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Monday Mashup #26: Around the World in 80 Days

Time for mashup number twenty-six. Hey, that’s half a year! Not too bad. Our subject today is the classic Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days.

It’s your basic travelogue in fictional form, with the added excitement of (unjust) pursuit by the law. Phileas Fogg, accompanied by his faithful servant Passepartout, must transnavigate the globe in 80 days to win a fairly sizable bet. That provides the essential aspect of time pressure. Everything else is just trouble along the way, with Detective Fix as a secondary plot backbone.

Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814. He was one of the most noticeable members of the Reform Club, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention; an enigmatical personage, about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man of the world. People said that he resembled Byron—at least that his head was Byronic; but he was a bearded, tranquil Byron, who might live on a thousand years without growing old.

The easy way to do this would be Tekumel, and if I knew more about the world I might write that up. However, I don’t know anything about it except that it’s outré (OK, and maybe I read Man of Gold). So scrap that idea.

Instead, I’ll use classic Traveller. I like the idea of doing a space operaesque game in which the PCs are nobles, or at least members of society. You can steal the central conceit without modification; the PCs bet that they can cross the Spinward Marches in 80 months, or days, or however the jump ship time works out. They don’t have a ship of their own so it’s all hope and carefully calculated schedules for them.

Excitement ensues. Zhodani invasion! Pirates! Ancient technology! Treasure hunting! The outdatedness of Traveller lends itself to Victorian adventure; it has that musty feel to it. No time zones, but it would be awfully tempting to have the Empire declare a special holiday day outside the calendar at some convenient time.

8 Comments

  1. “The easy way to do this would be Tekumel.” snort

    Just to keep from repeating (no TFOS? aw) i think i’d do Toon. Watch some old Wacky Races and then imagine up what Cartoon Networks would do with it today. Plus a little of that Bakshi Mighty Mouse feeling. Mickey Mouse would make an interesting participant, and would have to fight an army of Disney lawyers trying to stop all kinds of things along the way. News (& blog!?) coverage could feature prominently. And of course the tour routes and plot tie in with areas that i or other players have visited or know about.

    Bryant, for spice you could add in Vinge’s galactic Singularity-dampening field to your Traveller universe. Zipping closer to the core gets you there faster – if you don’t strand yourself…

  2. I didn’t see this come up on the mailing list.

    Huh.

    I will answer on my blog forthwith.

  3. This week’s Monday Mashup is the classic Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days….

  4. Merry gentlemen decide to travel the world in 80 days (and then they sober up)

  5. Max Max

    My half: Feng Shui.

    Read more here

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