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The Idea Pile

Started by Derek Devlin, January 05, 2003, 07:02:31 PM

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Michael Hopcroft

Great job, Derek. I'd watch that show every week.

I'm still looking for someone who has a B.B. King "greatest songs" album that can supply me with song titles for my bluesman show. Anyone know if such an album exists, how many tracks are on it, and where I can get a copy?
Michael Hopcroft Press: Where you go when you want something unique!

Derek Devlin

Here's something from Amazon. There's a track listing further down the page, with audio samples!

Derek Devlin

Michael Hopcroft

Thanks to Derek's pointing out that website, I have an episode guide for Blues Angel. Enjoy!

1. Every Day I Have the Blues

In this episode we meet Angel, a bluesman with a secret -- years ago he;d met the Devil at the Crossroads and was tricked into bartering his soul for brilliant prowess with the guitar. He's become rich and famous for his playing -- then one day he discovers an evil scheme by his promoter. When the promoter steals all his money in revenge, Angel realizes what a terrible bargain he has made and vows to recover his immortal soul, even if it means confronting the Devil himself!

2. Sweet Little Angel

Angel meets Queen Mary, a gospel singer with a secret of her own. Soon he discovers that a demon has marked her for assassination. But how can a man who has lost his soul confrfont a demon?

3. How Blue Can You Get?

A local blues legend in Alabama has been locked up by the local redneck sherriff. Angel soon discovers that the sherriff is a demon out to hold those who have been to the Crossroads until the Devil can collect his due. Angel determines to spring his fellow bluesman -- but will he lose his own chance to regain his soul in the process?

4. Paying the Cost to Be the Boss

Angel's promoter is back, this time with a scheme to put subliminal messages in Angel's back collection. This time the purity of the Blues is at stake, and Angel must strike back at the man (?) who has wronged him so heavily.

5. Don't Answer the Door

Queen Mary invites Angel to take refuge in her house while he is pursued by the Hunter, a demon who tracks down and claims lost souls. Can Mary show him how he can get his soul back before the Hunter arrives to claim them both?

6. Why I Sing the Blues

Angel runs into a young bluesman who has heard the legend of the Crossroads and seeks it out in hopes of gaining fame and fortune. Can Angel turn him away from the path to the Crossroads before the Devil can claim another victim?

7. Thrill Is Gone

An old flame has tracked down Angel and is determined to rekindle old sparks. Meanwhile, Queen Mary wanrs that a trap is being laid for Angel. But these two events can't possibly be connected -- can they?

8. I Like to Live the Love

A demon, disguised as a high school principal, is determined to abolish the music program at a high school in a poor neighborhood and shatter the dreams of a young fiddler. Can Angel save the program and expose the demon?

9. Hummingbird

The Hunter is back, determined to take Angel to Hell. Angel is given a unique guitar called Hummingbird. Is this the key to destorying the Hunter once and for all?

10. To Know You Is to Love You

Angel comes to the aid of Queen Mary when her church is threatened with forclosure by a demonic banker. But can the music the Devil game him really be used for good?

11. Chains and Things

The sherriff Angel foiled in Alabama tracks him down and prepares to extradite him to Alabama and the holding cell. There are enough guards to render escape seemingly impossible. Have Angel's wings finally been clipped?

12. Better Not Look Down

Somewhere in the South is the Hellgate, a place where demons make the transition between Hell and Earth and back. Angel discovers his unholy place and a host of demons waiting to drag him down to Hell. His only hope is to destroy the Hellgate itself....

13. Never Make a Move Too Soon

More determined than ever to regain his soul, Angel seeks out Queen Mary for her advice. Along the way, the Devil taunts him at every turn, trying to break his resolve and hitting at every weak sport he can find. But why is the weakest spot Queen Mary herself?

14. There Must Be a Better World Somewhere

Angel plucks an abused girl off a bridge, which she had been planning to jump off. Afraid to turn her in to the authorities, Angel determines to lead her to safety while trying to convince her that life is worth living in spite of everything she has endured. During this episode we flash back to Angel's own childhood and the father who made his childhood a living hell....

15. Playin' With My Friends

Many of the people Angel has helped in his quest to regain his soul converge on Queen Mary's house. When Angel himself arrives, a massive jam ensues. But the house is soon surrounded by corrupt, racist cops! Angel muist find a way to get everything else. In the process, Queen Mary tells him the most important secret of all -- how Angel can regain his soul.

