Archive for category R!

World Building 301 – Origin of Power

Hey there readers

So I cant find an image that really supports what I want to say here, but maybe you can. After reading the article, if you can find something please forward me a link to it in the comments.

So what are we talking about when we say what is the origin of the powers of superheroes?

Well lets look at a few examples…

  • The X-men all gained their powers by a quirk of genetics.
  • Green Lantern gained his powers because someone gave him a ring.
  • Superman gained his powers because he was born on another world
  • Hellboy has powers because he is a demon.
  • Hulk got his powers from radiation.
  • Doctor Fate got them from a helmet and study.
  • Batman got what counts as powers from training and cash.
  • Deathlok got a ton of machinery added to him.
  • Red Tornado got powers by being built that way.

There are tons of others out there too. So why should that concern you at all when setting up your game? Well as it turns out a lot of existing game engines come with pre-generated worlds with some interesting backgrounds as to how the powers came about. And while you do not have to use them at all, it can actually make things a lot easier on your players if you set some specifics in place.

A few examples from game engines include…

  • In GURPS Supers from GURPS second edition, the timeline for the world says that 99% of superhumans come from genetic manipulation done on humanities genetic ancestors.
  • In Champions 5th edition all of the available supers, no matter the style, stem from the fact that magic came back into the world allowing physics to be broken in some very serious ways. That’s right even super science is because of magic.
  • In Godsend Agenda powers came from alien races that could use energy called Ka, or had a genetic disposition to shape shifting (over simplification)

While in others it does not really matter because you can do just about anything for any reason as long as you pay the points or follow the classes.

Ok so again why is it important? The answer is because of how easy it can make things on you and your players. If you can literally do anything for any reason with any character… well then you can come up with a lot of things that have no reason to be together and it also can make power gaming all sorts of ridiculous. If you take an example of Grond in Champions. Most of his origins end up reading something like… “prisoner who offer to be in an experiment. Experiment went wrong and he ran. Into toxic waste. Only to get hit by lightning. And run over by a magical super. And got smacked by something cosmic. And then got shot. And then he transformed into Grond.” Not the actual origin of the character but as you can see it kinda got out of control.

It makes it a lot easier on everyone if there are only one or two ways to gain powers. In giving things limits you can have a much easier reason to gather characters together.

However if you do keep things wide open, you can get some really creative stuff out of everyone. Just getting your players to become a team after all the diversity that created them can be a serious adventure in and of itself. It is just going to take more time and more work to make sure everything meshes together well.

If you limit the origins of powers you can also get a fairly concise origin for supers in your world. Timelines are easy to establish and quick to run.

If you go wild you need to figure out how everything integrates together, if it does at all.

Lets go back to a couple of pre published game worlds.

Marvel Super Hero Role Playing Game.

In this game setting you have the entire Marvel Universe at your disposal. And that means that magic, aliens, and cosmic entities have been around forever. Mutants have been around for quite some time but they are relatively new to the scene. Genetically modified races have been on earth since prehistoric times. Since time travel exists it is possible that in some alternate futures superpowers are common to all humans. Alien hybrids are a thing too.

So now you have to figure out how all of those things come together. Or do you even care? In the end that will be up to you.

Champions 5th Edition.

Ok so everything comes from the fact that magic surged into the world. In the past surges have happened and caused human myths. It has also allowed super advanced alien races to defy physics and create ancient artifacts that others can find. And you can learn or have a genetic disposition to magic and just manipulate the raw stuff. Everything comes from magic. The thing is unless you are a mage you wont know that. So you can freestyle origins, but in the end it is all magic.

Both of these game engines allow you to do, well, anything you could want. But one gives you a singular origin for everything and that allows you to tie things up neatly even when the players think they are a mutant, an alien, and a guy in power armor. In fact all of them can do these things because of magic. You take the magic out of the environment, or even tone it down a lot, and everything would start to fail.

For myself I am using a system that comes with a few possible origins. But I am only going to use some of them. That way I can put a real origin point on each one. That will also allow me to create an environment with a few more human characteristics, like bias and prejudice being at the forefront of a lot of stories.

