Thursday, 4th June, 2009, 11:07 AM #1
Gauging Interest - It's a 30s Sci-Fi pulp Ripping Yarns jokey sort of thing...
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, 4th June, 2009, 11:23 AM #2
Superhero (Lvl 15)
Sounds great! Will it be rules-system free, or do you have something specific in mind?Signature
Thursday, 4th June, 2009, 11:41 AM #3
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.
Algernon “Squiffy” Atkinson
Archetype: Absent-Minded Boffin
Hooks: Unruly blond hair, glasses, unfeasably long scarf.
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
Great: Making Things
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
20 Nigh Impossible
16 Very Hard
3 Very Easy
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.
Brash American Pilot*
Bluff Old Colonel
Fierce German Officer*
Louche French Agent*
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.
Thursday, 4th June, 2009, 01:27 PM #4
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Minnapolis, MN
ø Ignore Shayuri
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.
Saturday, 6th June, 2009, 06:20 AM #5
Scout (Lvl 6)
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
Good: Chuckin' rocks
Good: Building his hand into useful stuff
Poor: Doin' what he's told
Archetype: Nightclub Singer in Distress
Hooks: brash, needs a light, oooh! that hair!
Good: Happening on important stuff
Good: Reminding you of your first love
Saturday, 6th June, 2009, 08:06 AM #6
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
ø Ignore CaBaNa
For the sake of having the character...
Archetype: Damsel in Distress
Hooks: Daddy's trust fund, super-mini mini-skirt, giggly
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
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.
Saturday, 6th June, 2009, 12:12 AM #7
Lama (Lvl 13)
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
- Jonesboro, AR
ø Ignore Mowgli
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!
Saturday, 6th June, 2009, 11:14 AM #8
Scout (Lvl 6)
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
ø Ignore ghostcat
Sunday, 7th June, 2009, 09:03 AM #9
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.
Monday, 22nd June, 2009, 03:02 PM #10
Lama (Lvl 13)
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
- Enterprise, fl, 32725
ø Ignore Andor
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