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If not Stormbringer, what then?

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23 hours ago, g33k said:

Hrm...  could-shoulda-woulda...  Dark Tower movie would have been the time to push this!

 

Still, wikipedia suggests that (even though it didn't Go Big at the box office and kinda got critic-slammed), they are thinking about both a movie-sequel and a TV series... maybe...

So maybe (given the "underperforming" Box) there could be some not-too-expensive RPG rights, that might roll out en suite with the next media...?

Lots of maybe there.

Yeah that movie sucked, a huge missed opportunity.

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19 hours ago, Algesan said:

Several of us tried to do a Deryni campaign a few decades ago.  Never could quite get it to work out well.  It might be interesting to revisit, but maybe in a couple of years, I'd have to reread the series.  The politics would be doable and the gifts should be also.  BRB or Hero should be able to carry it.

The Deryni always seemed perfect for RQ-style games to me, almost Fantasy Earth with clerical RQ-style magic, but it has been a long, long time since I read them.

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9 hours ago, soltakss said:

The Deryni always seemed perfect for RQ-style games to me, almost Fantasy Earth with clerical RQ-style magic, but it has been a long, long time since I read them.

Could be, I actually had to hit a wiki to look back to the original RQ.  Cannot tell you now why (heh, its been four decades!), but RQ just didn't seem to do anything for any of the local gamers.  Although Stormbringer and Hawkmoon did catch on fairly well so you could usually find someone running a campaign back then.

I agree that it does look like RQ would do the trick given the overview I read.

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On 7/11/2018 at 1:15 PM, g33k said:

 think all of HGWells is out-of-copyright... Just sayin'

This is probably the idea that made me the most excited, and I jumped right to "War of the Worlds". BRPs strength, to me, is to get the rules out of the way and allow the atmosphere and story to flow. The rules are simple and straight forward enough, though, that you can have a firm grasp of who your character is.

WotW is a 30s setting, possibly pulp. It's a scifi horror setting, taking advantage of BRPs reputation for doing horror well. Instead of insanity, you do something with hysteria - throwing back to the real life radio show panic. You do not explain what's happening in the whole world - and that ignorance is a part of the setting. It's small and local, personal and gritty. Supplements start with new cities, big and small. The resistance may start to follow the rantings of the mad man, but you keep it in cells so there is no true global effort but you still can have people showing up with news or advice or asking for help with a slightly larger plan. Rare or infrequent alien tech falls in to your hands, but - like CoC - you're never comfortable or familiar with it...it's alien.

You don't exaggerate it, you don't make it super heroes or steampunk. 

 

On a different path, I really think BRP would do a great modern supernatural game. I'd love to see what White Wolf does, but simpler with BRP. The hard part is that White Wolf does a great job with the basic character concepts...you'd need some strong writing to compete with those iconic concepts, with the restraint to keep it simple. Talking about IP, kind of wonder if "Dark Shadows" (not Depp version) would be a neat start.

Dream IP? Universal Monsters. Gothic horror. Again, though, don't over complicate. K.I.S.S. play the monster hunters, or play the monsters. Atmosphere heavy. Historic or modern day.

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47 minutes ago, Cosmic55 said:

 

On a different path, I really think BRP would do a great modern supernatural game. I'd love to see what White Wolf does, but simpler with BRP. The hard part is that White Wolf does a great job with the basic character concepts...you'd need some strong writing to compete with those iconic concepts, with the restraint to keep it simple. Talking about IP, kind of wonder if "Dark Shadows" (not Depp version) would be a neat start.

 

I think you’re right about BRP being right for modern supernatural. Hopefully After the Vampire Wars will be a success and we get to see additional supporting material.

