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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 109 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [sic] After Earth: An Unlikely Savior  (Read 1758 times)
Dave Cleaver
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« on: July 21, 2007, 06:26:13 AM »

This is my thread for the [sic] Setting In A Can challenge. I'm selecting Set A:

SET C
Setting: post-apocalypse/space opera.
Theme: wacky overcoming-inner-demons story.

I think the setting is pretty easy. I'm thinking Flash Gordon-esque adventure after the destruction of the earth. The theme I'm having more trouble with. I read it, confused it with coming of age stories, and then came up with an idea that I love. So what I'm going to do is throw out my first idea, and then figure out if I can tweak it to more of an overcoming-inner-demons story.

My first idea is that all of the characters are the members of a heroic crew that must save the human race from an evil alien threat. The set up of the threat will come from pre-canned text I think, that groups could easily tweak to their tastes if they choose, but would qualify for the easy 10 min. setup.

All but one player will play a member of the crew. Each member of the crew consists of at least a Virtue and a Skill. A virtue would be something like honest and a skill might be piloting. The last player will play the Savior. The Savior will be made by taking the opposite of all of the virtues of the crew. The player of the savior will act to provide adversity throughout the game. As the game progresses the crew will gain opportunities to teach the savior their virtue, if they can maintain their patience around him/her. The human race can only be saved if the savior learns to embody all of the virtues of the crew.

Any comments on tweaking this to overcoming-inner-demons story would be greatly appreciated. I may just stick with my original idea, shirking the rules as usual.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2007, 07:14:46 AM »

Cool, I like Flash Gordon Smiley

Tell us more about your initial concept - I guess I can see some traces of "coming of age" in the Savior idea, but I'm not sure what exactly you intended.

One thing you could consider, I suppose. What if it was a coming of age story in which the end - becoming an adult - would mean losing the innocence and accepting the struggle with inner demons? Or, otherwise, the inner demons part could be in the environment in which the protagonist is coming to age - e.g. you could reverse the setup, and have the Savior helping other crew members in overcoming their vices. Or maybe the inner demons are simply the troubles of coming of age.

All in all, one of the best ways to represent inner demons could be, paradoxically, including them in the form of outside influences Wink
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Dave Cleaver
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2007, 06:49:01 PM »

I keep trying to write a reply, and the ideas are still firing pretty rapidly, so nothing is nailed down yet. I'm not sure about the Virtue thing, a little voice at the back of my brain is starting to not like it.

I like the idea of the Savior helping the crew to overcome their inner demons. I want it to still be wacky, so the Savior isn't going to be a wise teacher or anything, but needs to be a royal pain in the ass. He needs to highlight and accentuate the doubts and fears of the crew. Only by overcoming those doubts and fears, can humanity be saved.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 02:15:09 PM »

Hmm, maybe the Savior has a tendency to get into trouble, and the other crew members need to save him. In the process of saving him, they need to overcome their fears and doubts - and in the end, it always turns out that if the Savior didn't need saving, they wouldn't be saved themselves?
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xenopulse
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Heretic Forgite


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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2007, 07:53:49 AM »

Hey Dave,

I like those initial thoughts. You know, when I read "overcoming inner demons" I had a much more literal impression, about little demons actually living inside the heroes Smiley  So that's an option, still.

I think it would be very interesting to have such a game as you propose, where one character is the focus and the others are somewhat supportive. I'm curious to see how players would like that.
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Chainsaw Aardvark
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Posts: 17


« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2007, 10:54:29 AM »

While Misfile and Narbonic come to my mind first, there are dozens of comics that feature angels/cacodemons (that little devil on your shoulder - yes, it has a technical name) that are slackers or hedonists. Perhaps, they need to deal with the fact that their inner voice/moral guide has an actual manifestation - that doesn't prove helpful. Either its a case where they embody your work ethic, but not your competency, or perhaps more dangerously, this manifestation takes all of your attributes to the extreme. You get upset with the computer, the sprite smashes the CPU to bits.

One interesting quote I've heard a few times is to the effect of "The true end of childhood is accepting your mortality." So, for a darker cast on the subject, the players need to struggle with the fact that saving the world will result in their deaths, and what should they do in the meantime. The wackiness comes in the unreasonable demands that they want to fulfil in the next few hours before they arrive at their final destination. Sleep with the entire command staff, ride a motorcycle in space, eat every flavor of ice cream in the cosmos and the like perhaps? Or the strange bargains and deals one makes with the reaper/devil to survive the oncoming cataclysm. (Needful Things anyone?)

As a third option - the players are the inner demons/angels trying to fight their way out of the person and influence the final acts of a person about to die in a battle.
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ja-prozac
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Posts: 41

nerd with an attitude


« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 11:52:35 AM »

While I like the idea, I want to know how will you resolve and carry not so light and easy
premise. I would work around it in some more symbolic way. Ie: while the crew is from space
the savior is a child from ravaged earth with problems of the crew visible as world problems?
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 07:09:16 PM »

I'd be interested in playing this game a few times with my group, at least once for each player to get a chance at being the focal hero.

But here's an option for teams who don't like sitting in the shadows while a single member plays the focus of the game.

Why not give each player two or three virtues and the same number of vices? Maybe they can pick two virtues and a vice from a pair of lists. Depending on where they sit around the table, they may automatically pick up the vices to match the virtues for the players on either side of them. Then they get a random virtue to match one of the vices for someone randomly on the table (of course, this would imply four or more players).

Each of the crew members has to help overcome the vices of their crew mates, using their virtues while trying to overcome their own vices.

The crew member who manages to overcome their vices first becomes the saviour and the focal point for the remainder of the game.

This would set up the game in two phases; the first would be really competitive as they each try to become the saviour. The second phase would be more cooperative as the team pulls together against the impending doom. Plenty of scope for wacky hi-jinx and characterisation in the first phase, while taking on a darker tone as the game progresses.

Based on similar concepts I saw at conventions in the early 90's, I'd be very interested to see where this game progresses.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
ja-prozac
Member

Posts: 41

nerd with an attitude


« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2007, 08:18:18 AM »

Idea: Savior is an npc. His person just sets obstacles for player characters to help them
overcome their inner struggles and relise their virtues.
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