*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 24, 2014, 07:24:54 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Dark Days]: The Characters  (Read 1334 times)
northerain
Member

Posts: 94


WWW
« on: June 02, 2008, 08:12:19 PM »

This is for my game ''Dark Days'' (ex-Van Dread) which is about occult investigation and horror. I won't get in on the details since I'm just putting this one idea out there.

The game's setting involves the character entering a different kind of world, or altering their perception in a way that turns them into something else. They can see things ''mundane'' people can't and interact with them. Similar to DRYH and UA I suppose. I've been trying to come up with an idea concerning that aspect.

One of my first ideas was to have characters either commit suicide or plan to commit suicide. At that point a man approaches them and gives them a gun and a bullet and he says ''use this instead''. They are compelled to do that and thus act out a ritualistic ''suicide''. From then on they enter the world as something more than human. I wasn't too hot on the idea and some people find suicide is a touchy subject, so I have almost given up on the idea.

Then I had a discussion with a friend and we came up with a different concept. Essentially the event that leads to the characters being turned into something else can be anything from an accident to a murder, suicide or insanity, all brought on by the Man previously mentioned. I like this more, but I also came up with a riff on that idea.

I think the inspiration for it comes from the series Lost and the movie Final Destination (you'll see why later).
The characters will experience a traumatic event like a car accident or a place crash or something similar. This way they can explain how they know each other and establish ties during chargen (I'm using Fate 2.0). Those ties can be strong or weak, according to taste(group of friends in a car crash or just people on a plane that just happen to sit on the same lane). I'm not sure if they die, or traumatized or maybe are dying (ala Jacob's Ladder) and don't know it.

Some questions that came up which I think gave interesting answers:

1. How do you add more characters to a group after the initial chargen?
You can use a flashback to show a different angle of the event to include the new character. In a car crash, the new character can be the other driver, a firefighter that came to the rescue but died when the car exploded, a car driving behind them that crashes into them, etc.

2. How are groups created if the characters don't know each other already?
Like in Lost, it's implied that fate has brought them together. They are connected in strange ways, some they don't even know about(GM's discretion). In line with the setting, I think it's logical that the mysterious survivors that can now see monsters will want to stick together in a ''we're all in this together'' mentality.


And some specific stuff I want feedback on:

1. Is this too close to either UA or DRYH? Or any other game? Similar is ok, I just don't want it to be perceived as a ripoff.
2. Do you think the accident angle is too narrow? Maybe it's not really connected to an occult/horror game? The only thing that bridges these events with the setting is ''the Man''. I don't know who he is.
3. Do you think the suicide idea is taboo or objectionable? Too edgy/angsty? Good or bad?

And of course general feedback is most important. Does this idea grab you, or does it feel rehashed?

Thanks in advance!
Logged

ChadDubya
Member

Posts: 28


WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 09:19:28 PM »

Hi there.

Before I could respond fully, I'd like to know what characters would do in your game. Reconcile their death? Prevent other deaths? Fight invisible monsters? Right now, I see them navigating a sort of "6th Sense" nightmare world, but I'm unsure what they are trying to do there.

As far as the "suicide" aspect goes: I think you should have a really deep understanding of suicide as a cultural and psychological phenomenon before incorporating it into your game idea. I've seen some designers work with extremely sensitive subject matter, but they do some from a perspective of intimate knowledge and experience. Without such a background, other people (your audience) might find your treatment of the subject tacky or offensive. Besides, it doesn't sound like suicide is crucial to your game concept in the least.

-Chad
Logged

ENOCH: Role-playing the Second Genesis
www.enochrpg.com/wiki
northerain
Member

Posts: 94


WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 10:32:03 PM »

Hi Chad (it's Chad right?).

It was silly of me not to explain a bit about the game.
Dark Days is a game of occult investigation and horror, slightly pulp but pretty dark and serious, overall.  I'm terrible at explaining my games, but it's essentialy inspired by the John Constantine comics, Criminal Macabre comics and the Gentleman Corpse comics. Essentially noir detectives in a world of monsters, protecting innocents, finding criminals that normal police can't catch and such nonsense. Monsters range from Cthulhu-like monstrosities to nazi zombies and a bunch of other stuff.

The reason I'm trying to come up with a concept about the ''origin'' of the characters is that I'm trying to answer the usual question of ''why are these guys killing monsters?''. I don't want to go with the usual secret organization angle, I'd rather like something in the vein of Unknown Armies or even DRYH. Something more evocative and less formulaic.

I do have my own experiences in the subject of suicide and depression, but I don't see how I can do it ''wrong''. It's a minor part of the story and just explains what makes the characters ''different''. It does sound tacked on though, and I don't mind dropping the idea at all.

