How do you play Hell on Earth, stylewise?

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What is your style and mood for HOE

Poll ended at Thu Jul 21, 2005 8:43 pm

Full of camp and fairly lighthearted.
3
3%
Full of camp and fairly lighthearted.
3
3%
Full of camp and fairly lighthearted.
3
3%
Full of camp and fairly lighthearted.
3
3%
Dark and grim.
6
7%
Dark and grim.
6
7%
Dark and grim.
6
7%
Dark and grim.
6
7%
It varies from being somewhat light to being a little harsh.
13
15%
It varies from being somewhat light to being a little harsh.
13
15%
It varies from being somewhat light to being a little harsh.
13
15%
It varies from being somewhat light to being a little harsh.
13
15%
 
Total votes: 88

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UrielFallen
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How do you play Hell on Earth, stylewise?

#1 Postby UrielFallen » Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:43 pm

Do you play if as a kind of beer and pretzels game? As survival horror? A kind of campy cross between Mad Max and The Stand?

One thing that bothered me as I read more of the backstory in HOE is that it seemed like it resembled a 'kitchen sink' setting. Not only was virtually everything thrown in (road gangs, radiation priests, psychic warriors, holy crusaders, techno-shaman..etcetera), but there was homages to virtually every work of post-apocalyptic fiction. Sometimes, they reached levels of ridiculousness. Would it be so hard to put some more original material into the sourcebooks rather than throw in a 'wink and a nudge' reference to Escape from New York? It made it very difficult for me to actually see HOE as having any kind of horror in the normal way it is presented.

I do love the system, and some of the setting. But I had to ignore the vast majority of the canon in order to run it as a post-apoc horror game. My game is more like Fallout than the original game. An occasional homage is alright, but almost every book had numerous occasions where you could point out certain sections and match it up to a movie, book or comic.

Am I just taking the game too seriously? Or has anyone else run the game differently.
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#2 Postby Psykoguy » Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:34 pm

I run the game how my players like it. For the most part, it's serious, with alot of grim and dark stuff, but time to time (mostly in low fear level areas) I let the game get kind of silly. I like to stress the lack of resources alot, and I love putting them against Zombies. Course, I only put them against what I think they can handle. Last time I put em against 2 mainliners... well, it wasn't pretty.
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#3 Postby SlasherEpoch » Fri Jul 08, 2005 1:12 am

Psykoguy touches on something important: What sort of game will your players enjoy?

Will they LIKE Evil Dead II splatterpunk? Or would they prefer a grim tale of survival in a land ravaged by the supernatural, where a Twinkie is as likely to nourish you (after a fashion...) as grow tentacles and attack? Or does the supernatural barely enter in to your game, turning magic into a revered sort of evil thing a la Conan, where rad priests preach their dark heresies and sykers subjugate entire town to their mental rule (actually, a Conan-themed tale in HoE sounds pretty cool 8))?

Would the players rather fight over scraps of ammunition, like the Road Warrior? Or does everybody who's anybody have a gun?

Again: Make the game fun for your players. If that means sitting them down individually and asking them, "I have a post-apocalyptic fantasy in the queue. How do you want that cooked?" so much the better.

For the record: My short-lived HoE game featured a fantastic chainsaw-versus-katana fight, and the characters were a Russian syker who continually refferred to "the Motherland" and made awful Yakov Smirnov jokes, an ancient Junker who continually talked in a sort of 1936 radio announcer voice, and a low-rent Man with No Name. For us, the high comedy, splatterpunk, and "chainsaw and shotgun" zombie-killing action made the actual horror that was thrown in there that much more horriffic.

In fact, most of the monsters were just humans. Not servants of the Reckoners (though they were on the path), but just sons-of-bitches. The type that says, "Take another step and the girl dies," then follow up on it, then use the body as a meat shield while they snap shots off.

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#4 Postby Psykoguy » Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:56 pm

Exactly, and as for the complaint that the game is full of references, well, you can always ignore them.

