Things Begging to be Used in a Game Somewhere

edited June 2014 in Play Advice
This is a place for dumping stuff you come across that just cries out to be used in a game setting, campaign, module, one-shot, character or storyline. Hopefully somebody will do something cool with it and we'll read about it later in the Actual Play category.

* UNNECESSARY NOTE: It goes without saying (so I'm saying it): You shouldn't put your cherished babies or betrotheds here. More like that weird cousin you once met who you kinda wish you got to know better.
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Comments

  • edited June 2014
    Every one of these five weird noises is begging to be used in a game somewhere:

  • I love the flow of information in Hanabi. I don't know how to work it in to an RPG, and maybe it's already been done (Penny for my thoughts?) but I'd be excited to see more of it.

    Cool idea for a thread, by the way.
  • szpszp
    edited June 2014
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    I found this image first on Reddit. Somebody took a photo of the setting sun and the brightness made the camera glitch, or something like that.

    Ever since I saw this, I wanted to make something about a gaping hole in reality that ripped up in the sky.
  • Oooh, nice thread. /sub for now while I think it over. I'll get back to you...........
  • Since it doesn't seems like my group will ever play a game of Don't Rest Your Head and I myself haven't ever been able to figure out a good idea for a session, I leave this here.
  • I love the flow of information in Hanabi. I don't know how to work it in to an RPG, and maybe it's already been done (Penny for my thoughts?) but I'd be excited to see more of it.
    A charged social situation might be an interesting way to run it. Where everyone can see the lay of things for other people.
  • Ooh. I also will follow with interest, and contribute soon.
  • edited June 2014
    Something absolutely must be done with James Tilly Matthews and the Air Loom Gang. He was a real person with a real clandestine past, and his strange ideas became the first recorded conception of a "mind control machine". Plenty of history to tie him to. If you want to ultimately explain Tilly's ideas as mere madness, read the entire essay here. If you want the Air Loom Gang to be real, use only the first half of the essay and ignore the psychiatric explanations by Dr. Haslam. Finally, if you want to whip out a last conspiratorial twist, you could have everybody believe Haslam, but then toss in a bit of this here.
  • edited July 2014
    Another mystery from history... In 1942 Navy lieutenant Ernest Cody and ensign Charles Adams piloted a blimp out of San Francisco into the Pacific, looking for Japanese subs. A few hours later the blimp drifted back to land, empty. The parachutes and life raft were in their proper places and the radio was in working order, but there was no trace of Cody or Adams.

    image

    http://boingboing.net/2014/07/17/the-mystery-of-the-disappearin.html?utm_content=buffercafde&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  • Six legendary weapons, each with a distinct, weird power, taking appropriate shape in each era (swords in the Middle Ages, six-shooters in the Wild West), fought over by various factions, with individual characters caught in the middle.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sixth_Gun
  • edited July 2014
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    "As if it couldn't be any more horrifying, The Clown Motel shares a lot with a cemetery full of gold miners who died from a plague." - https://roadtrippers.com/blog/americas-scariest-motel-is-haunted-by-hundreds-of-clowns
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    James Creedy hitched a ride with Project Red-Sands to take this set of photos from a these WWII era sea-forts. They are gun platforms positioned on stilts in the shallow waters of the Solent. They've been abandoned and rusting since then and are very dangerous places to access and probably even more dangerous to go inside.
  • Oh come on, Aslf, that's obviously just a screenshot from one of the later Myst games.

    Meanwhile, how about these mutant hybrid animals? Maybe they should make an owl+bear...

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  • AUGH! I CANNOT UNSEE IT!!!!!
  • Oh, yeah, they did the Owlbear already. It might not be scary enough, though.

    image

    And also:

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    and

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    The ones you chose were better, though!
  • Earlier this year I read this wikipedia article and thought "This would be a fantastic backdrop for a game or scenario."

    In the Victorian era, orchids became tremendously popular and the demand for them was immense. This led to the creation of a new profession of orchid hunting. These guys would go to the farthest flung corners of the globe to search remote jungles for orchids. So, of course, they faced disease, raging rivers, wild animals, head hunters... all of the normal jungle explorer fare, and in addition, they had to watch out for one another, too, because it was a very cutthroat business.

