Thursday, 17 November 2011

A Buffy Season for the use of

Since the feature that attracted most attention to The Door In Time was a series-ful of plots, I thought I'd steal my own idea and bolt together a short campaign for another game here.

Obvious choice: Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Applicable to any monster-hunting urban fantasy or low-key superhero game with a sufficiently high Weird Level.

Some ground rules before we start: It's a world that looks like ours, but has monsters and magic and sundry other kitchen-sink stuff going on. One of the PCs is a slayer or similar marked-by-fate monster-killing superhero. Some kinds of supernatural beings, such as run-of-the-mill vampires, are there to be killed by our heroes without a second thought and no "paladins killing orc babies" moral questions. The police and other authorities don't generally get involved, and when they do it's a problem. Buffy canon may or may not have happened, depending on whether we do a crossover episode. Either way, I'm making every effort to make the series feel Buffyish...

Before the game begins, establish premises in your pitch as well as ground rules. You could let the players create any kind of somewhat applicable character, but this would probably result in a very strange Cast and very possibly some characters that are only there because they're PCs.

For example, The Watch House was about the training of Watchers, the occult experts who guide slayers among other duties in the war to save the world from evil. This gave all the PCs and recurring NPCs a reason to be there (they were trainee Watchers, or people/beings of interest to the Council, or in a few cases voluntary hangers-on) as well as giving lots of monsters a reason to attack them (kill the intelligence division of the forces of good) that could be added to on a PC-by-PC basis. It was also set around a normal campus so there were normal characters and normal activities to highlight the strangeness of the Cast's lives, and an option which was occasionally exercised to bring in clueless PCs.

So, to give us a working example, a game idea I had at the same time as The Watch House and have recycled for an RPGnet play-by-post game and my Nationals one-shot.

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Example: Band On The Run

The PCs are a college band. One of them is a Chosen One of some kind. (Let's say the drummer as a slayer.) Others can have supernatural connections as well - they could be musicians who are coincidentally magical, or as less of a stretch non-band-members could be there because of the Chosen One. This could set up a bit of friction between the norms and the supers, which might be good for story fodder if it doesn't lead to trouble out-of-character. Supernatural stories will revolve around the Chosen One and others, mundane stories will revolve around college and music, trying to get gigs, trying to get through gigs without monsters attacking the stage... On a metaphorical level it's about how hard it can be to do what you want, and balancing it with what you need to do.


So...

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