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Old 02-20-2015, 12:22 PM   #21
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Starting a Campaign, help

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Originally Posted by Nymdok View Post
Please dont misunderstand, its certainly not for everyones taste and its certainly not my intent to trivialize the holocaust by making it a Fantasy gameable concept, but it is a supremely 'evil' basis for a game.
Likewise. :)

I meant it when I said "I would actually avoid that." I actually found it traumatic enough to cancel a game when I began thinking of running Mengele as an NPC.
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:29 PM   #22
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Default Re: Starting a Campaign, help

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... simply scrying and hijacking major supply shipments, that could add a much needed boost to their production.
Harder than it sounds. The places where major shipments happen are (a) at sea and (b) on the Soviet railway system.

Ships moved in convoys, and you have to mind-control a lot of people for a long time to get a convoy into a German-controlled port. The Soviet railway system didn't run across the front line of the Eastern Front, because the Germans were forced to re-lay it from Russian gauge (4'11.5") to Standard gauge (4'8.5") because they lacked Russian gauge locomotives - the Soviets managed to destroy nearly all the ones they didn't drive away.
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The blood sacrifice of those that Germany considered undesirable is all at once the creepiest and most brilliantly evil story idea I've read in a while. If there isn't a Weird War II Campaign in there, I don't know where it is...
Deliberately not used by the authors of GURPS WWII: Weird War II; see p57 for their reasons, which seem very sound to me.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:48 PM   #23
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Default Re: Starting a Campaign, help

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Harder than it sounds. The places where major shipments happen are (a) at sea and (b) on the Soviet railway system.

Ships moved in convoys, and you have to mind-control a lot of people for a long time to get a convoy into a German-controlled port. The Soviet railway system didn't run across the front line of the Eastern Front, because the Germans were forced to re-lay it from Russian gauge (4'11.5") to Standard gauge (4'8.5") because they lacked Russian gauge locomotives - the Soviets managed to destroy nearly all the ones they didn't drive away.

Deliberately not used by the authors of GURPS WWII: Weird War II; see p57 for their reasons, which seem very sound to me.
Oh, as far as ideas go, it's certainly horrific and I'd never actually publish anything like that. One doesn't put a company's reputation at risk for something so many would consider so absolutely offensive.

I just wanted to toss out potential ideas, and that's one that could work if a GM had the right sort of group. It would be tough to find a darker campaign premise, and (again, if one had the right sort of group) it sets up the potential for an horrific moral choice.

(What if the only way to defeat the NAZIs is to emulate them? That makes Glen Cook's Black Company look like a Disney fairy tale.)

Alternatively, you could have a version of Johann Schmidt who found a font or item of awesome magics. Maybe he opened himself up to become a conduit for Loki or (better yet) Surtur, or some other spirit of terrible power. Maybe the increased industrial output didn't come from German factories, at all, but rather from the foundries of the Svartalfheim or Jotunheim. (Although, that still raises the question, why did they decide to help?)

(This could also set up a different sort of terrible moral choice. What if, by destroying the Rheingold ring that binds Surtur to the fuehrer, one opens the gateways to Jotunheim and the giants come ravening into central Europe -- which was Surtur's long-term plan, all along? Or is Odin behind everything? If the United States nukes Jotunheim, how long would that delay Ragnarok? Indefinitely, maybe? Might it actually be possible to defy fate, if one has access to a powerful people who believe in -- without question -- free will?)
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:32 PM   #24
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Default Re: Starting a Campaign, help

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As GM, you must address this key issue. Warfare in the modern era depends on economic strength, technological superiority and industrial capacity. German industry was arguably the most technologically-sophisticated, by the late 1930s, and it had business leaders unmatched in their competence.

However, much of the materiel needed for the war effort lay outside Germany's borders -- even outside the borders of the other Axis powers. Germany had no direct control of petroleum products, and its access to rubber supplies lay across a sea largely controlled by the British Navy.

What will drive much of the action in your campaign is the key question, "Given the superiority of the Allied wealth, industrial capacity and numbers, how could the Germans have possibly won?"

The ability to magically scry helps, a lot. Nothing multiplies force better than timely and accurate intelligence. However, quantity has a quality all its own, and even if the invasion of Normandy had failed, the ever-increasing industrial output of the Allies (U.S. industrial output accelerated for the entire duration of the war) just means they tried again the following year. They already had a foothold in Italy, and friendlies in the South of France, and control of most of the Mediterranean.

So, I think you have to look at some of the more boring types of magic seldom used by PCs, but which would profoundly impact industrial capacity. If the Germans used magic to multiply their industrial capacity, and create from scratch huge supplies of rubber and petroleum, then they might see some real potential for victory.
The use of subtle magical sabotage of Allied industrial capacities could also help; what if they unleashed an army of gremlins on Allied factories?

They could also maybe give help to British and American Fascist parties before the war, reducing their warfighting effectiveness by political means.

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(What if the only way to defeat the NAZIs is to emulate them? That makes Glen Cook's Black Company look like a Disney fairy tale.)
That's basically the premise of The Life Eaters, the expanded version of Brin's Thor VS Captain America, previously mentioned.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:11 PM   #25
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Wow, this forum is giving me a lot more ideas of better quality than I ever would have gotten on my own. Honestly, I think I'll avoid the amazingly horrible idea of mass sacrifice, just because it would certainly turn some people off. I'll save it for a sunny day.
That being said, I need to seriously reconsider some things, especially concerning Nazi production. Although undead workers/soldiers is an intriguing concept, although one I'll need to develop more thoroughly.

Also, broke down and bought GURPS: Thaumatology, and I'm having quite a bit of fun piecing together a magic system.

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Dangit...this idea does have a certain contagious nature to it...
Indeed it does! I was originally just kicking around ideas, but this alt-history thing's really just sucked me in.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:31 PM   #26
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Also, broke down and bought GURPS: Thaumatology, and I'm having quite a bit of fun piecing together a magic system.
There might not be enough to justify your buying it, but GURPS Thaumatology: Urban Magics has systems for large-scale, high-powered mana-based magic: either tapping into the ambient mana of a city's ongoing life, or conducting really large rituals with far more people than the 100 maximum for ceremonial magic. The latter might be a good fit to the Nazis, who seemed to love huge public ceremonies.

As to sacrifice, by traditional magical theory, an unconsenting sacrifice isn't any good; the sacrifice has to be willing. Of course the Romans had elaborate measures to ensure that sacrificed animals didn't do the things that were taken to show they were "unconsenting." (That's part of the subtext of The Hunger Games: Katniss is unusual for her district in that she's actually a consenting sacrifice.) Concentration camp deaths would be worth much, but all those soldiers dying in Russia might be another story. Or maybe they were all being taken to Valhalla and somehow supporting their Germanic kin?
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:02 PM   #27
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Default Re: Starting a Campaign, help

I think you all would enjoy the graphic novel The Life Eaters. Nazis winning WWII with the help of Norse Gods, Black Magic, and the inevitable escalation.
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