tibiotarsus
 member, 200 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Mon 26 Oct 2020
at 08:53
A Desperate Hunger for Snow
A long shot worthy of Natty Bumppo here, but don't ask don't get, so here goes...I'm after something that feels like Black Stars Above - like Jack London or Fenimore-Cooper or Lovecraft's occasional historical forays, with more strange and less settler bias/casual white supremacist narration. As such I'd prefer Russian America to American Alaska if the game was set over there, but would love any setting from northern colonial (or pre-Colonial!) New England upward. Would accept 1900s plague-era Pacific Northwest or the fictional regions of Lovecraft's Massachusetts. Looking for decent historical accuracy, cultural sensitivity, verisimilitude. Something more investigative or trade/exploratory than warlike - violence should feel like something to be avoided, with a brutally high cost for engaging (but not voyeuristically gore-focused).

Preferences: small group, shortish game, G/M-rated, post rate around 3/week.
System suggestions: Cthulhu: Dark Ages (unless there's a book for this?), Dread, if more solidly a horror game (super-easy to pick up & I have a well-tested RPoL hack) though that could also work fantastically for a small group being stalked guerilla-style by another. Savage Worlds mostly for the ease and familiarity, though the system is honestly more pulp! combat! than I'm after...I actually own the American Revoloutionary Zweihander book from a freebie that might be adaptable for the French-and-Indian wars, but haven't read it. Sort of bemused it exists.
JAM2019
 member, 46 posts
Mon 26 Oct 2020
at 18:49
A Desperate Hunger for Snow
would you be interested in something set in colonial america, free-from, horror-survival type of setting? something akin the the witch meets indiana jones. not straight horror, not straight action. low pulp, more historical bias with some lovecraftian touches.
tibiotarsus
 member, 201 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Mon 26 Oct 2020
at 23:18
A Desperate Hunger for Snow

Hmmmm...see, I definitely perked at the VVitch description, but even slightly pulpy action sounds a bit too cartoon for what I'm after - I badly want to feel like I'm in a wood and can smell the snow and hear the wolves outside some warm place I've scraped for myself and am about as likely to die of horrible European diseases/dysentry as to go mad, eat my brother/friend/child and turn wendigo.


I don't know how/that freeform horror would work exactly, either: as far as I can picture it, it'd end up as just a flavour to the action-heroism - sort of like a different hat and plastic fangs on the Bad Guys that the latter genre tends to have. In that vein, treating cosmic horror as squid suits for boss fights, or Lovecraftian entities as actually evil (rather than just incompatable with human sanity/safe existence like bleach is incompatible with the human digestive system) makes me very sad, so I'd rather have something more folklore-grounded like "idiot colonists brought an Old Country vampire over somehow and now they have an exponential Problem and the locals have no idea what's going on, cue dire-straits teamup" than...non-cosmic horror goofy spooks (bless 'em) painted up like tentacles, if you see what I mean. I'd definitely want something deep enough not to be lazily offensive the way dear Indy is when it comes to non-European cultures.

I think actual horror does need a system - even one as utterly pass/fail basic as Dread - because there truly needs to be an element of pure luck. If a character lives for a predictable set of reasons that're the same every time, or dies because the player wasn't up to writing a clear enough narrative argument for survival that day, the tension would press higher OOC than IC, and that wouldn't let me immerse/unwind enough to fully play.


In short: listening, but dubious as to whether we want near enough the same things to fit in one game to mutual satisfaction. Either way, thanks for the response, at any rate.
tibiotarsus
 member, 202 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Mon 2 Nov 2020
at 09:30
A Desperate Hunger for Snow
Still afflicted by the hunger, with a bump/update to mention I have recently acquired the OSR book Times That Fry Men's Souls from that largest RPG download site's Halloween Sale (& until midnight tonight in...California? Maybe Texas? ...you can too) for system availability. That said, it's been a very long time since I touched anything with a d20 base to do anything other than convert it to some other Frankensteinian thing, so maybe just consider it a chapbook of ideas.
tibiotarsus
 member, 203 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Mon 9 Nov 2020
at 18:00
A Desperate Hunger for Snow

*bump* please please please please please */bump*
tibiotarsus
 member, 204 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Mon 16 Nov 2020
at 21:47
A Desperate Hunger for Snow

Still hungry, though getting tired. Snow?
cowleyc
 member, 1 post
Tue 17 Nov 2020
at 17:10
A Desperate Hunger for Snow
I have been in the Alaskan wilderness, surrounded by snow and deafened by its silence.  I have seen the eyes of animals at night, watching and waiting, but not following.  I still remember the first I read of the Wendigo, that howl in the wind that drives a man mad, that craving for flesh that burns deep in the soul.

I would be interested in taking this on, though I'd have to find an appropriate system (Call of Cthulhu seems perfect, given that it includes sanity).  I envision an 1870s Alaska, where America had just purchased the state.  Settlers and explorers step foot with blank maps, hoping to find their own piece of land.  But the mystery of the land goes deeper than just hidden valleys and rivers, but into the snow and soil itself, into the history and lore of the native people... mysteries that helped drive away the Russian occupancy.
tibiotarsus
 member, 205 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Tue 17 Nov 2020
at 18:06
A Desperate Hunger for Snow
Ah! Yes! Like that!

Only I'd rather shunt the era of play to a bit before (trust me, Russian America would be amazing as a CoC setting: you'd get the intact native systems but also a looming Church, the secrets of a land so much more huge and vast and unknown to humans than even the wilds of Canada brought over to mingle in) or somewhat after the change because if you read native/US officer-class accounts the Russians actually treated their subjects as decently as any others and on the day of the sale unlanded Americans literally rushed in for an armed takeover of people's homes, land, churches and property due to the American colour bar meaning indigenous or foreign citizens couldn't legally own things. So...I'd rather not be the bad guys.

Unless they're Russian bad guys, then they'd just be bad on their own account. In fact, a set of dispossessed Russian/Native/mixed-heritage Investigators pushed into an area generally avoided for Mysterious/Mythos reasons might make a good setup and reason for the group to be together.
cowleyc
 member, 2 posts
Tue 17 Nov 2020
at 18:49
A Desperate Hunger for Snow
If anything, I would push it to just a bit later, closer to the end of the 19th century.  I've read several books that are set roughly in that timeline, and it makes more sense to me.  Don't worry about being a part of the rampant colonialism, as you would have come after the white man had swept in, but only taken the land that was easily accessible.  Mapping expeditions were sent out along certain routes, many were never heard from again.  Many others saw an opportunity for escape.  After all, those who travelled to Alaska were either running to or running from something.  Whatever your reason, the freedom from the shackles of mundane life drew your interest.
tibiotarsus
 member, 206 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Tue 17 Nov 2020
at 20:07
A Desperate Hunger for Snow

Sure, the mid-1880s do have some sweet apocalyptic set dressing, what with the Krakatoa sunsets and all. I'd miss interacting with mostly-intact indigenous cultures but if you wouldn't object to my bringing a descendant of...haha, no, wait, I might actually have a character concept already, but we'll see how rolling up goes when we get there. If we get there? Let me know if I can help any.