Logged

Will
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2008, 10:10:12 AM »

I'm a big fan of the revelation of the world as something other than what you thought it was idea. It's not an uncommon theme these days but in my mind it beats the hell out of "it's fantasy/cyberpunk/other core genre except..."

Suicide could be a strong central motivator to bring the characters together and give them a common perspective. It's a biggy though and will color the flavor of the game (and hopefully its theme) something fierce. The violent jolt idea (suicide, murder, near death experience, psychic shock) gives you more central motivations to work with and could make the game more accessible to more people.

Motivations for the group to stay together are always tricky. The mysterious stranger has a danger of being a bit deus ex machina but could be worked with. The motivator of "enemy of my enemy is my friend" could also come into play. In a world where everyone wants to eat you having the few people nearby that you know for sure are also on the menu can be comforting.
Logged
northerain
Member

Posts: 94


WWW
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2008, 05:32:08 AM »

I too am leaning towards the ''violent jolt'' idea. It's pretty general and should work nicely. I don't feel like using the ''dark man'' for the reasons you described. I don't want games to revolve around ''this is your mission'', although it works well with Delta Green.
I could leave group dynamics up to the players ala ''What brought you together?'' during chargen but it feels a bit weak. But this is probably the best choice for a noir/horror game. That way you can come up with really interesting reasons to fight the supernatural threats.
Logged

Will
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2008, 08:13:52 AM »

DRYH did it very well with the premise of "if you don't have buddies to watch you when you crash you WILL die!" Some element to bind the players to each other if not to a goal. Then the fighting monsters part gets taken care of first by them being prey, then after they have found as much of their footing as you are going to allow them they become the hunters. Investigation can be taken care of by rewarding information gathering (about the beasties and the players situation/surroundings) with real advantages over the things they are fighting/trying not to be eaten by.
Logged
anansi
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2008, 09:04:52 AM »

Alternately, you could do the whole "We need to save our layer of reality from this evil layer of reality! And since we're the only ones who can see it, we have an obligation to the world, even if we're bitter hardened detectives with low morality!"

Kinda a cross between... Constantine and film noir detectives. Cause Noir detectives only understand the seedy underground because they themselves are tainted by it. Same with Hellblazer, the whole selfish kinda jaded touched by evil thing.
Logged
northerain
Member

Posts: 94


WWW
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2008, 09:17:24 AM »

Alternately, you could do the whole "We need to save our layer of reality from this evil layer of reality! And since we're the only ones who can see it, we have an obligation to the world, even if we're bitter hardened detectives with low morality!"

Kinda a cross between... Constantine and film noir detectives. Cause Noir detectives only understand the seedy underground because they themselves are tainted by it. Same with Hellblazer, the whole selfish kinda jaded touched by evil thing.

I like that. But how are the characters touched by evil?

My updated idea for the characters is that they died, caught a glimpse of hell and then were brought back(they only died for seconds) with weird powers and a way to see the ''dark side'' of the world.

Also, can anyone come up with a word as cool as Hellblazer, ever?
Logged

anansi
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2008, 10:43:43 AM »

Another popular idea, but maybe when they were touched by the other world (when they died) and gained their powers, like you said, they became imbued with this otherness.

Maybe it isn't evil (cause its death). The magic has properties that tie to mystical ideas inherent in death. Therefore, whenever the PC's use their magic, their bodies/souls/minds corrode. Alternately, if you want to stick with the Evil, the magic could cause a corruption in the PC that was evil as well.
Logged
xenopulse
Member

Posts: 527

Heretic Forgite


WWW
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2008, 11:27:30 AM »

If you want to go dark: each character's attempted suicide ended up killing someone they cared about. They "traded" someone else's life for their own. Now you've got guilt combined with powers that could bring attonement.
Logged

northerain
Member

Posts: 94


WWW
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2008, 09:16:43 PM »

So I settled for another idea I had.

The characters died, then came back from the dead. In their own body. They're still dead, essentially, but not ghosts or zombies. The closest example to this is ''The Crow''. While the characters were in that place between death and resurrection, they caught a glimpse of something, a place I call The Dark. What they saw drove them slightly mad (this may or may not make it to the final draft) and got them a gift. The gift is kind of a supernatural power.

I like this one because it's relatively simple. Right now I'm trying to avoid stealing from Wraith or Orpheus or even DRYH.
Logged

Will
Member

Posts: 50


« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2008, 10:04:48 AM »

How long dead?

If you have them coming back weeks, months, or even years later you have the nice isolation of the loss of their lives. They could go try to reclaim them but what would that do to everyone who knew them before?

If they pop right back into their bodies you can have them trying to live their lives as everything falls apart and the truths they had been ignoring demand their attention.

Win win either way Smiley
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!