Now then the second reason it is important is because when you take into account the origin of all powers, you can set power limits easier. More on that in a later article, but really the origin, if you think about it… ok lets go like this.

  • All powers come from training. There is no magic. So the most powerful characters would be like Batman.
  • All powers are granted by the gods and so your average character has powers and power levels like Thor.

I think that is kind of extreme but it gives you a very clear picture of the kind of differences that origin of power can influence in other decisions later.

I will start a summary of my choices in my build an article or two down the line. So for now… thats it folks 🙂

I hope everyone is having a great time and gaming the backsides off.

Now gimme the dice, I gotta see if Batman could smack Zeus and get away with it.

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World Building 30X – Game engines

Morning readers

Someone has already reached out to me in regards to the fact that my listings for the questions about supers did not include the usual discussion about game engines. Well there is a reason for that, and it is really tied into a lot of the other topics.

You see when it comes to playing supers games a lot of those other questions end up leading you to the game engine you might want to use. One of the chief things in making that kind of decision is tied up in how much power do you want characters to have.

Let me give you a quick breakdown using a few of the game engines you can possibly use.

There are a lot of other game engines out there. And each of them has their own features, positive and negative, to take into account. And even though I did hit a few of the small press games in this list there are a ton of very unique game engines out there.

The way I broke them down is based not on what your hero’s and villains can become. But instead based on what you will likely have when you first create your characters.

Variable power level game engines have a lot of possibilities right off the bat. Either due to their set up being point based and the person running the game can choose if you want to be lower power characters or higher ones. But engines like 4 Color rely on random rolls that can actually take players in a single game across the full spread of strong to weak.

Lower Tier game engines will 90+ percent of the time get you a character that would keep up with Robin or the New Mutants in their original forms. Not likely to be world breakers by any means but still a lot of fun if you are looking to play at that power level.

Higher Tier means that you are going to be making characters that will usually start out on par with more experienced comic book characters. Not really fully fledged Avengers or Justice League members but you will be at that level really fast. And if you are a power gamer or just get really lucky rolls you can be at or exceed the levels of characters on those famous teams without batting an eye.

While power level is indeed a first consideration you also have to take into account that some of these game engines also pre-define how someone gained their powers. Training, mutations, gifts from on high, and so on. Some are more open than others, but when you look at game settings like Underground (Sci fi, lower tier, dystopian supers) everyone gets their powers via scientific experiment. Now then there is no reason that if someone likes an engine they cant just toss out the world and make up their own reasons for powers to be what they are.

And that note there about the setting for Underground also gives you a hint in regards to some of the other baggage that can come with an engine. The world that it was built to play in.

All of these factors and more are why I will not be focusing directly on the game engines. I will be giving a few hints though in each of the other postings to talk about game engines that might fit what someone could be looking for in regards to that specific need. Like in power level I will talk to game engines that fit the power level. In origins I will talk about pre-published engines that fit that need, and so on.

I wanted to ensure that I had made that aspect of this current world building series clear.

Hope everyone is having a great time out there in the world, playing hard and having fun.

Now gimme the dice… no all of the dice… no really those too… yes even those you have hidden in your bag… I have to roll for effect… a big effect.

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World Building 300 – Supers

So in my series about world building I wanted to hold off on doing one about supers for as long as I could. When you ask yourself why… look back at the other two I have done so far. The level of detail and the number of options there gets pretty big. In a supers setting it can go COMPLETELY off the rails.

Just like building any other setting you have a lot of options available to you in a supers setting. If you want to have a for instance lets take a look at some of the settings that have been used in the comics already. Marvel and DC alone have not only their own main worlds, but alternate earths, alternate time lines, “What If”s and “Elseworlds” that are usually one offs. In these settings you have your standard comic book places where just about anyone can find a way to be a super. Accidents, mutation in genetics, building power armor, gifts of power, objects of power, and raw magic are all in the mix. Other settings they have published make everyone powered by magic, or some sort of event suddenly gives a rare few powers, or it is in space and every race has something superhuman about it save for humans (actually that one is considered part of the main stream but…), cybernetics make supers… and on and on and on.

