Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Licensing Be Damned (pt II)

After my last post, I got a lot of comments about possible other materials that could be added. Some of them I really liked and I wanted to talk more on, plus add a few more.

Ghost in the Shell

Whether you're a fan of the original 1996 movie, the manga, the Stand Alone Complex iteration or whatever incarnation this prolific series has become synonymous with the cyberpunk genre. Set near the end of the 21st century, Ghost in the Shell focuses on the actions of Public Security Section 9, a clandestine government military for a post World War 4 Japan. It's a world where most of the population has wired their brains to be digita, communication is a cross between telepathy and video calls and with that comes the threat of hacking. Androids, cyborgs are replete throughout the series. It's action packed and never pulls it's punches.

One of the draws in GitS is that, at it's core, it is highly philosophical. Some episodes of Stand Alone Complex (which describes a trend in behavior that cannot be traced to one individual creation) are in themselves a treatise on existentialit concepts. What is the soul, when everything is digital? What happens when we drift in the Net for so long, are we native to our bodies any more?

Ghost in the Shell is a great game for a Salon LARP, I could see scenes being done like some of the airsoft LARPs in Europe, but the special effects are too wide scope and prevalent to be done as an immersive game. Our technology would have to be improved for us to even mimic their technology.


Full Metal Alchemist

In the same vein, you have Full Metal Alchemist. Full Metal Alchemist is set in an alternate world where alchemy, not science, is the predominate means of understanding the physical nature of the world. This has lead to bionic arms and improved technology in a very steam/diesel punk fashion. Of course, where there is Alchemy, there is the hunt for more. Gold, power, and Immortality.

FMA is all about where the line is in what should be done, and what the cost is during that. The first line in the series is about the law of Equivalent Exchange. To create, something of equal or greater value must be lost. This is evoked, subverted, examined and deconstructed throughout as powers vie for truth, redemption, and salvation.

Actually, FMA has a lot of similarities in Mage: The Awakening. Universal Truth and the discovery of where the line is and how much of yourself you're willing to give up. It also has the added effect of their being this rule that, with enough research and experience, you can do damned near anything. Creative Thaumaturgy, it's called. If it makes rational sense, you can probably do it. I've seen people make trucks in minutes, or search for magic in the city by magically hacking the streetlights. The magic of Full Metal Alchemist is about possibilities and exceeding those possibilities.

As such, again, the special effects is too much for a boffer larp or a Nordic Style, but it would do wonders as a Salon Larp, especially with the factions and antagonists that it contains.

Harry Potter
This was mentioned to me after the last blog post, and I sat there gobsmacked as to why I had never thought of it. Setting a game in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be completely fun and enjoyable. We all know the story, we haven't been raised in a damn hole for the past decade. Wizards, Witches, School, the struggle between pureblood wizards and mortal/muggles.

This can go in a lot of ways. Do we do a LARP based in Hogwarts, and in that case this becomes a school LARP? that could be interesting. Would we set it in America, and the Salem School? Would we play before, during or after the events of the series? JK Rowling made a world that was only barely touched, limited by the knowledge and experiences of the main character. We could expand that out a bit.

Depending on what you wanted to do with it, this would make a for a great Salon or Boffer style. Salon styles focusing more on the action or the social aspects of it. A boffer LARP would be interesting, in that with the longer amounts of time you COULD do a school day or so at Hogwarts/whatever school. Salon style I could see as "The adventures of...".


24/La Femme Nikita
It struck me a little bit as I was going through my Netflix and reading about Panopticorp that we could do a Nordic Style game based on the series 24. The of the show is that it is in relative "real time", and that each hour of the show is an actual hour of the day and the season is one whole day. During that day Counter Terrorism Unit Agent Jack Bauer (played by the intense Kiefer Sutherlan) must save the area from a massive threat, meanwhile in CTU headquarters, while everyone is doing their jobs, someone is invariably the mole, someone is trying to take over and there is a bunch of polticking going around.

So why not have CTU as a Nordic game? Set it up for a 30 or so hour game, have players develop these specialists, agents, analysts and liaisons while also helping the invariable mission of the Jack Bauer-expy.

Likewise we could base it off of La Femme Nikita, the USA produced show starring Peta Wilson, in which she plays an black ops agent who was recruited when accused of murder. Her death faked and her records expunged, she and her entire co-workers are all men and women who can be killed at a single notice, so all of them try to do their best and sometimes one up one another. It's similar to 24 (both were produced by Joel Surnow) but LFN would be considered a much more 'morally bankrupt' version.

The trick would be the equipment. Computers, software, capital and money. I'd love to get my hands on the people from Monitor Celestra and figure out how they did it. This would be an impressive undertaking...

But I'm sure someone is willing to try.