But my players loved having to basically fight for every bullet they had, hell, even the non junkers do their best to scavange garbage and junk, as they found they could use it in some odd ways.

Course, when it gets silly... well, you have the body part fight that once happened. Followed by their freaking out when their throwing of human remains back and fourth attracted monsters. God my players are messed up, but that makes the game fun.
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#5 Postby Snap_Dragon » Fri Jul 08, 2005 6:47 pm

I was dissapointed by the denver sourcebook to say the least (Mayor Shawn Conner my ass). Also the whole back east thing... I'd like to see that opened up, I want to fall on my knees before a shattered statue of liberty screaming 'You maniacs, you blew it up!'. Visit the ruins of the whitehouse (probably too close to the pentagon to have survived though) as it switches hands every other week to some new nationalist road gang who want to sit in the oval office and crown themselves the president.
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#6 Postby CtB » Sun Jul 10, 2005 6:07 am

I reckon that there'll be a big climatic adventure where you go back east to gettysburg in reloaded. if there isn't i'll invent one!

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#7 Postby Teller » Sun Jul 10, 2005 2:13 pm

Snap_Dragon wrote:I was dissapointed by the denver sourcebook to say the least (Mayor Shawn Conner my ass).


Well, if you're going to cut on my work, at least get it right. The Mayor of Denver is John Conner, not Shawn.
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#8 Postby Snap_Dragon » Sun Jul 10, 2005 3:20 pm

meh, whatever it is it is the same as the kid from Terminator ;P I just though it was a bit too big of a Terminator reference. John Connor fighting an army of robots led by an AI. I was kind of hoping for more information on La Resistance(do they have a theme song?), like how they fight (especialy dealing with automations), smuggle slaves out etc. Some nice stuff for a resistance campaign.

I just checked, the Dever book calls him John Conner, and the Unity calls him Sean Conners (page 89)

I liked some of the combine's strategies (lots of adventure material there) however I feel like it was all forgotten about for the Unity campaign.

I will however give you props for Judgement Day II 8)
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#9 Postby doppelganger » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:47 am

Snap_Dragon wrote:Also the whole back east thing... I'd like to see that opened up, I want to fall on my knees before a shattered statue of liberty screaming 'You maniacs, you blew it up!'. Visit the ruins of the whitehouse (probably too close to the pentagon to have survived though) as it switches hands every other week to some new nationalist road gang who want to sit in the oval office and crown themselves the president.


If you cross the mississippi you're dead. The number of cities along the east coast that got nuked is such that that's how it is. Sure there's "stuff" going on there (knowing marshal wink), but PCs don't go there.
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#10 Postby Psykoguy » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:32 pm

The resistance's tactics varys on group to group, however, they are starting to get more organized now that they are being trained with urban combat techniques. As for how they take out Automatauns, simple: Ambush. Spot an automataun in the burbs or wherever, have someone make noise, autamotaun investigates, the one guy with heavy weapons opens up. At least, that's how I view it. These guys can't afford heavy losses, so they attack hard and run fast.
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#11 Postby Snap_Dragon » Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:23 am

heavy weapons, that's a good one...

If I were a resistance guy I'd just try and bring a building down with a homemade bomb ontop of an automation.
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#12 Postby War-Pig » Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:12 am

Yeah, I didn't run HoE long, but when I did I kinda went along with what the players wanted in terms of style, but gave them nothing in material gain.

When the game required it, I went to a Mad Max flavored game, and then I'd often make it a little humors a la Evil Dead.

And don't dis the fictional works too much. That's the writers just giving you all the ingredients... doesn't mean you have to put them in the cake, or doesn't mean you can't substitute your own. If you're the Marshal and don't like something- change it. I gave up my job as Metaplot enforcer a long time ago. :P
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#13 Postby SlasherEpoch » Tue Jul 12, 2005 4:07 pm

Snap_Dragon wrote:heavy weapons, that's a good one...

