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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 147 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Deplorable - Source Material  (Read 2916 times)
Zak Arntson
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« on: April 02, 2003, 09:58:15 AM »

While Deplorable concentrates on a Victorian society and the literature of the late 1800's, I am looking for any material that depicts the themes in Deplorable. You can read the intial thread here: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=5657. The driving theme behind a character concept is this: A person with extraordinary abilities that force them into conflict between proper behavior and breaking society's mores.

So far, I have the following:
Novels
 - The Time Machine, H.G. Wells (the protagonists lives with a more open love among the future inhabitants than prescribed by his culture of origin)
 - Island of Doctor Moreau, H.G. Wells (I haven't read this yet, but I'm guessing the doctor isn't entirely inhuman? And what about all his animals?)
 - The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells
 - Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
 - Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
 - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne (Captain Nemo)
Comics
 - The League of Extraordinary Gentlement, Alan Moore
Film
 - The Mummy, w/ Boris Karloff (this doesn't exactly follow the theme, but Boris' mummy would make a good basis for a mummy struggling between love-at-all-costs and mercy)
 - The Fly, w/ Jeff Goldblum
Games
 - Vampire: The Masquerade (the stated premise of the game, not how the games tend to play out)
 - Sorcerer, Ron Edwards (the demons in Deplorable would all be a part of the sorcerer)

Any others come to mind?
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Valamir
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2003, 10:11:59 AM »

The Incredible Hulk, and others of that ilk.

Mack Bolan...although given the target audience the books never did touch as deeply as they could have on those issues, it was there...at times... (Mack Bolan being basically The Punisher sans latex skull suit)
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2003, 10:14:33 AM »

Quote from: Zak Arntson
- The Fly, w/ Jeff Goldblum


As a Cronenberg-phile I gotta say, "Huh?" Explain yourself, Mr. Arntson if-you-please.

- J
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redcrow
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2003, 10:15:38 AM »

How about Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
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Valamir
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2003, 10:28:51 AM »

Several James Bond villains might fit the bill...
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kregmosier
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2003, 10:34:57 AM »

Zak,

   weeeee....Finally a chance to contribute! ;)

As much as they may NOT be quite spot-on, George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books might at the VERY LEAST provide you with some great reading. i would highly recommend Flashman: From the Flashman Papers, 1839-1842 as your point of entry.

Check out the first few pages on Amazon...

-kreg
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Zak Arntson
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2003, 10:46:15 AM »

Quote from: Jared A. Sorensen
Quote from: Zak Arntson
- The Fly, w/ Jeff Goldblum


As a Cronenberg-phile I gotta say, "Huh?" Explain yourself, Mr. Arntson if-you-please.

- J


I knew you'd ask that. The Fly is very much NOT a Victorian-era tale, but it has the hint of the theme of extraordinary gifts at the cost of humanity. In Deplorable terms, Brundlefly pretty much went straight down the tubes and hit Humanity 0 and died at the end of the film.

Also, I'd like to see The Fly as a Victorian horror story. This guy who strives to be civil, while fighting his insect drives. That's the real reason behind its inclusion.
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iago
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2003, 01:18:12 PM »

Consider also The Shadow, who (while more "pulp" like) "knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men" because he's been there and faced that evil in himself.  At least, this is heavily, heavily suggested by the (iffy) movie version, and may be in the original (radio) works as well.
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b_bankhead
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Posts: 259


« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2003, 02:17:40 PM »

Quote from: Jared A. Sorensen
Quote from: Zak Arntson
- The Fly, w/ Jeff Goldblum


As a Cronenberg-phile I gotta say, "Huh?" Explain yourself, Mr. Arntson if-you-please.

- J


Deplorable is a game founded on the narrative concept of 'boundary breaking', primarily social boundaries,but also phscical and mental boundaries are broken in this game, and Cronenburg is the master of 'physical boundary breaking ' horror and 'The Fly' is in fact the story of a boundary being broken.