Lets also talk about the timeline… I mean we have seen things in modern times, future, world wars, the 1600’s, 1880’s, prehistoric times, and tons more.

We have also seen Armageddon stories, world changers, new concept stories, invasions, healings, contests, and more.

Then you start in on all the other options… and well… it can really be overwhelming.

Now then to be honest it does not have to be. Seriously you can just sort of go… yeah its like the Marvel Universe but none of the supers exist. We are going to use all new characters and see what happens. It really can be that easy. Also many supers RPG’s come with a basic world anyway. Something that you can flesh out.

So the very first questions you need to ask are, why in the @#$% are you creating your own supers world? What in the #@!! possessed you to feel you needed to make something all your own? Is this trip really necessary?

And then you need to calm the @#$% down and just go for it if that is what you really want to do. 🙂

Heh.

So in this series of entries we will talk about the questions you will need to be thinking about as you build out one of the most potentially complex worlds you can build.

301 – Origin of Powers is? – What sort of limits are you going to place here to support your world?

302 – Which Earth? – Do you want to use this earth? Another alternate earth? Another planet all together that has nothing to do with earth?

303 – Timeline is when? – Even if you are not using earth you need to know when you are doing this in terms of cultural evolution. So When are you?

304 – Percent of power? – How many have access to what kinds of power?

305 – World perception of power? – How do people react to someone who can fly?

306 – Power level is how high? – Burning paper or planets?

307 – World is how well known? – Aliens? Time travelers? Alternate earths? Sealed system?

308 – What is your story? Do you have a timeline for a story, or planned events or are you winging it?

While each one of these topics will influence the world you are building, you will figure out for yourself what ones are the most important to you. In coming posts I will bring up ideas and further questions to help you figure out what you want, and to give you some examples of a world of my own.

Now then to be totally honest this world is going to be taking a few things from a project that Dan over at Dan on Games and I started tinkering with years ago. The overall idea has changed a lot but I am inserting one of my favorite characters of his into the world in the same type of situation he was in when he was originally created. I hope you remember ‘Dust’ dude. The world is not the same, but that one character is in the same type of predicament.

Anyway. This posting should be enough to give you an idea of where this is heading and start you thinking about questions for yourself.

In the interim gimme the dice… I have to see if I can resist the pets long enough to get the house cleaned up.

Play hard and play fair.

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Random Bureaucracy Generator

Ok I know what you are going to say… there is enough Bureaucracy in the world already.

Well sure… but when you play a game like Paranoia, or want to really mess with your players by making them jump through so many hoops that actually slaying the dragon that kills half the party seems like a relaxing vacation, then you might want to use something like this.

As I said this started out being a part of my preperations for playing Paranoia which is why there are references to R&D in there. However you can change anything and everything in this setup with ease. The format as presented is for requesting dice. Now then originally in Paranoia your game mechanic really did not require many dice, and only had you using one or two at a time… so… yeah anyway there is a long story behind this set up and I really dont feel like telling it at the moment. Anyway here is how it works…

First you request a die…

Request die for roll
1-14 d4 granted
15-20 d6 granted
20-24 Die not avaliable
25-29 Form 24c required
30-35 d8 granted
36-39 d10 granted
40-49 Bribe required
50-58 d12 granted
59 There is no 59
60-69 d71 granted Go see R&D
70-79 Questions raised
80-81 Permission needed
82-89 Ignored
90-99 d20 granted
100 Police called
101+ d100 granted

Ok so… first of all in the game itself d10 were used in first edition. Mostly as d10 or as d100… so why would you need… yeah just dont ask about the others as they are not used in the game unless you come up with a reason to use them on your own…

Anyway you will see that in many cases no die is provided and something else happens… in all of those cases you go to the sub table for that particular item…

