Frankenstein in Baghdad Q10: Gaming

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"The djinn told him he had one important mission left."

What can you crib from this book to use in games? Characters? Themes? Events? Setting? Or something else?

Comments

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    Commenting so I get to see what others write...

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    It's a window into a great setting, but one that I think needs a fair bit of effort by all concerned to do it justice. These clearly historical games need to be treated with respect, to respect the real people the game is about. (I recall the prep we all did before a game of Grey Ranks because of needing to be respectful.)

    The close attention to the theme of justice suggest that a tightly designed story game could be engaging. Some of the early Forge type games, or perhaps some of the recent Nordic Larps.

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    Yeah, I really like the justice theme and I think it's well worth trying to build something around. A supers game would likely work. Characters play superheroes, but their actions keep pushing them further into murky moral territory. How far will they go to enact their perceived justice?

    I also really like the Frankenstein theme - it's something you could adapt to a lot of settings. A sort of gestalt entity made up of people you've wronged in the past? That's a bit of a twist on the 'revenant' story, which would normally be a single being. Another interesting way of looking at it is that a hand-made being is composed of parts, and shares both the goods and ills of those parts. That could be interesting, too. What if the franken-being was made from the dead PCs of previous campaigns - would the players recognize themselves?

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    Oh, and I'd definitely like to play in Baghdad, the setting - but I'd need way more info. That said, I think you could take some of what's in this book and import it into a 'Thief of Baghdad' campaign.

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    @Apocryphal thanks for suggesting this book - I never would have read it without the club, and I'm glad I did.

    I agree that the City of Baghdad is a place I'd like to play in, but the amount of prep is over-whelming. It's not just the GM either - the PCs have to invest pretty heavily in order to make it like home. So one thing I would like to crib is role-playing in the PC's home-lands.

    I wonder if a game like Pendragon (I think), where PCs are made of descendants of PCs might do something like this. Never played it. Also wonder if Ars Magica might not be able to produce a golem effect where players play each other's parts.

    And while I'm not sure about justice, I am more and more interested in playing something about honour, courage, and fear, self-sacrifice. Which I think provide a negative background to this book.

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    Just pondering here, as a result of @BarnerCobblewood 's comments about playing in one's homeland. Is a lot of gaming done in worlds which one can imagine to be simpler than one's own? Like classical or medieval, for example, albeit with magical elements. Do players imagine during a game that such a world is simpler to manage than a modern one - or at least that it can be adequately represented by a simple model of society rather than a complicated one?

    A lot of historical fiction (or fantasy, for that matter) tries to unwrap the complexity of the actual societies of the time - people with blurred agendas, or mixed motivations, or who straddle different levels of society that nominally are kept apart. And I don't suppose anyone imagines that past societies were _actually_ less complex in relational terms than modern ones - but maybe we do imagine that we can simplify without losing too much of the essential features?

    Having said all that, I can't quite see how it applies to gaming in a futuristic setting, which by that logic would become ever more complicated! Maybe @clash_bowley has some thoughts about that?

    Basically, I'm trying to get my head around two seemingly opposing trends... having a game complicated enough to be interesting but simple enough that you don't need years of immersive prep.
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    I'm using ideas from this book in one of my current games. So yeah.

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    @clash_bowley Oooh, which ideas? Care to share?
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    edited June 7

    @Apocryphal said:
    @clash_bowley Oooh, which ideas? Care to share?

    Nah. Setting specific stuff. Nothing transferable.

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