Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Guilty Pleasures

I have a confession to make, I love late-night talk radio. Shows like Coast to Coast AM and Ground Zero are a couple of my favorites. They often delve into realms that no typical radio show would ever dream of touching for fear of appearing, well, unbalanced at least or outright insane at worst. Aliens, Bigfoot sightings, secret cabals, and so forth are constantly given airtime to anyone within the distance of the signal. Oftentimes when I listen to these shows I get the itch to make notes for a Dark Matter campaign I'll likely never run (again) as they are an excellent source of bat-shit insane ideas just begging to be added to a game.

Dark Matter was the first Alternity campaign I ran. From the moment I picked up Alternity, I worked on a space opera setting (much of that material turning into what is now coalescing into Mythic Space), but Dark Matter inspired me to get out from in front of my computer to the table with friends. During this time, X-Files was at the height of popularity and so it was easy to convince some friends to join in for a game. While it only lasted for a handful of sessions, it remains one of the more memorable campaigns I ever GM'ed or played in. I often look at it sitting on the shelf and get the hankering to run it again, and those feelings only get stronger whenever I catch a good episode of late night talk radio.

Tonight's episode of Ground Zero was "Synarchy" from the viewpoint that the world's empires and nations are following the guiding hand of extra-terrestrial or divine beings. "Evidence" was being presented in the form of quotes from people like Winston Churchill, to former Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer, to even Meryl Streep supporting the idea that aliens (or angels and demons) are either working with world leaders or actually are the ones in charge of the world we live in and are behind everything that goes on. While the idea is laughable, these are the makings of a great Dark Matter (or Paranoia for that matter) game.

I'm not likely going to start detailing any such campaign, though I might dust off some of my old notes from my old Dark Matter campaign and post them here. Mythic Space will remain my primary focus, but it's nights like tonight that the ol' gamer ADD really kicks into high gear...

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