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Old 04-21-2005, 03:06 AM   #11
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

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Originally Posted by LittleShepherd
I just went and checked out the blurb in Infinite Worlds on the world dubbed Madland, and was kind of surprised. I didn't expect it to be huge and comprehensive, but there's not even a passing mention of the neighboring lands that don't seem to have the same problems as the Madlands itself.
Well, IW only really has room for a short mention, and focuses on the stuff which Fantasy II itself focuses on. Which seems only logical.

But I agree with the theory that Fantasy II has several rather cool and interesting ideas for a fantasy game - which it dismisses in about a paragraph each, telling readers that they have to play in the most depressing and futile bit of the game-world instead.

Of course, Robin ran an apparently quite successful campaign in the setting. So it's possible. De gustibus non yadda yadda.
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters
Well, IW only really has room for a short mention, and focuses on the stuff which Fantasy II itself focuses on. Which seems only logical.

But I agree with the theory that Fantasy II has several rather cool and interesting ideas for a fantasy game - which it dismisses in about a paragraph each, telling readers that they have to play in the most depressing and futile bit of the game-world instead.

Of course, Robin ran an apparently quite successful campaign in the setting. So it's possible. De gustibus non yadda yadda.
I have to agree, the whole "life sucks and then you die in an ironic manner" paradigm doesn't exactly appeal to me. So, if I ran a Madlands campaign, I'd change things a little, namely in terms of the Madlanders..

For starters, I'd use the Barbarian Template from GURPS Fantasy (p116), which is a balance between actual tribal peoples and mighty-hewed warriors. Let's face it, if any region's going to breed Conan-like barbarians, it's going to be the Madlands, with it's harsh environment, deadly beasts, chaotic magic and mad gods. Heck, they even had one on the cover...

Secondly, I'd make Shamans a little less ostracized. While they'd still be considered dangerous "God-touched" and regarded with suspicion, most Madlanders would be pragmatic enough to realize that the Shamans have useful powers, and can possibly keep their "patron gods" at bay. So, they keep their Shamans close at hand (but not too close, lest their attract their god). Of course, if things go very wrong, the Shaman will have to do something to improve the situation, lest he become a scapegoat..

...That's about it for my ideas.
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Old 04-21-2005, 08:41 AM   #13
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

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Originally Posted by LittleShepherd
Ah...gah...cck...

I had that book for years and never noticed that!
I doubt I ever would have noticed it on my own, because I never read Winnie the Pooh as a kid. Now, of course, I'm afraid to.
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

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Originally Posted by varianor
*That and the fact that the great and terrifying gods were Winnie the Pooh takeoffs weren't appreciated.
I had to make a fright check when I first read that.

Before reading your post, I would have compared the gods to the Elder Gods of CoC. But you had to go and ruin one of my two favorite parts of the setting. (My other favorite part is the various undead-type guys. Skinless, Boneless, etc.)

My brain is still blown from that revelation.
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

Fantasy II: Madlands was one of about 4 Gurps books I had that were ruined due to some flooding. Add to that I lost my boxed set during a Typhoon on Guam. Over the years I have been slowly trying to replace them via e-bay, but that can be quite pricey. Now you guys have me hunting for it again.
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Old 04-22-2005, 05:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

To me it was the Kikavo Vo (Big Leaper) and Kikavo Dat (Little Leaper) that broke the Winnie the Pooh code. Kanga and Roo...

I have not played in the Mad Lands, but I find it one of the most original and interesting Fantasy settings. I think the combination of the sword and sorcery elements with Northwestern Pacific Indian culture is very interesting.

It does suffer from excessive nihilism, though, which is particularily annoying, both because the setting encourages building characters with developed backgrounds and meaningful goals, and because GURPS is not the best system for building cannonfodder characters.
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Old 04-22-2005, 04:34 PM   #17
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

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Originally Posted by Akicita
I doubt I ever would have noticed it on my own, because I never read Winnie the Pooh as a kid.
Same here.

I owned the Mad Lands once, but it's been so long, I can't remember all that much from Fantasy II.

Could someone give us a brief rundown on the parallels with the Pooh stories?

Pretty please?
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Old 04-22-2005, 11:26 PM   #18
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

The parallel that I'm familiar with is the animal types.

1 bear, 1 rabbit, 1 owl, 1 tiger, and 2 kangaroos(one of which is the child of the other, without any logical explanation).

If there are deeper parallels, I'd also like to know.
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Old 04-23-2005, 06:41 AM   #19
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

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Originally Posted by Carsonist
Some time ago, I bought GURPS Fantasy II, adventures in the mad lands. While I really like the setting in the sense that it's fun to read about, I really can't imagine running a game in it.

The world seems to doom everyone to: "Life sucks, then you die." Except sometimes, it's: "Life sucks, then you die, then you come back as a monster."
While I have never played in it the review of it have been somewhat consistant - as a story setting it is quite interesting (if you ignore the fact the 'gods' are warped and nutty versions of Pooh and friends) but as a RPG setting it leaves a lot to be desired. SD Anderson over in Usenet desribed Madlands as having all the worst elements of of a 'Killer Dungeon' without any of the good stuff. Wizards (epecially Cleric types) are killed less they attract the crazy gods, you cannot be a thief because there is nothing to really steal, and given the frequency that the random monsters show up you life expency is about par with that of a mayfly's
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Old 04-23-2005, 10:21 AM   #20
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Default Re: Have you played in the Mad Lands?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleShepherd
The parallel that I'm familiar with is the animal types.

1 bear, 1 rabbit, 1 owl, 1 tiger, and 2 kangaroos(one of which is the child of the other, without any logical explanation).

If there are deeper parallels, I'd also like to know.
Well, first of all, ALL of the gods have a Mad Lands equilvalent (Except for maybe the Gopher, which I cannot find a Pooh equivalent for, although I suspect there is one). The child is Christopher Robin.

For some reason, Eeyore the Donkey is The Moose in the Mad Lands, but the rest share the race of their respective God.

But it's not just that they are the same race, they have the same personalities, too.

Eeyore is very deppressive. Rabbit is a know-it-all that uses big words, gets lost in his train of thought, and isn't very helpful. Etc. If you want to check out the similarities, you can look at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnie_the_pooh
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