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Author Topic: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)  (Read 566 times)

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Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« on: May 07, 2013, 10:28:55 PM »
Back in 1992, Atlas Games published one of the most interesting games I've ever had a chance to run.  It was rather like Pulp Fiction, Repo Man, every episode of the Twilight Zone you've ever seen, Wild Palms, Twin Peaks, the Naked Lunch, and Blade Runner, tossed into an industrial grade blender and set on frappe for thirty seconds.  The resulting mix was set on a mythical island in the Mediterranean...and it got stranger from there.

Every so often, I'm struck by the desire to pull it back off the shelf and give it another go.

And by the by, they've released the core system under an OGL (after years and years of requests to do so).  You can get it for free here:
http://www.atlas-games.com/warp/

Some further thoughts, inspired by extra content in the 20th Anniversary Edition:

1.  The game is set in the 1980's somewhen, not that they made that official, canon, and set in stone.  That gives me an idea, if folks are up for it.  Remember the Batman animated series that took everything cool from about a fifty year period and mashed it all into one, so that we got police airships, giant flat-screen sepia-toned televisions, and supercomputers?  That.  Only on Al Amarja along with all the other weirdness.

2.  Going out a bit further on a limb, here: I have come to appreciate the idea of players as artists, not as audience.  OtE, of course, hinges on secrets...but I like the idea of having a bit more openness, at least between players, so that we can work to build on each other's ideas. 

3.  I also like the idea of 'failing forward' or "no whiffing" where failure is not a lack of skill so much as a visit from Murphy's kid sister.  If you're playing a master ninja, it makes little sense for your character to out and out blow a stealth roll!  And frankly?  Asking a player how their character could have messed something up seems to ease the sting of lousy die rolls.

4.  One last contemplation before I toss this open to discussion: starting somewhere other than the Terminal, perhaps with a group concept.  Something to consider, at any rate!

Probably looking at Bondage (at the most), possibly Exotic.


Offline Blythe

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 10:43:54 PM »
Tentatively stating interest. I'm unfamiliar with OtE, but I'm doing some reading and catching up a bit. I post once every two days-ish, although if very inspired, my posting speed will jump up, so if anyone doesn't much like that speed, just let me know, and I'll bow out gracefully.

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 10:52:36 PM »
So noted!  A bit slow shouldn't be a problem.

One concept that was in the original proposal was this:

I'm a Burn Notice fan, at least for the first three seasons (I missed the last couple entirely).  And one of the mindworms that's been in my noggin ever since that pilot is that Mike Westin could have ended up somewhere a lot worse than Miami.  So  a group concept that I think could be neat to try is a group of burned spies who are hanging together because they have more in common with each other than with the people who burned them.

(There's even an entire OtE supplement dedicated to spies, which is called Cloaks.)

Offline Ebb

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 09:12:29 AM »
I'm in, though the tiny bit of game knowledge that has survived the passing of the years will probably do me more harm than good.

If anyone reading this is on the fence, let me say that the setting for this game is really one of the most well put together and atmospheric game settings that I've ever seen.

Offline kylie

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 03:45:24 AM »
     Oh, it was an hilarious card game too.  I only read the rpg guide once, and that was a long time ago.  But it looked nice.   ;)

     I might be interested IF not too many people are fussy about sex of the writers.  That's a pretty big if when it comes to group games, I tend to find. 

     I'd be a bit on the moderate pace side (really a day or two away doesn't strike me as unusual at all, more like sane).  Also, will probably be travelling/moving in about a month which could toss things up.  Now if all that works out, hee.  :-X


Online Sara Nilsson

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 03:56:07 AM »
i would be interested if sex isnt mandetory

Offline Blythe

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 04:16:44 AM »
Hey, Sara, if you're comfy RPing with a Liege, I certainly don't mind if you prefer to play a non-sexual character. I, for one, know I could still enjoy the RP if you preferred to leave that out for you, and I wouldn't mind thinking of ways to still RP in a mature but non-smutty way in regards to your character.

Online Sara Nilsson

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 04:37:41 AM »
lol of course I wouldnt mind :) Why on earth would I? :)

Offline AlexStone

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 08:30:09 AM »
Hey everyone-
  While I'm a little more familiar with Atlas's other game of weird conspiracies, I also really like OtE.  First off, I like the things people are talking about here, and I'm okay with a moderate pace if others are (And we all know that's the pace) and I don't worry too much about the sex of the writers (Or the amount of the sex in the writing), so long as we're all having fun.

  I'm interested, but I'm also curious about how some things would work out-  for example, if we're burned spies in the 80s, a premise I like, is the Cold War going to play a part in things, or did we leave that behind when we woke up here?  Also, spies range from Bond's superhuman one man army down to high stakes office drama, like in The Sandbaggers, or something.  How do we want to play it?  I'm cool with any tone, but it helps if we all play the same game. :) 

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 08:40:47 AM »
Sex is not mandatory.  If it happens...well, this is E.  But it isn't going to be mandatory.  I'm almost willing to put it into the non-Adult category if folks feel that strongly about it!   ;D

About tone...that's actually a very good question.  Permit me to indulge my inner author for a moment.

