Gauging Interest - It's a 30s Sci-Fi pulp Ripping Yarns jokey sort of thing...




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  1. #1
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    Gauging Interest - It's a 30s Sci-Fi pulp Ripping Yarns jokey sort of thing...

    What Ho!

    Looking to see if anyone is interested in a light-hearted Boy's Own Adventure* kind of pulp sci-fi game, with simple mechanics and general daftness all round, where the good guys win because Johnny Martian doesn't understand the rules of cricket.

    Inspirations:
    Boys Own Tales, (as spoofed by Palin and Jones in) Ripping Yarns, war comics (e.g. Commando, Victor), Saturday serials (e.g. Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon. King of the Rocketmen, Undersea Kingdom, anything with Larry “Buster” Crabbe or Ray "Crash" Corrigan), Johnny Weismuller’s Tarzan, Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes, any film starring Doug McClure, Bulldog Drummond, Dick Barton Special Agent, The 39 Steps, Jules Verne, HG Wells, Dan Dare, Willans and Searles’ Molesworth, Girl Genius, Daily Mirror’s Jane, Rudyard Kipling, Enid Blyton, Arthur Ransome, Biggles, etc...

    If you have some life to waste at TV Tropes, look up Raygun Gothic, George Lucas Throwback and the film Bullshot, with pretty much every reference therein, for more genre tropes to play with.

    Setting:
    1930s SF. Thirties era aesthetic in politics, clothing and projected technology, set in far future (2011!) but with backward looking ideals (Empire, Pluck, Public Schools and lashings of ginger beer). King Zagrox of Mars, green-skinned, dome-headed Martian ruler of a pseudo-fascist dictatorship with plans to conquer the whole solar system with his fleet of saucer ships. Blue-skinned, four armed warrior women ride dinosaurs through the jungles of Venus. Mysterious races beyond, perhaps intelligent blue gasses from Pluto who speak only in bad poetry. Earth is protected by the brave men and women of the Space Ranger Corps, culled from the finest that each nation has to offer (but led, naturally, by the valiant British**).

    Potential story arcs:
    Warrior Queen of Venus, Deathray of Doom, Warlords of Saturn, The Scurrilous Scheme of Doctor Awful.

    Post your interest, and I'll transform this thread by the power of SCIENCE! into a character creation thread.

    *Girls are allowed too, as long as they promise not to talk about dresses and kissing and stuff.

    **Well, they think they're in charge and everybody respects them.
    Last edited by Dr Simon; Thursday, 4th June, 2009 at 04:24 PM.
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  2. #2
    Sounds great! Will it be rules-system free, or do you have something specific in mind?
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    The rules are like a super-light version of GURPS or FUDGE. Here's what I had in mind:

    All characters start with two “Good” skills, one “Great” skill and one “Poor” skill. Optionally, you can add another Good Skill by taking a Rubbish skill. Skills are loosely defined, although you are honour bound to make Poor and Rubbish skills something that might actually be a handicap (so no Rubbish: Knitting) for example.

    Examples Characters:

    Algernon “Squiffy” Atkinson
    Archetype: Absent-Minded Boffin
    Hooks: Unruly blond hair, glasses, unfeasably long scarf.
    Skills:
    Great: Fixing Things
    Good: Alien Flora and Fauna
    Good: Accidentally Avoiding Trouble
    Poor: Noticing Non-Trivial Things

    Andrei Alexeivitch Obromov (Andrushka to his mother)
    Archetype: Robust Boffin
    Hooks: Huge bear of a man, big beard, effusive, Russian
    Skills:
    Great: Making Things
    Good: Wrestling
    Good: Making Friends
    Good: Resisting Poisons (includes homemade vodka)
    Poor: Firing Guns
    Rubbish: Being Quiet

    The Basic Mechanic: Roll 2d6, add modifier. Beat difficulty or opposing roll

    Typical Difficulties
    20 Nigh Impossible
    16 Very Hard
    13 Hard
    10 Difficult
    7 Average
    5 Easy
    3 Very Easy
    1 Trivial

    Skill Modifiers
    Legendary +8
    Excellent +6
    Great +4
    Good +2
    Average +0
    Poor -2
    Rubbish -4
    Dreaful -6
    Hopeless -8

    Added refinements: Degree of success may be a factor. If you only need an Average success, for example, but your total is high enough for Hard success, then you may achieve more than you hoped for.

