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"Guest Stars in Game" Topic

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Warrenss224 Jan 2009 10:13 p.m. PST

I started a section of this in an earlier thread of "miniature trends" but have decided to branch it off.

Besides them "normal" assortment of gun totin' miniatures, I've lately been collecting miniatures to have them appear as "guest stars" in my Pulp, Zombie, and Post Apocalyptic games.

These are not for players to play, nor are they there to steal the thunder and wind outta the main character's sails. That appear mainly for the fun of the players and give the GM a chance to play something other than the adversaries.

*P=pulp, Z=zombie, PA=post pocalyptic

P,Z,PA – The Phantom & Devil the wolf/dog. Since the Ghost Who Walks exists with each generation, job being passed on from father to son, he could be in all genres.

P, maybe PA – Kazar & Zabu the sabertooth tiger. He might be a PA wastelander with a mutant desert cat.

P – Richard Benson aka The Avenger.

P, Z, PA – X-Men's Wolverine. What??? Pulp? Zombie? PA?!?! Remember Wolvie been around for a long time and with his regeneration, immunity, claws etc He could exist in all time periods. No claws in the pulp era unless they are the bone type. In the PA setting Logan is the grouchy, ornery, short S.O.B. that runs The Bone Shack BBQ eatery.

Z, PA – Dexter & Dee-Dee. Hell, Dex might had inadvertently started the zombie out break!! Dee-Dee probably helped a lot too… with an accident.

Z, PA – Ash from Army of Darkness. THIS IS MY BOOMSTICK!!

Z, PA – Duke Nukem. Mostly PA, but I bet the Duke would tear 'em a new one in the zombie game.

Z, PA – A-Team. I pity the fool who tries to eat Mr T's brain out from under that mohawk dew.

PA – Thundarr & friends. Demom Dogs!! 'nuff said.

Z, PA – Rose McGowan with the gun for a leg from the movie Planet Terror.

P, Z, PA – Batman & Robin?!?!?!? Why not? I've got a Batman miniature in his prime and an older looking one from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. The Batmoblie is period… roadster-like for pulp… tumbler for PA/Z games.

Z, PA – Hellboy and the B.P.R.D characters. Why would HB & friends NOT be there in the middle of a zombie out break???

I also have these for "surprises"…

10 Aliens – of the acid bleeding sort. Use these instead of zombies for a game. Nasty.

2 Predators – … and this year it grows Very hot.

Various Cthulhu-type critters.

I'd love to have a Jonny Quest & MXC crew. I'm working hard on the MXC folks because my gamers are all MXC fans. They split their sides on this one.

jpattern224 Jan 2009 11:08 p.m. PST

Great ideas! Some more:

Z, PA Shaun and Ed from "Shaun of the Dead" Hasslefree's Ray and Tony. They even have a zombie version of Shaun/Ray.

Z, maybe PA Dirty Harry. Hasslefree does a great Frank Cisco, and there aretwo or three other non-Harry's out there.

Z, maybe PA Bond. James Bond (and other spies). Artizan and Copplestone Kiss Kiss Bang Bang minis.

PA A patrol of damn dirty apes. The Monolith Graven Images Cliffhanger apes are 1/48, unfortunately.

P, Z, PA Grays. Lots of choices: tall, short, clothed, naked.

P, Z, PA Doctor Who, Black Tree Design and others. Or how about a patrol of Daleks?

Z, PA Man-Thing. Whatever knows fear . . . BURNS at the Mn-Thing's touch! Unfortunately, zombies don't feel fear, but the living that the zombies are attacking do. Can the living control their fear? The Heroclix prepaint is actually pretty good: picture

jpattern224 Jan 2009 11:12 p.m. PST

One more.

P, Z, PA – There are a lot of reporter, news crew, and war correspondent minis out there. (I can post some examples if you want.) Have them single out one of the players for celebrity coverage.

DesertScrb24 Jan 2009 11:15 p.m. PST

Does MXC mean Maximum Extreme Challenge?

Like the Captain says, "Don't get eliminated!"

Warrenss225 Jan 2009 12:01 a.m. PST


How could I have forgotten… Men in Black. They could be investigating a zombie out break thinking it's alien activity. I'd like to throw MIB into a mix of Alien vs. Predator. Heads are gonna roll!

