Due to crummy weather, a cold I can't seem to shake and an impending, self-imposed deadline to finish The Chimera Strikes! #2, Game Night was canceled. I've only got a few more pages left to finish for Mike Indovina, which I'm hoping to have done before the dreaded Christmas Break, two weeks of utter chaos as my kids run rampant through the house hopped up on Holiday Cheer.
Since resuming Game Night a few weeks back, I've been trying to figure out what type of RPG campaign I wanted to run. Don't get me wrong, playing Black Samson is a blast, but I also enjoy running a game, the trouble is, I've been burned out for the past few years from decades of being Designated DM. This DM Block as it were has caused me to reflect upon just exactly what it is that has me in a creative bind where creating adventures is concerned. It's certainly not the lack of time I have to dedicate to such an endeavor. LORD knows I've got plenty of that, what with the various comic book projects I've got on my drawing board...literally.
Every time I sit down with a note book to jot down ideas for a game, I hit a brick wall. The spark just isn't there. What was it about those early teen years that made D&D marathons full of limitless possibilities come so natural? After all, I'm a wiser, more creative person these days than I ever was back then. Surely ideas should flow a freely as Mt. Dew on Game Night. Then, last night it hit me.
Boobs. It was while watching "Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell" on DVD that the epiphany struck. The imagery and inspiration for adventures fueled by the bad fantasy movies of the day that rode the wave of "Conan the Barbarian," stacks of wax by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden & Judas Priest, Saturday Mornings watching "Thundarr the Barbarian" as well as yearly calendars by masters such as Frazzetta & Boris all seemed to boil down to one thing. Boobs. Technically, that's two things, but you get the idea and maybe it wasn't boobs exactly, but they seemed to be everywhere you looked back then. Looking back, it was the cheesy naivete of the fantasy genre that was so great. And back then, D&D was a boxed set of rules (which usually concealed an issue of Easy Rider or Playboy), a handful of dice and a few guys who couldn't get girlfriends. Good times...
It's that same feeling of fantasticaly cheese-laden naivete that I'm hoping to recapture in my upcoming campaign of Wizards & Winchesters. What? Never heard of WW? Adding an "&" between the "Ws" is too much of a tongue-twister, but I digress. Originally, I was just gonna blow the dust off of my old D&D boxed set, set the doubtlessly-collectible copy of Easy Rider aside and have at it. Then, I found the one and only dot matrix copy of an RPG I created back in the 90s called Mercs, which we all had fun playing but just kinda fizzled after a few adventures. It's a basic enough set of rules that could really be applied to any genre of gaming. Thus, WW hit me.
The setting is this (keeping in mind I'm attempting to not over think it)...
In 1981 (the year I started gaming) Earth suffers a full-scale attack from alien invaders whose primary arsenal was a terrible Terra-forming bomb and an army of lizard men. Humanity is all but wiped out, blasted back to nearly the Stone Age, rounded up by the lizard men and enslaved by the invaders. Meanwhile, Earth teemed with new lifeforms. Lesser beings evolved in generations rather than millions of years. Revered and feared as sorcerers, the invaders' reign is short-lived. With the rediscovery of firearms, mankind won a successful revolt against their tyrannical masters, forcing them to flee to distant lands and deep underground.
Now, a thousand years later, amidst forests teeming with terrible new creatures, evil sorcerers and hordes of nomadic lizard men, mankind has built walled cities in attempt to reclaim his place in the world.
So, there you have it, the basic premise for my upcoming campaign. I'll keep you posted as to how things go.
Oh, and for the record, "Nyphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell," a 1991 Troma Team production was so bad I had to watch it twice to truly appreciate it. Sadly, it didn't exactly deliver in the Boob Department. Lots of bad acting, stop-motion animation and an over-baring soundtrack, though. I highly recommend it.
Keep it here, boppers...