One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Dwarf, An Elf, And A Troll Walk Into An Elevator….

The elevator doors gently close behind them. Soft elevator muzak plays in the background. The three humanoids are wearing perfectly tailored black Armani suits, white silk shirts, and thick black ties. Each of them draws a large handgun from well-worn shoulder holsters. As they check over their weapons in the cramped space an idle conversation begins.

Dwarf: We should have shotguns for this kind of deal.
Elf: How many up there?
Troll: Three or four.
Elf: That's countin' our guy?
Troll: Not sure.
Elf: So that means there could be up to five guys up there?
Troll: It's possible.
Dwarf: We should have fuckin' shotguns.

The elevator doors open with a ding into an open and luxurious penthouse apartment. The human occupants of the room freeze in place at the unexpected rush of the armed trio as they burst into the room.

Troll: Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!
Elf: Any of you fuckin' pricks move and I'll execute every motherfucking last one of you!

Dwarf: [Grumbling under his breath] We should have fuckin' shotguns…..

If that seems familiar its because I stole it from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Man, that would be the bomb! Just imagine how sick a Tarantino/ Rodríguez collaboration on a Shadowrun movie would be!

Anyway, I’m not sure exactly what made me think of this. But part of it was as I was looking for some ideas and inspiration for this Deadlands campaign I was thinking about. One rarely walks a straight line when searching for shit on the internet, and before I new it I was side tracked. I saw on some gaming site a mention about the racial tensions in Shadowrun. It also talked a little bit about the standard framework for a stereotypical SR adventure, and some other stuff, but it was the racial tension thing that grabbed me. That’s an idea I would love to explore one day.

Obviously it doesn’t have to be in a SR game. Imagine for a minute if you implemented something like that in a standard D&D game. As things typically stand, all the standard races pretty much get along. OK so half-orcs are outsiders, dwarves don’t really like elves (but lets face it, dwarves don’t really like anyone that much), and lets just not even talk about drow. But basically speaking D&D comes off like some kind of fantasy version of Star Trek. Once your apart of the Federation no one really is all that racist about you anymore. I know that’s not strictly true, but you get my point.

So imagine a D&D world where in typical fashion the Humans were on top. They are the rulers of the land, they make the laws and call the shots. They have beaten every other race into submission, taken their stuff and their lands, and enslaved their people. That sounds about on par for what we’ve done to people of our own species so it’s not difficult for me to see us doing it to other species.

Right, so the other races are enslaved as indentured servants. They have a few rights and can walk around the city with out the need for shackles. But for all intents and purposes it’s a pretty miserable life. Soon an secret resistance starts. Human sympathizers aid in an underground railway of sorts and smuggle out as many slaves as they can. However humans for the most part are the bad guys in this. Slave Masters employ human wizards to tattoo their mark on their property. Many of these magical tattoos are used to keep track of and scry on them, and if need be strike them dead, or blow them up in a fiery conflagration.

In a world controlled solely by humans, every other specie is forced to live in impoverished ghettos around the city. Seeking a better life than the filth and squalor around them many of these races band together and strike back at their cruel masters. Some rich human merchants and nobles take advantage of this anger and redirect it towards their enemies. This buffer provides these disreputable movers and shakers plausible deniability and wholly unaccountable if for some reason things should go horribly wrong.

Yeah, that would be a great campaign….

No comments:

Post a Comment