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Does, or does not, AA need a Meta setting? 
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Unkbartig
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Post Does, or does not, AA need a Meta setting?
This is more of a question than a suggestion.

Some of the more popular Pulpish settings had an overarching reason why the heroes exist.

In Spirit of the Century, you are manifestation of what that century means. All PC were born on the eve of the 20th century and can expect to naturally live 100 years.

In White Wolf's Adventure, there was the release of unknown energy that will open dimensional gates and empower PCs.

In Feng Shui, the fight over Dragon Lines will cause a temporal war that stretches from 68 AD to 2040 AD.

All of these settings provided enemies and goals that fit these themes, but any of them could be ignored if the GM just wanted to do his own thing.

So could AA benefit from a meta-setting and what could it be?


Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:29 am
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Post Re: Does, or does not, AA need a Meta setting?
I've been pondering a similar question.

I'm planning on running AA in an Indiana Jones style or a Raymond Chandler detective style. Those games clearly would need a totally different setting, unless I try to blend them with a "weird horror" type thing. I suppose Indy already deals with magic artifacts and it wouldn't be much of a stretch to bring in something Lovecraftian along the way.

I guess I'd like to have some ideas, but am not so interested in buying a bunch of setting books. I'm more likely to cobble together some ideas from various sources and run something from that.

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Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:57 pm
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Unkbartig
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Post Re: Does, or does not, AA need a Meta setting?
I totally forgot the "default" literary pulp meta-setting ... HP Lovecraft. :).

And my definition of a meta-setting is something that provides an overarching theme and background events that can be easily ignored for your own game.

A mundane version of a meta-setting would be WW I. The war rages in Europe, but that wouldn't stop your P.I. adventures. On the flip side, you could easily use the war for background (he's a wounded vet) and and adventure hooks (an old war buddy is murdered).

As an example for a regular mundane setting would be the things you can't escape like countries and and famous personalities. Like what's Chicago is like and who's president. This is also where I put organizations the PC work for.


Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:42 pm
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Grey Elf Troll
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Post Re: Does, or does not, AA need a Meta setting?
I personally am against a meta-setting for Amazing Adventures. The specific design goal was to be able to use it to run any kind of pulp you like. It's designed as a toolkit game without specific setting-based assumptions.

That being said, there will be something more akin to meta-settings in the various sourcebooks I'd like to do, if they come to fruition.

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Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:50 pm
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Mist Elf
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Post Re: Does, or does not, AA need a Meta setting?
I have to agree with Grey Elf.
Adding a Meta Setting, imo, would limit anyone coming to the game. They might feel constrained to follow the setting outlines and thus limit their own, and their players, creativity.
Having said that, I admit to using my own variations of Farmer's Wold Newton Universe.
To that I will add elements from Burroughs, Lovecraft, Howard and other pulp writers.
I'll also use concepts, plots, and any other material I find useful from the horror and sci-fi movies from the 30's and 40's.
All of which allows me to build a setting, usually over the course of the game, which can encompass all the various elements I want to bring to my game. It also allows my players to contribute their own thoughts and build their characters, and backgrounds, tio their own personal liking.


Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:36 pm
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Post Re: Does, or does not, AA need a Meta setting?
Having a supplement with settings or mini setting books would be great though.

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:40 pm
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: Does, or does not, AA need a Meta setting?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that meta-setting is a series of modules that reveal parts of a world which characters play in. In other words railroading characters, through a world, rather than a sandbox, fully fleshed out world. Kind'a trying to be the best of both worlds. Or, at least trying to.

If this is what is meant as meta-setting then I personally am apposed to it. I've never liked this way of gaming and no matter how good the meta-setting is, the niggling thing, in the back of my mind is the knowledge that I am being railroaded. Now there maybe a close distinction between a meta-setting and running modules in a full fleshed out world but, for me I like the fact that you could wander off and maybe run a couple of sessions without following the module. I know this approach requires an advanced GM/DM/CK/referee, but after all these years this style has is one I like the most (Especially if I'm the GM. Sometimes flying by the seat of my pants makes it most interesting for me and actually helps keep my creative juices flowing and, at times, it may create a new, interesting NPC, item or place. Could be a interesting side red-herring, that eventually loops back around to the module as every player knows is important to the game and willing and complicit about getting back on track without the GM trying to railroad them back.)

That being said, I would like to see a setting, or a world book designed to be only that without blurring the lines between module and setting. I understand that this is only because this is the way I like to play, but the other factor is time. I don't have the time to create a world, but do have time to read about a world giving me tools of open ended play and hopefully avoid contradictory information about the setting.

Again, this all rides on my understanding of a meta-setting.

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Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:28 pm
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Unkbartig
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Post Re: Does, or does not, AA need a Meta setting?
Sir Ironside wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that meta-setting is a series of modules that reveal parts of a world which characters play in. In other words railroading characters, through a world, rather than a sandbox, fully fleshed out world. Kind'a trying to be the best of both worlds. Or, at least trying to.


Nope. That sounds more like a metaPLOT* or a badly written campaign series than a setting. Two of my examples, Spirit of the Century and Adventure had only the core book for the longest time. So no adventures to speak of, never mind railroading adventures. SoC has some adventures now, but I don't get the vibe that they have anything to back story.

Maybe "Shared Backstory" would be a more accurate term now that I think about it.

*The Meta-plots you are thinking about were a big fad in the 1990s. I wasn't following TSR then, but White Wolf, Deadlands and Brave New World were systems were almost every supplement had an adventure in the back not only showcase the new rules/toys, but also shoehorn an overarching plot into your personal game.

The way you describe Meta-plots almost sounds like Savage World's Plot Point frameworks, except that the campaign related adventures are completely optional. In addition to that, the campaign adventures are maybe 6 encounters out of the 50 or so adventures offered in a book.

Most of the time, the GM runs those 6 encounters only when he wants to wrap up the campaign because they end up drastically changing the world when you're finished.


Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:35 am
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