Also read Stephen King's 'Danse Macabre' or an exploration of this as it relates to horror fiction...
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Walt Freitag
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2003, 02:47:33 PM »

Novels
- The Alienist (and sequels)
- Carrie (and various other Steven King)
Comics
- Girl Genius, Phil Foglio
- Watchmen
- Batman
Film
- The Phantom of the Opera
- Blade Runner
- Forbidden Planet ("Monsters! Monsters from the Id!")
- Freaks
Traditional
- Faust
- the Hercules myth cycle

Walt
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2003, 02:58:11 PM »

Walt made me think of Edgar Allen Poe, who I think must be very applicable.

Mike
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b_bankhead
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Posts: 259


« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2003, 04:37:27 PM »

One thing the Deplorable game needs is a mechanic relating to social class.
Nothing marks a character in Victorian society as much as class. A it would be conspicuous by its abscence in any game dealing with the culture. For the narrativists it invokes themes the literature of the era is replete with, for the simulationist it was part and parcel of the environment, for the gamist learning to work the class system was certainly how you got ahead.....
   The class lineaments on has absorbed and the attitudes about it need to be something as pervasive and intrusive as a devil in Dust Devils or a passion in Pendragon.  It should color how the environment reacts to you and how you view and experience it.

For example lets take a leaf from the game Paladin: to define a class stat we might first ask some questions,
What class does the character present himself as?
How does the character view the class system?
How does he relate to those beneath him?
How does he relate to those above him

Each of these qualities can have a light and dark animus associated with them with an associated descriptor  
 Example Leito Atreides
Highborn 2
Neccessity 2 Degenerate 3
Protective 4 Ownership 0
Convention 0  Calculating 5
In this example Leito is a Highborn but his pov isnt so far focused on that of his class that he has problems relating to toerh classes, he views the class system as essentially something that serves a purpose but he thinks that it is breaking down at the same time, he goes to great lengths to preserve his people and has a weak tendency to view them as his pets or property, he goes along with his superiors with a weak personal commitment to social convention and a caclulating air.

Where this mechanic would exactly fit in with Deplorable is another matter, anyway this is just as example, but class should be inescapable in both the setting and the mechanics....
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simon
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2003, 12:51:00 AM »

Poe, as suggested above, and the arch-villain of C19th fiction: Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who you mention anyway, but who connects to figures like Percy Shelley and Lord Byron. Others of that ilk might include Dr. Strangelove, Fu Manchu, the doctor from George Eliot's Middlemarch. They are either outright embodiments of evil or deeply misguided evil by default sort of guys. As for breaking social mores, Victorian/Edwardian/early C20th literature is full of it: Howard in Howard's end, just about everyone in DH Lawrence, The woman and Indian civil servant in Passage to India, etc. What about Count Dracula and the 'New Women' who hounds. A real goldmine would be to have a look at the deabtes which came out of Drawinian theory - apes or angels? Well depends on what class you are...
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simon_hibbs
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Posts: 678


« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2003, 06:00:55 AM »

Quote from: Zak Arntson
...A person with extraordinary abilities that force them into conflict between proper behavior and breaking society's mores.

...

Any others come to mind?


No extraordinary abilities, but 'The Heart of Darkness' (1899) by Joseph Conrad is pretty close to the mark. Kurtz is extraordinary relative to his environment, and this leads him down the path to damnation.

'Confessions of an English Opium Eater' by Thomas de Quincey is also contemporary and fits the theme of alienation.


Simon Hibbs
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Simon Hibbs
Thomas Tamblyn
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Posts: 105


« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2003, 04:13:31 PM »

China Mieville's "King Rat" and Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" both explore feature people that (in gamer terms) have Kewl Powerz but have to operate below normal society.

Thinking of King Rat, I think the original the Pied Piper of Hamlyn would make a good Deplorable character.
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