RPPR Episode 47: Adventures in the Real World

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The real world holds just as much adventure as any fantasy or sci-fi setting. In this episode, Tom and I discuss various types of games you could run based in the real world with normal PCs (with no extraordinary abilities or cinematic fighting skills). There are more possibilities than you might realize.

Shout Outs

Music: Anything 4 Adventure by the Jim Morey Band.

If a real world campaign interests you, check out the following resources below the fold.

I outlined a campaign based on contemporary insurgencies and guerrilla warfare. Imagine the challenges a Human Terrain Team in Afghanistan faces or normal people caught between warring factions in Iraq. There’s also the Naxalite rebellion in India, Mexican drug cartels challenging the government and gang war in Brazilian Favelas.

  • Global Guerrillas: A great blog on guerrilla warfare, terrorism and insurgencies
  • McMafia: a book about the new trends in criminal syndicates and cartels around the world.
  • Cities Under Siege: a book on political violence in cities today and how it affects life in them.
  • Shock Doctrine: How governments and corporations exploit disasters for profit.
  • Off the Books: A study of the black market economy in the ghetto.
  • Wonga Coup: An account of how a few Westerners tried to take over a country in Africa and failed.
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  1. I’ve wanted to do a game where players become lost in the woods for sometime. I don’t have the players to pull it off, unfortunately. They’d want to just travel in a straight line until they got where they wanted to go. Probably all be dead within ten minutes of the game starting.

  2. Lol, you have them find a prominent water feature (like a river) that they know will take them out of the woods, and then make sure it lesads to something horrible. And disappears within a moment of them straying from the river.

    Then yeah, kill them.

  3. Great topic and ideers, guys. Personally, I also like the One Weird Thing strategy, in which most of the game is reality-based, but a single detail is tweaked in a supernatural direction. Any of the ideas you mentioned could easily incorporate an unexplained phenomenon, say, during the course of an investigation or an encounter. The thing I like most about the reality game ideas is the importance of research and how it can boost the sense of authority in the game. As long as the GM isn’t just showing off their research with info dumps, good prep based on real world research can really help transport players into the scenario. I think that’s the real strength of the New World materials – hanging the old DnD details onto a semi-historical spine is pure brilliance.

  4. Rock solid as always. I bought Off the Books today, so thanks for the great suggestion. Your show remains my favorite podcast.

    Keep on keepin’ on,

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