Shaun & Ed would be fun. As would Doctor Who & U.N.I.T. (and Rose wink)

I've got a swamp critter that looks to be a large cross between Man-Thing & Swamp-Thing.

I might get a Dirty Harry type for the players to use. One of my MIB could pass as James Bond.

The Shadow25 Jan 2009 8:22 a.m. PST

The idea is a good one. I've always been reluctant to GM games because I wouldn't be able to play.

How about some detailed examples of how the GM would play the NPC "hero".

Warrenss225 Jan 2009 8:52 a.m. PST

Zombie Games Examples:

On the far side of the gaming table, away from the player's characters, I've had Batman show up in his Tumbler and rocket a bunch of zombies, then proceed, after running out of rockets, to run the zombies over with the tumbler. The Tumbler eventually wrecked and Batman ejected continuing the war on foot with the various weapons at his disposal. If the players got the brainy idea to try to cross town and join up with him, I'd have more zombies in their way or have Batman run out of tricks and finally succumb to the moaning horde. Since I "recycle" my zombies this really had no real impact on my game. Bats wasn't really helping the players out all that much.

Ex: Simply have the A-Team Van drive thru town, blasting zombies, while the GM hums/whistles the A-Team theme song. The A-Team might not even stop. A celebrity drive-by.

Pulp Game Examples:

In a lost prehistoric valley in the Antarctic, the players mission was to stop Germans, who were forcing Lord Plunder (Ka-Zar) to guide them, from from getting a rare mysterious metal. The players had an aging Alan Quatermain and Turok, Son of Stone, as their guides.

Have the Shadow or Spider show up, shoot some (2 or 3) of the players adversaries, take a long hard look at the players, then run around the corner out of sight, and let the players hear the continuing gun play of his fighting. Once the players get around the corner they see only a slew of bodies… the Shadow or Spider had disappeared without a trace. How did he do that?!?

For the most part I don't even roll dice for the guest star's actions, or if I DO roll dice they have no meaning at all to the actions in the game the players don't realize this, of course.

In my PA games I might let the players run the Thundar, Ookla, and Ariel troop, but the would only have these 3 miniatures to play the game. The other players might have a troop of 10 or more minis.

If the guest star is of the same caliber, or lower, of the player characters I'd let the guest star be a "non-player-character" in the game. "Ouch!!! Dexter, Dee-Dee, and the MIB just didn't seen to run fast enough. Oh-well…"

Warrenss225 Jan 2009 9:13 a.m. PST

"There are a lot of reporter, news crew, and war correspondent minis out there. <snip> Have them single out one of the players for celebrity coverage."

Don't you mean "harass" the players for coverage? ;-)

"I can post some examples if you want." Please do!

I've seen those Dr. Who minis and now I can't find them. Help!

And a 28mm scaled Tardis too, please.

jpattern225 Jan 2009 10:03 a.m. PST

The old Harlequin/Black Tree Design Doctor Who minis: link

Heresy does a David Tennant: link

Pulp Reporters:

o Bicorne does a line of War Artists that includes a Victorian-era war correspondent, war photographer, and sketch artist; Melton Prior in the Sudan; and Rudyard Kipling.

o Bolt Action Miniatures does a WWII German cameraman.

o Brigade Games does Julia Coldberg, a female reporter.

o Copplestone offers Tintin and Snowy.

o Old Glory does a set of famous newspaper reporters that includes William Randolph Hearst, Fredric Remington, Richard Harding Davis, Stephen Crane, and a generic reporter and photographer of the same period.

o Pulp Figures does a great film crew that includes the director, cameraman, script girl, and clapper.

o RAFM does a 3-stage reporter for Call of Cthulhu. The stages are sane, experienced, and insane. Reminds me a lot of Carl Kolchak.

o Rattrap does Bridget, a female reporter.

o Steve Barber does a Prohibition-era reporter and photographer.

Zombie/Modern Reporters:

o In their War Artist line, Bicorne does a modern photographer.

o Force of Arms does a Vietnam press party, including a reporter and photojournalist.

o RAFM does Paige Fox ("Reporter of Note") in its Modern Heroes line.

o Superfigs' Civilians 1 pack includes a female reporter and male cameraman.

o West Wind does a Vietnam-era "Geraldo Rivera"-type reporter and "Dennis Hopper"-type photojournalist.

