As I mentioned in an earlier post, as I was scanning my shelves looking for my original 5 choices, I came across a bunch of other settings and concepts that also sparked my interest, such that I had trouble sticking to my original 5.  I figured I’d just post a brief blurb about each, give them a small bit of exposure, and explain in each case why it didn’t make my original list.

Rifts

Rifts Cover

Synopsis: A future Earth where the world has become a cosmic nexus, elements of all space and time forming a patchwork mosaic of everything from the magical to the alien, side by side in a world gone insane.

Challenges: the sheer amount of material necessary, similar to time travel.  Also, balancing all the possible options might get a bit tricky.

Reason for Exclusion: Nothing distinct, just wasn’t among the first to come to mind.

Paranoia

Paranoia Cover 1Paranoia Cover 2Paranoia Cover 3

Synopsis: “Stay Alert.  Trust No One.  Keep Your Laser Handy.”  “The Computer Is Your Friend.”  “Permission To Repair Flybot Denied.  Please Report Location Upon Impact.”

“Life” as a very expendable clone in a facility run by an insanely paranoid computer.  Usually intended to be dominated by relatively morbid slapstick humor.  Life expectancy for characters can often be measured in minutes… thank heaven for clones.  “Catch-22 meets 1984”.

Challenges: Bringing the hopeless hilariousness of the game to life in the MMO setting.  Especially since at least half of it is supposed to come from the other players…

Reason for Exclusion: almost too dependent upon cooperative players and “known but not known” information to make it really work the way it should.  Another that would have made a larger list…

Deadlands

Deadlands Cover

Synopsis: a Wild West gone Weird.  Various magical powers have been unleashed in the Old West, and the distinctions between the Quick and the Dead have been blurred as a result…

Challenges: the Wild West genre has never been a huge draw for gamers, not enough flash-bang I would guess.  Adding a dollop of the arcane might make it more palatable… or might not.

Reason for Exclusion: while I do like the originality of the setting, it doesn’t make my top 5.  Top 10, perhaps…

Renaissance Europe (Three Musketeers)

Flashing Blades CoverAt Rapiers Point

Synopsis: Recreating the world of Renaissance Europe, adventure, intrigue, and romance in equal parts.

Challenges: may not be quite enough material to fill an MMO without adding/blending with other concepts, like magic or gothic horror.  The Pirate setting somewhat duplicates and even overshadows this, of course… but the focus would be different, there should be more politics and espionage in this perspective.

Reason for Exclusion: a little dry, perhaps.  Also, with a couple pirate-themed titles either coming out or on their way, a bit redundant, perhaps.

Twilight:2000

Twilight 2000 Rules CoverTwilight 2000 Cover

Synopsis: World War 3 rages on.  Somehow, by the grace of God, the Final Solution hasn’t been deployed by anyone, but all sides have walked the ragged edge for years, and the old nations of the world have largely disintegrated as a result of the financial and social strains imposed by the ongoing global conflict.  Stranded without organized support far from home, surrounded by desperate civilian populations that by turns welcome and despise and fear them, the military personnel of the conflict struggle to maintain some level of cohesion, to “win the war”, but mostly, just to survive…

Challenges: a relatively depressing setting, done right.  Scavenging for ammo and fending off bands of deserters desperate for food or fuel might not be everyone’s cup of tea…

Reason for Exclusion: not sure it really works as an MMO setting.  But it’d be interesting to find out…

Conclusion

There are some obvious ones I left out simply because there are so many others that are pursuing them in one form or another, especially amongst indies: World of Darkness (Vampire, Werewolf, etc), is a prime example; Cyberpunk is another.

So… what have I missed/overlooked?

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