Die not avaliable
1-16 File a 24c form
17-22 Go see R&D
23-46 Bribe requried
47-58 Call police
59 There is no 59
60-85 Permission needed
86-100 Questions Raised
Form 24c required
1-29 Form not avaliable
30-42 Ignored
43-58 Questions raised
59 There is no 59
60-63 Permission needed
64-85 Form 24c required
86-92 Bribe required
93-100 Police called
Bribe required
1-5 2 vegitarian tacos
6-31 Form 24c required
32-58 Police called
59 There is no 59
60-71 Go see R&D
72-88 Questions raised
89-100 Permission needed
Go see R&D
1-46 Die when you enter the room
47-58 Questions raised
59 There is no 59
60-68 Permission needed
69-80 Ignored
81-84 Bribe required
85-100 Form 24c required
Questions raised
1-14 Police called
15-30 Form 24c required
31-37 Bribe required
38-58 How did you get dice already
59 There is no 59
60-67 Permission needed
68-88 Ignored
89-100 Go see R&D
Permission needed
1-20 Form 24c required
21-29 Questions raised
30-58 Ignored
59 There is no 59
60-65 Bribe required
66-71 Police called
71-100 Dave is in
Ignored
1-58 Police called
59 There is no 59
60-100 Bribe required
Police called
1-31 Questions raised
32-58 Bribe required
59 There is no 59
60-71 Form 24c required
72-91 You have been detained
92-100 Ignored

Now then you will notice that these other tables feed on each other a lot. And one even feeds on itself. There are a few ways out of most of the tables. The most notable is the ‘There is no 59’. This can mean anything the game master wants it to. It can be an out, it can be a re-roll, it can simply be a moment to go ‘hmmmm interesting’ and make players panic.

With a format like this it is fairly easy to modify and remake it for anything you want to use it for. I have had cause to look it over in some of the places I have worked to wonder about getting anything done at all… in real life… so I know this is not just for games.

The key to using something like this is to remember that you only want to build up, just so much frustration in the players. And you dont want to use it every session.

You may however want to set it at your desk at work as a way to get your co workers to take some time to figure out how to talk to you… If you do such a thing it pays to get other co workers to be the living example for other tables… or even set it up as a maze inside your office for Halloween. Nasty little scary office costume…

Ok so gimme the dice… I need to see if Dave is in…

Game hard and have fun folks.

 

 

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Should it blend?

Ok so anyone who remembers the old “Will it Blend?” add campaign online for a certain blender company will likely be asking why I dont have a blender image on here… well it looks like they still have a trademark for the campaign and so I want to avoid it as much as possible…. heh.

So what is this question about?

Well back in the 90’s a writer named Deird’re Brooks (hope I got your name right, I have seen it spelled three ways) wrote a series of articles in White Wolf Magazine under the heading of World of Future Darkness. It spanned issues 36 – 38 of the magazine and it was all about blending Cyberpunk 2020 in to the World of Darkness. Many people that I was gaming with at the time called the setting Cyber-Fang. The rules were fairly easy to mix, and it worked well. But in the end it never really seemed to catch on.

Several years later a few game designers got together and officially put the Hero System (Champions) and the Interlock System (Cyberpunk 2020 and others) into a new game engine they called Fuzion. It is not a bad system revision. It has a nice mix of both systems but is not really as solid as either one is on its own.

I am sure that these are not the only cases where blending of game systems has happened. I am sure that folks do it all the time. And anyone who knows me at all will know that I blend genre’s mercilessly.

But here is the real question… Should game engines be blended?

Each game engine has been made to fit a purpose. Not every engine can do everything well. Most only do two or three things really well.

So I ask should it blend? Or should we be looking to update game engines? Revise and repair them… or is blending the better way to evolve game engines?

Ok so gimme the dice… I need to see if I can mix a d4 and a d12… hmmm

 

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Weak Sauce

Hey there readers.

Week two of not being in the best form, so I am still going to keep a low profile and try to get a new review out next week. I was pondering something like Tales from the Floating Vagabond, or maybe Hellas. You will note a lack of a link on Hellas, that is because the only link I could offer would be to the publisher or a place that is selling it. Since I try to avoid those… no link… just Google Hellas RPG yourself 😛

Be nice out there folks and play hard.

