[HEX] The Siren Song of Adventure!

Posted: July 14, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Campaign Design, Hollow Earth Expedition, Roleplaying Games

Pulp has always been an inherently optimistic genre.  Given the black and white morality, the larger-than-life heroes and the downright dastardly villains, it’s a setting with nice and well defined lines.  The gray area more common to modern work is absent here, and for once I’m happy for it.  This is one of those few genres where I can reasonably expect the heroes to stick together.  I really don’t have the heart to deal with things like pvp right now.

But just because I’m taking out the shades of gray doesn’t mean that a game can’t be fun.  I’ve run HERO before and while that game had its gray areas, the general tone was still lighthearted enough to enjoy without needing severe emotional crisis.  I’m hoping for that same less… heavy atmosphere for this particular campaign.

And so what should my players be expecting then?

  • Action – Explosions, gunfire, daring duels on top of zeppelins.  Pulp games ought to have at least one or two fantastic set piece battles that stick out in the players minds.  Interactive environments are key here, as well as the occasional hazard or three that changes the nature of the fight.
  • Travel – I’m starting the players off with a zeppelin and a ton of money.  I don’t want them bogged down by the details, I want them to transition into a map with a little zeppelin icon that draws a line from where they started to their destination.  While the occasional language barrier may be an issue, it will generally be a game where everyone gets to take in different cultures.
  • Weirdness – Cryptids, weird science, dinosaurs and occultism will all exist in one shape or form, but I’ll never build a session that is built to frustrate the plyers.  I’m the kind of GM who is open to any sort of solution, as long as it makes sense.
  • Melodrama – A certain amount of melodrama ought to be expected in any sort of Pulp campaign, and I don’t think that my campaign should be an exception to this rule.  Pulp games benefit greatly from being painted in vivid color.

And so that’s what I’ve got so far.  A love for adventure movies, a healthy fascination for world cultures, a romance with retro kitsch and a strange philosophy that older is always better is a potent combination that I have, so I feel that HEX will be an interesting game indeed.  Right now I’m working on cramming all my ideas into one session first, surely a good sign for a long term campaign.


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