Monday, 23 November 2015

Overthrowing the setting

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II is now in cinemas, the conclusion of a YA SF trilogy/quadrilogy about revolution against injustice and overthrowing a dictatorship.

The setting has enough detail to be gameable, before and during Katniss’s revolt, with worldbuilding to spare in the little-seen Districts and the world beyond the redrawn borders.

(The 100 is I think the most game-friendly work to appear in its wake as it’s been adapted to TV with an expandable scope and a higher Weird Level.)

Have your characters ever toppled the system? And what, if anything, did they do afterwards?

CyberGeneration is an early example of YA dystopia and revolution in gaming, with the disenfranchised youth suddenly having the power literally in their hands to cause real change, and a run of adventures designed with this in mind - it starts with Bastille Day, dropping the PCs into a prison camp to rescue someone and, ideally, start a full-on breakout.

Vampire: The Masquerade started with the assumption that the PCs would be or become anarchs, the angry young vampires railing against the establishment with the storytelling advantage that the establishment was right there in the form of the Prince. Later editions focused more on the cold-ish war between the Camarilla and the Sabbat, but anarch play has seen more support in V20.

Midnight is a dystopian spin on Middle-Earth where the Dark Lord of the setting won, and a small resistance struggles against the forces of the Shadow.

And of course in Star Wars you are probably part of the Rebel Alliance.

There are also games about utopian settings in somewhat hostile worlds, like King Arthur Pendragon, where PCs are expected to support and defend the dream of Camelot, promote its ideals, and salvage what hope they can when it all comes crashing down.

No comments:

Post a Comment