Now gimme the dice, I need to see if there is a saving throw against new game purchase.

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Tiny Post

Hey all

I am not feeling well and so this will be just a quick note to say hi and to say I will try to get a real post out next week. However there are a lot of things going on for me and the wife next week so it may not be possible. If not, there will at least be another tiny post.

Be well, play hard and gimme the dice, I gotta see if mixing meds will help.

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Game Review #35 Rifts 1st Edition (G)

Hey there everyone

So while I have reviewed multiple products from Palladium Books before, and I know that in the last year there have been a lot more blow outs regarding the company and its owner Kevin Siembieda. I am not going to rehash that at all though. This post is about the first edition of the most ambitious setting I have ever seen. Rifts.

So let me say I first found this game the year it came out. I was interested right off the bat because after Shadowrun came out the year before, and in my mind blew the doors off of putting Fantasy and Cyberpunk together into a single setting, I wanted to see what one of my favorite publishers, the folks who had brought me Heroes Unlimited, TMNT and other Strangeness and Robotech could do with a setting that essentially mixed… everything… together in one place.

I wanted to be tough on them, to really put the pressure on to make sure they kept up the quality of settings I had seen them do, and license. I gave up on that completely when I got to the RCC (Racial Character Class) section and found that you could start the game playing a dragon. And that while dragons generally preferred not to get cybered up, you could. And they had natural magic. And… well yeah… so…

Anyway they had a ton of other interesting classes. The original book had humans, dragons, psychics and ‘dog boys’ as the races you could play. And if you were human you could pick an OCC (Occupational Character Class) to go with your race.

Your initial setting is on a post apocalypse Earth. Where things had gone high tech. There was a lot of cool gear and toys. Humans got stupid and went WW3 on each other. Massive death toll on just the right time pulled all the psychic energy into the worlds ley lines and they went nuts. Magic returned to the world, the ley lines turned into Rifts bringing things from multiple different dimensions and worlds to Earth. Death toll rises. Things lock into place and humanity has been shattered. Three hundred years or so later a small human empire is up and running in the midwest using Nazi like tactics to get folks under their thumb. And in the setting at the moment the first book came out you could either be a part of the empire, our choose to be outside it.

Later books would expand things, a lot… no really… a lot. I wont go into detail but add in books about parts of Earth, other dimensions, lists of deities (yeah they are wandering around too), alien parts salesmen and all sorts of other stuff and the whole thing gets freakin’ huge. Unfortunately all that growth comes with an epidemic of power creep. However that is not the point of this review.

One of the things that really drew me in was that fact that this setting was in the same rules as every other Palladium Books game I had played. And they stated right in the book that they were going to put out a supplemental book that would tell you how to bring over every other type of character and make it work. So of course the first thing that I did with a game group was to put together a mission in which the TMNT stole the SDF-1 and tried to raid the capitol of that burgeoning new human empire with the assistance of a few super humans and more than a few cybernetic spies. Yeahhh. Thats the kinda stuff this setting lets you get away with.

Now the game itself is far from perfect. My current copy of the original rule book is eighth printing and it still has a ton of editorial errors. The art is the usual Palladium mixed batch where you may have one or two artists that are pretty good, but the cover is the only art really worth drooling over (save for licensed titles and some of the most recent books they have done when they finally got new art teams and the owner quit trying his hand at art from time to time).

My biggest issue with the game is that the leveling system calls back to original D&D, with that poor elf who does elf things. And the fact that you cannot change classes at any point other than to just clear everything you have learned and take on a new roll. So you start at ground level all over again despite how ever long you have been playing. This type of level system does have its benefits, and it can keep a player from over reaching and trying to become a dragon with a borg aspect who pilots giant robots and has made magical pacts to become… ohhhh you get it. If the rules wont let you do it it stops things from getting too far out of control unless you make exceptions and get into power creep (cough cough later books). Even though it would be ten years before we would see D&D 3rd edition and get a really solid look at what you can do slipping between classes ‘officially’, there have been examples for years of a controlled method of mixing rolls so that players can build what they can imagine without getting too far out of control.

