I'm currently running two RPG campaigns, and today I'd like to talk about the first and most recent, a Pacific Rim game using Primetime Adventures. This is being run as an online game, over on Roll20.
My short list for the game to use included Bliss Stage, Cortex Plus, Fate Accelerated, and Steve D's There Is No Apocalypse. Ultimately, Bliss Stage is something I'd want to run on its own terms, Cortex Plus would involve too much hacking, and TINA would be great for a one-shot but I had more of a short campaign in mind. As several of my players are relatively new to RPGs and especially to online RPGs, I felt a fairly rules light story game with some staying power would be appropriate, and thus PTA became the top choice.
The campaign is set 25 years after the first film, in the year 2050. The Kaiju returned in 2040, and this time instead of opening one big rift in the Pacific Ocean they are able to open small temporary rifts anywhere they want in our world -- putting every population center on Earth at potential risk. In order to meet this challenge, humanity has developed its own breach technology, allowing Jaegers to be deployed anywhere at a moment's notice. The Pan-Pacific Defense Corp is thus newly cast as the Pan-Planetary Defense Corp, and our story is set at their top branch, the Hong Kong Shatterdome. (We have a Google Doc timeline with a full overview of the history after the first film, if you're interested in reading more.)
As the war drags on, the PPDC becomes more desperate for good jaeger pilots, and many nations implement mandatory drift compatibility testing to find them. Thus, several of the pilots who comprise our main characters are there because they were "drafted", and not because they chose to fight the Kaiju.
- Amanda "Mandy" Barron (played by Joe) - A former US popstar / actress, career in decline. Pilots with her sister Mary, an army lieutenant who was determined to have high drift potential. This led to Amanda being tested for drift compatibility. She was, and was thus drafted. She resents being in the military, resents her sister, but thinks this may be a way to get back in the limelight.
Concept: Pop star on the decline, pilots w/ sister. Issue: Fame hungry. Impulse: Throw a fit.
Edges: I'm a Star!, Rookie Pilot. Connections: Kid Sister - Lt. Mary Barron
Screen Presence: 2 / 2 / 3 / 1 / 1
Personal Set: Shatterdome bar, "Chuck's"
- Ajay Acharya (played by Bekka) - A veteran of the Interim war, fought between India and Pakistan with Jaegertech between the two Kaiju wars. Chosen to be a part of a joint nation Jaeger. This team was created as a sign of peace and unity between the warring nations.
Concept: Veteran of Interim War. Issue: Will I ever be at peace? Do I want it? Impulse: Lash Out
Edges: Veteran, Reckless. Connections: Co-pilot.
Screen Presence: 2/ 1 / 1 / 2 / 3
Personal Set: Kwoon Combat Room
- Jebediah Yoder (played by Mark) - An Amish teenage youth, Jeb was drafted into Pan Planetary Defense Corp whilst partying with Godless heathens on Rumspringa.
Concept: Amish draftee. Issue: Questioning his faith in the Almighty. Impulse: Self flagellation
Edges: Second wind, Indomitable Will. Connections: (Pending)
Screen Presence: 2/ 2 / 1 / 3 / 1
Personal Set: Shatterdome Nondenominational Chapel
- Killian Claymore (played by Phil) -
Concept: Arrogant tech genius w/ a good heart deeply hidden. Issue: Forward. Impulse: Egotistical & impulsive
Edges: Tech Genius, Doubts. Connections: (Pending)
Screen Presence: 2/ 1 / 2 / 1 / 3
Personal Set: Lab
We are still working out the details about the Jaegers and the supporting cast. Next session: May 22.