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Author Topic: help me brainstorm for my new military/horror campaign  (Read 2623 times)
GlassJaw
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« on: August 02, 2007, 07:39:39 PM »

I've been pitching Spycraft to one of my groups and it looks like they've taken the bait.  I proposed a few campaign concept but there's one that everyone seems to really like.  I've described it as a mix of the following:

Predator
Tomb Raider
A-Team
The Relic
Resident Evil
MacGuyver
The Thing

Using the campaign styles in the SC book, it will probably be a Military campaign primarily with some Horror and Pulp thrown in.

What I know I want the campaign to have:

It will be modern/near-future.
The PC's will be para-military.  They will most likely be freelance but will have close contacts that they deal with frequently.
I want firepower and gunplay.
I want the ability to include non-human adversaries.
I want the campaign to span the globe and therefore be able to put the PC's in a wide range of settings and environments.
There won't be any caster classes.  Any "magic" will be in the form of relics, tomes, etc.

I'm going to start off with a couple of simple and unrelated missions but I'd like to introduce some clues or campaign seeds and see what interests the players. 

This is what I'd like help on - some possible long-term campaign story arcs.

That said, I'd like to avoid some of the obvious "cliches": alien invasion/body snatchers, genetic experiments/super-soldiers, virus breakout, dormant gods rising again, etc.

Any ideas?  Thanks in advance!
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Psion
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 08:10:52 PM »

No military horror inspiration list should exclude Aliens if it expects to be taken seriously. Wink
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007, 08:25:36 PM »

Can I move wherever you live and come play in your game?  I can't get my own group to play Spycraft for more than one mission.
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GlassJaw
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007, 09:37:35 PM »

No military horror inspiration list should exclude Aliens if it expects to be taken seriously. Wink

Trust me, I'm a HUGE Aliens fan.  For this campaign, it's a bit too "future" and I'm trying to avoid some of the iconic "hooks" as I mentioned.  From a GM'ing standpoint however, I'll definitely have the Aliens mood and style in mind when designing encounters and running the game.
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GlassJaw
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2007, 09:38:19 PM »

Can I move wherever you live and come play in your game?  I can't get my own group to play Spycraft for more than one mission.

Are you planning to leave Ohio anytime soon?   Wink
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glimmerrat
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2007, 01:42:23 AM »

The Xenomorphs can represent frozen in a tomb in suspended animation for 11,000 years since the start of the last ice-age. Look at the AVP movie.

The Thing is also a good choice for really sticky, visceral horror - you win kudos points from me already just for suggesting it.
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2007, 06:03:36 AM »

No military horror inspiration list should exclude Aliens if it expects to be taken seriously. Wink

Trust me, I'm a HUGE Aliens fan.  For this campaign, it's a bit too "future" and I'm trying to avoid some of the iconic "hooks" as I mentioned.  From a GM'ing standpoint however, I'll definitely have the Aliens mood and style in mind when designing encounters and running the game.

One of the more visceral ways to invoke horror in your game, and this works well with a military group, or really any group, is the feeling of being trapped.  For example, in Aliens, the marines are seemingly trapped on the colony world when their dropship is destroyed.  No amount of guns or brawn will fix the fact that they cannot leave the planet.  Imagine being on an island with no way to leave, or in a deep dark cave with no obvious way out.  Horror has to invoke some sort of fear, and helplessness is a very real sort of fear that's not all that hard to conjure.
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GlassJaw
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 09:12:49 AM »

The Xenomorphs can represent frozen in a tomb in suspended animation for 11,000 years since the start of the last ice-age. Look at the AVP movie.

Hmm, I forgot about AvP (which I liked).  Good call.  Same can be said about The Thing in that it was modern but still involved an alien horror.

Quote
The Thing is also a good choice for really sticky, visceral horror - you win kudos points from me already just for suggesting it.

w00t!   Grin
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 10:45:50 AM »

You're essentially talking the "Base Under Seige" scenario that was pretty much a staple of classic Doctor Who stories like The Moonbase, Horror of Fang Rock, The Cave Monsters (aka The Sillurians), Earthshock and Tomb of the Cybermen.
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2007, 01:06:43 PM »

So we're talkin' non-cliche plot hooks for a military-horror game. Huh.
  • Robots. Criminally underused as bad guys in contemporary horror, but ripe for exploitation. See Saturn 3 for an example of futuristic trapped horror featuring robots (and a frequently nekkid chick).
  • Lethal memes. What if All Your Base Are Belong to Us actually took over your brain? Who would make such a thing and why?
  • Atlantis is pissed, and their wizards are going to raze Manhattan. The few wizards the PCs stumble upon speak of a grand plot to raise A) the Kraken, B) that Lovecraftian horror we so know and love, C) an army of dead seamen to destroy polluters. Ecoterrorists on a grand scale.
  • Uplifted animals as foes. " 'It's only a puny rabbit!' he said. 'That's no rabbit,' and he took out his flamethrower…" Nothing's scarier than when the obviously good go bad. Combine with a child genius as the mastermind and confront the PCs with horrible nightmares post-mission.
  • Investigate other mythologies. In Chinese myth, there is a serum that makes one immortal as well as hero who can snuff out the sun with an arrow. Him, reincarnated and plotting the end of the world, would make a deadly foe, and the former a solid McGuffin.
  • Dig through your D&D books and yoink the artifacts. A vorpal sword? Meh. The sword of Kas? Now we're talking. What if Gygax was right and all that crap still exists?
That should do for now.
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NezMaster
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2007, 01:14:44 PM »

…" Nothing's scarier than when the obviously good go bad.

/hijack - There was an old Fox show called Werewolf, in the very first Fox season ever. It was basically a furry version of teh hulk..but anyway

the opening line of the entire series was narrated by Chuck Conners (who played a bounty hunting werewolf)....

"In an old story called Alice In Wonderland, a girl wandered through the garden and the flowers spoke to her. In the real world, if a flower spoke to a man..that man would know FEAR, because when reality is nothing like we expect it to be, when the rules all go away, that's when we become truly afraid."

That's like my favorite opening tv show line ever...sorry..you made me think of it.
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Antilles
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2007, 05:22:31 AM »

  • Lethal memes. What if All Your Base Are Belong to Us actually took over your brain? Who would make such a thing and why?

Didn't one of the Global Frequency comics involve a decent take on memes?
(click to show/hide)
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ThunderMonkey
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2007, 03:06:59 PM »

"Dog Soldiers" may be another good reference as well as O.C.T.
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GlassJaw
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2007, 07:46:09 AM »

Lots of goof stuff - thanks for the help. 

I've been tossing around the idea of doing something with nanotech/nanobots, maybe even some kind of nanovirus, possibly of alien design, that alters human physiology.  I figure I can do a lot with that: supersoldiers, zombies, mutants, etc.

I also like the idea of a search for some kind of artifact, or a relic that was thought lost has resurfaced.    I've also always been curious about the Nazi fascination with the occult so maybe that could factor in somehow (although that could be deemed cliche).
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OverNinja
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2007, 10:05:08 AM »

Check SFA for one look at Nazi fascination with occult. Another is Return to Castle Wolfenstein (admittedly Historic campaing; but it has latex clad Paranormal Division chicks Tongue).
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