Friday, September 28, 2007

FF7 Game Idea

Here's a random string of ideas spawned by this video and then this article. To start: Final Fantasy VII has an interesting setting that's not easily categorized- a sort of modern magipunk, perhaps. Is there the makings of a decent game in there? It seems like there are two ways you could go. There's a small collection of individuals who are outright superpowered- first class SOLDIERS and the like, who can practically fly and take on hundreds of normal individuals. And then you've got collections of people who are a little more "mundane" (Turks, Barrett and Cid) but still have some very thrilling adventures. Most (Maybe all) of the superpowered individuals seen so far in the setting are the result of Shinra's experiments, but I'd rather not do a game that ties players to the main plotline/characters or steals their thunder. So, here's an idea for an overall plot:

The players are a group of young adults, all in a similar age group; say 18-21. The game takes place about 15 years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, so the kids know about the history in theory but don't have much in the way of personal memories. The game will be based in the city/settlement of Edge (The setting for Advent Children), with the players having lived there all their lives, probably as street urchins. There are numerous opportunities here- you've got a sort of frontier urban setting, with the ruins of Midgar literally next door; you could easily have the whole game take place within these boundaries. If you want to say that the city of Edge is having to really fight to survive, then just exploring the ruins to salvage supplies is a valid adventure hook. There can be bandit hideouts and other sinister agents lurking in the shadows. In Dirge of Cerebus, the enemies are "Deepground" soldiers who were trapped in complexes underneath the city and brought out of cyrogenic sleep by the personality of the mad scientist Hojo, preserved on the facility's computer network; the dungeon opportunities don't get more clear-cut than that.

The plot twist, which allows you to move into a more superpowered game if you feel so inclined, is that the players were all exposed to Mako as kids in the same way as members of the SOLDIER program. However, in their case this wasn't due to any deliberate experiment; instead, they were all children living in the slums around the generator that was destroyed by the player in the beginning of Final Fantasy VII. The GM can give the players unexpected reserves of strength, similar to the young Cloud at Nibelheim (2:00 to 2:30). At the same time, you can use elements of Mako Poisoning as a plot device/motiviation- the players are suffering from a strange disease, so how can they cure it? It also serves as a way of providing exposition- as the players explore the ruins of Midgar, they might find themselves experiencing memories that aren't theirs.

A potential employer for the PCs is the World Regenesis Organization, which is a mix of charity organization and private militia. The organization's goal is to help rebuild the planet, and they're based in Edge. The founder, Reeve Tuesti, makes for a good "boss" who gives the kids jobs which involve searching for some lost piece of technology that he recently got a lead on or something. He could also be aware of their condition and be observing them out of a sense of responsibility (Or a concern that they might snap and go on an overpowered rampage).

In terms of system, I'd be inclined to use 2nd Edition M&M for a superpowered game involving and d20 Modern for a more normal one, maybe mixing in some spycraft 2nd Edition. Either way you'd want to make the flavor clear beforehand, getting the players to think about the character first rather than taking these flexible systems in ways that don't fit the setting.

With regards to this game idea, my preference is to start things on a small scale and then escalate from there. Begin as d20 modern characters and only drop hints about their Mako abilities, the sort of details that only get noticed when they look back later. As things step up, add on the benefits of M&M levels. The advantage of this setup is that the players have gotten this boost in power through a route previously unseen in FF7, so the GM can dictate how things work without having to worry too much about previous canon.


Anonymous said...

The first linked video was removed, if it matters.

Dagda (Brooks Harrel) said...

Probably not- I don't even remember what it was.