16. When Love Comes to Town (Final episode)

Angel and Queen Mary return to the Crossroads. Soon the Devil shows up, expecting to recieve Angel's surrender. Instead, Angel and Queen Mary play a song so sweet and true that the Devil is moved to tears. Angel then declares that the Devil has no power over him, and that the msuic never came from the Devil at all, but from himself! The Devil flees screaming back to Hell. Soon after, Angels former promoter is arrested and his fortune is restored, with all the charges against him dropped. Angel proposes to Queen Mary and the two begin to tour together. The Blues has triumphed over the ultimate evil!
Michael Hopcroft Press: Where you go when you want something unique!

Cynthia Celeste Miller

This thread continues to get more interesting all the time.  Keep up the great work, gang!  :)
Cynthia Celeste Miller
President, Spectrum Games

Michael Hopcroft

Gee, that's nothing. I think this thread is utterly fascinating. My own contributions are miniscule and inferior by comparison to some of the other people's.
Michael Hopcroft Press: Where you go when you want something unique!

Derek Devlin

I'm really impressed by the episode list for Blues Angel, especially how you were able to come up with such a coherent story arc so quickly. My series are usually thrown together between turning points(like the 2-part episodes in I&S) or are a series of random adventures(like B&B).

Blues Angel almost seems too "grown up" for CAH. This doesn't strike me as a show where stuff is blowing up every ten minutes like most action cartoons. I'd see it more as a live-action TV series or maybe even Cowboy Bebop-style anime.

So, who's going to be next to base a series around a Greatest Hits CD? We've turned out some beauties so far.

Derek Devlin

Eddy Fate

Quote from: Derek DevlinBlues Angel almost seems too "grown up" for CAH. This doesn't strike me as a show where stuff is blowing up every ten minutes like most action cartoons. I'd see it more as a live-action TV series or maybe even Cowboy Bebop-style anime.

You'd be AMAZED how flexible the CAH system is.  Still, I think it would also do well under BESM, too.  :-)
Eddy Webb
Vice-President, Spectrum Game Studios
Co-Line Developer for">Cartoon Action Hour">Order CAH online!

Rob MacDougall

Hi folks:

These episode listings are packed with cool ideas, and great fun to read, but I'm curious: do you actually plan your games this way? Isn't that awful scripted? What do you do if, say, Angel doesn't save Queen Mary (or worse, shows no interest in saving her) in episode 2?


Eddy Fate

Quote from: Rob MacDougallThese episode listings are packed with cool ideas, and great fun to read, but I'm curious: do you actually plan your games this way? Isn't that awful scripted? What do you do if, say, Angel doesn't save Queen Mary (or worse, shows no interest in saving her) in episode 2?

Me personally?  No.  Or I should say, yes.

Let me give an example - in Darkness Unleashed, I have some example episodes for the series, and the episodes should be played in a sort of order, if you want to follow the "original series" (i.e., the game's vague "metaplot").  However, the order is extremely basic, and mainly is used to introduce new characters to the series.  A good analogy is the second series of Transformers - you don't HAVE to watch it in order, but if you want to know why Hoist is in one episode and not another, watching them in order can help.

That being said, I talked with DD about how to run a game with this sort of story arc, and really the best way to do it, for me, would be this:

1) Come up with a loose setting (like, modern day, with blues songs as a sort of theme)
2) Have the player work with you and the setting to make an appropriate character
3) Take appropriate character, and see what kinds of stories the player wants to make with him
4) Develop a series of "plot threads" to throw at the player
5) Run with it

Hope that helps.  :-)
Eddy Webb
Vice-President, Spectrum Game Studios
Co-Line Developer for">Cartoon Action Hour">Order CAH online!

Derek Devlin

Quote from: Rob MacDougallHi folks:

These episode listings are packed with cool ideas, and great fun to read, but I'm curious: do you actually plan your games this way? Isn't that awful scripted?


When I plan a game, I like to base it off the players and the characters. It's less work for me, and there's less chance of a player getting bored and deciding not to bother showing up anymore(I HATE that). Before we start, I tell everybody what the system is like and what the tone of the game will be. After that, I start asking people what they want to get out of the game and what aspects of their characters they'd like to see touched on. Then I try to come up with story arcs and set pieces that give the players what they want. Sometimes it's tough to get players to compromise and sometimes it doesn't work, but when it does, it's magic.

The episode lists, for me, are all about having fun with the idea and providing an example of what a campaign based on the premise would look like. An episode of "Iron & Steele" is going to have either a mystery to solve or a supervillain to fight, sometimes both. An episode of "7th Millenium" is going to have very different tone and subject matter from an episode of "Beans & Bacon", even though both are science-fiction series.