Even with its built in imperfections this game has been an inspiration to me for a long time. I love the potential in crossing genres. And while there were other game engines like the Hero System and GURPS that set you up to be able to do EVERYTHING in one game engine. This is the first setting that I became aware of that actually put EVERYTHING in one place from the beginning.

Ok so lets look at the numbers…

Overall Fluff 4/5 – There is enough background info here and in both editorial and character voices that the setting really comes to life. The art helps a little when it can avoid being distracting. There are so many bread crumbs dropped that ties this setting into everything else that Palladium Books published that you cant help but feel things coming together are you read.

Overall Crunch 4/5 – Standard Palladium Books rules. It is a good system if you accept its limits and the things that it wont let you do. If you take it on its own the rules are comprehensive and cover just about anything you can imagine.

Overall Mod 3/5 – Adding things and subtracting things is about the best you can hope for. However that adding and subtracting allows for bringing in things from so many other settings it is kind of hard not to say you can mod it.

Overall Fun 4/5 – I enjoy it a lot. I occasionally have moments where I want to mix classes and it frustrates the crud out of me until I remember where I put my house rules to blend OCC and even RCC. But then I have to find it again and the realize I can do enough with the character I have and … then I am back to having fun 🙂

Total Score 15/20 – Not a bad score overall. If you can get past all the current hullabaloo about the company and the owner/author then you might want to consider this game if you like the mixing of genre. If you do I would recommend going first ed over the later versions due to the fact the book changed to try and compensate for the power creep in its other books and made some changes that hampered some of the choices you could make regarding the character types you could play.

Ok so thats it… my thoughts and opinions. Run with it or dont its up to you 🙂

Now gimme the dice, I gotta see how much more power creep we can work with… hmmm how did a 924 get on my d20…

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Game Review #33 CM4 Earthshaker (M)

Ok so this review has a bit of a twisted origin, but still flashes us back into the 80’s.

The first time I saw this module (CM4 Earthshaker), for a version of Basic D&D I never got into until the 2000’s called The Companion Rules,  sitting in a local book store I knew I had to have it. GIANT FREAKING ROBOT! It was the mid 80’s and I had only recently discovered anime. Voltron, Robotech, and so many others with giant robots. I had to know more.

What I learned did not really help me enjoy… much… when it came to giant robots. Less so for D&D. It also put the capstone on my long lived hatred of all things gnome. However it did cement for me the idea that cross genre stories, adventures and setting could be done. IF they were done right. Looking back at the module today it feels more like an attempt to get players to really feel what it is like to run a kingdom when there is a huge potential disaster coming your way. But this one has an element of the disaster that you can fight directly. It also feels a LOT more like steampunk than anything else. I still hate the gnomes though.

This module also started me asking the questions again regarding the limits on character levels that you see in D&D, the limits on roles per race, and how much better AD&D was because while you still had level limits based on race (which everyone I knew tossed right out the window) it was better than having to have a conversation like…

“So what are you?”

“An elf.”

“And what do you do?”

“Elf things.”

“No I mean what is your job?”

“I am an elf.”

“No I get that I can see the ears… I mean what do you do? I am a Cleric, I use holy magic.”

“No you dont get it… Elves, Dwarves, Halflings (because Hobbits are under another copyright) we dont get careers… I am an ELF, that is my race, my job, my fate… I can only do ELF things… and I cant advance like you do… dont you see!!!”

“I…ummmm… wow….unhhh”

(uncontrolled sobbing)

Yeah, so moving on lets see what the numbers look like before that elf gets back…

 

Overall Fluff 2/5 – Like most early modules for D&D of any version, the fluff is weak. Cool cover art by a D&D legend helps, but that can only take you so far.

Overall Crunch 5/5 – This is where this really shines. The added rules to help you solve problems for a large area/kingdom really can give you a grip on scale, even though they only take up about half a page. The rules for supersized constructs, they rock. hard to imagine it taking several hundred beings working together to make it work, but hey, that is the steampunk way.