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Thing is, you wouldn’t have to spring for a Dark Shadows license to do what its writers did in the first place.  Take Jane Eyre/Turn of the Screw style Gothic romance — isolated, eerie old setting with the PCs as newcomers trying to figure out what gives in a tight lipped community that has plenty of skeletons stuffed in plenty of closets.  So far we’re in Agatha Christie territory.  Next throw in local superstitions and maybe an ancient curse or two, a pinch of Hound of the Baskervilles.  Are the stories true?  Don’t know, but the fog, the dark trees, the steaming bogs and the growling incessant surf don’t help dispel them a bit.  Next, a dollop of seeming supernatural.  Strange noises and glimpses late at night, the children or the mansion staff acting oddly (or at least more odd than usual).  Personal belongings disappear, or pop up in places the investigators didn’t leave them.  Ghosts, or maybe the butler got caught before he could pawn them?  Well, gang, it looks like we’ve got another mystery on our hands. Finally, confront investigators with the real deal.  Crazy old Ma Murphy’s love potion actually works.  Lecherous Harry Binth can’t follow the female PCs through the herb garden because of that garlic patch.  The grocer’s daughter got chewed up by something on her way home late last night.  Is there a good reason that anteroom in the guest house was sealed off?  Maybe the PCs could open it back up and put in a jacuzzi.  What could possibly go wrong?

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8 hours ago, seneschal said:

Thing is, you wouldn’t have to spring for a Dark Shadows license to do what its writers did in the first place.

Yes, but then you loose out on the benefits of a licensed setting. There are plenty of good, original settings in RPGs, and plenty of settings that are "inspired by"/based on/rip off a well known setting or story. But they aren't the same thing. They don't interest and engage fans the the same way. 

 

8 hours ago, seneschal said:

 isolated, eerie old setting with the PCs as newcomers trying to figure out what gives in a tight lipped community that has plenty of skeletons stuffed in plenty of closets....

If you take out the Jane Eyre bit (which I did when I quoted you), you end up with the basic outline of Scooby-Doo. 

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38 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

If you take out the Jane Eyre bit (which I did when I quoted you), you end up with the basic outline of Scooby-Doo. 

I noticed that too. LOL I assumed it was intentional. It does draw attention to another great IP: "Supernatural", as in the tv series. Or "Friday the 13th: the Series", which is an under appreciated classic. Or how about a "Ripley's: Believe It or Not" game? :)

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48 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

If you take out the Jane Eyre bit (which I did when I quoted you), you end up with the basic outline of Scooby-Doo.

What can I say?  It’s a genre convention.  Also would describe Twin Peaks (the show, not the restaurant) or The Shadow Over Innsmouth or even Anne of Green Gables.  Just goes to show  that a gal on her own is better off if she has a large, friendly dog along.

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44 minutes ago, seneschal said:

What can I say?  It’s a genre convention.  Also would describe Twin Peaks (the show, not the restaurant) or The Shadow Over Innsmouth or even Anne of Green Gables.  Just goes to show  that a gal on her own is better off if she has a large, friendly dog along.

Yeah, mystery-detective-horror. The big difference with Dark Shadows was that the Supernatural Horror stuff turned out to be real. Heck, CoC the RPG ends up fairly close to Kolchak: The Nightstalker, another Dan Curtis creation. Come to think of it, a Dark Shadows type of campaign would probably work better as a CoC campaign. It could  expand CoC in such as way as to make a campaign more feasible.  With Lovecraft, it gets difficult to believe that investigators could survive long enough to have a campaign. 

I think the hard bits would be the keeping the mystery to the campaign (something that Dark Shadows had a hard time doing once it revealed that it had a real vampire, witch and werewolf) and the soap opera type elements. Things like,  who is (or wants to) sleep with who, petty jealousies,  and such are hard to do in an RPG-especially in one like RQ that has next to nothing to cover social interactions. 

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1 hour ago, Cosmic55 said:

I noticed that too. LOL I assumed it was intentional. It does draw attention to another great IP: "Supernatural", as in the tv series. Or "Friday the 13th: the Series", which is an under appreciated classic. Or how about a "Ripley's: Believe It or Not" game? :)

Or X-Files, or Kolchak: The Nightsltaker. The basic idea of investigators encountering the Superantural (real of fake) is a staple of both the detective and horror genres. 

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I think the hard bits would be the keeping the mystery to the campaign (something that Dark Shadows had a hard time doing once it revealed that it had a real vampire, witch and werewolf) and the soap opera type elements. Things like,  who is (or wants to) sleep with who, petty jealousies,  and such are hard to do in an RPG-especially in one like RQ that has next to nothing to cover social interactions. 

