Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weird Adventures: Recent History

One of the hurdles of creating characters in the world of Weird Adventures is hammering out the recent history to get a sense of what the recent past of the characters might have been influenced by. While this is normally fairly straightforward in a standard Pulp or D&D game, the combination of both in the setting can give one pause.

Fortunately, there is a major element of Weird Adventures history that works for both: The Great War. It serves two purposes:
  • for the Pulp game, it is a direct analogue to the War to End All Wars, World War I;
  • for the D&D game, it is an indirect analogue to a recent-ish apocalyptic event from which the glorious old empires did not recover.

 Here's a direct quote from the book:

Acid fog was released from sprayers to discourage attackers or to soften defenders. Amorphing solutions delivered via artillery shells sowed terror by making flesh malleable, dissolving limbs, or even melting soldiers together. Thaumaturgical explosives and blights laid waste to cities and farmlands. Rays of searing light or jets of intense cold fired from zeppelins cut swaths of destruction across enemy trenches. There were also weapons calculated to cause more terror than direct damage. Fear rays lead to mass panic in population centers. The battlefield fallen were briefly reanimated to turn on their grieving comrades. Squads of murderous constructs with the appearance of children’s toys were sent into unsuspecting villages in the dead of night.

It's a great broad stroke take on a major historical event that leaves enough space or lacuna for the GM to embellish great or little known events. For some inspiration on the matter, one might pick up the trade paperbacks of Arrowsmith (by Busiek and Pacheco) on what an eldritch WWI might look like. Check this out:

Holeeeeee Moley! Bane bearers! Front and center, bane bearers!

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