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Old 12-15-2011, 01:23 PM   #1
Purezebo
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Default Weird War II - Avalon?

I've been thinking about running a Weird War II game. Magic is allowed, even out of TL characters given a good enough background.

Anyway I started thinking of campaign ideas. I saw the generic "Crashland behind enemy lines" type campaign and thought: What if they crash landed on Avalon? Of course they wouldn't know, at first, where they were. Probably thinking somewhere in Eastern Europe.

I was thinking of the Isle of Avalon remaining in a mostly medieval TL, with knights and horses and fullplate, etc. Perhaps King Arthur, Morgan le Fay, other knights as well, all lived. Maybe the group of rugged, mostly American soldiers have to convince him to come help, the now almost destroyed, Britain. Maybe he'll send them on quests? Slay a dragon? Find some MacGuffin?

How would you do this? Where would you take the story? What ideas, unique, and entertaining would you implement in such a game? Has it been done before? I'm interested in hearing what you guys can think of, or have to say.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

I've considered the possibility of bringing Arthur back in a situation where Britain has been invaded and Churchill and the King have been killed.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
Purezebo
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

I'd be interested in hearing details of such a game. Sounds very similar in tone to the game I'm looking to run.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:53 PM   #4
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

You need to decide on what kind of Arthur you want. It sounds like the Mallory Arthur, or maybe the Sword in the Stone one? GURPS Camalot will be of assistance with this, and the Pendragon RPG has a load of detail on high-medieval, glorious and virtuous Arthur.

Then you need to decide on the circumstances that prompt his return. There's a problem, because the period when Britain was most at risk (Summer 1940) is before there were large numbers of Americans involved with the war. However, there is a solution in the Eagle Squadrons, fighter squadrons in the Royal Air Force composed of US volunteers. The individual heroism of fighter pilots is a lot more like that of a knight-errant than most WWII combat roles.

So if you take that, and an early-morning mission over Somerset, where Glastonbury (traditionally identified with Avalon) is, you can have weird weather forcing landings ... somewhere else. A variant on this, with weirdness on the enemy side as well, would be a German bombing raid trying to destroy Glastonbury, to prevent Arthur returning.

Now, are you going to skate over the issues of language and culture? No plausible Arthur would have spoken anything comprehensible to modern English speakers, and culture has changed as much as language. If whatever has preserved Arthur and his people provides them with modern language and some insight into modern warfare, things will be a lot simpler. It depends how long you want your campaign to run.

Then there's the question of what Arthur does and how he does it. If it is obvious to everyone who sees or hears him that he really is Arthur, then he will be able to exercise a great deal of power very rapidly. But if he provides superhuman leadership and generalship, unopposed by anyone of similar capabilities, then the Battle of Britain will be won quite fast, and then WWII continues on its historical course as a war decided by economic strength.

So that doesn't seem like a very interesting campaign in the long term.

To make it more interesting, have a less superhuman Arthur, and recall some important details of his legend. While a capable warrior, his real strength was as a politician. One of the less obvious points of the stories is that most of them aren't about him.They are about his knights righting wrongs in a Britain that is basically peaceful and orderly, but subject to local disruption. he true goal of all national leadership - peace and prosperity - is already accomplished.

So a returned Arthur will be trying to arrange matters on an international scale to bring about a stable peace. What he might do is unclear, but it's likely to be more effective than the creation of the modern United Nations by Churchill and FDR. Defeating the Axis is clearly required, but the details of that are likely to be delegated to Lancelot, Gawain, Kay, and so on, with the more junior knights acting as tactical leaders. In tanks, in planes, in ships, and on foot. That seems to create a good supply of scenarios.

You might want to leave out Merlin. In a world of science, he might do almost anything.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
Purezebo
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
You need to decide on what kind of Arthur you want. It sounds like the Mallory Arthur, or maybe the Sword in the Stone one? GURPS Camalot will be of assistance with this, and the Pendragon RPG has a load of detail on high-medieval, glorious and virtuous Arthur.