Dark Shadows took the Peter Parker route.  Sure, Barnabas Collins is a formidable undead being but he has to suffer all the usual indignities of being a soap opera character.  The girl he has the hots for and his jealous ex both show up in nubile reincarnated form at the same time. He wants to become human again but his doctor’s experimental cure ages him suddenly just when things were heating up in the romance department.  Meanwhile, the doctor has developed her own crush on him.  He has to maintain a secret identity as his own great-grandson while rivals and vampire hunters try to expose him.  Dracula never had to put up with such nonsense!  You almost feel sorry for him, or you would if he weren’t a malign predator.

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2 hours ago, seneschal said:

Dark Shadows took the Peter Parker route. 

Yeah, kinda. But is more like Spiderman took the soap opera route, and then added teen angst to it. 

2 hours ago, seneschal said:

 

You almost feel sorry for him, or you would if he weren’t a malign predator.

And that's just it. Barnabas isn't malign. At least once he started to reform.  He was probably the first of the reluctant/remorseful vampire characters. He'd live and let live if he could.

 

From an RPG perspective though, much like the the series itself, it's his condition and similar things that would be interesting. Most of the the usual soap opera tropes of the time probably wouldn't be all that interesting, or even work. Passions and personality traits could help there, though. But, without the actual Dark Shadows license (and we are talking about a 40+ year old  soap opera that is as old an dated as Moorcock's works, and somewhat less accessible) I think we'd be stomping right into World of Darkness territory. 

 

 

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Because the original was a daily serial, the slow-moving plots had plenty of time to build suspense and dread.  The big budget Dark Shadows remake with Ben Cross seemed overwrought as the writers threw every horror trope and cliche at the viewer, including the kitchen sink.  That’s probably why the Johnny Depp movie was a comedy; Collins had become the Wile E.Coyote of vampires.

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17 hours ago, seneschal said:

Because the original was a daily serial, the slow-moving plots had plenty of time to build suspense and dread.

And they didn't always work. I think it is one of those cases of where "you had to be there".  

17 hours ago, seneschal said:

 The big budget Dark Shadows remake with Ben Cross seemed overwrought as the writers threw every horror trope and cliche at the viewer, including the kitchen sink.

I think that was a case of having to escalate things. By the time of the remake the original series would have seemed pretty tame.

 

17 hours ago, seneschal said:

 That’s probably why the Johnny Depp movie was a comedy; Collins had become the Wile E.Coyote of vampires.

Partially. I think the original is a hard act to remake. Stuff that would work in the 60s and 70s wouldn't necessarily work today. Depp, apparently, hated the part. Making it a comedy might have a bit of an out for them. A parody isn't looked at as critically as a remake, and if it flops it doesn't get the same amount of flak that a serious remake that flops. Plus it's just not a good idea to try to turn 600 hours of a TV show into a 90 minute film. The original product staff and cast couldn't even pull that off.

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On 9/7/2018 at 2:48 PM, Atgxtg said:

If you take out the Jane Eyre bit (which I did when I quoted you), you end up with the basic outline of Scooby-Doo. 

I've thought that CoC is Scooby Doo with Mythos and without kids, for a long time.

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Partially. I think the original is a hard act to remake. Stuff that would work in the 60s and 70s wouldn't necessarily work today. Depp, apparently, hated the part. Making it a comedy might have a bit of an out for them. A parody isn't looked at as critically as a remake, and if it flops it doesn't get the same amount of flak that a serious remake that flops. Plus it's just not a good idea to try to turn 600 hours of a TV show into a 90 minute film. The original product staff and cast couldn't even pull that off.

But they did do a theatrical version:  House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971).  The much vaunted Dallas didnt get a pair of feature films (which is undoubtedly a good thing).

