“I fear that we have awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”
— Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Empire of Japan, December 7th, 1941
Blog, Jvstin Style: IRE #3: Pearl Harbor
The third IRE is going to be about the day that lives in infamy, the Japanese attack on the naval base of Pearl Harbor, Dec 7. 1941.
Okay, for this one I’m going to crack open The Shadow of Yesterday, something I hope to play sometime in the future.
Across the deep waters of Absolon’s Way lie the ruins of Maldor, once the grandest empire Near has ever known. Before the Shadow Moon came, Maldor ruled the world, its empire spreading from the Eastern Sea to the frozen waters of the South and the Hungry River of the north. Maldor’s most distinctive feature was its tremendous walled cities, giant sealed engines of industry and culture. These cities, filled with secrets and danger, are a destination for especially foolish or brave adventurers.
Okay, for this I’m not focusing on the idea of a heretofore un-involved enemy force being attacked unexpectedly by another military — that could happen literally anywhere and in any setting, so I won’t bother mentioning it. Being at ground zero for something like that can be interesting and fun — I did something similar in homebrew campaign back in college, actually — back when everyone was making up characters who came from orc-wiped-out villages, I thought it would be fun to have the game START at the actual village-wiping. (This was back before Lodoss Wars did the same thing.)
Instead I’m focusing on the Yamamoto quote — memorable and evocative. The giant in question is a literal robotic giant — an ancient war-machine in the style of Hayao Miyazaki (see the robots in Castle in the Sky or the massive ones in Nausicaa) that lies dormant in one of the forgotten cities of Maldor. Short version: the equivilant of tomb raiders activate the thing (either purposefully or by accident) and, rather than serving them, it sets off to realize its final orders — which involve attacking a country that doesn’t even exist anymore. Doesn’t matter to the robot, of course — it’s just going by GPS readouts… sort of Nausicaa-meets-Ifurita-of-El-Hazard.
The PCs might be part of the original group that activated the robot — they might find out about it and figure out where it’s going, or it could be a Doomed Tokyo scenario where everyone is at ground zero, but that kinda bores me. One way or the other, the group probably has something invested in what the robot’s doing, and may need to delve into the past of Maldor to figure out how to stop it. Maybe all they need is a descendant of the original ruler of Maldor to give a stop command… but where do you find one?
One idea, anyway… there’s a dozen things that could be done here.
Might be a fun Convention scenario, but I’m not sure that it does much for me in a campaign thing — the group of heros ends up being self-contained — whether or not they’ve got ties to other characters, they won’t be interactive with them much, because they’re on the clock. Hmm.
Fun exercise, anyway.