Post-Apocalyptic/Near Future Reporters:

o Copplestone does a Future Wars News Team with armed Minders. EM-4 offers a similar set, based on Copplestone's earlier sculpts for Grenadier.

o Ground Zero Games does a futuristic news team in its Street Level line.

Note that some of the Pulp reporters can spill over into Modern, and some of the Modern into Post-Apocalyptic. Also, any modern or near-future military communication type could work as a geared-up war correspondent. Just paint "PRESS" in big letters on him (or her) somewhere.

As for the effect of the news team, that's up to you, and can vary from game to game:

o Get in the way.

o Delay the cultists/zombies/scavvies long enough for the players to get away.

o Serve as an objective for the players – rescue the reporters, or excort them out of harm's way because they have critical information tat can stop the cultists/zombies/scavvies. (And for those who say, "They're reporters, let 'em die!" imagine getting the chance to rescue Kipling or Crane, or one of those hot 24-hour newschannel babes.)

o Provide helpful information to the players:
– "Don't go down that street, man!"
– "Aim for the head, man!"
– "Water kills 'em, man!"
– "There is no rescue chopper, man!"

o Armed "handlers" can provide extra firepower in a tight situation.

o Cause friction in the players by focusing exclusively on one player.

o Act as a deus ex machina, as Kolchak always did.

Just think of how reporters have been used in various movies and TV shows over the years, and go for it.

jpattern225 Jan 2009 10:06 a.m. PST

Oh, and just search the TMP message archives for "tardis" for lots of TARDIS options: Black Tree Design, Ainsty, Corgi, paper, etc.

The Shadow25 Jan 2009 10:33 a.m. PST

"For the most part I don't even roll dice for the guest star's actions, or if I DO roll dice they have no meaning at all to the actions in the game the players don't realize this, of course".

So, what you're saying is that the GM doesn't actually get to "play" the characters. Too bad. I'm going to have to give this some more thought and come up with a way that famous characters can actually be played by the GM without unbalancing the game.

Warrenss225 Jan 2009 11:07 a.m. PST

Shadow, the rules I use do allow you to play the larger-than-life type of characters. My dice rolling methods, or lack of, are used to speed up the game. To me fast is good in these genres. But you can play those characters if you want to participate in the game more.

If you're curious as to the rules I use…

Pulp = Astounding Tales. These were the 1st pulp rules I played and they say most folks stick with what they're used to. I have also played .45 Adventure & Rugged Adventures and like them quite a bit.

Zombie/PA rules = The Skank Rules (well, thet's what I call them – Warlord 2085. I bet these rules would be able to handle Pulp very easily too. I've only run 2 games with these rules (so I'm still learning), but I like 'em a lot.

John Leahy25 Jan 2009 2:35 p.m. PST

Yeah Warlord 2085 is a pretty good set of rules. Doesn't seem to be that well known. They should be, though.



Warrenss225 Jan 2009 4:47 p.m. PST

"Yeah Warlord 2085 is a pretty good set of rules."

I've only played 2 short games… 1 solo (to learn and feel out the rules) and 1 with friends. I would have to say that these have a strong possibility of becoming my most favorite set of miniature rules for any type of game genre.

And they're FREE!

Warrenss227 Jan 2009 10:18 a.m. PST

How about these guys appearing in a Zombie game?

Who ya gonna call?


4 guys arrive with unlicensed nuclear particle accelerators on their back, frying almost anything that moves, making corny snappy one liners, and hitting on every female miniature within range.

kmfrye30 Jan 2009 9:18 a.m. PST

I would love to see Abbot & Costello as guest stars in a zombie game.

Or a werewolf game.

Or an alien abduction game.

Warrenss230 Jan 2009 10:49 a.m. PST

LOL! Abbot & Costello would be the only survivors of any game… simply by luck alone.

How about this clix for Rosie O'Donnell. It would need to be repainted.

jpattern230 Jan 2009 12:41 p.m. PST

The Three Stooges would be great guest stars.

Warrenss205 Feb 2009 3:11 p.m. PST

How about Freddy & Jason in a zombie game?

The Shadow05 Feb 2009 10:31 p.m. PST

>I would love to see Abbot & Costello as guest stars in a zombie game.<

I'd prefer to have them meet Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, and The Wolf Man as in "Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein". They also met Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Mummy in two other films. They even met The Invisible Man, but it would be kind of tough to make an Invisible Man figure. :-)

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