If I were a resistance guy I'd just try and bring a building down with a homemade bomb ontop of an automation.


Problem is that a building isn't guaranteed to kill it! :o
At least with heavy weapons, you get the confirmation.

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#14 Postby serekun » Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:03 pm

Well, our style o' play varies - a lot, and a bit more. We just finished our 8-month-long campaign with our group and I tell you, they had never had as much creeps, failed guts-checks and fun as they did before.

If ya wanna know the en setting, A HUGE explosion destroyed allmost an entire skyscraper in Junkyard downtown, an eternal Vampire was slain (with a little of help of Uriel, Mikael and Gabriel (they were on a rogue mission - don´t tell God)) and a templar-son of a renowned biomechanic married a daughter of the eternal Vampires right-hand-man´s daughter. Well, the last bit hasn't occurred yet but will within a couple of months.

I have no idea why I told that.

We usually start with less and end it all guns blazin´ with a big boom. Sometimes it's horror, sometimes not... :wink:
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#15 Postby Psykoguy » Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:33 pm

I just remembered a time when I was up playing the supernatural and fear a bit too much, for the hell of it, I just named a place to stay the hotel california (was feeling unorigional) The junker freaked out at this, saying to never go in there, because the line of the song "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

God I loved that moment... well that and their sleeping in an undead infested town (the second time I think).
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#16 Postby Scarlet » Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:31 pm

I like there being a balance. Clearly everything's a lot more frightening and dangerous (my constant fails on 4 D10 guts rolls taught me that if nothing else). But if you didn't laugh you'd cry, and if you cry you'd lose respect :) That said my charcter doesn't laugh much, she just takes joy in making stuff go bang, and has developed an interest in a cockney that the other posse members don't like. 80s action flick! Fun with seriously weird bits.

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#17 Postby Zombi Bobb » Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:32 pm

I originally also didn't like so many references to so many other Post-Apoc works, but I got to thinking; Deadlands (all three settings) is a game where legends an myths and nightmares come to life.

In the weird west all the folk tales and tall tales and campfire tales and nightmares come to life and we as the heroes must fight them off (and most of these are done from a modern perspective of the old west, not an old west perspective of the old west).

Hell on Earth is the same thing, all our doom and gloom tales, end of the world visions, and post-apoc tales are all coming to life and we as the heroes must fight them off.

Deadlands from the get-go was a game of life imitating art. If you want it to play differently that's fine, I'll even play in that game, but one shouldn't expect the literature for the game to be different than the track it's laid out for itself.

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#18 Postby King Snarf » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:22 am

Snap_Dragon wrote:I was dissapointed by the denver sourcebook to say the least (Mayor Shawn Conner my ass). Also the whole back east thing... I'd like to see that opened up, I want to fall on my knees before a shattered statue of liberty screaming 'You maniacs, you blew it up!'. Visit the ruins of the whitehouse (probably too close to the pentagon to have survived though) as it switches hands every other week to some new nationalist road gang who want to sit in the oval office and crown themselves the president.


Don't forget that the Reckoners recreat various landmarks as traps....

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#19 Postby King Snarf » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:25 am

doppelganger wrote:
Snap_Dragon wrote:Also the whole back east thing... I'd like to see that opened up, I want to fall on my knees before a shattered statue of liberty screaming 'You maniacs, you blew it up!'. Visit the ruins of the whitehouse (probably too close to the pentagon to have survived though) as it switches hands every other week to some new nationalist road gang who want to sit in the oval office and crown themselves the president.


If you cross the mississippi you're dead. The number of cities along the east coast that got nuked is such that that's how it is. Sure there's "stuff" going on there (knowing marshal wink), but PCs don't go there.


I always thought there'd be a few holdouts of people surviving, albeit with much difficulty. I personally always envisioned a small enclave of Blessed in Lancaster, PA....

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#20 Postby SlasherEpoch » Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:07 am

I think the armies of the dead would make a special effort to take out a bunch of Blessed.


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