Today’s Monday Mashup inspiration is the classic Huckleberry Finn. It is perhaps the definitive American novel of juvenile delinquency, beating out Catcher in the Rye by a nose. (I added “American” above so no smarty-pants would say anything about Lord of the Flies. Hah.)
Huck, the quintessential youth, and Jim, the quintessential outsider, float down a river on a raft. They are not in control of their travels to any large degree, and they are willing to accept what comes as a gift from the gods. Adventures, in many ways, happen to them.
Sounds like the average adventuring party to me. Mashers, have at it!
And my choice of game: Dying Earth, Robin Laws’ translation of the classic Jack Vance novels. Players have their choice of character types, within a certain range: they can play youths escaping from the no doubt onerous oversight of their parents, or they can play grownups who’ve been trapped in the age of the Dying Earth by some chronological mischance. Or, I suppose, they can play aliens of some flavour or another, stripped of any method of departing the Dying Earth.
For a game predicated on social interaction, time spent on a raft seems just about perfect. We’ll locate the raft on the Veripose River, which I have only just now invented. It is notable for the customs of the various residents of either bank, who have many distressing and dangerous habits with only the following taboo in common: “If it’s on the river, it can pass without hinderance.”
Alas, there’s only so much food you can carry on a raft, and the fish of the Veripose are notoriously poisonous if prepared incorrectly. Besides which, our heros may occasionally want someone else’s company, no matter how eloquent they are. After all, gambling’s more fun when the mark — cough, that is to say, the opponent — doesn’t know where one keeps one’s cards.
Thus, the occasional foray onto the banks of the river is indicated. One hopes that if one continues down the river far enough, one will find settlements less prone to preying on visitors. One hopes. In any case, continual movement is indicated in order to escape the bounty-hunters sent by concerned parents. And there are rumors of a city at the end of the river in which both chronological wonders and space-ships can be found…