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Monday Mashup #35: Glengarry Glen Ross

“You wanna know what it takes to write mashups? It takes brass balls to write mashups.”

Yeah, it’s all about Glengarry Glen Ross this week, and don’t you forget it. It’s a movie about desperation. It’s really brutal. It’s really good. I’m gonna mash it up. It’s not gonna be exactly work-safe.

I’m feeling pretty old school, so we’ll use Greyhawk for this one. This is going to need to be a mature campaign, because the framework is just a framework and the important aspects of the campaign are the intra-PC competition. Some people don’t like that kind of a game — I’m often among them — but this time I think it’s necessary. Duration is probably six or so sessions, certainly not more.

The PCs are Furyondy soldiers, stationed on the northern frontier. It is their job to hold back the hordes of Iuz, the demon ruler incarnate on the Material Plane. Their post is lonely and dangerous and under-appreciated. This is not the place where the cream of the crop go to battle evil. This is where the fuckups go in order to provide the competent warriors with a little warning each time the demons sweep south.

It’s not a good job.

Yesterday, a paladin from Furyondy showed up. He’s got good news. For one of the PCs. “We’re adding a little something to this month’s scalp contest. As you all know, first place is you get to come home to Furyondy. Anyone want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of studded leather armor. Third prize is you’re exiled.”

You can more or less use all the quotes, you know?

“You see this ring? You see this ring? That ring costs more than your armor. I killed a thousand orcs last year. How many’d you kill? You see, pal, that’s who I am, and you’re nothing. Nice guy, I don’t give a shit. Good father, fuck you. Go home and play with your kids. You wanna fight for Furyondy, kill. You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can’t take this, how can you take the abuse you get in a dungeon?”

Yeah, he’s not a nice paladin. Why should paladins be nice? It’d be easy to play this for laughs, but I wouldn’t — I actually think the desperation aspect would be attainable and worthwhile. The game is about how the PCs interact under this kind of pressure. It’s about Furyondy losing the battle against Iuz. It’s about — this’ll sound familiar — being desperate.


  1. t. rev t. rev

    Paladin of St. Cuthbert. Those guys are scary.

  2. Nice mashup. I love the Greyhawk usage.

    I haven’t seen the movie in a decade, so I don’t remember all of it, so I’ll skip this one.

  3. Tom Tom

    “You see this tooth? It ain’t mine. Belonged to a Saint. Had to knock out my one of my own. Know what it does? Casts Bless 3 times a day. I’ve got earwax that grants me more plusses, but I’m gunnin’ for the full set.”


  4. Til Eulenspiegel Til Eulenspiegel

    Desperate working environments? Fine, skip right to the goods.

    Players have taskmasters of honest-to-goodness slaves for characters, laboring away on some nasty, large-scale, behind schedule project. A new overseer comes along with the ultimatum: get the project on schedule by -end, or else. First prize, a trip back to the real world away from the job site. Second prize, a new piece of furniture for your barracks. Third prize, enslavement.

    Try settings such as:

    GURPS Alternate Earths–Dixie
    PCs run slave work-gangs doing heavy manual labor in rural Texas for the Confederate Manhattan Project.

    GURPS Egypt/Testament
    Building the pyramids. Writes itself. You could play off Moses coming through and making trouble as suits your group.

    GURPS Reign of Steel/GURPS WW2
    The work camp’s output must increase. PCs play either guards or quislings. You might change the rewards accordingly. For guards, reassignment to HQ; reassignment to the front; execution. For quislings, keep your post; execution; reassignment to the general population (slow nasty death).

    GURPS China
    The emperor says you must complete the canal. The bureaucracy says it will only take more workers. You know more workers will drain farmers from their fields and so risk famine. You must make the current workers do more. Why not use competition? You have only your life to lose…

  5. OK, that’s ballsy, Til. I like it quite a bit. I like the Dixie variation the best, personally. It’s got teeth.

  6. Flattery will take you interesting places, Bryant.

    You should have read the Mash-Up I did for Psycho & GURPS Reign of Steel…everybody’s a criminal, family beyond death, sex, and murder. I decided not to post it where children and idiots might read it.

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