Edited by seneschal

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23 hours ago, seneschal said:

Dark Shadows took the Peter Parker route.  Sure, Barnabas Collins is a formidable undead being but he has to suffer all the usual indignities of being a soap opera character.  The girl he has the hots for and his jealous ex both show up in nubile reincarnated form at the same time. He wants to become human again but his doctor’s experimental cure ages him suddenly just when things were heating up in the romance department.  Meanwhile, the doctor has developed her own crush on him.  He has to maintain a secret identity as his own great-grandson while rivals and vampire hunters try to expose him.  Dracula never had to put up with such nonsense!  You almost feel sorry for him, or you would if he weren’t a malign predator.

Heh, my wife and I managed to get a bunch of the early tapes when we were overseas and the base library had more of the Dark Shadows series.  So, there we are, having fun watching the supernatural soap opera doing a couple of episodes a night when it did the origins arc.  We both went into absolute hysterics over the course of it.

My wife, who loves her soaps, enjoyed the plot twist.  In regular soaps where mere possession of the appropriate genitalia and expression of interest provides immediate impetus to jumping in the sack regardless of any demands of honor, loyalty, fidelity or love to be considered, virtually all the plot driving comes from the interplay of who bonked and who was bonked and when the various bonkings occurred (or you could consider "bonking" to equal to rutting like dogs in heat).  The root cause for all of the tragedy of Dark Shadows comes from Barnabas deciding to not jump into bed with the maid, when then escalated to the maid wanting him to spurn his fiancee to marry the maid and it devolved from there to a tragedy because a soap character failed to jump in bed with a willing partner.  For full disclosure, yes, Barnabas did bonk the maid long before when he was visiting Martinique, but he refused to do so again based on his current engagement to Josette.  From there, it devolves into Barnabas becoming a vampire.

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Poor Barney.  Done in by virtue!  All that backstory was revealed gradually in a time travel arc where the governess protagonist found herself both in the 1970s and in the days of the early American republic where young Collins’ problems began. The show switched back and forth between timelines.

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1 hour ago, seneschal said:

But they did do a theatrical version:  House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971).  The much vaunted Dallas didnt get a pair of feature films (which is undoubtedly a good thing).

Yes they did do it, but they weren't very good. I would't say that they "pulled it off" so much as they ran with their popularity.

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

I've thought that CoC is Scooby Doo with Mythos and without kids, for a long time.

Well, there is always Lithium. ;)

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It’s fun reminiscing about a favorite show but for our purposes here I guess the question is, is there enough going on in the world of Collinsport apart from the Barnabas saga to support an enjoyable RPG?  What would PCs be doing while the Collinses and their retainers went about their various shenanigans?  Is the Dark Shadows universe big and varied enough to let players do their own thing?

Edited by seneschal

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I've pondered writing a Gothic Lovecraft Country supplement for Call of Cthulhu partly inspired by Dark Shadows (and Poe, natch). One of the things I wanted to do was give all or most of the PCs some sort of secret that would be used as adventure seeds. The deep one or insane sibling locked in the attic, the weird ancestor portrait above the mantel, the family history of madness/devil worship/cannibalism/what-have-ye. I figured between setting the game in historical Lovecraft Country and these secrets you'd have enough to play with for awhile.

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14 hours ago, seneschal said:

It’s fun reminiscing about a favorite show but for our purposes here I guess the question is, is there enough going on in the world of Collinsport apart from the Barnabas saga to support an enjoyable RPG?  What would PCs be doing while the Collinses and their retainers went about their various shenanigans?  Is the Dark Shadows universe big and varied enough to let players do their own thing?

Okay, my Dark Shadows fu is fairly weak, but IIRC there were other critters around during the show as well.  It's not so important, but it is sometimes fun to get the feel, especially if your players have some knowledge.  So, you have the old house on the hill owned by the old family that the local town is named after with lots of old creepy locations nearby, which gives it a decent start as a location.  As for supporting a campaign, it has at least enough to support an arc.  It is only a bit over 200 miles from Boston & Salem, so multiple locations in "Lovecraft country" are within easy range.  If you mix in various other tropes from Lovecraft, it wouldn't be a bad area at all for a campaign with more "local" investigators charged with cleaning up the area around Bangor.  

Locatoins

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