Monday, August 04, 2008

The GM, The Mind's Eye, And Great Things To Do To Spandex

Oh! Boy. I'm liking this a lot right now. Maybe it's the meds, I dunno. Probably not.

One of my strongest tools as a GM is having a good visual grasp on my campaigns. If I can picture my game, I can inhabit and describe that world, and I can get a whole feel for it more than I can with any other resource. If I can picture it, it can exist. My C&C game is all Elmore, Parkinson, Caldwell and Easley; that cyberpunk game I never get around to looks like a Thompson Twins video shot on the Blade Runner set.

So. What's up with this SF game I've been yammering about?

I explained my new SF adventure setting to my wife last night, over a casual and relaxing game of Fluxx. I didn't get very far into the explanation when she said, "Like Buck Rogers!"

And the words...they pushed a button in my brain. "Yeah," I replied, gathering momentum; "More like the show and less like the original comics." (She said she doesn't know the old comics anyway, so we were on the same page from the get-go.)

I zeroed in on the look -- and that gave me the feel.

The game I'm picturing feels kind of how I remember that old Buck Rogers show feeling, only with a bigger budget and better writing. I haven't actually seen the show in a long time, and when I went to buy the DVD set it had been discontinued by Wal-Mart, but I still get a "right" feeling from it. (Erin Gray gives me a different feeling, but I digress.) The show was mentioned in a related discussion on The RPG Site, and I think I'm starting to feel the connections.

Now...I'm not going whole-hog on this "Buck Rogers TV Show" angle. I don't want a guest appearance by Arnold Jackson or a robot with a metallic glans for a head. No no no. I just want --

Okay, here it is: I want that late-70s/early 80s post-Star Wars wahoo feel with a solid pulp core and no damn camp. More SF than fantasy, but definitely rubber science. Yes, I am totally down with the Star Frontiers flavor, despite never having played it and my recurring ability to forget to have my copy of Star Frontiers Digitally Remastered printed and bound. I am circling other game systems, however.

Really, I want to talk about that, too, but it's better if I stay on topic for now and get to matters of system choice and all that later.

But for now, let's finish this post off solidly on-topic, shall we?

I only made it about 30 minutes into this movie.