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Historical Settings: WWII – Ep80

I don’t have to run faster than Jerry’s panzerfaust, Private Sonofabitch. I just have to run faster than you!

We have recently begun a Mutants and Masterminds campaign set during World War II. As a group, we love that setting for a game. There is so much to work with, it is a gold mine of potential game and character hooks.

 

We take a look at this very significant era through a gaming lens; from golden age of comics to the popular culture fascination with mystical Nazis.

 

If you have some input on this, leave a comment here, via email or on our Facebook page.

 

 

Cast – Eric, Mike, Dan, Mark, Jayson, Shannon and Shawn

 

Intro: Jayson

Outro: Dan

 

Running Time – 36:21

 

 

Items Mentioned:

Mutants and Masterminds, Captain America: The First Avenger, Gear Kreig, Dust Tactics, Crimson Skies, Twilight 2000, Legend of the Five Rings, Call of Cthulhu

 

 

Editor’s Note:

This is an episode in a series devoted to historical campaign settings.

10 Comments

  1. Keir Lyles
    Keir Lyles October 23, 2012

    Just wanted to say great show, I look forward to Tuesday mornings because I anticipate listening to you guys while I work. I also wanted to know if any of you have looked at the RPG Godlike. It’s set during WW2 and takes place in a world where people with powers are emerging and being placed on the front lines. It is very gritty and the powers aren’t really flashy. Characters are just average joes who wake up one day able to do one incredible thing. The interesting thing is that all powers operate on the willpower of the user and when super powered beings encounter one another, they nullify each others abilities. The system is kinda like Storyteller with d10 dice pools.
    Take care and can’t wait until next week.

    • Eric
      Eric October 23, 2012

      I can’t say that I have heard of Godlike, but it sounds very interesting. I’ll have to check it out.

      Thanks for listening.

  2. Matt
    Matt October 24, 2012

    Hey guys! I absolutely loved this episode! Listening from the perspective of a gamer AND a World War II historian (I’ve got the degree and some published Holocaust research out there in the internets), all I can say is that you guys nailed it. I especially loved the tangent on teaching history (seeing as it’s my dream job, but California hates education).

    I think Eric mentioned that it would be a bad idea to try to run this setting for a group well-versed in the topic, which might be true, but they would be a bunch of dicks to not just shut-up and play. Sure, you might get post-session fact-checks (yeah, I’ve done this), but hey, thems the breaks.

    Having spent the better part of 20 years studying everything leading to and resulting from WWII, I don’t think you guys said anything offensive. Nazis do make “sexy” villains, because they pretty much represent evil incarnate. The emphasis on the European Theater rather than the Pacific in film is likely because of continued guilt of the US being dicks and interring Japanese Americans and then dropping not just one, but two A-Bombs on civilian populations.

    I’ve got a book called “War Without Mercy” by John Dower which breaks down the war in the Pacific as being a racial war, with each side being guilty of dehumanizing the other to a point of grotesqueness. The same happened on the Eastern Front between the Germans and the Russians, but US/UK vs German propaganda was pretty devoid of racial undertones.

    Thanks for the great show and the inspiration to write an article on historical settings for our site next week. Oh, and I’m totally stealing this motif (Golden Age Superheroes) for a future Wild Talents game that I’ll probably never actually run.

    You guys rock!

  3. Matt
    Matt October 25, 2012

    Oh, I forgot to mention what really sealed me as a WWII Nerd. A few years ago at San Diego Comic-Con, they were demoing the vidoe game “The Saboteur,” which takes place in Nazi-occupied France. Within 1 minute of watching the demo, I noticed that the character had an Germna STG-44 in his inventory and I was immediately like “That gun wasn’t even distributed widely until after France was liberated after D-Day. Boy, they screwed the pooch on that one,” and I was immediately turned off to the game for that one historical error.

    Yeah, I’m a dick…

    • this_is_Dan
      this_is_Dan October 25, 2012

      The Saboteur is the primary inspiration for the character i am playing in our Mutants and Masterminds Game, plus a little Nightcrawler thrown in for good measure.

      Thank you for listening
      and look forward to the article.
      dan

  4. Jayson
    Jayson October 25, 2012

    Hugo Boss was the name of the clothing manufacturer I was trying to think of during this episode. Hugo was a huge Nazi supporter, even before their rise to power. He died not long after the war, but before that he was stripped of voting rights and the right to own a business and the company continued on without him. If they had just shut them down then, we wouldn’t have been subjected to their “fashion” in the 1980’s.

  5. Robert Sullivan
    Robert Sullivan October 28, 2012

    I like Godlike but haven’t played it – the guys who made it live in the Birmingham, AL, area. Good people.
    For some time I’ve wanted to run an alternate history game, where the Archduke was *not* assassinated and so WW I did not happen, but in the 20s there is a kind of Cold War… which involves Zepplins.
    Achtung Cthulhu is about Lovecraftian horrors during WWII, though that horror is kept distinct from the real horrors of the war.
    It *is* interesting that when people talk about WWII, they are usually talking about the European theater, as compared to the Pacific Theater or the African campaigns.
    The Dirty Dozen is a pretty good flick, an interesting idea for a campaign and probably an inspiration for the comic Suicide Squad.
    And yeah, I get the “knows too much” thing… for example, Hitler was actually a skeptic, had little respect for the Thule Society and used them for their resources and connections.
    Lastly, WWII is much more relevant in Europe to modern society than it is in America. In many ways it still defines modern European society, and it is at the far edge of living memory here.

  6. Jayson
    Jayson October 29, 2012

    For Europeans and WWII, it’s kind of like the Civil War and its memory in the South. Being an Illinois Yankee myself (and descended from Northern CW veterans), I’m not obsessed with it, except as a student/fanboy of history, but I’ve met people who are still pissed at Sherman, Grant and Lincoln. Considering it was over 150 years ago, that’s kinda weird. But, if Lee had run roughshod over Illinois, Ohio and New York and won the “Wau of Nauthurn Aggreshun”, I’m sure we’d see lots more Northern re-in-actors than the Southern variety.

  7. hopeless
    hopeless October 30, 2012

    Any chance of an actual play set in your Mutants and Masterminds game?

    • Eric
      Eric October 30, 2012

      We’re not recording this time, but maybe in the future.

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