In my most recent post, I was pondering a play-by-email game that would use the Spirit of the Century system. I was mostly talking about system, and I planned on talking about setting next. Alas, I’ve been doing more Website updates and other noodling for Emerald City Gamefest instead of working on my own game — which is precisely why I need to run a game. It’s time I got back to actually gaming rather than organizing games for other people.
So I have not worked much on setting, except to realize that one trope I really enjoy for ensemble cast pulp adventure is the quest for a Lost City or Lost World. I’m thinking of King Solomon’s Mines, the Lost World, Shangri-La, El Dorado, Atlantis, Lemuria, the Kingdom of Prester John, etc. (or the real world examples of Troy, Palenque, or Machu Picchu).
Of course, Hollow Earth Expedition would be a suitable example, but there are many more possibility. Another game that provides a good source of inspiration for style and scenes (though not for actual source material) is Eric J. Boyd’s Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries, a very well-written game.
What I like about this type of story is that it provides for a lot of different scenes, a lot of danger and action that is not only combat, and a lot of opportunities for a variety of character archetypes. I also like the exploration theme, and it reminds me of the books I loved best when I was a kid, thrilling with images of mysterious, exotic locations and secrets to uncover. What do folks think? Is that a theme that resonates with potential players?