04 August, 2010

Middle Management

Desperately trying to get out of the depressive spiral, I've been looking for sources of inspiration.

Cthulhu probably isn't the best place to look for a way to restore a bit of sanity, especially when I'm already caught up in patterns of shadowy conspiracies, futility and general self-doubt.

Hang on....How does Cthulhu link to middle management? WTF?

I'm rhetorically glad you asked.

I had a crazy idea for a game a few months ago, and my recent activities have reminded me of it.

The game has a working title of "Middle Management", it's about spiritual beings caught working for impossibly powerful malevolent forces (the senior management....AKA the elder gods), they are forced to enact the secretive conspiracies of the world through their low ranking peons.

The players are free to roam between the physical realm and the great abyss beyond time and space.

Here's the basic working notes.

Middle Management

In which the players take on the roles of various races subjugated by the deities of the cthulhu mythos, and in turn enslave mortals.

Game should use d12s due to the pentagons on each side (the dice represent elder stones, which are always referred to as five-sided.). Perhaps a range of d4s d8s and d12s, or maybe cards.

Players have a rating from 1 to 12. Where 1 is a full connection to the physical plane, and 12 is no connection at all.











PlaneDivinityAwareness
1-2Fully MaterialAges Quickly4 Senses
3-4Quasi-MaterialAges Normally5 Senses
5-6Ephemeral/AstralLong LivedExtrasensory Perception
7-8Outer RealmsDemigodTemporal Perception
9-10Abyssal ThresholdVirtually ImmortalExtra-planar Perception
11-12AbyssImmortalOmniscience


The true masters are caught in an abyssal realm, ageless and eternal, the players shift between the abyss and the mundane world. They need agents in the mundane world to achieve the goals of the beings trapped in the abyss. The more removed the players are from the abyss, the weaker they become; the more they use agents from the mortal world, the more insane or degenerate those agents become.

Mechanism Ideas

Players roll 2d12 for their actions (or draw 2 cards). They use the lower result if they are interacting with mortals in the physical world, and the higher result if they are interacting with elder gods in the abyss.

Basically, the difference determines the success level.

Affecting the physical world has a target value of 1. Affecting the abyssal realm has a target value of 12. Affecting a figure caught somewhere between the physical world and the abyss has a target value equal to their planar rating.

Every time a mortal is affected, their target value increases by 1 as they lose their connection to the mortal world. This might be manifested through loss of sanity or physical degeneration.

Every time an abyssal creature is affected, their target value decreases by 1 as their bonds of extra-planar imprisonment are weakened.


It's just something that's been rattling around for a while, I haven't really known where to proceed with it. Every now and then the basic concepts raise their heads again and I rehash them.

If it gives you any ideas, or if you have any ideas on where I could proceed, I'd be glad to hear them.

At this stage I'm thinking of linking the structure to one of my other games, perhaps Bunraku Nights, or maybe even FUBAR.

At this stage it's probably just going to end up in the library of lost ideas.
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