Sunday, August 10, 2014

Leftover Soup Webcomic and the Class of Setting Creation

I tend to read a lot of web comics. One of them, Leftover Soup, http://www.leftoversoup.com/, has some gamign involved along with the other bits.

In the current series, the group is sitting down and discussing their characters and the background of the setting itself is coming into the forefront of the game. Mind you, this is even BEFORE they've started their characters or started out down the road of playing.

It's not going well.

There are certain assumptions built into the campaign that some of the players find distasteful for different reasons and none of their reasons are inherently bad in and of themselves, they just clash with the assumed nature of the campaign.

This is interesting to read as both a GM and a player. As a GM, I'm currently setting up a super hero setting for Hero 6th edition. I had the players start off with 500 points (includes 75 for disadvantages) but depending on what they make, may kick it up higher.

It's a  world where it assumes a lot of things in comics are correct.

Like what?

Well, world population would be down, in some instances fairly dramatically from invasions from space, other planes, alternative universes, etc...

The technology level would be higher, almost universally sci-fi. Heck, if you look at the things they are testing NOW in 2014, it seems that things are very sci-fi.

Massive surveillance state which effectively ends the ability for players to have secret ids unless they have a really good reason/excuse for it. Part of this may be living in Chicago where speed cameras, red light cameras, and dozens of other bits of surveillance technology are a hated, but well, accepted part of daily life.

Magic and psionics and gods are known to exist. Most of these are still 'unknown' for the most part as I've decided that most pantheons left Earth for the stars as mankind continued to move up the ladder and magic never lends itself well to mass consumption.

Fights between groups of supers are potentially very damaging to the nearby environment. Imagine if in Man of Steel, that was a weekly, or a monthly thing. How many billions would it take to repair? Would it even be possible? Would society itself be set back to the stone age after enough such battles?

Bit of 'false utopia' going on, nicked in part from movies like the recent Captain America Winter Soldier, to shows like Minority Report and Psycho Pass where society is able to use predictive technology. I know that again, it may seem sci-fi, but a lot if it is actually in use now: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/09/tech/innovation/police-tech/

There are some other bits I'm working on. I'm thinking that I'd snag a bit of the recent Guardians of the Galaxy storyline where Earth was essentially marked off limits. The reason being is that in most comic series, it has WAY more value than a dirt ball should and I think Green Lantern's take of things, during the whole Black Lantern War, is a good reasoning for the significance of it.

The 'fun' part? I told the players to be inspired by the Fate system and come up with what the current menace is, what the future menace is, and how their characters know each other and how they'll be working. I've left a lot of options open to them ranging from fighting against the system to working for the system to being agents of Earth on the reaches of outer space.

So yeah, as I read Leftover Soup and see the players arguing, intelligently, their points, I wonder what I'm going to run into with my own players. Mind you, as I've giving them a bit of the world building handles in terms of characters, NPCs, etc..., I think it'll be a little smoother.

As a game master, have you ever run a campaign where you had conflict with the players about it? I find that I try to appreciate a campaign for what it is as opposed to what I think it should be. I'm not always successful mind you as most fantasy campaigns, especially as I get older and read more, tend to make me annoyed. Vikings alongside English flavored Bowmen alongside German styled knights in full plate alongside sword and sandal barbarians alongside wizards and in most cases, it's 'guns' that are seen as too technologically advanced.

Ugh.

Still, I tend to keep that part of my brain off and admit that when I do my own in house writing, I tend to avoid them as well. I think it's just the dissonance of the gun versus the sword.

Ah well, back to enjoying a lazy Sunday!