    Damage and combat is fairly abstracted. Using the above examples, if a Martian footsoldier fired his ray gun at Squiffy, Squiffy could use his Accidentally Avoid Trouble skill to oppose the roll. He just happens to notice a rare example of a Martian Poisonous Daffodil and ducks to examine it at the moment the footsoldier fires. Andrei, on the other hand, has no defensive skills to speak of. The footsoldier would have to make a straight attack roll based on range. If he missed, though, Andrei could then employ his wrestling skill to crush the little martian.

    Wounds etc. are abstracted. The heroes can't get killed outright, but a good shot might incapacitate them, and a really good one might give them a wound that could be fatal if not treated. Goons tend to go down on a single hit, henchmen and named bad guys tend to be a bit more durable. If you want a really tough hero then give them a Shrug Off Damage skill or similar.

    Example Archetypes:
    Square-Jawed Hero
    Brash American Pilot*
    Loyal Batman
    Spivvy Corporal
    Plucky Heroine
    Bluff Old Colonel
    Fierce German Officer*
    Louche French Agent*

    Venusian Temptress
    Venusian Amazon
    Noble Martian Partisan
    Oily Martian Double Agent
    Nervous Robot Butler
    Single-Minded Robot Bodyguard.

    Notes: There are two types of Martian. High Martians are the Mars Attacks kind of green, bulbous headed sadistic types. Low Martians have golden skin and little antennae on their heads. They are ruled by the High Martians.

    Robots have the aesthetic of the clanks from Girl Genius, or Forbidden Planet and Lost in Space.

    *Crass racial stereotypes are part of the genre, and can be overturned if you like!
    Last edited by Dr Simon; Thursday, 4th June, 2009 at 04:50 PM.
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    Hee hee!

    I can't decide if I'm into this or not. On the one hand it sounds like a real hoot...on the other, I'm not sure I can pull off that era and genre...

    But I have this goofy idea for a Square Jaw type. Flint Steele - Man of Action!

    If it goes anywhere, I may submit it. If not, I will definitely be following this thread.

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    Making characters is fun!

    G.A.R.Y. (Geared Artificial Robotic Youth)
    Archetype: Boy Robot
    Hooks: Orphan, pet dog, just wants to fish, can rust
    Skills:
    Great: Electro-Mechanicals
    Good: Chuckin' rocks
    Good: Building his hand into useful stuff
    Poor: Doin' what he's told

    Tempest Wildfire
    Archetype: Nightclub Singer in Distress
    Hooks: brash, needs a light, oooh! that hair!
    Skills:
    Great: Screaming
    Good: Happening on important stuff
    Good: Reminding you of your first love
    Poor: Judgement

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    For the sake of having the character...

    Penelope Perilous
    Archetype: Damsel in Distress
    Hooks: Daddy's trust fund, super-mini mini-skirt, giggly
    Skills:
    Great: Inspire Bravery
    Good: Cunning Linguist
    Good: Preemptive Feint
    Poor: Staying conscious


    And another, because yes, making character IS fun!

    Abercrombie "Suicide" Bernard
    Archetype: Cameraman obsessed with "getting the shot"
    Hooks: Knows no fear, Camera gear for all weather, goggles
    Skills:
    Great: Taking a beating to the face
    Good: Operating Camera/Camcorder
    Good: Nothing gets between him and the shot (even allies)
    Good: Staying conscious
    Poor: Social Skills
    Rubbish: Danger? Where?
    Last edited by CaBaNa; Sunday, 7th June, 2009 at 10:28 PM.

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    If memory serves it was in production around 1982 or '83, meaning I was still in high school - so it's probably not as good as I remember. I may have to see if it's to be had on DVD . . . just to check the quality, of course!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andor View Post
    Sadly I must confess ignorance. Perhaps a websearch is in order...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mowgli View Post
    If memory serves it was in production around 1982 or '83, meaning I was still in high school - so it's probably not as good as I remember. I may have to see if it's to be had on DVD . . . just to check the quality, of course!
    Internet Movie DataBase

    However, I don't remember it being aired in the UK.

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    Golden Monkey definitely aired in the UK (although they probably showed only half the episodes, out of order) in a wave of post-Indiana Jones rip-offs (see also Bring 'Em Back Alive with Bruce Boxleitner).

    It probably *wasn't* as good as memory suggests, being a product of Donald P Bellisarius (later Magnum and Airwolf), but it starred Roddy McDowell which is always good for a touch of class.

    It also inspired Disney's TaleSpin, which was pretty much a direct rip-off (King Louie as a bar owner in TaleSpin, McDowell as Bon Chance Louie in Golden Monkey). They didn't have a one-eyed dog, though...

    I will probably start ther IC posts on Monday.
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    Anyone still here?
    -Andor

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