. However, Star Wars is its own story. JRR, like every other story teller, built on what had come before. However, he still wrote a fairly self contained story, and one could speculate on what a world would be like without it.

Dragonball was probably the defining story of shonen fighting anime. However, the first part is essentially a retelling of the Stone Monkey, a.k.a. Handsome Monkey King, a.k.a. Sun Wukong a.k.a. Son Goku a.k.a. the Great Sage Equal to Heaven. This story goes back to before the historical figure I named this account after (which is BC not AD), and before the figure I accidently named the account I had on the old nettg forums after. It is one of the ancient sources that influenced Chinese Opera and everything else that went into Wuxia.

Part two is superman, which is also great fun.

Anyway, the conceit in this would be different from the conceit in Darths and Droids, and DM of the Ring. I suspect that I may have my critical analysis faculties turned far too high for casual reading. It also does not look like I have figured out any better way of writing things after thinking it over for a couple of days.

After reading my posts in one of the prior threads, I noticed that I hadn't actually named the NGE/Cthulhutech fic. http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4716493/1/Aeon_Natum_Engel

WangZheng259 said...

It says something about me that I figured out what I wanted to say after I turned off my computer. I think Aoup and George have a history together. I think that in an early campaign, Aoup built the Stone Monkey. Then things happened, and the power level got too high, and so the charactor got sealed under a mountain. Then maybe Auop ran a campaign with George and some others, or maybe he was still a player, and the Monkey got stuck with a cursed headband as part of the agreement to keep him from blowing the campaign's balance out of whack. This campaign ended, and now a new one is started, and Auop wants to play the monkey again, but to keep the power level at a more reasonable state.

Esa Karjalainen said...

That was cerebral.
Yeah, Aoup probably is a fan of the Monkey King, but he's more concerned in getting it _right_ rather than playing the system. He'll probably stumble upon some crazy synergy.
I guess I could do the Saikyou e no michi movie, which is effectively a retelling of the original DB story up 'til defeat of the Red Ribbon army.

I was actually considering representing ki powers with "wizards", as Kamesennin makes a great min-maxed wizard, with venerable age's bonuses to mental abilities and whatnot.

Also, DB Kai is a DBZ re-telling. It hasn't had a slow moment yet, but it hasn't cut any content that I see, either.

Thanks for the fic link, I'll take a look at it.

What else?
I initially considered the player coming in with a character suggestion effectively being of a level 4 Goku, and DM cutting it down, but it's funnier if the in-story expectation is that the high-LA, high-racial HD melee character is going to be underpowered on high levels.

Psionics model Ki stuff decently, and I prefer to stick to stuff that is freely available on the net, instead of various splats which cannot be discussed in any detail. If splat books were in, I'd have to take a hard look at... well, quite a few. Now, if we include the Anime d20 SRD, that can do anything, and a crazy game like the GM is planning, might include that...
But, say, Tough Hero/Fast Hero gestalt might already get... dangerous.