It has been a very long time since I have done any traditional GMing of a game. Anything along these lines has been deep into the story-telling end of the pool. Generally this is a pretty satisfying thing to do, but man cannot live on bread alone.
In a strange and contorted chain of events (that are not worth repeating) I discovered the growing range of tools available called virtual desktops, where players and GMs in remote locations can still conduct role-playing games. A quick review of some of the contenders tend to show a tactical style of game, but perhaps this should not be surprising. Tactical wargaming and role-playing games have always been bedfellows. Several potential tools hint that they could be used in a more narrative style of play by incorporating video conferencing, and so on. I have mentioned this to a few people, some near – some far, and find that there is some reasonable interest in my running a game in this fashion.
At this time the game is looking something like this, in dot points, just as a checklist for the developing ideas:
- Using the Savage Worlds system
- A pulp setting – some time in the 1930’s. The setting is pulp-realist, meaning that super science as imagined in the 1930’s is acceptable, as is oriental mysticism, but Nazi necromancy is off the table as anachronistic. The Great War is over. The world is super charged by race, idealism, and an arms race that is looking more and more ominous
- Core add ons of Thrilling Tales by Adamant and Pulp Toolkit by Pinnacle. Anything found in these source books is valid and ‘normalised’ for this setting
- Using inspiration from King Kong, Lost World and other adventures, the setting will be a remote island where creatures hitherto unsuspected by science have persisted and pose a threat. This is not a retelling of either story, but anything in those and other stories are potent grist for the mill. This gives me the chance to scratch the itch that I expressed in the Bossa Nova setting as well. Many of the same ideas will be expressed here, just in 1930’s rather than 1880’s
- This is anticipated to be a mini-campaign, meaning that I expect it to run for a few sessions and then resolve in a Plot Point style of structure, resolving a major thread. Since it is by definition a sandbox, real human interaction, the players can have side adventures all over the place, and happily so. But there will be a directioned goal that allows a wrap up and a wind up of the campaign if everyone wants
- The players are definitely considered to be on the same team with a shared central objective. They may in secret be communist (anti-capitalist hive mind advocate) or fascist (anti-democratic totalitarian fanatic) sympathisers, but on the surface they are all square jawed defenders of democracy
- When and where will the games take place? Not sure yet, but the suggestions made on the forums suggest choosing a weeknight between 7 and 11 (Melbourne time?)