Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm a copycat - Gameable Ideas

Progress on Hot Springs Island continues. I'm fast approaching 90% and it feels good. Very good. For reasons I don't want to get into right now, I've got to hold off on sharing stuff about Hot Springs 'till I pass a certain threshold.

In the meantime I've wanted to keep blogging, but I couldn't think of anything to write about/do that wouldn't pull me too far away from the work I need to be doing. But I think I've found the answer!

Back in October, Zak Smith wrote a post of 100 random plot elements taken from Sergio Toppi's take on the Arabian Nights and Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment. I enjoyed the post so much that I've decided to copy the idea, but instead of pulling gameable ideas out of comics I'm going to pull them out of cartoons. Specifically the Thundercats reboot from 2011.

I always loved the Thundercats as a kid and was highly skeptical when the reboot of the series was announced. Mostly because I hadn't watched Thundercats since I was, I dunno, 8? and I preferred to leave my professed enjoyment of the series squarely in nostalgia land. However, as I started to watch the 2011 version I found that I absolutely freaking loved it, on its own merits. Not only was the animation gorgeous, the storyline was full of dark, heavy shit. Sure you've got your Ro-bear Berbils and know the good guys are going to win, but there's loss, betrayal, permanent physical damage, death, regret and devious, nasty bad guys. On top of that, the way the story arced through the party formation of both the good guys AND the bad guys was top notch in my opinion.

The show, as of this point, has been shuttered and it looks like there will never be any episodes beyond 26, so I should absolutely be able to make tables for all of them. If it goes well, and is as non-distracting as I think it will be, I think I'll do Adventure Time once I wrap up Thundercats.

This first list is from Episode 8 - The Duelist and the Drifter. I randomly chose an episode to watch tonight before I seized upon this idea, and I'll roll back to the beginning for the next post.

From an RPG perspective, this episode is a single player adventure. The party's techno-wizards are attempting to activate the ancient artifact they recently recovered and while they research it, the party leader heads into a nearby town for supplies where he promptly gets himself into, and then out of, trouble.

01. A stronghold is carved into a high cliff and a gigantic waterfall flows around it.

02. A village surrounded by a wall made of swords.

03. Laughter hidden in a crow's cawing.

04. A man who is so relaxed that he literally drifts about on the wind.

05. A swordsman's town where they duel for keeps.

06. The coins you try to pay with are no good because they are "relics of a fallen empire"

07. A sword forged in the lava pits of a volcano.

08. A man with a ruler tattoo on his arm.

09. A giant stone pillar stands in the middle of town. Whoever deals the most damage to the stone with a single strike wins a cash prize. Townsfolk always gather to watch because most swords break as they strike the stone.

10. A Swordsman wearing a blindfold insists on quoting archaic poetry before attacking. Sometimes he feels it necessary to quote a line before each strike.

11. A race of short, yellow skinned, humanoids with noses almost as large as the rest of their head.

12. Hubris. So much fucking hubris. It's a veritable weather pattern in these parts. All creatures feel compelled to peacock or monologue before dealing a killing blow.

13. A man with a beautiful voice and glorious mustache wears so many swords on his back he resembles a peacock.

14. An enemy you do not know, recognizes an item you carry as belonging to your dead family member. They use this information to mock and insult you.

15. An old man, with insane dexterity, invites the brash, headstrong and impatient to cut the reed he holds in his mouth using three swings of their sword or less. His ability to dodge is obscene.

16. A pile of daggers the size of a cow, sits outside the blacksmith's house.

17. Everyone in this town tells stories about themselves in third person. Always.

18. An highly skilled swordsman travels the lands challenging people with exceptional swords to duels. He is currently undefeated and when he wins he takes his opponent's sword.

19. An artist, emotionally destroyed after losing his greatest masterpiece due to bad personal decisions, has vital information for the players if they can convince him to care again.

20. A master artisan who has quit crafting can be tricked into crafting again if they see someone working in their style poorly or incorrectly (but passionately).


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