Monday, November 23, 2009

Final Fantasy 7 + Slashers

Back in that post reviewing what I'd been up to this last month or two, I mentioned that "World Of Darkness' amazing Slasher supplement inspired me to go back and revisit. . .my old idea for setting a campaign in the world of the FF7 series. I know it sounds deranged, but these two concepts are peanut butter and chocolate, seriously."

See, it's like this. In the wake of the original video game's events, you've got a setting with a military force of supersoldiers that's now been disbanded- plus untold numbers more that have been exposed to Jenova Cells in one fashion or another, even just by having blood from a SOLDIER spill on an open wound. And all of these people are being influenced by an alien subconsciousness; this influence largely consists of making them want to kill everyone.

Literally, everyone.

As in they want to personally murder every last human being on the planet.

Granted, Slashers in FF7 don't beat your skull in with a cement block; they slice through steel doors with swords and have duels on the backs of motorcycles. But the "those who fight monsters" theme seen in White Wolf's book very much applies here, since the ones best suited to fighting the slashers are other ex-SOLDIERs who have managed (so far) to resist the mental corruption.

I'm not suggesting your FF7-based campaign be a horror game; the idea is to enhance the adventuring setup described in the earlier post, in two different ways.

First, npc slashers provide a temporary shift towards thriller movie territory; a scary iconic enemy (similar to Dragons in D&D) that alters the nature of the encounter/adventure by being a far more serious threat than any normal enemy. Yes, the players are going to be far more powerful than any average joe slasher movie victim, but that boost in power applies to both sides, meaning they'll still be facing a very real threat.

Second, the Slasher villians and the chance to play as a character with Jenova Cells both help provide an overarching conflict to the setting (and thus the player's adventures). Western fantasy has holy knights fighting the corrupting influence of the devil and his foul servants; in the world of FF7, you have hardy survivors engaged in a similar struggle against Jenova and her psychopathic pawns. And in both cases, the future of humanity is at stake.

Now in case it's not clear, I'm not saying to gloss over all the fun, inventive aspects of the setting in favor of black leather bodysuits and ominous latin chanting. My goal here's just to facilitate a game where you can have it all- to capture both the madcap fun of parts like FF7's early Midgar sections, and the chilling tension that came from moments like escaping confinement in the Shinra headquarters only to see the hallways outside are covered in fresh blood.

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