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Dark futures
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Thread: Dark futures

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    Dark futures

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    I've been thinking for a while about the Dark Futures side of this forum, and although I haven't come to any real conclusions as yet, I do want to solicit opinions and have more discussion in that area.

    Unfortunately for dark future games, I feel we're coming up a little empty. I have a few that I can think of. Cyberpunk and Shadowrun are pretty distopian. Cthluhutech seems an odd mixture of dark and then very not. Serenity has some dark elements to it (Reavers, gov't conspiracy to hide where they came from, etc.), and Battlestar Galactica has more than it's share.

    So what's going on out there? Is anyone looking at these games? What do you like or dislike? Have you played any of them recently?

    I'm sure there are more than I listed. Gimme some topics.

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    Of the ones you listed I've only played Cyberpunk.

    I have run Vampire and Mage games in a futuristic setting with some success.

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    What defines a dark future? I mean how dark or horror stricken does it have to be to be considered dark?
    There's "not really nice" future to "a horror on every street corner" future.

    Resident Evil. I mean do undead birds and vengeful psion-clones really qualify?

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    My future's so dark, I gotta wear ... low-light goggles? Doesn't really fit the meter.

    My impression was that "Dark Future" encompassed cyberpunk, post-apocalypses, dystopias, and horror/scifi hybrids.

    A few other examples might be Paranoia (funny, but still dark), possibly Fading Suns (which I know little about), and various "future Cthulhu" attempts like GURPS Cthulhupunk and some Chaosium monographs. I also vaguely recall an RPG set in the Alien(s) universe.

    None of which I've played either.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    DOH! I'd forgotten completely about Cthulhupunk even though I have a copy!

    Paranoia is an excellent example of a humorously dark future, but I'm afraid I don't know much about Fading Suns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Arcanist View Post
    Of the ones you listed I've only played Cyberpunk.

    I have run Vampire and Mage games in a futuristic setting with some success.

    Back in 2nd edition days, I played in a combination Vampire/Mage game that we called Space 1999 because it was so nonsensical. My 1,000+ year old Immortal and his Sons of Ether buddy took off in a stolen Naut'ja space cruiser (remember the Predator movies? Yeah, those guys) to a galaxy where a Communist Monarchy runs about 2/3 of everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhishStyx View Post
    (Reavers, gov't conspiracy to hide where they came from, etc.),

    I'm sure there are more than I listed. Gimme some topics.
    The Flood from Halo - sort of reminds me of the Reavers from Serenity. But the Flood scares the pee out of me.

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    I think you guys have it about right. In my mind when I added the Dark Future section, what I had in mind were games that could be classified as gothic in style -- that being defined as "a style of literature characterized by a gloomy setting, grotesque, mysterious, or violent events, and an atmosphere of degeneration and decay." Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, and World of Darkness easily fit into this category. Generally, a dark future game would fall in the the near to not-to-distant future, so that the darker and mysterious elements of the setting are not overshadowed by science-fiction.

    So, by that token, I would lump Battlestar Galactica firmly into the science fiction genre, and more specifically, Space-Opera. But, the stories in the Chronicles of Riddick might be able to be categorized as dark future. Even though they are set in-space and with fantastic technology, the stories tend to be very dark with heavy elements of horror, and with much less focus on technology.

    Its subjective to be sure, though.
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    Did anyone catch Tin Man this week?

    I've been toying with a Wizard of Oz game since seeing Return to Oz. After you introduce the history from Tin Man into what you already know, I think an Oz game would be a great place for a Dark Future game.

    I've been toying with classes, magic, and science in this quasi-setting and I think I may have something neat to play in a couple months. I'll start a thread soon with some of my thoughts for everyone to give constructive criticisms.

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