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ZEITGEIST X-Men in Zeitgeist

Empirate

First Post
Hi all, been a while since I ever posted on ENWorld, but the mood struck me again, so...

...are there actual Marvel characters in the Zeitgeist adventure path? So far, we've spotted Gale (=Storm), Leone Quital (=Magneto), Mr. Mapple (=Wolverine), and maybe Borne (=Colossus). The first two seem very clear-cut, at least, with Gale even given away by her name.

Any others?
 

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efreund

Explorer
Tinker Oddcog and Benedict Pemberton share the role of Iron Man. (And you can too! with the Steamsuit Pilot PrC)

Rock Rackus may or may not be Deadpool.

I disagree that Mapple is Wolverine. Yes, he regenerates, but the similarities start and end there, IMO.

I believe that in actuality, each major NPC is based on a modern US celebrity. Thomas Gramsley=Patrick Stewart, Leone=William Defoe, Rock Rackus=Kayne West, King Aodhan=Morgan Freeman, Nic=George Clooney, etc.
 

It's a smidge weirder than that.

Gale and Tinker Oddcog were both originally sample superheroes from our 2002 book Four-Color to Fantasy, which was one of the early swarm of d20 superpowers products. One of our sample settings was Steampunk Fantasy London, and Gale was the misunderstood hero hated by the public, while Tinker was the inventor gone mad. Gale, sure, was a Storm analogue, but I also just like lightning.

Then in maybe 2003 EN World was in the habit of hosting Ceramic DM competitions, where pairs of writers would have to take the same set of weird images and work them into a story. For one of my stories I basically wrote the backstory of what went on during the construction of the colossus (who I don't think had a name yet). I pulled Tinker out of my pocket as a quirky side character who helped the protagonist Alexander Grappa (inspired by the idea of Professor Xavier, but only telepathic with constructs) trying to escape Leone (directly inspired by Magneto) and free Kasvarina (no superhero affiliation) from a subterranean complex.

In 2004 I ran a game that would be the inspiration for ZEITGEIST, where I took that backstory and spooled it out into a whole plot with a global conspiracy called the Obscurati. One of the PCs was Wolfgang von Recklinghausen, and his 'son' (who I don't think had a name at the time) was just Frankenstein's monster, basically, not Wolverine. Tinker came back as a villain.

Things from that game that did not make it into ZEITGEIST: a crappy Island of Doctor Moreau rip-off, which was my excuse to play out a gag from Adult Swim about who would win in a fight between a crocodile with wings and a shark with a jet pack; also, the bad idea of starting the PCs as deserters from the military, so they fled all drama and danger instead of actually caring about their country.

Things that did get in: Asrabey Varal and all his gear (which in that game the party totally stole when they deserted); also one PC was basically a 'Hammer Brother' from Super Mario, working for a dragon crime boss, which got split into Lorcan Kell and the Beran dragon tyrants.
 

I believe that in actuality, each major NPC is based on a modern US celebrity. Thomas Gramsley=Patrick Stewart, Leone=William Defoe, Rock Rackus=Kayne West, King Aodhan=Morgan Freeman, Nic=George Clooney, etc.
Thames Grimsley is Shatner.

(Delft is Mark Sheppard, of Supernatural & BSG fame.)


Aodhan is Clarke Peters, from The Wire.


Roland Stanfield is JFK. Captain Rutger Smith is Che Guevara.

About 80% of the NPCs are based on someone, though most of the time Claudio went for 'general style' rather than 'accurate likeness.'

Oh, and we did use Patrick Stewart, but it was Verzubak Tantalovich.
 
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gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
I always thought Thames Grimsley was William Shatner and... that's... how I... roleplay him.
 


Sh**, right. I was sleepy. You know there are, like, 200 NPCs in this thing, right? I'll edit the original so it doesn't confuse future folks.
 

Karma Kollapse

First Post
I didn't believe Vez as Patrick Stewart until one of my players showed me a picture of him with a beard - uncanny!

I thought Pemberton was Sean Connery for ages ... until I realised it might have meant to be Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood.

Cillian Creed is a bit X-Men-ish as well, now that I think about it.
 




mdusty

First Post
This is now one of my favorite zeitgeist threads. And there are a lot of good ones out there. I've DM'd for a few years now, Zeitgeist for a year or so now, and I was amazed at how well my players took to the NPCs when I connected said NPCs with famous real world people. Like they actually ROLE PLAYED with these 'famous' NPCs. Made it MUCH easier to roleplay each NPC too! I can only do so many NPC quirks and voices before they all sound and act like some other NPC I've done before. I've begun incorporating this technique for another campaign I'm doing with another group with same exact results.
 


gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Who is Gale? One of my players was running her as an ally last session, and asked before we started, "which actress or famous person would you see in the role?" - as a quick cue to how to roleplay her. If he had asked that of most of the other NPCs in the AP I'd have had a ready answer! But with Gale I drew a blank.
 


gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Oh, okay. I don’t feel so bad about not guessing that one. I went with Jennifer Connolly, ‘but Asian’.
 



Siberys

First Post
A handy table of these would be great if it wouldn’t be too much trouble. I’m going to be commissioning portraits for my game’s PCs soon and I want the players to “cast” their characters, and a list I can check against to avoid repeats would be helpful.
 

Shimrath

Explorer
I’m going to be commissioning portraits for my game’s PCs soon and I want the players to “cast” their characters, and a list I can check against to avoid repeats would be helpful.
I highly recommend having Claudio Pozas do custom character portraits! When we did ours, the players "cast" their characters exactly as you described. The results are great:
 

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