So, 2020’s knack for cancelling everything has continued, with Pheno announcing they’ve had to cancel. It’s a good decision, and I can’t blame them at all, but it’s another blow. I’m just hoping Victoria will be OK by November, as my sister’s getting married then. Plus, I’d really like to see Herbert, AKA Nephew again. Sure, he’s a Schnauzer and not a cat (Ordinarily a deal breaker), but he’s growing on me.
A successful RPG campaign, it’s my white whale. The Kirk to my Khan, the Borg to my Picard, the competent film making to my Ed Wood. I’m aware that my skill lies in one-shots, and yet I continue to try. I’m not sure what that makes me, eternally optimistic? I’ve long been somewhat jealous of the GM’s who can keep a campaign going and I’d like to hope that I’m learning from past mistakes. Mostly, it’s an itch I just need to scratch. I love entertaining people around the gaming table, it’s an addiction, and GM’ing provides that.
So, Crimson Skies. Let’s do some more work on this, as a hypothetical exercise. A creative outlet if you will. I’ve had pulp on the brain of late, sitting down Saturday night and watching Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Which is under rated IMO) and The Rocketeer (Which is damn near perfect as pulp films go).
What’s the hook for the setting? In short, it’s a pulp setting. The year is 1937 and the once United States has splintered into numerous smaller nations. Disputes over prohibition and a deadly strain of influenza and new nations have risen in it’s place – California is now the nation of Hollywood, while New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have merged to form the Empire State. Cross border travel has slowed, and in place of road or rail air travel is now the preeminent mode of transport. With that, has come a new spin on an old menace – sky piracy!
The new nations have formed militia squadrons of their own to combat the pirates, with several said to be funded by rich patrons. The nations squabble with each other, while the pirates move between them seeking fortune and glory. The tech level is very much ‘Rule of Cool’, and not just cause there’s zeppelins (Though that helps). It’s very much the golden age of piracy, but with planes. The villains twirl their moustaches dramatically, the good guys are incorruptible stalwarts (or charming rogues) and smart alec quips are exchanged as often as bullets.
So, here’s a campaign idea: a patron has announced they’re forming a new militia squadron and the PC’s are it. Who their patron is, that’s to be decided. Maybe they’re a rival of Howard Hughes (Who’s said to bankroll the Hollywood Knights, a squadron comprised of the children of the wealthy elite), a politician who’s seeking to help his run for office, or a wealthy dilettante who fancies their own air force. Don’t know yet.
Being Hollywood, there’s all manner of drama among the wealthy. Add a new pirate threat, searching for hidden treasures, testing new planes (I hear Nikola Tesla has been cooking something up) and daredevil hi-jinks. There’s also the temptation to have cameos from other pulp heroes of the era.
“So, who’s the guy we’re flying escort for today??
“Some big shot archeologist, something Jones I think his name was.”
Savage Worlds is the obvious fit rules wise, though I’ll certainly need to brush up on the vehicle and chase rules. I’ve a PDF of the latest edition, though it might be worth it picking up the dead tree version. There may also be some rules I can port over from the Savage Worlds Flash Gordon RPG, especially the Cliffhanger rules. I’ll have to do do some more reading on this.
Next time, thoughts on adventure seeds and NPC’s.
Be seeing you, in the skies…