Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hijacking the jumpstart attempt at running a new game

One thing GM-ing has taught me is the value of player buy in. The fact that your players have this starry-eyed look of expectation whe you tell them what you plan next means they are hooked.

I've been mulling a more Hawkmoon-esque Mutant Future game in the coming weeks and started the actual task of jotting down my ideas just to make them simmer and stew. In the process of doing this, I seem to have been hijacked again along my original path. This has happened before so I am not really bothered. My ultimate end in the proposed upcoming game is a gradual decline of technological civilization on Earth during the course of a drawn out struggle which savants of a later more civilized age will refer to as the Tragic Millenium.

The thing is, I seemed more drawn for now to run a game at a point in the TM when technology and civilization is still somewhat formidable but falling catastrophically fast.Having to explain how I envision this to some of my more new school players I described the feel of this attempt at a Mutant Future to be Fallout Tactics meets Planet of the Apes and a dash of the X Men. Well, this got their attention.

Next, I decided to try a different tack. I decided to set the game in the place I call home. This means hot, tropical beaches, a lot of native slang, crumbling ruins near fortress gothic churches all set in a place once referred to as the Pearl of the Orient Seas. Other things of interest include local warlords (we never seem to lack those even today), mutant water buffalo, overgrown rice paddies with mutated carnivorous flora, mangrove swamps aplenty, a resurgent ultra-fanatical religious order which would put the Knights of Genetic Purity to shame, fortified towns cobbled together from the floating hulks of ancient tramp vessels (clustered around a beached inert SSN Boomer as the town hall), and rain - lots and lots of it as climate change is slowly but surely sinking our land beneath the waves.

I'm presently tweaking the MF rules to allow more and deadlier slug throwers in keeping with the tradition of Fallout Tactics. Knowing my players they'll be demanding this. Maybe it's the legacy of playing too much Twilight 2000 in the past. So yes, guns, guns and more guns. At least until they come upon some serious energy weapons (I do believe that's what happened in Fallout Tactics too).

Another thing that provided me with unexpected fun is how I get to use the current slang and subculture here and turn it on it's head when crafting the background. I know my old language teacher will probably maul me what with my bastardizing a lot of Tagalog for this game, but heck, this can be fun!

I do recall that the original Gamma World had a lot to do with satirizing Western culture. So maybe I'll do a little of that as regards the culture over here with Mutant Future and see how it pans out.

By the emails I've been getting from my prospective players, I do believe I've latched on to something promising here.


  1. Very exciting to read.
    --Please keep us posted.

    Beware the Drakes! :D

  2. Ah yes, the Drakes... the Drakes.

    Mustn't forget about them critters. The mangrove swamps, rivers and estuaries will be more dangerous than ever....

  3. You could work this up for an actual release, like Vigilance Press did for the Nuclear Sunset Southwest Campaign book.