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My Life With "Ming"

Started by ghoyle1, April 29, 2006, 05:55:28 PM

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Hi there,
I've just bought MLWM, and I'm still trying to get my brain wrapped gooily around the game system, which, at this point, seems to be a rather daunting task. However, this game might be the best one to run a concept I've been thinking about for a long time: the characters are minions of a "Ming the Merciless" -type galactic overlord in a space opera setting al la Flash Gordon. Does anybody have any pointers for setting up such a setting?

Great-looking game; I can't wait to plunge into it!

Guy Hoyle
Guy (Hoyle)
I used to think, "Mind-control satellites? No way!" But now I can't remember how we lived without 'em.

Jonas Ferry


While I don't have any specific pointers for a Flash Gordon setting, I've GMed a bunch of different setting. My most recent Masters have been a factory owner in London at the dawn of industrialization with a giant drill used to drill down to the realm of demons, and an Irish mobster in 1930s Chicago. The main thing to think about is to keep the basic building blocks: the Master, the minions, the outsiders, the village and the people in it, and so on. Just transform them into whatever you want, keeping the relationships between them from the original setting.

Both of the above games moved from the countryside to big cities, but we kept the idea of the village by limiting the Master's demesne to a single city block. You want to keep the townspeople as a rational and "good" force, as opposed to the Master. I also like to have the townspeople being superior (morally, numerically) to the minions, so that the minions never feel confident when they go into town on missions. In the mobster game the players originally wanted a run-down workers-quarter, but I opted for a more well-kept part of town to make the minions' villainy and violence stand out more. If the townspeople are already broken, what difference does it make if the minions do more bad stuff to them?

When you say "galactic overlord", do you mean someone who is already in control and the ruler of the galaxy? Who are the outsiders that the Master needs to impress in that setting? That should say something about the scale of things... is "the village" in this case an entire galaxy, a single planet or a small part of a planet? The more you upscale things the harder it will be for getting the emotional impact of a good and personal villainous act from the minions, don't you think?

I hope something of that helps you.
One Can Have Her, film noir roleplaying in black and white.

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Actually, I should have said "former galactic overlord". This character, Torgon the Eviscerator, was overthrown by his arch-nemesis, the earthman Flash Rogers. Flash offered him a deal, that Torgon could escape with his life if he'd abdicate his throne and give up all his wealth. Torgon, of course, is secretly trying to regain his throne. He has secret laboratories, caches of wealth, hidden arsenals... but he doesn't know where most of them are are. (That's what underlings are for, after all.)

Torgon's minions, the PCs, would be tasked with finding the people who know where his resources are. Of course, some of these former underlings want the resources themselves. And the resources are, of course, hidden in hard-to-find places, protected by savage natives, mutated giant creatures, unbeatable deathtraps, etc...
Guy (Hoyle)
I used to think, "Mind-control satellites? No way!" But now I can't remember how we lived without 'em.