One of the interesting elements of the Craft during the Cold War is that agents in the field often seem to have felt that they had more in common with their direct opponents than they did with the distant figures on high who were issuing their instructions.  In this particular case, you've not only all been blacklisted for whatever reasons (probably unknown to you), you've also been dumped on Al Amarja, which isn't the sanest place in the world.  The Cold War is there, looming in the background like Mount Ranier hovering over Seattle, but you have more important things to worry about.

A touch of contrast with agents who are still loyal to their respective Company may be in order.

For tone, I like the dark humor and 'competent normal' power level of Burn Notice.  James Bond gets a bit cartoonish (although his cooperation with, say, Anya Amasova is a good model for how East and West can cooperate around here).  (Oooo! And I think I have just the mentors for you...anybody remember a movie called Hopscotch?)

I'll get a couple of threads up later this weekend (if not today).

Offline AlexStone

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 09:03:35 AM »
That all sounds good to me- do we want mostly good guys, or mostly bad guys?  (I know OtE isn't black or white, but there are lighter and darker sides to lean to.)

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2013, 09:13:51 AM »
My preference would be mostly 'good' guys...regardless of background.  Not because I'm opposed to playing Villains (eyes a certain template from the Feng Shui supplement Seed of the New Flesh) but because heroes pass the 'likeability' test more regularly.

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2013, 10:52:37 AM »
I'm going to give this a read. Might be interested. Sex content/gender-of-players is irrelevant to me.

Offline kylie

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 03:50:48 AM »
     I'm not very big on writing graphic sex myself...  (And even if that, I generally don't manage to focus for long periods okay, well at all really! without buildup and it going someplace psychologically, atmosphere or story-wise.  So in short, I don't need it all over the place at any rate.) 

     Although, some outbursts of possibly bdsm-touched, non- or dubious consent could be very interesting too if other people go there.  We would not all need to end up in all the same spots I presume.  And not everything necessarily needs to be written out at length (or read by everyone, depending).

     It depends just what you mean by sex or sexual, though.  Sometimes when people say "mature," I'm already thinking sexualized, but sometimes they are trying to avoid even that.  I walk around daily life sometimes bothering people just because I'm simply "too fascinated" with how they are clothed or posed "normally."  I tend to find sexual and psychic edges in so-called "surface" things too...  If a description of someone clothed/brushing as rather of interest already, or a mention of a certain food or color scheme having various impacts on my character...  Now, if things like that would already be likely something you don't want, then maybe better warn me off  :P 
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 03:53:28 AM by kylie »

Offline kylie

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 04:02:06 AM »
     As far as good or bad, I tend to avoid the more hardcore "so evil it hurts [and tends to dominate the story, IMO]" types.  Other than that, I might go for quietly tugging at shades of grey.  Perhaps so quietly that people think I'm asleep (if they don't get into the same particulars), but that's one of my little quirks.  ::)

     I like the general Burn Notice idea.  Although I worry I may not be as practical or inventive OOC as anyone on the show, which makes writing "up to their level" kind of difficult.  I could try a certain angle and see.

     I also quite like the problem of who the agents really fit in with and why.  I might get into that quite a bit.  (Reminds me of parts of the film Syriana, too.) 
     

     

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2013, 10:48:01 AM »
I actually think I'm going to bow out of this game. Might be that I've already taken on more than I can chew, and I'd hate to foul things up here by getting involved and then having to withdraw.

I hope everybody has fun playing, though.  :-)

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2013, 10:51:34 AM »
If you free up the cycles later, assuming we're still going, you're more than welcome to jump back in!   :-) :-)  And if I ever get that Aegis Project game together (pending errata from the publisher, mostly), which I believe you'd expressed interest in trying, I'll give you first right of refusal. 

Offline TheHangedMan

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2013, 10:53:51 AM »
Thanks man. If I get some time for it, I'll be sure to pop back over here.

And thanks again; right of first refusal is an honor.  ;)

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2013, 11:03:34 AM »
You're very welcome!  Thanks for giving this a mental try-on and hope to see you back soon.

Online Sara Nilsson

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2013, 02:01:25 PM »
*cracks knuckles*

getting to work on character

Offline Blythe

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2013, 03:17:04 PM »
Ditto what Sara has said. I'll try to have something up by tonight or tomorrow.

Online Sara Nilsson

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2013, 03:43:00 PM »
squeee! someone spelled my name right :)

Offline Blythe

Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2013, 03:46:41 PM »
But...but why would it be spelled wrong? It's....it's right on the screen and can be seen! *looks totally baffled that people can manage to spell a person's name wrong when the spelling is right in front of them*

Okay...I'll stop cluttering the interest check now.  :-[

Offline MadPandaTopic starter

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Re: Return to Al Amarja! (Interest Check / Over the Edge)
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2013, 03:48:17 PM »
Indeed!  Take it unto the game OOC, which is the proper place for such banter!   ;D