Thursday, August 11, 2011
My Blue Heaven
Sorry it's taken me so long to continue with this post and the last but I am totally wiped out from work and what appear to be allergies. I've never really had serious hayfever or pollen allergies but damn if I am not feeling like they've joined forces and hit me with some kind of combo attack.
So...where were we? Ah, Grandpa, Nanny, Papa and what my theory on the nature of Smurf existence does for a Smurfs campaign...
Let's say it's the 8th century and a dark curse has been placed over this small kingdom nestled somewhere in the region of French Belgium.
A good natured wizard tries to summon forest spirits to counteract the black magic. Low and behold, fading into view in the morning mist is a village of mushroom cottages. In the moment it takes the old wizard to catch his breath at this wonderous site he thought might only be legend, a tiny, blue skinned man with a beard comes out of one house. This is Papa Smurf (actually Grandpa but Papa at the time).
Using his mystical powers and his keen insight into the true hearts of Humans, Papa determines this man and his plight worthy of help. He summons into being 99 near identical blue, male fellows with phrygian caps. The Smurfs.
The Smurfs and the Wizard have many exciting adventures but all too soon the village fades back into the mist.
This happens oft and again many times through the centuries. Sometimes a wizard will summon the Smurfs only to pass on or be felled by evil. Perhaps his apprentice can summon them. Indeed! But alas, his power is not strong enough the first time he tries and they fade too quickly.
Now I see Papa/Grandpa as a shrewd and adventurous fellow. What if he gives an allied mage the formula and incantation to create a female Smurf. Why? Papa/Grandpa knows their time on this Earth is limited (in a quite literal fashion) and he needs help raising the 99 Smurfs so that they can help fight the dark forces of the Cursed Land. This is my personal idea for the origin of Nanny. Grandpa wanted a Nanny Smurf and got someone to make one. Unfortunately, it's entirely possible this spell fell into the wrong hands and/or was lost. This is how Gargamel was able to create Smurfette.
Eventually, Papa/Grandpa discovers The Long Life Stone (called The Life Long Stone in some translations - I actually like that better), the magical crystal that maintains the Smurfs' long lives in the mortal world (time is different in Faerie), needs to be magically recharged. So, he officially takes the name Grandpa, dubs the most magically gifted of his Smurfs Papa (the Papa Smurf we all know and love) and he (Grandpa) leaves the village on his quest to empower the stone once more. Nanny follows him but gets lost, eventually becoming trapped in the enchanted Castle Captor.
The next time the village fades, Grandpa is no where near it (and neither is Nanny). Having walked beyond the Cursed Lands, Grandpa does not disappear when the Mushroom Village returns to the realm of the Fae.
The coming and going of the village is a great frustration to Papa Smurf. He wants his little Smurfs to learn and grow. Luckily, an encounter with a young knight-squire from the nearby kingdom and his court jester friend give Papa Smurf (and the Smurfs) a chance. Apparently, a magically flute, originally created by the Smurfs, has been stolen by a wicked rogue. The Smurfs need to create a new one to counter the originals effects. As told in, The Smurfs and The Magic Flute.
Now my thinking is that this was the first step toward weakening and eventually getting rid of the curse plaguing the Curse Lands. The more victories for good, the more good done, the weaker and less powerful the dark powers become.
So this makes a Smurf RPG campaign one part light-heart comedy in the smurfiest of Smurf traditions, one part classic Medieval Fantasy campaign and one part fairy tale/folklore game. Basically, it's Perfect!
I can easily see the PCs as being heretofore unheard of Smurfs sent on various missions by Papa Smurf, Grandpa or even other Smurfs who really need their help. Even various woodland creatures or other faeries or magical entities like Wood Nymphs, Mother Nature or Father Time.
Perhaps they are privy to the workings of the court of the local kingdom since they can easily sneak in to the castle undetected (or at least difficult to detect). Mix in a bit of real world history and you've got Ars Magica with Smurfs!
OK, next up - the actual game rules!