#RPGaDAY2015: Part Seven, Island of the Lizard King

Day Twenty-six: Favourite inspiration for your game?


I’ve had a few characters, campaigns etc sparked off by watching a particular movie (for example I think the recent NOAH film might make a neat Apocalypse World hack) but in the main I think it’s music that does it. There’s a different buzz for creation there.

Anything from Jethro Tull and Bob Dylan to Gary Numan and Heaven 17; not to mention everything inbetween/around/before/after.

I’m never sure if the music is the inspiration itself or if it’s simply making things coalesce.

Example: I’d planned to do some kind of superhero background, so that was very much in mind, and then I was listening to March the Mad Scientist by Jethro Tull and it clicked with what I had bubbling away in my head.

The lyrics of that song (“and March the mad scientist, brings a new change…”) added to Rage In Eden by Ultravox and a few other things, led to my MARBLE ARCH superhero campaign (“and they were the new gods, and they shone on high”), which appeared in slightly altered form as the DECEMBER STORM variant Earth in the original Nearside Project game.

Different music might have resulted in a somewhat different setting?

Day Twenty-seven: Favourite idea for merging two games into one?

In terms of meshing two game background into one?


Post-Great War 1920s setting, explorers and adventurers uncovering fragments of the ‘dial home device’ or other aspects of alien technology; leading to battles with ancient cultists desperate for a way back to their off-world destiny; a campaign culminating in the discovery of the ‘Star Gate’ itself and the opening of bleak new vistas of unspeakable horror.

Day Twenty-eight: Favourite game you no longer play?

The JAMES BOND 007 RPG from Victory Games.

A combination of factors make this my favourite ‘lost’ game. I’m a big fan of espionage in any form, whether it’s the more realistic trade-craft of the Le Carre and Deighton kind of spy world, or the bold, bright bravado and gadgets style of the Bond franchise; so obviously a game set in the James Bond background was going to be a winner.

The design and quality of the gaming material was always first rate. The scenarios had titles and characters based off the classic novels/films, but the plots were often markedly different – to the extent that if you thought you knew what was going on you could very easily be led astray. The handouts were great; mocked up documents with official looking headings, ‘photographs’ of locations and targets. The equipment guide “Q manual” was a particular favourite.

Not sure about the system. I vaguely recall it had some kind of resolution table, and maybe hero/survival points for scraping your way out of dire situations but, as is traditional for most of my gaming groups, we dumped the in-box system and used Danger International instead.

Not sure why we don’t play it these days. It’s possible the trend away from ‘gadgets’ in current Bond would just make it more of a Bourne game and it wouldn’t be so much fun.

In considering this question I have remembered TWILIGHT 2000 that I played a lot of in the distant past and then utterly abandoned for some reason. Same story with RECON.


Day Twenty-nine: Favourite RPG website/blog

Mostly I’m just beetling away at my own thing and not paying much attention to the wider world of gaming, so I don’t spend a lot of time reading blogs.

With that caveat, I have to say I am always informed, educated and entertained by Casting Shadows.

Indeed, if not for Casting Shadows mentioning the RPGaDay2015 tag I would not be doing this.

Other things I’ve only just noticed this month due to the aforementioned RPGaDay project:

David F Chapman’s Autocratik blog.

Dark Liquid

Also of note, if your bent runs to D&D: Nagora’s Corner

Day Thirty: Favourite RPG playing celebrity?

I’ll go with Vin Diesel.

He always seems keen on RPGs, and happy to talk about what they did for him in terms of improving his life. Also I’ve read stories about him encouraging other actors to play AD&D on set between takes. Judi Dench included.

So that’s pretty good.


I will return soon with a last post and the answer to the final question.

I will be better prepared next year :-O

1 Comment

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One Response to #RPGaDAY2015: Part Seven, Island of the Lizard King

  1. Thanks for the mention~
    I will check out Deep Liquid, too.

    Your merger of Stargate and CoC is a good call. Nicely framed campaign premise!

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