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Five-pak

Yeah, every now and then we like to dump out campaign ideas we won’t run.

1. Aztlan Chrome — near-future cyberpunk set in the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez metroplex. Assume a de facto independent state in that region, extending all the way to San Diego/Tijuana, with very little federal control on the part of either Mexico or the United States. The tech is sufficient for wired reflexes; i.e., money can provide you with a definite advantage in a fight (which is really the core ethos of cyberpunk gaming, right?). The Ciudad Juarez serial killer is on my mind as I think about this setting. So is the five solid hours of Los Lobos I listened to last night. So is The Shield, but I’m not sure if that’s for antagonists or protagonists. Could be either, really.

2. Bathsheba Smiles — an A/State game that kicks off with the death of a Nakamura-Yebisu noblewoman. Her will has an immediate and world-shaking effect on the lives of four people living in Mire End, one of the worst slums in the City. A/State is one of those keen grim Scottish SF horror games; everyone lives in one big City which is drenched in politics and bitterness and mystery and run-down Dickensian slums. The macrocorporates have nanotech, but you have maybe some fried dog for dinner if you’re lucky. Think China Mieville’s New Crobuzon, but no magic and more technology.

3. Big Fangs, Skinny Ties — this was a mashup I did some time ago. Still one of my favorites. It’s a fairly standard Sabbat Vampire game centering around a Sabbat pack that’s basically the Banzai Irregulars with fangs. I’d play up the whole “Sabbat save the world from Antedeluvians” aspect of the Sabbat, since it’s my favorite aspect of the sect. Remember: the Sabbat are completely and utterly good guys, once you accept the concept that humans are cattle.

4. Rats in the CellarAngel meets Whitey Bulger. You know this one. The big problem I have here is that everyone who’s expressed interest doesn’t want to play a hard-nosed Irish guy from Southie. One or two outsiders is OK but it loses the feel if it’s all errant Harvard professors and the like. Since I’ll never get around to running it, that’s probably OK. Under the Eaves is the sister game to this. I can never decide if it’s lighter or darker.

5. Squared Circle — the indie wrestling federation Unknown Armies game that I’ve wanted to run forever. Indie wrestling is a perfect environment for quite a few UA character types; wrestlers cut themselves all the time and they take stupid risks and it ought to be obvious how great the ring is for many Avatars. The ring itself has been soaking up magickal energy all this time until it’s a super-potent artifact. The owner of the fed is one of the last Cryptomancers, because what’s pro wrestling but an extended lie? To get into the mindset for this, remember that a wrestling federation is pretty much just an old-time touring carnival and watch that HBO series again. Yeah, like that.

3 Comments

  1. t. rev t. rev

    Buckaroo Banzai’s A team/think tank staff was called Team Banzai. The Hong Kong Cavaliers were his band, and a subset of Team Banzai. The Blue Blaze Irregulars were the amateur backup network/fan club.

  2. Jason Jason

    Great ideas! I especially like the Aztlan Chrome idea. A soundtrack for a game run in that milieu might include Mexican industrial. Bands in that genre include Hocico, Dulce Liquido (a Hocico side project), and Cenobita. All very nice slamming harsh electro.

    You mentioned the Juarez killings in the Aztlan Chrome setting. You might have already known about this but there’s a story in IDW’s 30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales comic book anthology series that deals with it. There’s a PDF preview of the story here.

    Thanks for posting all these great ideas!

  3. I did not in fact know that, Jason — thanks for the pointers!

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