Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's in a Name?

So, yeah, last time I said that I was going to be posting about my super-hero project.  What I had forgotten was that almost all the design work for that was already done.  What I have to finish are writing out all the power descriptions and more detail on the setting of Industry City.  Not really stuff I need too much feedback on.

But I did think of something I definitely do need input on: a name.

When I started this project, I was calling it The Never-Ending Battle.  I thought that was a cute reference back to Truth & Justice since, as every comic-fan should know, Superman fights "a never-ending battle for truth and justice".  Clever, eh?  But, others have pointed out to me that the name is not only far from mellifluous, but also really doesn't explain what the game is about unless you already know what it is.

I then moved to the current working title, Heroes of Industry.  That was supposed to work on two levels: at it's simplest, it refers to the geographical setting of the book (Industry City), while, on another, evoking the Studs Terkel-vibe I'm shooting for with that setting.  I am, however, not at all convinced that it works on either of those levels.

I had a cheeky thought the other night around 2 am: Lies & Injustice. That's, again, a reference to T&J, but with the implication that something has gone horribly wrong.  That's a crucial part of the 1970's setting atmosphere I'm trying to convey: the President of the United States is a crook; the CIA is making money from the drug-trade; the streets are filled with cast-off veterans from a war no one wants to acknowledge; regular folks have to stand in line to get gas for their cars - what the hell happened to all that Silver Age, atomic optimism? 

I thought of Crime & Punishment, although there is a police procedural game of that title.

I also played with some classic "X&X" type names, such as Avengers & Archvillains, Crusaders & Criminals, and, my favourite for obscure reasons, Overmen & Outlaws.  I'd worry that a name such as this would inaccurately suggest that this is some kind of D20 game, with Mutants & Masterminds being the obvious example (yeah, you've got Villains & Vigilantes, but that's also a damn old-school game, even if it isn't technically D20).

But I'm not sold on any of these ideas yet.  So, I'm throwing it out to you, dear, hypothetical readers, to give me some feedback.  You've read some suggestions; what do you think?  Feel free to make up your own too, as long as you are cool with me actually using it (I'd give you a credit in the book as well as a stainless steel No-Prize). 

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Pendulum Swings

So, the latest round of Dying Sun play-testing is done and it was, as usual, very helpful.  My last few posts reflect things learned in that game.  They may, however, be the last posts about Dying Sun for a while.  You see, my loyal, hypothetical readers, my internal, gaming pendulum has begun to swing once again to the supers-side.

I'm not really sure what prompts these swings.  I last swung into the supers-mode at the end of March 2010 and swung out again in the beginning of September.  About 5 months of supers, followed by about 4 months of Ye Auld Game (and Dying Sun in particular).  Is it the change of weather?  The trade-winds?  I don't know.  Fortunately, it's not what some folks call "Gamer ADD"; it's pretty consistently one or the other.  I flirt with other genres, but fantasy and supers are consistently my two favorites. Entirely coincidentally, my table-top group's Labyrinth Lord campaign is drawing to a close and and it looks as if we will be playing DC Adventures next (not my preference for system, but I'm trying to be a team-player here and give it a try).

So, I'll predict 4-5 months of supers-thinking before I get back to Dying Sun.  I know that my posts about supers-gaming are tremendously less popular than ones related to YAG and I'm debating whether to post about it or not.  But, I think I shall: it seems that blogging is a useful exercise in and of itself, whether or not anyone reads or responds.

Anyway, consider this fair-warning.  In case anyone is interested, I've been doing a thread over at rpgnet attempting a very specific comparison between two popular light-systems: The Fiendish Comparing of ICONS and BASH UE.  Anyone considering those games might find something useful there.  So, until next time: Excelsior!