Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Old school modern Faery tales / Changeling: the Lost game pitch

That girl that played kiss catch with you after school - she steals children, turns them into mice and chases them through her garden. If she catches them, she eats them and leaves their heads for the other children to find.

That gentleman that watches the dance recitals - he takes the best dancers, sets them on fire and makes them dance in his fireplace to warm his cold hearth. If they burn out to ash, he scatters them on the wind.

The old lady that cleans your house? If you don't pay her, you have to clean her house until every one of the countless rooms are clean. First you have to pick up the bleached bones of the last cleaner.

There is a place, full of terrible beauty and burdensome duty, blinding light and lurking shadow, burning love and freezing fear, where stories are told because that is all the occupants know, where madness is codified and the sane wither and die.

People from our world are dragged into this world, bent to its needs and used until they're spent. A process that can take days or centuries.

In place of these lost souls the occupants leave behind a model made of string, gaffa tape and rags, leaves, twigs and old bones or Lego, glue and tin foil. These mockeries live the lives of the stolen so no one ever notices they're gone.

Every now and then, someone escapes back to our world. Or is released. Or is sent back. They find the world has turned without them, that they've aged faster or slower than everyone else and that there's this thing pretending to be them.

Back in our world these survivors gather in loose communities, attracted to the only other people who could possibly even begin to understand, the only other people they can trust to run or fight or hide if these things come back for them.

It's a bit like: Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy II, The Lady in the Water, Spirited Away, Howls Moving Castle, Coraline, the Sandman

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunburn Notice / Nights Black Agents game pitch

Somewhere in Eastern Europe Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Daniel Craig and Tom Cruise have just been burnt out by their employers and left to die.
They're suddenly on the radar of a powerful and malevolent international conspiracy who will stop at nothing to silence them. Permanently.
All they have to keep them alive is their years of specialised military and espionage training, a network of informants and a cache of weapons and equipment.
Running isn't an option. They've got to take this fight to the very top of the conspiracy and bring the bastards crashing down.
The only problem, the bastards might be vampires. Or something worse.

Nights Black Agents is a game of hyper capable spies, secret agents and military specialists thrown against a horrific conspiracy. Maybe it's the agents of Satan, or aliens. Maybe a supernatural curse or genetic mutations from unethical experimentation.
Players take on the roles of these super spies, caught in between their old agencies, local law enforcement, organised crime gangs and the shadowy conspiracy. They must uncover a trail of clues and follow it to the top of the conspiracy before the conspiracy gets them.

It's kind of like: Taken, Mission Impossible III, Bourne Trilogy, Casino Royale/Quantum of Solace, Ultraviolet (UK TV series), the Prisoner, Alias, Prison Break

Biotech Psychics vs Mutants and Aliens in the future / Trinity game pitch

Welcome to Trinity
It's 2120. The Aberrants have been exiled into deep space after they threatened the near total destruction of Earth. North America is under military law, run by mega corporations. Europe has been devastated by an orbital impact. China has risen under a totalitarian regime. Australia is a free world super power. South America is a mysterious hotbed of revolution and anarchy.
Space travel is common place, with settlements on the Moon and our neighbouring planets, and the asteroid field mined for minerals and ores. First contract has been made with other species to varying degrees of success.
Finally, a new branch of human evolution has been discovered - Psions, humans with the ability to manipulate sub- quantum energies, or Psi, and with them the study of a new field of science, Noetics.
You are a Psion, altered and awakened by one of the Psionic orders, tasked with protecting the Earth from the returning Aberrants, furthering your order's interests, representing Psions in a world once bitten by a super powered evolutionary branch of humanity.
You have powers, you have advanced hard tech and the latest bio tech.
Your adversaries include Aberrants - mutants with phenomenal power, organised crime, governments, mega corporations, other Psions, emergent alien threats and possibly the Aeon organisation - a philanthropic think tank with near unlimited resources and a patchy history at best.

It's a bit like: Cyberpunk, Babylon 5, Aliens, Final Fantasy: Spirits Within, Battlestar Galactica

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"The geekiest thing I've ever done" / Aberrant play report

We played Aberrant last night. Once we'd finished, one of the players remarked that "that was the geekiest thing I've ever done". This was primarily because one of our core players is unfortunately over in Germany for three weeks on business, so joined via a G+ Hangout and Viber.
He paid €3 to watch me on a computer screen for two hours. I feel dirty yet oddly thrilled.

The players had opted to forcibly enter a Project Utopia Nova containment facility for questionable reasons - I.e. a wanted criminal had told them that bad things were happening there - and had understandably met with armed resistance.
First they took out a unit of heavily armed security guards, and we ended the session with my version of Captain America, Thor and Iron Man - Agent America, Aesir and Machine Man - arriving on the scene.

At the beginning of this session one of the player characters, a tank called Adonis, parleyed with them. He offered complete surrender if they would guarantee the safety of Solar Flair, another of the player characters, but as he didn't formally represent the team, he got punched through a wall instead.

I did have a plan for this session. The opposing team wanted the players to escape with their target so that the players could lead them to the rebel base (as it were).
Machine Man had an existing Mentor relationship with Adonis, so he was going to take a sucker punch from Adonis, letting the team escape and placing a tracker beacon on Adonis in the process.

It didn't go quite according to plan...
Solar Flair's player was 'a bit PMT' and played her that way.
She unleashed aggravated damage on both Agent America and Machine Man, nearly killing the Agent in the process.
Machine Man did manage to place the tracker on Adonis and say "make it look good, kid" whilst leaving himself wide open.
Adonis didn't take the bait. Instead he concentrated on getting the wounded to medical assistance and pretty much ignored the fight.
Max Control, the player's mind controlling bastard, dematerialised and took complete control of Aesir, landing an unexpected blow on Agent America and effectively turning the tables of the battle.

By this point, the dye was cast. The team had bought a gun to a knife fight. Solar Flair had used lethal force with no thought to the consequences. Max Control had violated one of the mightiest Nova's on earth and still retained control of him. A number of dangerous Novas had been released from containment.
The players retrieved their target, a teleporter called Gates, and left with her.
Adonis stayed behind to clean up the mess and recapture the released Novas.
Adonis' player has already created another character, one a bit less tank like.

I left the remaining player characters in the Antarctic, although they don't know that. They just know it's bitterly cold and everywhere is white.

It strikes me that if Novas were to build their own country, then Antarctica would be a place to do it...