Overall Mod 2/5 – Ok so here is a big challenge. You cannot really scale this to lower levels. You cannot really alter a lot of the material. You can however replicate it and make a giant steampunk robot setting with it. So I still have to give it some points.

Overall Fun 3/5 – I may not have learned much but it allowed me to destroy a full tribe of gnomes while taking a giant steam powered robot off their hands and foil some villains and use the robot to set up a new version of the Colossus of Rhodes.

Total Score 12/20 – Not the best module ever. However it does have some nifty little things that you can use to build up a campaign, or just toss a wrench into the day of any group of heroes you might know.

So there it is… look it up, toss it out, whatever works for you.

Now gimme the dice… I need to see if I can roll up a job for that elf so he will stop crying.

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Monster Rights Activism

Yeah ok so this one is a bit odd. But a conversation with my wife got me thinking about this the other day and I wanted to share.

In games, and fiction, we have this long history of establishing a race or species as being evil. And tons of authors and designers end up using the same races. Making them evil over and over again.

On some rare occasions someone will take a race and change things up a bit. Like when Privateer Press created Iron Kingdoms, goblins were a character race up front and had a part of the main-stream culture all their own. Other games have usually settled for adding a supplemental book that says something like ‘Yeah all these is usually monsters, but here is how you can play one. Just be ready to be killed as soon as you go into a city.’

My issue with all this comes from the question, are they really evil or do they just have a culture the writers don’t like?

I mean if you think about it really. If you are a goblin living in the forest with your clan, you and your people have never done anything to any other creature. Because you are all devout vegans and the forest gives you everything you could need. And along comes a group of non goblins. They cry out that goblins are evil and kill everyone in the clan.

Or what if you happen to be a Minotaur that spent forty years learning structural engineering and site planning. All the while working as a body guard and in general labor so you could afford to buy some land and build a labyrinth all to fulfill your personal dream of making something that people could enjoy. When you are doing your final walk through a group of beings comes marching through your pride and joy and as soon as they spot you, instead of letting you tell them about the way you made it and the intricacies of the patterns you created, they scream out that Minotaur are evil and kill you. (I think a realtor or property developer is actually behind this one, knew the Minotaur would never sell, and wanted to have an exclusive property to sell)

I mean after a few years of this sort of unfriendly behavior I would think that all of these other races would start banding together for self defense. Maybe even becoming the force for evil that others are calling them just so they can have a chance to have a life on their own.

You can roll it up under any context you like… but it still looks more like the “heroes” are the evil ones to me.

Lets try this example. The god that gave you your holy writ tells you and your people that while the ‘good’ gods created you and yours, the ‘evil’ gods created these other races and that makes them bad so you should go and kill them. I would have to ask someone in this instance do you really know what is going on between these gods? I mean they tell you their history and you take that on ‘faith’ and run with it and assume you are the good guy. How do you know the ‘evil’ god did not just say no to a night of Netflix and chill with the ‘good’ god, and this is how the ‘good’ god gets their revenge? Getting all of their little minions to destroy everything the ‘evil’ god created. I mean really, who is the evil one there?

I know, I know, shades of grey, the world is dark enough, fantasy lets us get past the weirdness and gives us black and white so we can feel good about slaughtering something evil and not having to worry about consequences.

I will be the first to admit that it is really nice to be able to just step back and say, ‘Yup, that’s an orc so we can kill it.’ It makes things so easy. You can pick something make it bad and everyone can point at it and say it is responsible for all your ills. But I am wondering if anyone really has the nerve to build something from the ground up that asks if we can be more than that.

Rifts came close. Humans, Dogboys, and Dragons right off the bat. Magic and psychic powers vs technology. Open minds against ‘the right way to do things’. However they did their best to say that Humans were the bad guys in that one and that any human that was not part of the problem had to prove themselves a lot. Which still really gave us a ‘bad guy’ it just turned the table on species more than anything.

I seriously think we can come up with something that does it better.

If anyone knows of one let me know I would love to check it out.

Until then I will continue to fight for monster rights.

Now gimme the dice, I need to see what two goblins and an octopus priest walking into a bar looks like.

 

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