A new 'Gaming Epiphany' came to me the other day true believers and it looks like I know what I'm going to run with my New Jersey group.
I felt really bummed that for various reasons we're not able to continue our Ghostbusters game. I really liked that game. It was a comedy with very serious moments and deep stories (NJ Unique Feel#1). The characters were mechanically simple, as in made using simple rules, yet I know more about them after 4 or 5 sessions than Star Trek: Voyager's characters after 4 or 5 seasons (NJ Unique Feel#2). It had everything, often in one session - Action, Adventure, Mystery, Humor and even Romance (or the potential for it) (NJ Unique Feel #3).
So I thought, how do I keep all that in a game we've never really played together before and that will appeal to everyone involved. Is there a way to incorporate all of this into something I've always wanted to run but haven't...
OMG! I got it! Eureka! Gaming Epiphany!
Imagine the universe is a cross between The Incredibles, Megamind, Despicable Me and the Venture Brothers. An exaggerated cold war, 1960's-1970's Silver Age Superhero comic book world.
And you? You're a goon. A henchman. A minion to a C-List Supervillian.
Largely based on the free 24 hour RPG called Witless Minion, I've sort of Adam-ized the game into an unholy mess of homebrew craziness. It's what I do.
Perhaps you have to steal the Helm of Osiris from a dig site in Egypt or learn All Man'sTM secret identity. Perhaps another villain is after the boss's Molecular Annihilation Zega Beam Cannon. Maybe its a simple snatch and grab of that nosy reporter Missy Montauk. Of course, she's All Man's girlfriend. He can lift tanks. You have a dart gun. This might not be pretty.
For once, these guys are the bad guys! Well, maybe that's just their day jobs. What will happen in the future is anyone's guess. Will they make their way up the ranks to Supervillain? Become Heroes? Find better jobs where you don't get baked by heat rays?
The mechanics of the game are pretty simple but quirky. You are basically a normal person with nifty gear based on the motif of the Evil Mastermind you work for. I have a bunch of villains and the players, as a group, will pick one to work for at the start of the game. The key is to help the team complete their assignments to gain the villain's favor and get promoted. Also, you want to stay on the bad guy's good side so he doesn't feed you to his mutant, hybrid Gorilla-Sharks.
As the game goes on you'll get better gear, more skills and possibly snag some of the scratch or high tech items for yourself (I mean, if you're gonna strike out on your own some day you'll need weird science devices of your own). Maybe get exposed to something and gain superpowers? Hey we can't all get rocketed from a doomed alien world y'know.
This could be the most awesomely, awesome piece of awesomeness I've ever tried to make awesome.
Time will tell.