    Check out the wikipedia article, it's a really interesting read:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchid_hunting
  • The interesting fact that there is no theoretical limit to how far time dilation can be pushed as you approach the speed of light. At a high enough percentage of lightspeed, a day of subjective time could be long enough in planetary time for whole species to evolve and go extinct.
  • Oh, also, Object Buffy, aka 2004 XR190.
    http://www.universetoday.com/11189/buffy-the-kuiper-belt-object/

    Buffy has a very unusual orbit, so unusual that it's not hard to speculate that it could be both artificial, and deliberately hard to spot. Although it's estimated to be quite large, that is based on how much light it reflects, and if it was, say, a big disha antennae type thing, then it would reflect a lot more than the rocky body that is assumed in those calculations.

    Either some kind of UFO conspiracy thing, or some relatively near-future scifi thing, could easily hang an 'alien presence' hook on it.
  • edited August 2014
    And now for something completely different - odd dice mechanic to be used in your game: Writer's Dice.

    image

    I have toyed with the idea of using it in Savage Worlds, but it could be used in any system that uses D6s. Just designate one d6 to be the writer's die and narrate based on the roll.
  • I love the flow of information in Hanabi. I don't know how to work it in to an RPG, and maybe it's already been done (Penny for my thoughts?) but I'd be excited to see more of it.
    A charged social situation might be an interesting way to run it. Where everyone can see the lay of things for other people.
    There's an acting game where one person leaves the room and the others decide who they are. Then they come back in and have to work it out based on the way other people treat them. Kind of like a reverse Party Quirks. Give everyone the character sheets for the other players, but not their own character.

    Could work in a comedy dungeon crawl where each character is trying to use info from the others to work out what the heck he's good at.
    Could use it in a more classical situation where characters have the ability to see each other's future but not they're own.
    Could work in a social situation where other players are allowed to contradict what you say about yourself (and have what they say be the truth). (Wow, all my player safety alarms went off at once there)

    The trick would be to limit the ability (or the inclination) of players to compare notes about their character. Hanabi does it using very strict communication. Something a bit more sophisticated or self-motivating would be better for an rpg.
  • Apologies for the resolution

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  • edited August 2014
    WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY, KENNETH?
    The official explanation clearly makes no sense. I call coverup. Could have been about this for all we know.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Rather#.22Kenneth.2C_what_is_the_frequency.3F.22

    And now we rock.
  • edited August 2014
    The Dropa Stone Discs
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    Alleged Discovery — Chi Pu Tei, a professor of archaeology at Beijing University, and his students were on an expedition to explore a series of caves in the pathless Himalayan mountains of the remote Bayan-Kara-Ula in Qinghai on the border of China and Tibet. The caves may have been artificially carved to be a system of tunnels and underground storerooms. The walls were squared and glazed, as if cut into the mountain with great heat.

    They found many neat rows of tombs with short 4 ft 4 in inch skeletons buried within. The skeletons had abnormally big heads, and small, thin, fragile bodies. A member of the team suggested that these might be the remains of an unknown species of mountain gorilla. Prof. Chi Pu Tei was said to respond, “Who ever heard of apes burying one another?”

    There were no epitaphs at the graves, but instead hundreds of one foot wide stone discs (“Dropa Stones”) were found having 3/4 inch wide holes in their centers. On the walls were carved pictures of the rising sun, moon, stars, the land, mountains, and lines of pea-sized dots connecting the earth with the sky. Along with the discs, the cave drawings had been determined to be about 12,000 years old.

  • edited September 2014

    South Pole Ice Tunnels

    "What many do not know, however, is that beneath the expanse of high-tech buildings, communications facilities, and even an airport complete with an ice-runway, there lies a complex web of tunnels carved out of the ice itself. Completed in 2002, these tunnels were created to convey fresh water and effluent to and from the new “elevated station” buildings.

    Since that time, adventurous station personnel have descended into the tunnels (the temperature of which hovers just below -60°F/-51°C) to create personal memorials to a wide array of Antarctic experiences. Some of these shrines commemorate specific Antarctic seasons or completed work projects, and some are are just silly."

  • edited September 2014
    This is controversial and verges on the political... which makes it perfect for a high-powered dark modern fantasy game...
    Why Do So Many Indian Farmers Commit Suicide?
    The introduction of genetically engineered seeds, and the coercion of Indian farmers to use them, has led to the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history. In India, it's been estimated that a farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes, typically by ingesting pesticide.
    and it's spreading with further distribution...
    [in] France a farmer commits suicide every two days
    So much so that...
    poisoning by pesticide has actually become the leading method of suicide around the world, according to the World Health Organization.
    But why? The official explanation is crop failures due to GMO seeds, which leaves the farmers in financial ruin. But to my eyes it starts to resemble a particularly nasty episode of "Supernatural" - maybe it's not just about economics. Maybe there's a demon involved. Maybe there's something in the seeds that takes control of the farmers...