Also, most of the episode descriptions don't go into solid detail about how the episode works out. There's usually a goal or story development of some kind, but everything after that is pretty open. In "Prayer for the Flying", we know that Biff and Morgan have to get back to civilization with their prisoner. But how they do it isn't mentioned, that's up to the players to figure out.

I'm working on an episode listing for the "Derek Devlin" series now. If someone decided to run a "Derek Devlin" campaign, I wouldn't expect them to cleave to the premise and episode list as if it were gospel. That person knows his group better than I do, so if he wanted to alter the storyline, change the cast, or make up his own episodes, that's cool. I'm just fiddling with an idea that amuses me, hopefully other people can have fun with it too.

Derek Devlin

Derek Devlin

Title: Not Quite an Angel

Premise: Jason Quentin was a small-time con man always hoping for the big score. Fleeing from the scene of his latest swindle with a suitcase full of money, he was killed in a car crash. Desperate to return to Earth and reclaim his suitcase, Jason gate-crashed the Pearly Gates and conned the heavenly bureaucracy into sending him back. Jason found out too late that you can't scam God. He's back on Earth all right, with an iron-clad contract making him one of God's angels. Stuck with his assignment, Jason makes the best of it by using his skills as a con man to trick people into turning their lives around and beat the Devil at his own game.

Tone: Touched by an Angel meets The Rockford Files. Each week, Jason encounters a situation that needs rectifying or a soul that needs salvation and does his best to deliver, bending a few rules in the process.


Jason Quentin - A penny-ante grifter who finds himself playing for cosmic stakes, Jason finds himself enjoying the challenge of being pitted against the forces of the Universe's biggest con artist, Satan himself. Being on the side of the angels isn't as prestigious as he thought it would be, but it does have its perks. Jason's angelic powers include the ability to lie convincingly(though that may be strictly his own ability), the ability to summon props to help in his scams and disguises(subject to Heaven's bureaucracy, of course), the ability to shapeshift(3 times per mission), and the ability to cause minor coincidences.

Matthew - A former Angel, 2nd Class who got his wings as a result of one of Jason's successes. Matthew works in the archives of Heaven and usually ends up doing research for Jason that could get them both in trouble. Put-upon and more than a little gullible, Matthew always manages to come through with some vital info when it's needed.

Gabe - A career angel who happens to look and sound like Gabe Kaplan from "Welcome Back, Kotter". Gabe is Jason's supervisor and never lets him forget it. Hard-nosed and by-the-book, Gabe figures Jason should by rights be in Hell, and can't understand why God hasn't sent him there yet. He grudgingly accepts the Boss's decision, but is always watching for Jason to slip up. If that time comes, Gabe will put all his clout behind getting Jason shipped South.

Drake Campbell - A former small-time grifter and rival of Jason's, Drake was shot in the back by one of his accomplices and sent to Hell. He talked his way back to Earth and now gathers souls and causes trouble on behalf of Old Scratch. Jason and Drake could not be more opposite. While Jason gets no respect from his peers in Heaven, Drake is a respected operative in Hell. While Jason has to fight for every use of his angelic powers, Drake has carte blanche to use his demonic powers. He has all of Jason's abilities, plus one more, Free Legal Consultation(because as everyone knows, Hell has plenty of lawyers). Drake's big weakness is that he's ten times greedier than any mark he's ever conned. He'd never be happy to scam a thousand if there's the outside chance he could scam a million. He's been so successful because none of Heaven's operatives would stoop to exploiting that weakness. Now that Jason's on the team, all bets are off.

Michael Hopcroft

Gee, Derek, that looks great. I've always wanted to play a con man, but always have trouble doing so. This would be a great series for me to play in.

Mind you, I could have all sorts of fun with Gabe.
Michael Hopcroft Press: Where you go when you want something unique!

Derek Devlin

I enjoy playing con men too, but I'm not really clever enough to pull it off. So I always end up playing unsuccessful con men, which can also be fun. :)

Anyway, here's an episode list for "Amazing Adventures of Derek Devlin".

Series 1 - The Game Begins

Episode 1 - Altar of the Spider God
Stuntman Derek Devlin gets a job offer in Africa that quickly turns deadly. Traps, wild animals, a fabulous idol, and a beautiful sorceress complicate things for our hero.

Episode 2 - The Ten Thousand Year-Old Bet
The sorceress Cassandra explains the nature of The Game to Derek, who meets his new bodyguard Whistler Singh. Meanwhile, New England scholar Ward Curwen's occult dabblings summon dark forces that have an offer to make...

