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"Creating Backstory for Pulp games" Topic

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942 hits since 25 Nov 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Matsuru Sami Kaze Inactive Member25 Nov 2012 8:09 a.m. PST

I recently completed two games that I thought needed some back story. For instance how do I get a Dutch Seebattalion onto a Pacific atoll fighting a fierce Maori like tribe, a Platoon of Sikn, and a Marine landing force sticking their nose into the problem of finding a zeppelin base between Jakarta and Oahu? Or how would a Chinese warlord react to a German freighter loaded with Opium and missionaries after he declared his province opium free? The resulting games were delicious. The play tests provided some simple and wonderful solutions like don't let the Marines land on top of the Dutch supplies.
I bloged some of this at:
I'd like to hear about more back stories for games. Really helpful is a new Hammond Atlas I just bought on sale at Barnes and Noble.

kyoteblue Inactive Member25 Nov 2012 8:26 a.m. PST


thosmoss25 Nov 2012 8:28 a.m. PST

Take one subject. How to get a Dutch Seebattalion onto a Pacific atoll?

Grabbing two random numbers, looking up Mythic's Event Tables, I get:

Meaning: "Assist"
Subject: "Plans"

Sit back, sip your whiskey, kick your Game Master thinking into motion, and see what happens. Is there some higher-up Colonel (perhaps with selfish intentions) who would order your battalion where he needs it to be, to either forward his government's plans or perhaps his own …

How about that opium peddling Chinese warlord? What's his beef? Mythic offers:

Meaning: "Attract"
Subject: "Nature"

Could be an effort to go green, years before those Westerners even think about anything beyond "manifest destiny". Or heck, might be an attempt to summon Kong …

Mythic just offers food for thought!

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member25 Nov 2012 9:05 a.m. PST

Cool stuff. Lot's of boats.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2012 9:51 a.m. PST

Great action!!

But I think Fu Manchu got the opium, a la 'Usual Suspects' while everyone was fighting….

Phil Hall25 Nov 2012 10:27 a.m. PST

A bit of research found a Polynesian legend of a winged girl who comes to the island and falls in love with a local. She gives up her wings to be with him. And of course the U.S. and Nazi Germany send folks to obtain the wings. And thus The Wings of Po' o' utu game was born.

Gonsalvo25 Nov 2012 11:51 a.m. PST

Excellent post and a great blog overall!

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Nov 2012 1:29 p.m. PST

Dear Matsuru,

Thank you for sharing your very considerable--and successful!--efforts.

I appreciate your mention of Richard Houston's models, and certainly congratulate you on the quality of your own models, scratchbuilt and converted. You are a major sea power, Sir!

I also appreciate your use of "Boilers And Breechloaders" for your rules, and it is clear from your descriptions of the particulars of your many vessels that you have indeed applied the rules to their designs and performance.

You might wish to consider getting a copy of B&B's current 4th Edition that greatly improves the weapons information, adds rockets, as well as some other changes that I believe you will find complements your collection very nicely. And, if you've not already taken advantage, the recently returned Houston Collection of Naval Guns and Ship Fittings have many new additions that would be perfect for your "mosquito fleet."

Continue what you're doing, and by all means I hope you be able to host more of your games at conventions or other venues where more gamers can see what they can do, too!


corporalpat Inactive Member25 Nov 2012 2:18 p.m. PST

Great stuff! I love your fleet, especially the scratch built stuff.

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