Tuesday, June 11, 2013

[Insert Random Setting Generation Here]

I always thought it a good idea to use your daily encounters as an inspiration of sorts. Doesn't only work for life, but for The Game, too. This occured to me while I was writing something about a trailer I just discovered, because:

The Dude is hunting ghosts now? As a Cowboy?!

Either Jeff Bridges is needing the money or he is having a lot of fun with this one:

I have to admit, I'm intrigued. I mean, Jeff Bridges "rodeo"-ing Ryan Reynolds while falling down a sky scraper, the M.i.B.-vibe and an absolutely cheesy-but-gameable premise leaves me hoping this is going to be better than reality justifies.


...while I was writing this, I stumbled over a trailer for The Purge. Another movie with another very gameable premise. Check it out (if you haven't already):

A society with a free pass on crime one time every year, for 12 hours. Everything goes and I'm thinking, well, would that work? It might be worth a shot in a setting to explore the idea further. Would also be nice in a Cyberpunk scenario.

And here I come (nearly) full circle...

...because it reminded me of a post about what changed with our perception of that genre over at Billy Goes to Mordor and the trailer for Elysium that's linked from there. Again, a movie with a good idea to kick off a game. The rich live in floating luxury homes while the poor live in slums. What happens next is not very surprising, but that's not the point. As a DM it comes only natural to see the value of such an scenario for the gaming experience.

I wanted to write about R.I.P.D., but also about the setting I'm about to wrangle out of my brain and The Purge resonated well enough to make a post. The melange of this also reminded me of the trailer for Pacific Rim:

And then I thought, why not throw all this loose ideas together and write it up as a setting proposal? Because, it's all already here and just needs a proper frame.

The Island (early years)

This is the premise and the early history of the setting. Let's see:

  • Because that's the easiest way to make this adaptable for every setting, I'll locate this on a big island, with a few smaller islands within one day of sailing.
  • It's in moderate climate with harsh winters. Because of it's proximity to the main lands and the fertility of the land, here were always some sort of settlements, at it's peak even with a city and a port.
  • Now the island is isloated from the rest of the world for centuries already, because of the giant critters that roam the sea around it (Pacific Rim).
  • People believe the rest of the world was destroyed when the big critters arrived and theirs is what remained of humanity. Room is priviledged on that island and the floating insulars above the big city sprawling over the island are regarded as the safest and most luxury havens ever created by money and magic (Elysium).
  • The rich and powerful had a very elabourated sceme to regulate the population. Once a year for one week  they allowed open civil war between neighborhoods, controlling the resulting shifted power structure in the city with hard laws and military presence (The Purge with some Gangs of New York in it for good measure). It leaves the population plotting, introspective and silent for a year.
  • The rulers weren't seen in public for decades.
  • Some citizens build secure underground shelters to protect themselves.
  • Those that got powerful during the times of war often were selected to join the military first and invited to live on the floating insulars after that.
  • The war and injustice produced many restless dead. A weird and secretive cult (maybe dead and from another world? Player characters?) is hunting them (R.I.P.D.).

All this is bound to perish, of course. But this is for another post with random inspirations...

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