  • edited October 2014
    While engaging in interstellar hops throughout the cosmos, it's nice to know there are lots of potential places to make a pit stop. They're dark, cold, and probably without atmospheres, but Rogue Planets are FAR more common than we once imagined...
    https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/throwback-thursday-most-planets-in-the-universe-are-homeless-ad8cdce4d468

  • edited January 2015
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    'nuff said.

  • edited January 2015
    Inspired by Everyone is John:

    Everyone is a Rob is a humorous, competitive roleplaying game about playing
    the various personalities of Rob, an insane man desperately trying to sell DirecTV. One
    participant is the GM, or, in Everyone is a Rob lingo, "Everyone Who's Not a Rob." All of
    the other players are versions of Rob trying to derail the real Rob.

    Hilarity ensues.

    previously.tv/television/directvs-rejected-rob-lowes/

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  • edited January 2015
    OMG this isn't just a game session, it's a whole fucking game...
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    Controversial DNA startup wants to let customers create creatures
    In Austen Heinz’s vision of the future, customers tinker with the genetic codes of plants and animals and even design new creatures on a computer. Then his startup, Cambrian Genomics, prints that DNA quickly, accurately and cheaply. “Anyone in the world that has a few dollars can make a creature, and that changes the game,” Heinz said. “And that creates a whole new world.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Controversial-DNA-startup-wants-to-let-customers-5992426.php#photo-7342818

  • edited February 2018
    http://ensemble.va.com.au/Treister/HEXEN2/HEXEN_2.html
    HEXEN 2.0 looks into histories of scientific research behind government programmes of mass control, investigating parallel histories of countercultural and grass roots movements.

  • edited February 2015
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  • Nicolas Lizotte's Jarl Vader:

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    And pretty much everything on /r/SpecArt and /r/ImaginaryLandscapes
  • YsAdamsson - that is a spectacular find.
    I'm more terrified of that thing than I am of the original, for sure.
  • edited February 2015
    Anything that wears a wookie as a cape is pretty terrifying in my book. And that's not to mention the Jarl's white-hot sword.

    Also, I think it's a good reification of something I always like to see and want to do more of myself: reimagining stories, characters, etc. in a new way. For example, why not a prehistoric Noir game? Or, hey, does anybody have time for Lord of the Rings only cyberpunk?
  • I've always thought that The Cattle Raid of Cooley and surrounding stories would be a cool seed for an Old West campaign.
  • I've always thought that The Cattle Raid of Cooley and surrounding stories would be a cool seed for an Old West campaign.

    I'm already trying to make something out of that too!

    http://story-games.com/forums/discussion/comment/440993

    if you want to share some ideas, maybe i can work them in!
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    This photograph from 1941 was taken as South Fork Bridge in British Columbia, Canada was reopened. Not such a mysterious scene, you might think, but take a look at the man toward the right of the photo. With the guy sporting shades, a cool haircut and what looks like a modern-style T-shirt, it’s easy to see why he’s been called the “time-traveling hipster.”
    Clickbaity source: http://scribol.com/anthropology-and-history/mysterious-people-captured-film/2/
  • edited March 2017
    Five of the most toxic places on Earth, including the US's own nuclear sarcophagus that could rival Chernobyl, the most poisonous town in America, and a Soviet biological weapons facility abandoned on a mysterious island...

    h/t to Eric Fabiaschi via G+
  • Five of the most toxic places on Earth
    I'd never heard of Centralia Pennsylvania before. A ghost town of that still has 10 residents, prone to sudden flaming sinkholes, where poisonous gases leak up from an underground fire that could burn for another 250 years? Wow.

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    Yes, that is a SLIDE RULE in the space pirate's mouth.
  • I wouldn't mind playing in that universe. :-)
  • I just watched Pacific Rim. Mind-linked pilots steering a mecha and doing better the closer they are to each other seems incredibly storygameable and I can't believe I haven't found a game on that theme already, besides Bliss Stage which isn'tquite it.
  • This steam-punkish music video:

    (actually, I believe this is the original video. I just liked the song above better)
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