Modern day Watchmen

Here M&M GMs can trade tips and seek inspiration. Look out for SPOILERS! Players, surf elsewhere or ruin your own fun.
falconsfan08
Bystander
Bystander
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:13 am

Modern day Watchmen

Postby falconsfan08 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:39 am

Watchmen...can it be done in a modern day setting?

I'm referring to a Watchmen like story in a modern, 2014 world.

More like an Iron Age tale in the new world.

Anyway, I'd love to hear some thoughts and ideas on power level, city setting, that type of thing.

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: Modern day Watchmen

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:12 am

Short answer No, long answer NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. :lol:

The truth is that Watchmen is in the same boat as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, in that it was a creature of its time & that time is gone. That's why people today think that Frank Miller has lost it, but the fact is that he's unchanged by time, its everyone elses tastes that have changed with time. Anyone who wasn't around in the era in which that book is based will read either of those books & think "Really? This is meant to be a big deal", because to them it has no social relevancy.

Watchmen capitalised on the fears of the populace at the time, based on real events at the time. But now that the cold war is over & pretty much forgotten by most of the current generation as the war that didn't happen after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 its doesn't mean anything. It has as much relevancy to readers today as creating a golden age character whose a super soldier, whose fighting Hitler would have.
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

falconsfan08
Bystander
Bystander
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:13 am

Re: Modern day Watchmen

Postby falconsfan08 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:49 am

So the backdrop of a dirty nuke being unleashed in a modern city such as New York, Boston, D.C. etc. isn't a dark enough factor to motivate a Watchmen-like plot?

I think the relevancy of a war with those Red Commie Bastards may have lost its' appeal but the threat of a radical terrorist group unleashing a nuclear holocaust on any Western country is more along the lines of a threat than most people want to acknowledge.

I could see someone like Marcus Lutrell, the Navy SEAL from Lone Survivor, being a volunteer for a super soldier serum to battle the terrorists targeting our country.

Perhaps using Watchmen as my suggested homage wasn't the right way to go. I guess I was more looking for help on a gritty, realistic modern day meta plot.

I agree with your assessment on both Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, both are dated and yet I can read Watchmen without the sense of displacement that comes with Dark Knight Returns. Of course that could just be my distaste for "The Gosh Darn" Frank Miller.

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: Modern day Watchmen

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:08 am

falconsfan08 wrote:So the backdrop of a dirty nuke being unleashed in a modern city such as New York, Boston, D.C. etc. isn't a dark enough factor to motivate a Watchmen-like plot?


No, because the threat of imminent nuclear Armageddon is over for us as readers. The world no longer perches on a knifes edge. Going back to my example, it would be like asking you "So the backstory of Nazis trying to conquer the world isn't a World War 2ish enough motivating factor." The answer would have to be, no not really, since its not relevant to contemporary readers.

falconsfan08 wrote:I think the relevancy of a war with those Red Commie Bastards may have lost its' appeal but the threat of a radical terrorist group unleashing a nuclear holocaust on any Western country is more along the lines of a threat than most people want to acknowledge.


Maybe for a year between say the 11th of September 2011 & 1 year later, but no. Since then everyone has gone to that well & that well is now dry & now a decade later is no longer relevant to contemporary readers. .

falconsfan08 wrote:Perhaps using Watchmen as my suggested homage wasn't the right way to go. I guess I was more looking for help on a gritty, realistic modern day meta plot.


You may want to mention that in your opening statement of your opening comment....It helps to not bury the lead.
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

User avatar
FuzzyBoots
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 9719
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:15 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Modern day Watchmen

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:32 am

I think it's quite possible. You probably wouldn't be following the plot slavishly since, well, they're different eras. The spirit of the Watchmen, of a group of lone heroes fighting to save a city that no longer holds them up in high regard, with some central figure manufacturing a crisis to try to pull us together, well it's sort of timeless. You'd probably have to answer questions along the lines of what the looming fear is (today's fears seem geared toward loss of resources, genetically modified foods running amok, corporations taking over, random violent outbreaks, etc) and what kind of scheme might be devised to make us pull together.

Depending on how much you want to adhere to the plotlines of Watchmen, you might also consider where the alternate split in history was. The world of Watchmen was, of course, subtly altered from our own by the presence of superheroes, including the one actual super-powered one.

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: Modern day Watchmen

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:10 am

FuzzyBoots wrote:I think it's quite possible. You probably wouldn't be following the plot slavishly since, well, they're different eras.


I think it would be a case of could you versus should you.

Yes you can, but if you plan on running this as a game probably not a good idea (copying any plot to directly is not an advisable idea for obvious reasons). You can do gritty without intoning the words "iron age" or "watchmen." In fact Champions has such a city book it was called Hudson City I believe.

A gritty, dirty city.... A city full of organised crime, corrupt cops & no superheroes (though its part of a super hero universe).
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

falconsfan08
Bystander
Bystander
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:13 am

Re: Modern day Watchmen

Postby falconsfan08 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:58 pm

Thanks Fuzzy!

Thanks Saint!

I see your point and I agree with you, perhaps the world-threatening attack is overdone and cliche but I think Fuzzy understood my question a little better. I am a big Watchmen fan, mainly the mythology and world building done throughout the book, seeing how Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias use their vast intellects and abilities to alter the world itself. Age has made me kind of hard on the lack of impact on the real world that supers today tend to have.

Hudson City or Bedlam are both good settings, I've purchased Bedlam and after reading about half of it I'm beginning to wonder why anyone would want to save such a city, sheesh that place is dark.

My next question then is should any characters willing to take a crack at bringing back a city on the brink such as Hudson or Bedlam be power level 6 or 8?

Thanks to both of you for the discussion, it is a major help in sorting out the ideas slamming around inside my skull.

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: Modern day Watchmen

Postby saint_matthew » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:00 am

falconsfan08 wrote:I am a big Watchmen fan, mainly the mythology and world building done throughout the book, seeing how Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias use their vast intellects and abilities to alter the world itself.


Yeah, unfortunately the problem with that is the Total Recall problem. You can't import mythology directly without it coming off like a pale imitation of something good, exactly like the Total Recall remake. I've seen it in a couple of different system including the Firefly system where someone essentially tried to remake the film (guess how many session that lasted).

falconsfan08 wrote:Hudson City or Bedlam are both good settings, I've purchased Bedlam and after reading about half of it I'm beginning to wonder why anyone would want to save such a city, sheesh that place is dark.


I have such places in my internally consistent universe: That's what I have Detroit for & to a lesser degree Seattle.

falconsfan08 wrote:My next question then is should any characters willing to take a crack at bringing back a city on the brink such as Hudson or Bedlam be power level 6 or 8?


I'd go closer to 8, but it really depends on what level of crime you are talking about. Assuming you are going with the street crime concept, is it just ordinary organised street crime, or is it meta-human street crime? If its the first, go pl 6, if its the later go pl 8 (or possibly even 10, but with restrictions on what you are allowing players to create thematically)
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: Modern day Watchmen

Postby saint_matthew » Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:22 am

Oh wow I just realised what Watchmen in the modern era would look like.... Justice League Elite.
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov


Return to “GMs' Eyes Only”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest