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Author Topic: Dieselpunk Role Play Plot Brainstorming Session  (Read 3200 times)
Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« on: September 14, 2012, 07:28:38 am »

     I am trying to come up with a plot for my role play and would appreciate any help and/or ideas and suggestions. Right now I am thinking about potential antagonists. Here is what I came up with.

1. The Japanese Empire is ostensibly ruled by the Emperor, but in the context of this role play it would actually ruled by a conspiracy between military leaders and the zaibatsu corporations. The extent of Japan’s control and influence would depend on the exact timeframe and the alternate history of the role play. It may not have to be included at all if the other two antagonists are both present.
2. An evil megacorporation. The scope of its operations includes numerous heavy industrial manufacturing concerns including shipbuilding and surface shipping companies (although it has many subsidiaries in many industries, these are the most relevant). The platform is in constant danger of being bought out by the megacorporation, who wishes to get its hands into the lucrative air shipping industry that is stealing profits from its surface shipping arm. The megacorporation is also secretly funding air piracy to disrupt air shipping of existing companies. It controls immense power, and even has its own private security forces.
3. Various gangs of air pirates have gained a lot power in recent years due to the rise of aerial commerce. These are fairly self-explanatory. They attack the platform on a regular basis, causing it to be continually upgraded with more powerful (and more expensive) defenses. This is of course, because they are on the payroll of the aforementioned megacorporation.

Edit) The megacorporation also is involved in mining and resource extraction and is interested in the platform because the dormant volcano that it is built atop of (and that provides geothermal power for the facility) contains the only major deposits of a rare element (that is used to create an antigravity substance) that it has not already solidified control over (except for those in territory occupied by the Japanese Empire, which also has knowledge of this rare element). Everyone else doesn't know about this element's existence.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 12:52:19 am by Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz » Logged
Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 07:38:25 am »

     As usual, I think my ideas are pretty lame, but I will ask what other people think before I reject them.
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Cpt Wallace
Snr. Officer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


Stand and Deliver


« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 01:27:04 pm »

You could feature the time period being around the Japanese expansion 2nd Sino-Japanese War when they invaded Korea and China you could create a politically charged environment of the Japanese releasing ever more creative war machines and attempting to stamp out the free trade of the area as they attempt to claim dominance.
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Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 06:04:44 pm »

It sounds like you need a McGuffin.
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Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 06:54:12 pm »

It sounds like you need a McGuffin.

     Do you mean like an object or an event?
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2012, 04:04:52 am »

     What might the McGuffin be? An ancient artifact? A technological device? A superweapon? Access to natural resources?
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Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2012, 10:05:57 am »

     What might the McGuffin be? An ancient artifact? A technological device? A superweapon? Access to natural resources?

What about an aircraft that has some mysterious capability (strange weapons, high speed or other performace that shouldn't be possible for that type of craft, cloaking (radar and/or visible) all of the above, etc.) No one knows who owns it (including the Megacorporation), but everyone in the area wants to get thier hands on it to study/use it.

The game could be about finding the aircraft and possibly the base of operations of whoever owns it, before the Megacorporation or anyone else does.
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~-- Purveyour of Useless Facts, Strange Advice, Plots --~
Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2012, 05:23:58 pm »

     What might the McGuffin be? An ancient artifact? A technological device? A superweapon? Access to natural resources?

What about an aircraft that has some mysterious capability (strange weapons, high speed or other performace that shouldn't be possible for that type of craft, cloaking (radar and/or visible) all of the above, etc.) No one knows who owns it (including the Megacorporation), but everyone in the area wants to get thier hands on it to study/use it.

The game could be about finding the aircraft and possibly the base of operations of whoever owns it, before the Megacorporation or anyone else does.

     I like that idea. A highy advanced prototype aircraft, perhaps built by some mad scientist. Maybe the aircraft is Japanese and the location of its base of operations is in occupied territory, or maybe it is just hidden in some impossibly remote and/or hazardous location.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 08:58:20 pm by Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz » Logged
Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 09:20:11 pm »

     If this role play is popular enough, I would like to do it in a serialized format like several other role plays on this forum have already done. Each "episode" would represent one of our mercenary "campaigns". This seems especially appropriate for this rp because of its theme.

P.S.

     What I am going for is a pulp adventure feel similar to Crimson Skies, Porco Rosso, Talespin, Tales of The Gold Monkey, The Rocketeer, Sky Captain and the World of Tommorow, etc.
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Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 11:04:08 pm »

A floating refueling platform for airplanes seem like a really simple thing to create. Just make a large metal tank, fill it with gasoline and put a large flat surface at the top. I don't quite see why different countries would be fighting over it.
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Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 11:49:24 pm »

It's possible other nations could see the platform as strategically important for trade and/or military applications.

A few ideas:

What about having the platform be in the south pacific for the purpose of controlling or profiting from trade traffic generated by resources? In this universe Fritz could have the South Pacific be the only large source of a recently discovered super-lighter-than-air gas, or something similar that's generated a long-term resource rush.

Maybe the Megacorporation isn't after the platform solely to get into the air trade, but also to create a monopoly over a resource that can't be found anywhere else.
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 12:40:14 am »

It's possible other nations could see the platform as strategically important for trade and/or military applications.

A few ideas:

What about having the platform be in the south pacific for the purpose of controlling or profiting from trade traffic generated by resources? In this universe Fritz could have the South Pacific be the only large source of a recently discovered super-lighter-than-air gas, or something similar that's generated a long-term resource rush.

Maybe the Megacorporation isn't after the platform solely to get into the air trade, but also to create a monopoly over a resource that can't be found anywhere else.

     Sure, that'll work.
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2012, 02:31:44 am »

     So the dormant volcano the platform is built atop of contains massive deposits of a rare element that is critical in the manufacturing process of a super-lighter-than-air gas for zeppelins. The megacorporation wants the platform not only to get into the air-shipping industry, but to complete its monopoly on this resource. It has already grabbed (often by corrupt means) most of the other deposits located throughout the South Pacific region except for those located in Japanese territory. This is all part of its scheme to exert its control over aviation. Perhaps we don't need an advanced prototype aircraft as a McGuffin after all.
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Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2012, 11:20:13 am »

In that case instead of a refuelling platform, you could say it's an oil rig, only not for oil but for that fancy substance of yours.
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2012, 12:47:14 pm »

In that case instead of a refuelling platform, you could say it's an oil rig, only not for oil but for that fancy substance of yours.

     Maybe, but my idea was that only the megacorporation and possibly the Japanese Empire (the two of which have already secured all the other deposits) know that the substance in question exists (or at least that it has useful applications).
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 01:42:21 pm by Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz » Logged
Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2012, 11:55:10 pm »

     I think that we pretty much have a basic plot. Now we just need a name for the substance, a name for the megacorporation, possibly a name for the platform, a name for the mercenaries, and a name for the entire rp.
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Narsil
Immortal
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2012, 12:10:30 am »

One suggestion I would make is to make your substance a fire suppressant, something a bit like halon, that could make hydrogen a much easier lifting gas to manage.

The problem with a super light lifting gas is that it required serious rewriting of the laws of physics to work and even if it could exist the gain over hydrogen or helium is marginal at best. So your asking for quite a lot of suspension of disbelief for a technology which isn't that spectacular, unless you're going to start wandering into the realms of anti-gravity etc.

Making hydrogen more usable would have a significant effect while remaining plausible and without having to invoke a radically new set of technology.

Something else to consider is that it might be better to have your McGuffin as something more portable than a mineral resource, fighting over physicla territory is a bit of  different thing to an classic McGuffin . Perhaps a process which allows its industrial processing has been developed on the island and the big powers are after it ? 
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A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2012, 12:47:22 am »

One suggestion I would make is to make your substance a fire suppressant, something a bit like halon, that could make hydrogen a much easier lifting gas to manage.

The problem with a super light lifting gas is that it required serious rewriting of the laws of physics to work and even if it could exist the gain over hydrogen or helium is marginal at best. So your asking for quite a lot of suspension of disbelief for a technology which isn't that spectacular, unless you're going to start wandering into the realms of anti-gravity etc.

Making hydrogen more usable would have a significant effect while remaining plausible and without having to invoke a radically new set of technology.

Something else to consider is that it might be better to have your McGuffin as something more portable than a mineral resource, fighting over physicla territory is a bit of  different thing to an classic McGuffin . Perhaps a process which allows its industrial processing has been developed on the island and the big powers are after it ? 