Episode 3 - Devlin vs. The Empire
Derek races a British expedition searching for the Golden Stool of the Asante. Our hero finds it first, but refuses to claim it for The Game, as it means too much to the people protecting it. In New York, Curwen takes tea with Moe Manchu and hires Anna Conda for a trip to South America.

Episode 4 - Fangs of the Jaguar
Deep in the jungles of South America lies the tomb of Shield Jaguar Lord, the Mayan priest-king. His sacrificial daggers, the Fangs of the Jaguar, are filled with occult power. This will be Derek's first test as the Chosen One, pitted against Curwen and his cronies!

Episode 5 - Reflections in a Dragon's Eye
The team follows Moe Manchu to China in order to prevent his possessing of the Dragon's Eye, a fabulous gem that shows its owner the future.

Episode 6 - Where the Conqueror Sleeps
Legend says that Attila the Hun's tomb lies at the bottom of the river Tizsa. Legend also says that Attila's sword bore the blessing of a war god. Will Derek find the sword first, or join Attila's bones in the murky depths?

Episode 7 - Uneasy Lies The Head
Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula, was found headless in a swamp following a battle centuries ago. Clues to the skull's location point to a mysterious monastery, where danger(and Curwen) awaits!

Episode 8 - Death and Circuses
The team goes to Rome in search of the breastplate of Boadicea, but Anna Conda and a few of her old friends have quite a reception planned for them!

Episode 9 - Brand of the Nightwalker
Team Devlin crosses paths with the sorceror Noctambule, "the Nightwalker", while in Paris searching for a missing man with a clue to a lost artefact. Is Noctambule trying to stop them, or help them? What are his plans, and whose side is he on?

Episode 10 - The Doom Down Below
Team Devlin retraces the path of the explorers in "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and become involved in a power struggle in an underground kingdom.

Episode 11 - The King's Cross Affair
A silver cross and two bodies supposedly that of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere disappeared from a British monastery centuries ago. When the cross turns up in New York, Teams Devlin and Curwen discover that the stars will soon be in alignment, opening a gateway to Arthur's resting place in Avalon!

Episode 12 - Countdown to Avalon
The two teams race to Stonehenge and enter the gate to Avalon. They undergo a series of trials to prove themselves worthy of the treasures of Camelot. Team Devlin makes it back with the Holy Grail, but the gate closes and traps the Greedy Curwen and his allies in Avalon!

Series 2 - The Keys to Immortality
Coming Soon!

Series 3 - The Game Ends
Coming Soon!

Derek Devlin

Things are pretty quiet on this board these days, what with everyone waiting with bated breath for the CAH hardcopy. So, here's some more bits of stuff for the Idea Pile.

Title: DreamMasters

Theme Song: "GoodnightLittleNemo" by Jazzflight, which you can download here:

Premise: Four children stumble onto an old journal kept by the boy who was the inspiration for the comic strip "Little Nemo in Slumberland". The journal relates some of the fantastic adventures the boy had, and his battles with the Sleeping Wizard, a powerful sorceror placed under an enchanted sleep centuries ago. The Wizard and his minions seek to steal the essence of children's dreams and use it to undo the enchantment. The last entry in the journal was written when the boy had become a man, stating that he intended to enter the land of dreams for good and seek out brave children to help fight the Sleeping Wizard and his servants.

That night, Little Nemo visits each child in their dreams...

Tone: High fantasy for younger kids. Each child has a specific heroic "dream-form" that he takes on when in the land of dreams(superhero, barbarian, pirate, etc.). If there were action figures, the dream-form would be the figure but it would come with a smaller "real world" figure of the child. Each episode, the DreamMasters battle the Sleeping Wizard and his army of nightmares as they invade dreams and try to break free into the real world.

Title: Romance of the Three Galaxies

Premise: In the far future, the three galaxies of Shu, Wu, and Wei struggle against each other in a battle to unify all known space. Great battles are fought, great villainy revealed, great heroes fight with honour. This is their story...

Tone: Epic space opera. Anyone who has played the Dynasty Warriors games for the PS2 is familiar with these characters. You can read a translation of the novel this series is based on at and you've gotta love how each chapter comes with a guaranteed cliffhanger ending. :)

Some titles that don't have series yet:

The Misadventures of Cheez and Choklit
99 Ninjas and Me
The WitchSmeller Chronicles
21 Gunn Salute
Big Blue and the Brass Monkey

Derek Devlin

Cynthia Celeste Miller

Great stuff, gang!  

I've noticed the recent lack of activity here as well.  Perhaps everyone is just waiting for the hardcopy (due out toward the end of March) to get a fresh batch of discussions going.
Cynthia Celeste Miller
President, Spectrum Games