RPPR Episode 106: History is written by the GM

The Hangar section of Boiling Point. The floating submarine is an aftermarket addition.News: We’re over halfway there in the Boiling Point Kickstarter, so help us push it over the edge!

Synopsis: History is a rich tapestry waiting to be explored, but how should you implement historical events into games? Tom and I have some experience with this, so we talk about how to prepare for historical games and what kind of history works best. Even if you’re a player, this can help with your experiences enjoying this type of game. Tom also has a letter, plus we have shout and anecdotes.

Shout Outs:

Song: Memories by Starlight from New RetroWave Equinox EP

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  9 comments for “RPPR Episode 106: History is written by the GM

  1. darren t.
    October 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Great topic & think that there are some history events like the one giant volcano is a tricky one depending on the game for what to do but there are a few ideas on it. One would be that you play as the group that starts off events that cause the eruption (artifact falling in the core of the volcano), another idea would be use it more as a slight backdrop copying Eclipse Phase of having the eruption happening & the group is out with just a small caravan a year afterwards then go with the story of setting up a new settlement for whatever reason or something else. Some events are trickier than others but possible to weave into most game systems or steal a few bits from for another more supernatural story.

    One tip though briefly mentioned is that if you are running a historical game with some notable people, like mister Hitler or Dracula or whomever, put in a brief backup plan if that character is in the scene & either fails some roll and dies accidentally or with the pack of player characters thinking it’s cute to kill them. They have a historical bullseye the size of the moon when you put them in the game so expect something to maybe happen & get a few ideas ready when things go crazy.

    As a sidenote of cavemen mentioned, I’d enjoy seeing the RPPR group diving into some of the Strange Aeons I & II books for Call of Cthulhu or adapt them to Trail of Cthulhu, then dive into the mythos versus the people in various times or do the cavemen scenario which I think they’d have some fun with.

  2. Journ-O-LST-3
    October 3, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    When I see a disaster as a backdrop, especially one so total as the end of a civilization, I go to A Dirty World like a bear to honey and imagine a very nihilistic night of the long knoves. Second is groups of people trying to preserve their favorite parts of the culture.

    And how do people talk about WWI fiction without Black Adder?

    Or the Titanic without the Olympic?

  3. Fridrik
    October 5, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I’m sorry Tom, but the timing is to fortuitous.

    The same day I listened to you talk about how you liked the how the movie “Black Death” used the Black death as a historical backdrop I saw this youtube video. I find it hilarious that they were published only a day apart.

    Lindybeige presents part 1: the beginning bit

  4. October 6, 2014 at 6:20 am

    I kind of want to hear more about the player with the lich, how did he play that character in regards to powers and such?

  5. Full Metal Potato
    October 6, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I’d really like to see a scenario set during the american revolution – possibly the first in a series of linked scenarios covering the same problem over the course of centuries, a la The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

  6. Journ-O-LST-3
    October 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm
  7. October 7, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Thanks alot Journ-O-LST-3, great listen!

  8. October 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Here’s a movie set during the black death that I love: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095709/?ref_=rvi_tt
    It’s the movie that got Vincent Ward hired as writer/director of Alien3 (and why I was so very disappointed in Alien3 when it came out).

  9. PaulyMuttonchops
    October 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Good discussion. I’m curious to see how a game like Timewatch affects how gaming groups will approach historical scenarios.

    Is Timewatch something the RPPR group is planning on playing someday? I only ask because GUMSHOE + Time Travel + RPPRs use of history = #disoughtabegood

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