     I actually did consider making this substance have anti-gravity propeties (the technology in this game is not supposed to be plausible), but a fire suppressant would also work. Also, I was not going for what you call a "classic McGuffin", I fully intend for there to be fighting over physical territory. However, if other players want a classic McGuffin, we could go back to the mysterious prototype aircraft idea.
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Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2012, 12:58:55 am »

Quote
if other players want a classic McGuffin, we could go back to the mysterious prototype aircraft idea.

If you want to run the game in several 'episodes' or campaigns, I think both would work. Fighting over physical territory sounds good for an overall story arc. You could throw in some classic mcguffins for variety every so often, kind of like the mcguffin-of-the-week concept TV shows use.
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2012, 01:05:08 am »

Quote
if other players want a classic McGuffin, we could go back to the mysterious prototype aircraft idea.

If you want to run the game in several 'episodes' or campaigns, I think both would work. Fighting over physical territory sounds good for an overall story arc. You could throw in some classic mcguffins for variety every so often, kind of like the mcguffin-of-the-week concept TV shows use.

     I like that idea, but should we immediately throw in a McGuffin in the first episode or save them until later? I really want to get this role play up and running soon.
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Narsil
Immortal
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2012, 01:27:15 am »

It would be possible to build up layers of objectives. For example you could start by trying to steal the prototype aircraft, then it becomes clear that it relies on this resource which the big powers have but can't exploit properly,  then the goal becomes the 'formula' to make it work etc etc....

This could also work to explain why such a small place doesn't get steamrollered by the major powers, perhaps they are biding their time to get hold of the information they need to exploit the resource, which itself gives them enough political leverage and military power to hold out in the short term or perhaps they are wary that a full scale military strike would show their hand too early or end up destroying the thing they are after in the first place.

This puts the emphasis on the information rather than the territory and material resources which would tend to make for a more subtle and mysterious storyline than a simple war for resources.

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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2012, 08:33:21 am »

It would be possible to build up layers of objectives. For example you could start by trying to steal the prototype aircraft, then it becomes clear that it relies on this resource which the big powers have but can't exploit properly,  then the goal becomes the 'formula' to make it work etc etc....

This could also work to explain why such a small place doesn't get steamrollered by the major powers, perhaps they are biding their time to get hold of the information they need to exploit the resource, which itself gives them enough political leverage and military power to hold out in the short term or perhaps they are wary that a full scale military strike would show their hand too early or end up destroying the thing they are after in the first place.

This puts the emphasis on the information rather than the territory and material resources which would tend to make for a more subtle and mysterious storyline than a simple war for resources.




     Yeah, let's go for that. Perhaps the customer we are stealing the prototype for turns out to be the megacorporation (we of course, wouldn't know that until after we've stolen the prototype), but that idea seems rather cliched. Then again, I can't come up with anything better myself.
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2012, 08:29:34 pm »

     I have decided to make the mysterious substance in question an antigravity substance (something like cavorite). The prototype aircraft we have to steal will be a massive aerial battleship/ base of operations that uses the substance for lift. Now we have to decide who built it and where it is located. Unless anyone else has better ideas, and you guys probably do.
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Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States

Kapitän of the airborne assault carrier "Hermann"


« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2012, 01:16:43 am »

     I think we just need to come up with a name for the entire role play and I can launch the OOC/ sign-up thread. The basic plot is very close to completed so I think we can finish it before the actual role play starts.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 01:18:49 am by Zeppelin Kapitan Fritz » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2012, 02:04:47 am »

It would be possible to build up layers of objectives. For example you could start by trying to steal the prototype aircraft, then it becomes clear that it relies on this resource which the big powers have but can't exploit properly,  then the goal becomes the 'formula' to make it work etc etc....

This could also work to explain why such a small place doesn't get steamrollered by the major powers, perhaps they are biding their time to get hold of the information they need to exploit the resource, which itself gives them enough political leverage and military power to hold out in the short term or perhaps they are wary that a full scale military strike would show their hand too early or end up destroying the thing they are after in the first place.

This puts the emphasis on the information rather than the territory and material resources which would tend to make for a more subtle and mysterious storyline than a simple war for resources.




     Yeah, let's go for that. Perhaps the customer we are stealing the prototype for turns out to be the megacorporation (we of course, wouldn't know that until after we've stolen the prototype), but that idea seems rather cliched. Then again, I can't come up with anything better myself.



Hmmm... The only alternative in my mind at present is a a character like Robur, from Verne's Master of the World/Robur the Conqueror, bent on world dmination under his own rather twisted vision...
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