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Monday Mashup #9: West Wing

In honor of the impending election season, and because — oh, wait, nobody demanded it. Well, our mashup of the day is The West Wing anyway. Depending on how you look at it, West Wing is either a brilliant show about a team of exceptional individuals working to maintain their ideals under the spotlight of Presidential politics, or it’s a self-indulgent epic about a bunch of unlikely White House staffers that takes place in an alternate reality in which liberal politics work. Either way, it’s got that snappy Aaron Sorkin dialogue and it’s kind of nice to pretend that our government is that idealistic.

Have at it.

I think the most interesting thing about West Wing is watching the relatively inexperienced crowd deal with power. So I’m going to use it as a template for a Mage chantry. I’m seeing Bartlett as an NPC whose actions are severely limited because he’s such a big bright target — he can barely leave the Chantry without getting attacked by the Technocracy. (Or, if players prefer, the Traditions — I think the PCs could be a Technocracy Chantry.) This follows the themes of the show, keeps him from being an all-powerful problem solver, and serves as an interesting lesson in the perils of growing overly powerful and flashy.

The PCs are the hands of the Chantry. And — hey, why not put them in DC? Let the politics of the show echo into the campaign on multiple levels. You’d probably want a strong Nephandi/Marauder presence too, as cognates for the serious problems that compel cooperation between parties in the real world of politics.

And I think we’re talking PCs who are new to being mages. Hm; I haven’t kept up with the Mage metaplot, but I seem to recall there was a sourcebook on some kind of youth movement in the Traditions. That’d be a useful plot line to adopt. Put the PCs’ Chantry in the middle of that… say they lucked into the powerful Chantry in the middle of DC somehow, and nobody thinks they deserve it.

Ah. In fact, the Barlett cognate managed to get his hands on the place, since he’s always been highly respected in the Traditions, and for no clear reason (he’s got one, but the PCs don’t know it) he chose the PCs as his staffers. That’d work. And his motive is perhaps as simple as wanting to bring that youthful passion into the heart of the Traditions.

9 Comments

  1. Chris Chris

    Well, this guy (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=70682) already beat me to doing West Wing with superheroes. My second choice would be Adventure! Keep the tone and the pacing and the ideology, transplant it to the FDR administration with the serial #s filed off, have the ranking ambassador from Shangrai-La causing trouble, tensions with the Huns and the rise of Nazi Germany, that sort of thing. And every episode ends with the President having a swordfight on top of a zeppelin.

  2. Rob Rob

    Hey, I like both of those a lot. The Adventure! rulebook actually has a line somewhere about something like “having a character who is Pope or President is probably beyond the scope of most games” – but why the heck not? The DC Heroes thing (get it?) is cute too. And didn’t one of the published adventures for Aberrant let the PCs run for president?

    That line about “an alternate reality in which liberal politics work” (hey, it’s called Canada and most of Western Europe) puts me in mind of a story where the George W., Cheney, Rumsfeld et al go through some kinda time warp to do battle with their (goateed) liberal opposites in Earth-2.

  3. The mashup of the day is The West Wing, courtesy of Population: One. I’ve been obsessed with the concept of Howard Dean: Supervillian for the last several weeks, and not in a good sense. More of an evil, mind-controlling sense. So I’ll pick Call of Cth…

  4. This week, Bryant gives us the West Wing as his half of the Mashup. This one is a little tougher…

  5. A toughie from Byrant this week, as he asks us to mash up…The West Wing…

  6. The mashup of the day is The West Wing, courtesy of Population: One. I’ve been obsessed with the concept of Howard Dean: Supervillian for the last several weeks, and not in a good sense. More of an evil, mind-controlling sense….

  7. Monday Mashup #9: West Wing Bryant’s comment: I think the most interesting thing about West Wing is watching the relatively

  8. Doyce Doyce

    This one actually let me use an idea for a campaign I’ve been threatening to run for awhile.

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