Friday, August 17, 2012

Extraordinary Gentlemen

So I was having a purely hypothetical discussion with Jeremy the other day about a modern League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I'll back up for a moment and give the whole story before getting into current events. 

So from time to time I listen to actual play podcasts, where a group of gamers sits down and records their sessions, it started with Penny Arcade doing the podcasts of their 4th Edition adventures with WoTC. I started searching for other actual play podcasts and found this group called Role-Playing Public Radio, they do actual plays and your standard ramble about gaming for an hour podcasts. They're a pretty funny group and they cover a wide range of systems (4th Edition, GURPS, Call of Cthulhu, Monsters and Other Childish Things, Rifts, and a few others). 

With my obsession I tend to pay close attention whenever they use GURPS (bolding and italicizing it every single time got old quick). Recently, after kind of a hiatus from listening to their actual plays, I saw they played a GURPS Modern League of Extraordinary Gentlemen four part actual play. The podcasts are lengthy, each session is like four hours long. Anyway, ever since the somewhat sub par film came out, I kind of fell in love with the concept of a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it is basically a campaign/story/whatever based on call backs. 

So in the film and comics heroes from literature team up, Mina Harker, Alex Quartermain, Dr. Jekyll, Captain Nemo, Moriarty, Holmes, and the Invisible Man appear as the main characters in the comic. The film added in Tom Sawyer, Ishmael, and Dorian Grey. The concept behind a modern League is to take characters from film and team them up. So I was listening to RPPR and they are playing one called TMNT II: Judgement Day. I'll explain in a moment what that means. 

So the character roster from this session is Bill Strannix, Tommy Lee Jones' character from Under Siege brought back to life via the Universal Soldier program from the Van Damme/Dolph Lundgren films. I may have inadvertently described this character as Steven Seagal's character from the movie to people. Whoops. The second character is Gary Hampton, Image comic's The Astounding Wolf Man. I know nothing of him. Finally, the team is rounded out by Dean Winchester, from the tv show Supernatural, a show I have enjoyed for like six years now. The team is given their orders by Keyser Soze. They also have the option of recruiting Mike Pearson to their cause, the kid from Phantasm. 

The plot is that T-800 (The Terminator) is attempting to kick off Judgement Day. His first task, once again, is to kill John Connor. However, John is the son of April O'Neil and Casey Jones and the T-800 has already killed Casey Jones, April, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Splinter. I believe he is also Shredder and has used the Foot to combat the turtles.  Also, I believe Raphael is becoming Robocop, not sure on that yet, have to listen to the next episode. 

Anyway, so I got the idea to ask everyone what they might play in such a situation, and one thing led to another and I sent out an email and now we are going to at some undisclosed future time play our very own modern League one shot adventure with GURPS. 

The roster is as follows: Lance with Ash of Evil Dead/Army of Darkness. Eric with Pete Lattimer of Warehouse 13, a SyFy show based around the concept of that warehouse in the Indiana Jones films where the Ark of the Covenant gets stowed, though the show has no affiliation with those films. Jason will be playing Ray Stantz of Ghostbusters and Jeremy will be playing Bartelby of Dogma. 

So that is a pretty eclectic cast with a bit of a supernatural theme. The theme of the group kind of lends itself to some sort of supernatural, rather than science, themed adventure. I have an idea with a suitable villain for this type of campaign. Its not a ridiculously entertaining mashup like RPPR's, but it is a callback to a decent film from the 80s.

Ash and Pete are fairly easy to build. Pete is an intuitive type with his Tesla and his firearms skill. Probably give him Intuition and Luck along with Combat Reflexes and some Contacts in the Warehouse to use as information sources. Give him Alcoholism for a disadvantage and some other stuff to kind of simulate his goofy and easily distracted nature. He isn't really an artifact guy, Artie is the one from the show that tends to pull out the artifacts. The rest is basically skills and such. I don't think Pete is enough of a gun guy to merit getting the Gunslinger advantage, but if you have points left over, I would probably go with that.

Ash is pretty simple as well, Innate Attack as his chainsaw arm. Give him High Pain Tolerance, Hard To Subdue, and Hard To Kill (he did cut off his possessed hand and replace it with a metal hand and chainsaw after all) and some skills with shotguns and occult knowledge. I'd have to watch the movies again if I wanted to find more stuff to give him, as it has been many years since I've seen them. Probably safe to go with the One Hand disadvantage though.

Ray Stantz is kind of a hard thing for me to build. He's a pretty normal smart guy, maybe give him the Science! wildcard skill and Unfazeable to simulate his experience with all kinds of crazy nonsense. Not sure if the theme of Unfazeable is entirely appropriate though. I'm not sure what to do with his proton pack, as it has been a while since I've seen the films and I'm not sure what effects a single beam has on stuff or how useful it would be against anything other than ghosts.

Bartleby is a little more difficult for me to make. He is an integral character to the plot of Dogma, but gets little face time in comparison with other characters so we don't have a lot of material to go on. We can guess that he is likely stronger and faster and tougher than a human, so increasing HT, DX, and ST is probably a given. He can fly, so we give him Flight. We should probably use him before he appears in the movie, before he has delusions of destroying everything that exists and loses his wings. He also wears a metal breastplate in the tail end of the movie, so we can buy that as Damage Resistance as some sort of tough angelic plate armor, but he seems to lose his wings to bullets relatively easily so he isn't innately tough against physical attacks. Beyond that and some skills, I dunno what else to give him. We don't see him do too much magicky angely stuff in the film, likely due to budget concerns.

I was initially going to use The Shadow for my NPC, but now I'm not so sure. I'll have to think about it, but I have some ideas. The Shadow would be pretty easy to build as well, but he has so many alternate identities that it becomes costly and almost silly to buy those for a one shot adventure. I'd probably stick with Gunslinger, Mind Reading, and the Invisibility Art skill and fill out the rest with some cool toys and gun related skills and techniques.

That's all for now I guess.

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