Then you need to decide on the circumstances that prompt his return. There's a problem, because the period when Britain was most at risk (Summer 1940) is before there were large numbers of Americans involved with the war. However, there is a solution in the Eagle Squadrons, fighter squadrons in the Royal Air Force composed of US volunteers. The individual heroism of fighter pilots is a lot more like that of a knight-errant than most WWII combat roles.

So if you take that, and an early-morning mission over Somerset, where Glastonbury (traditionally identified with Avalon) is, you can have weird weather forcing landings ... somewhere else. A variant on this, with weirdness on the enemy side as well, would be a German bombing raid trying to destroy Glastonbury, to prevent Arthur returning.

Now, are you going to skate over the issues of language and culture? No plausible Arthur would have spoken anything comprehensible to modern English speakers, and culture has changed as much as language. If whatever has preserved Arthur and his people provides them with modern language and some insight into modern warfare, things will be a lot simpler. It depends how long you want your campaign to run.

Then there's the question of what Arthur does and how he does it. If it is obvious to everyone who sees or hears him that he really is Arthur, then he will be able to exercise a great deal of power very rapidly. But if he provides superhuman leadership and generalship, unopposed by anyone of similar capabilities, then the Battle of Britain will be won quite fast, and then WWII continues on its historical course as a war decided by economic strength.

So that doesn't seem like a very interesting campaign in the long term.

To make it more interesting, have a less superhuman Arthur, and recall some important details of his legend. While a capable warrior, his real strength was as a politician. One of the less obvious points of the stories is that most of them aren't about him.They are about his knights righting wrongs in a Britain that is basically peaceful and orderly, but subject to local disruption. he true goal of all national leadership - peace and prosperity - is already accomplished.

So a returned Arthur will be trying to arrange matters on an international scale to bring about a stable peace. What he might do is unclear, but it's likely to be more effective than the creation of the modern United Nations by Churchill and FDR. Defeating the Axis is clearly required, but the details of that are likely to be delegated to Lancelot, Gawain, Kay, and so on, with the more junior knights acting as tactical leaders. In tanks, in planes, in ships, and on foot. That seems to create a good supply of scenarios.

You might want to leave out Merlin. In a world of science, he might do almost anything.
An insightful post to be sure. To clarify though the war, in this campaign, would have diverged from reality, at some point, to allow for an American presence far before we did in actuality. If only a minor one, possibly a specialized camp, to account for the several weirdos who may be PCs, as one player is someone with a small magical talent. Perhaps, on the way to the camp, possibly off the french coast, they were shot down. Rumors have it Avalon could be somewhere in the Mediterranean, and that's good enough for me.

Now as for the language issues, if I have a linguist in the party, I'll probably make it a minor problem. If not, they'll just speaketh ole' timey English. Culture will be stereotypical highly honorable knight. Or that's what I'm thinking.

Arthur I plan to be a significant in the war, but he's not gonna win it. While our heroes are bringing back Arthur, the Germans are up to their own odd plots.

Now my question, is what should Arthur, or his Knights, or Morgan, have our troop of rugged soldiers do? Obviously it'll take some time for them to figure out where they are, who these weirdos in armor are, etc. But eventually I'm gonna need something else to take up their time. Besides walking to Arthur and saying "Yes, Britain could use your help right now, would you mind?"

Perhaps a series of tests to prove their mettle? Hmmm.

Keep the ideas coming! Gives me more to brainstorm on.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:30 PM   #6
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purezebo View Post
Rumors have it Avalon could be somewhere in the Mediterranean, and that's good enough for me.
You might want to consider Lyonesse It's also an occasionally mentioned site for Avalon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purezebo View Post
Now my question, is what should Arthur, or his Knights, or Morgan, have our troop of rugged soldiers do? Obviously it'll take some time for them to figure out where they are, who these weirdos in armor are, etc.
Well, this is where the cultural issues and knowledge of the outside world are a problem. If Arthur and company are still in the mindset of their own period, they are likely to consider aircraft, guns and other advanced technology as dangerous magic, and execute or imprison the PCs.

