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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
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 12-16-2011, 04:53 AM   #8
cptbutton
 
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purezebo View Post
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.
Pendragon vs. Barbarossa cage match, anyone?
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:54 PM   #9
fredtheobviouspseudonym
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: Weird War II - Avalon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
. . . No plausible Arthur would have spoken anything comprehensible to modern English speakers, and culture has changed as much as language. . .
Recall that at least certain members of Arthur's court would know Latin. Given the nature of the English public school education (and certain upper-class American schools) someone should know that "dead" language.

Also, if I recall Malory, Arthur was a bit more tolerant of difference than most Middle Age rulers. One of his knights was Sir Palomides, a "Saracen" and "paynim." So he might be willing to tolerate odd folks. (Perhaps not Americans . . . )
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