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Author Topic: The Twilight Zone Campaign  (Read 1346 times)

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Offline Chaosmark

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The Twilight Zone Campaign
« on: December 05, 2007, 01:07:34 PM »
One of Moon's comments in the thread about the Tin Man miniseries on Scifi caught my eye and made me think about something: How might you go about playing a Twilight Zone game?

What system would you play with? Call of Cthulhu? Something else? Homebrew?
What would you include from these submissions, and what others would you consider using?

Would you make it a one-shot scenario, ala the one episode storylines, or would you make a campaign out of it? In the second option, you would likely have a bit of trouble working constant 'twists' into the storyline of the campaign without making it seem overdone. However, you might be able to do it.

How would YOU handle a Twilight Zone game?
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Offline valadaar

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Re: The Twilight Zone Campaign
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2007, 01:19:00 PM »
I think one-shot with recurring characters (non-episodal) might work.  If characters get killed off in one scenerio, they could reappear in the next one, though obviously your 'campaign' would be rather unrealistic.  Characters could accumulate some cool death scenes over time.



I seem to remember some episodes ended with the entire civilization ending.

The question would be would there be any character advancement between episodes?
   
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: The Twilight Zone Campaign
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2007, 11:14:03 PM »
It was Outer Zone

Now: It is a great idea.. it requires a great answer.

I like Outsider games, games that focus on hidden magic and creatures in a modern world. Throw some secret conspiracies, a few spells, people hiding a secret while still trying to achieve a goal, a demon or three, magical happenings occuring to mundanes, and maybe some theriothropes and I am one happy camper. In fact, I have run 8 campaigns in this kind of genre.

There are a ton of games that do this, and do it well.  Stalking the Night Fantastic was the first and still one of the bests. Witchcraft does it best. Seven Seal is interesting. Werewolf (and much of the WoD games) do a nice job of having the fantastic hiding in the shadows of the mundane. Over the Edge does it better than them though. Oh yes, and did I mention Call of Chuthulu?  All these games have twilight zone elements, but they are placed in a strong adventure/ action emphasis to make them gamable.

It is hard to do horror. You can do horror with an action twinge. However, most players balk about the powerlessness that being in a horror story requires. (Horror elements with characters on an equal footing.. that brings us to Outsiders games...) Then think about this.

The Twilight Zone.  Not action adventure. Drama... pure and simple.

A twilight zone game with that episodic feel with fresh magics and the impact of a strong story line.

wow.. ummm... okay...

One shots. The only way to go. Characters designed to fit and be interesting in the scenarios.  The GM would have to design the characters most of the way, with the PCs doing a little of the final fitting.  You can't just throw anyone into a twilight zone episode and have it be great (or even good). You need to have characters that are deeply connected to the situation (with only a few exceptions). You need to be working on really novel and odd story elements for each game. You then need to weave each character into the scenario. then it might work.

The Twilight Zone hinged on character development and the Epic piece of personal growth and learning that the main character usually learned (but sometimes the viewer did).  So you are going to have to have the GM build the basic elements of each character and conception elements they have to have. You as a Player are gong to have to take that and build a weak or flawed person (hard for most players to do)  with an intense backstory without going too far out of bounds.

So we have he character development requires flawed character that few players would ever make.. and deep character histories, all for a ONE SHOT. These character need to be both woven together and woven into the world (though if the GM is handing out character frameworks, this is a bit easier).  What this will boil down to is a campaigns worth of work, for one session of play (maybe two).  Then you have to be doing it again while runnng it

Estimate four weeks of development and character building for 4 to 6 hours of play.

You could do less, but after the first couple, it will be hard to maintain that feel.  I would not say that it is impossible. I would say that this is a really tough thing to do. If you have a troupe of people who can GM, they could rotate GM duties, giving everyone more time to prepare.

The game system I would use with this?  Well you could do it with anything, but really.. you need one that does this well.

HKAT!

That is right. Hong Kong Action Theater!  (see below for details)

It has a unique Star System and is designed for episodic play. Your character is an actor. They take on a role and apply their various points to skills and such. As they play out various stories (movies/ episodes) they gain extra points that they can apply to their new roles. (New roles are in each game). The system is designed to be episodic and to have various back stage elements.   That way you can easily develop your actor as they take on different rules each episode.

This is a really good idea but....


Now, I don't want to the a thread killer but there are points to be addressed.

While this can be done and it can be great.....there are three questions about this:

*Do your players want Drama or Action?  if they want action, you can not do this.

*Do they want concentional character development and advancement?  If yes, you can not do this.

*Do they want to be the ones with cool abilities? And who does not like crunchy bits? If yes, then you can not do this.

It is hard enough to run a horror game, and get any fear effect out of the players. Running a dramatic game/ campaign?  My 20 cents worth.




Hong Kong Action Theatre!
1st ed by Gareth-Michael Skarka (1996) Event Horizon Productions
2nd ed by Scott Kessler, Nicole Lindroos, Jeff Mackintosh, Chris Pramas, Lucien Soulban (2001) Guardians of Order
An extremely cinematic RPG which emulates Hong Kong action movies. For example, your chance to hit an opponent is not based on range or armor, but on the Star Power of the opposing actor and the character's importance to the current plot! The 2nd edition rules were adapted to be compatible with the Big Eyes, Small Mouth system, while still keeping many of the innovative features.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 11:21:11 PM by MoonHunter »
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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: The Twilight Zone Campaign
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2007, 08:55:38 PM »
I'm aware that you said Outer Zone, but it still made me think of the Outer Limits, which lead me into Twilight Zone.

That said, that HKAT system seems quite interesting, as a campaign setup. Is it online, or do you need to buy it?
P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B)

By the power of Bayes!

Acolyte Lithil Darkheart – Level 1 Necromancer
STR: 1 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 3 | CHA: 3 | INT: 3

Current guild quest: --

Offline MoonHunter

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Re: The Twilight Zone Campaign
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2007, 12:48:09 AM »
Purchase it. It is a hard copy game with a second edition out there.  Check eBay. It pops up occasionally. You can get the second edition as a download on DrivethruRPG . I never saw second edition in the stores, so all I know about it is what you get from this link. 

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=366&it=1

The download is 5 bucks.
MoonHunter
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"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
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