To maker this playable, they need to have some awareness that a lot of time has passed. that things have changed a lot, and some idea of the general tenor of the modern world.

Last edited by johndallman; 12-15-2011 at 05:31 PM. Reason: quoting
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:39 PM   #7
Purezebo
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
You might want to consider Lyonesse It's also an occasionally mentioned site for Avalon.


Well, this is where the cultural issues and knowledge of the outside world are a problem. If Arthur and company are still in the mindset of their own period, they are likely to consider aircraft, guns and other advanced technology as dangerous magic, and execute or imprison the PCs.

To maker this playable, they need to have some awareness that a lot of time has passed. that things have changed a lot, and some idea of the general tenor of the modern world.
While I think the PCs being persecuted by Arthur and his lot, and having to try and prove that Britain is in trouble and they need him, would be interesting. I think your idea of at least an awareness of the outside world would make it more playable.

This still leaves the question: What should I have the PCs actually doing?
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:39 PM   #8
vitruvian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purezebo View Post
An insightful post to be sure. To clarify though the war, in this campaign, would have diverged from reality, at some point, to allow for an American presence far before we did in actuality. If only a minor one, possibly a specialized camp, to account for the several weirdos who may be PCs, as one player is someone with a small magical talent. Perhaps, on the way to the camp, possibly off the french coast, they were shot down. Rumors have it Avalon could be somewhere in the Mediterranean, and that's good enough for me.

Now as for the language issues, if I have a linguist in the party, I'll probably make it a minor problem. If not, they'll just speaketh ole' timey English. Culture will be stereotypical highly honorable knight. Or that's what I'm thinking.

Arthur I plan to be a significant in the war, but he's not gonna win it. While our heroes are bringing back Arthur, the Germans are up to their own odd plots.

Now my question, is what should Arthur, or his Knights, or Morgan, have our troop of rugged soldiers do? Obviously it'll take some time for them to figure out where they are, who these weirdos in armor are, etc. But eventually I'm gonna need something else to take up their time. Besides walking to Arthur and saying "Yes, Britain could use your help right now, would you mind?"

Perhaps a series of tests to prove their mettle? Hmmm.

Keep the ideas coming! Gives me more to brainstorm on.
If they need the Grail, and the Germans are looking for it too, maybe a certain American archaeologist could help them out... you could also do worse than to find a trade paperback of a classic comic book series called Camelot 3000.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:49 PM   #9
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purezebo View Post
This still leaves the question: What should I have the PCs actually doing?
There are loads of possibilities:

If they need to learn knightly skills to be taken seriously, doing that.

If they need to show Arthur or a trusted knight the outside world to get the situation over to them, trying to find a way to do that.

If they can get to the outside world and need to convince it that Arthur is back, trying to keep from getting confined to an asylum.

Capturing some Germans (or stealing them from a prison camp) and taking them to Avalon for Arthur to have a look - if you don't do really odd things, it's not Weird War II.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:53 PM   #10
LoneWolf23k
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

If one brings in Merlin, I'd recommend sticking to Ritual Magic, making his powers more subtle then flashy. ...And as a counterpoint, perhaps the Nazi Thule society's own love of ritualism isn't just a PR stunt, meaning that Merlin will be too busy countering Thule Sorcery to do much more then hand out the occasional bit of help to the PCs.

Speaking of the PCs, avoid bringing in the whole Round Table back with Arthur. The PCs are the new Knights of the Round Table, handpicked from the best of the best in the Royal Armed Forces, to form an elite fighting force capable of dealing with whatever the Axis Forces can dish out. Sort of a WW2 British GIJoe...
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