“Why is there a Mashup there?”
“I’ll tell you later.”
This entry, by the by, will probably not become a googlewhack, but only cause all of you are gonna use “Buckaroo” and “mashup” on your pages. C’est la vie.
Where was I… ah, yes. Mashup #21 is Buckaroo Banzai, goofy flagbearer of 80s sci-fi pulp. All the men want to be Buckaroo Banzai, and all the women want to look at him misty-eyed across the floor of Artie’s Artery. The movie is really a revamp of Doc Savage; you’ve got the mysterious ultra-competent leader and his henchmen, each of whom has a different specialty. If you dial down and focus on the movie’s plot, you’ve got a fairly standard alien invasion plot mixed with a kind of a pod people riff and some multiple dimension stuff which doesn’t entirely matter. More important, though, is the deranged hipness which permeates the entire thing. You could say that Buckaroo Banzai is a mashup itself: Doc Savage plus 80s style. You wouldn’t be far wrong.
So I’m gonna go Vampire — back to the classics, as it were. Because I trust the maturity of my players, and because I believe they understand that spotlight time doesn’t come in a 1:1 ratio to PC competence, one of the PCs gets to play the Buckaroo cognate. The other PCs are his merry men and women. Oh, and Buckaroo is the Ductus (or leader) of a Sabbat pack.
It works really well. You’ve got the hypercompetent, deeply competitive PCs; they’re also all blood bonded to each other, so you get the chivvying humor characteristic of such pulp bands of brothers without any fear of betrayal. You’ve got the sense of isolation, because who’s going to believe a Sabbat pack about anything? You’ve got the ideology which says “if you don’t save the world, nobody will,” since the canonical Sabbat motivation is highly tilted towards saving the world, albeit via rather depraved and demented means.
The opening story arc has to involve the Tzimisce and Vicissitude. The old school explanation for Vicissitude involved alien parasitic diseases, which is close enough to alien invaders who look like Americans for me. The Yoyodyne Pack is a band of rowdy malcontents in Newark, New Jersey; Buckaroo discovers that his sire was responsible for infecting the Ductus of the pack with Vicissitude during a horrendous experiment back in the 30s. (The 1730s, that is.)
Now the Yoyodyners are busily infecting mages in an attempt to gain access to the Far Umbra, for purposes best not discussed in a public forum. What’s worse, the Camarilla knows about it. Buckaroo’s got to stop them before the Camarilla sends a serious bunch of Archons to slaughter every Kindred in the area.