View Full Version : Using real world events

Rigil Kent
11 June 2002, 06:36 PM
How often does the real world intrude in your games? In this, I mean using real life events as adventure settings. I recently read (and watched the awesome movie) Blackhawk Down and am working on an adventure that mirrors many of those events (Dropship Down).

Do these sort of things happen often in your games? Do you take efforts to be politically correct or do you say the hell with it and run how you want to?

Nova Spice
11 June 2002, 06:49 PM
Hey Rigil! Of course! I often use real life events to mirror plots for an adventure. Anyone that knows me knows that I HATE political correctness! If I want to be politically incorrect, then I will! Because I have the right to free speech!
One event that I will be attempting is Coral Reef (mirrors Pearl Harbor). Coral Reef is a shipyard on Mon Calamari and I hope to mirror the events of Pearl Harbor with a Star Wars feel. In no way am I disrespecting the brave men and women who died on December 7, 1941. I respect peoples in the miltary, as well as those in the church, above all others.
So in answer to your question, yes I do, and yes I will. By the way, Black Hawk Down was a tragedy and I salute the brave men who gave their lives that day for freedom!

11 June 2002, 06:56 PM
I usually just come up with ideas with no clear connection to the real world. But in a sense, all of my material has real world backings. I've taken classes on international conflicts and have an understanding of what goes into such things. This sort of thinking comes into play when I design settings.

Once I ran an adventure where I pulled material directly from a real world conflict. I only remember the adventure vaguely, and I can't even remember which conflict it was. It was too obscure for my players to know, which I think is important. Basing an adventure on real world events, and having the players know, restricts you as a GM. It creates false expectations in the players, and if you stray from those expectations, you might end up offending someone. It's said that politics and religion should never be the focus of friendly conversation. I personally believe a RPG should be the same way. Talking about politically and religiously charged events is fine, but it should be done in another setting.

11 June 2002, 07:02 PM
Hey, any a time I have taken a real world event and put it in my campaigns. I sell the hel, err... heck with bein PC(not player character, lol), but if a subject is controversial I try not to force my opinions on the PCs, but I am sure they can tell my POV. So its relaly up to, I just ask that you not force the players to follow your ideals. Good luck and I strongly advise you to use real world events, they are incredibly believable(I wonder why?).

14 June 2002, 08:16 PM
Definitely! As was mentioned, larger events that the players know might be predicted and the PCs might get cocky and try to anticipate moves :)

I personally think it would be fine to alter events to suit the campaign, and to keep players on their toes. It might be better to use them as a basis (particularly for well known events) rather than exactly as they really happened though.

16 June 2002, 08:23 AM
I have used a large array of movies and life to inspire many games in many different systems. Especially when life is more interesting than fiction, Pearl Harbor and the '93 Mogadishu Strike are good examples of such. BTW, Black Hawk Down rocks!!!!!

In a DC Heroes game I ran the event of 9/11, since the pc's where SuperHeroes things turn out different. I used it for the very first game with those heroes. It was the spark that started them on that heroes path.

In Star Wars, we've done events like Pearl Harbor to Clandestine Operations in the Cold War to Military Coups like Panamal or Columbia. There are so many events in the history of Earth, one could take a lifetime of gaming to explore them all.

In each those "real-life in role-playing" games I replay the events as real as possible to represent what occured, to the best of my knowledge. Sometimes that doesn't intale being PC.

17 June 2002, 06:07 AM
Of course i use al sorts of insperation films, books even my mum

but on a more serious note you have to be carful when dealing "with real life issues" take september 11th for instance one of the most horrible things on earth was commited that day and Gms have got to be carful not to rock the boat even unitentionaly. Certain events are best left alone my own example is that i once had a playey who was irish and had very personel views on the peace process so i would have to make sure when i including material that is simular. That i told him before hand that anything in the session is just roleplaying (he still stressed out though)


17 June 2002, 09:27 AM
personally I'd avoid dealing with ANYTHING similer to september 11th in a game right now.. just too close. peral harbor is fine, it happened so long ago I think any debate about it would be.. purely academic.

17 June 2002, 11:04 AM
I have been kicking around the idea of a Pearl Harbor type adventure for a long time now, waiting for the opportunity to run an Imperial campaign.

Also ... I have run games with the battle over Stalingrad (WWII), the Battle of the Bulge, and many other ground battles. Naval battles are sometimes much harder to simulate with Star Wars space battles unless they are over an actuall plot of land. The battles of Saipan in WWII are a good example of a combination of an Naval/Air and Land battle.

17 June 2002, 03:18 PM
I usually prefer to rip off ideas from classical literature or classic movies. I stay away from historical or current-events parallel -- for one, I dislike "timely" fiction, it almost always rings false to me. And for another thing, most of what I find in the news these days is too depressing to even think of making into a game.

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
17 June 2002, 03:38 PM
I once had a game with the same concept as Die Hard where the characters were in the 'fresher when the terrorists took over the building (I think that they may have been on Cloud City). The authorities were fooled so they didn't want to help the PCs it was great I better look for that one.