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08 March 2012 @ 01:38 pm
HEY, ROCKY! Watch me pull adventure ideas out of LiveJournal!*  
Songs and song titles make great adventure seeds. In the past, I've had GMs who constructed entire campaigns around albums by Jethro Tull or King Crimson.

It's especially appropriate for comic book games -- Stan Lee loved to play on pop music for his story titles. The right combination of words and the songs they describe can suggest entire, baroque scenarios. It's kind of like the way Silver Age DC (and Golden Age Pulp SF) editors would commission a cover, hand it to a writer, and say, "I need a story to go with this."

The questions to ask when you try this:

  • What kind of scenario does the title suggest?
  • Does it describe an event? An adversary? An ally or a victim? Just a general mood or theme?
  • How much of the song itself can I lift to help flesh out the adventure?

So, LiveJournal HiveMind, Your Obedient Serpent has the request lines open: give me song titles that you think would make good adventures, particularly superhero adventures.

Don't feel like you have to be obvious, but don't feel like you have to be obscure, either. "Eve of Destruction" is obvious; "Winds of Change", a bit less; "I Don't Like Mondays" sounds like a Garfield punchline unless you know the song and the story behind it.

Give me titles; if you feel like it, give me the scenarios that come to mind when YOU hear them -- or just toss them down as a challenge.

My players all read this, so I'm screening replies!

*"But that trick never works!"
John "The Gneech" Robey: LIGHTNING from my FINGERS!the_gneech on March 8th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
In the dim ages past, my Champions campaign had several adventures named after Oingo Boingo songs, including "Dead Man's Party," "Reptiles and Samurai," "(Now Is That) Gratitude," "No Spill Blood," and "(Is It) Dead or Alive."

Not so much for the titles themselves, but for the lyrics of those songs. I heartily recommend looking them up. :)

-The Gneech
Araquan Skytracer: Crescent moonaraquan on March 8th, 2012 11:17 pm (UTC)
I'm going mostly on the basis of title alone for this, unless otherwise noted.

Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin: For this I'd imagine something to do with gaining access to space. In particular, perhaps a plot involving a space elevator, and the construction/sabotage/control thereof? The elevator in question needn't necessarily be of terran origin, of course...

Dark Side of The Moon - Pink Floyd: Album title rather than a song, in this case. Something sinister is going on way out on the far side of the Moon, and it must be dealt with. Naturally, this presupposes a storyline with aliens, or terran villains with the resources to exploit space.

Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones: Cliché time travel adventure involving someone trying to rewrite history in WWII. Possible cameo by someone who strongly resembles Captain America but for legal reasons is simply referred to as The Star-Spangled Commissioned Officer.

Manic Monday - The Bangles: A plot is uncovered involving the release of a psychotropic substance into the air or water supply. On a Monday, of course.

Offered without plot suggestion:

Mr. Roboto - Styx
Invisible Touch - Genesis (Phil Collins era)

Offered as a challenge:

Cheeseburger in Paradise - Jimmy Buffet
Crackerbox Palace - George Harrison

Edited at 2012-03-08 11:18 pm (UTC)
soreth on March 8th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
The song "Power" by Tears for Fears, has suggested itself as the inspiration of some kind of roleplaying campaign to me for quite a while. I've never actually fleshed it out into a setting, but there are so many obvious hooks present- a tense alliance/marriage between political rivals, mysterious privateers, a savior figure whose life is at risk, an innocent to be sacrificed...

With a little fiddling around it could probably be made into either a one-shot or a full series of adventures. I've personally pegged it as being something around a magically-active Age of Sail, but it could be moved to most time periods, I'm sure. :)
Moredena: frenchladyringo on March 9th, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
A Cautionary Song - well, the song is about sailors raping your mom.
(California One/)Youth and Beauty Brigade - an army of young and beautiful people
The Abduction of Maragret - rescue mission!
Shankill Butchers - asian adventures! fighting ninja killers!
Clowns of Death - rather self explanatory.
No One Lives Forever - you know the time and date of your death but not how you die. Act accordingly.
Reptiles and Samurai - Ironclaw asian adventure!
When the Lights Go Out - zombies/werewolves/vampires or something else that goes bad after dark.
Whole Day Off - hijinks a la Ferris Beuller
Your Obedient Serpent: pyrateathelind on March 11th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)
Clowns of Death - rather self explanatory.

"What can you tell me about clowns, Commissioner?"

"In Gotham, they're never funny."
one in a billionsiege on March 9th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
I always wanted to run a sci-fi BESM campaign based on the song "I Am the Rain" by Assemblage 23. I envisioned it as a gathering of all kinds of adventure tropes drawn straight from various cartoons/anime, with lots of expy characters for the players to play or meet.

The premise I came up with was that an ancient alien mad scientist (of course) had invented a spaceborne virus that caused junk DNA to activate, with some controls, which tended to transform people into animal-like versions of themselves. The virus was rolling across the Milky Way, and was dominant in the Andromeda galaxy as well. Primarily, it was an excuse to run a humans-and-furries campaign.

The scientist (who might be dead, or maybe preserved in some form, but obviously couldn't have lived as long as the virus has existed) had intended to "teach them all a lesson", but the nature of his lesson was not exactly known, as he had issued a written press release and then retired, vanishing to never be seen by the intergalactic public thereafter. So part of the campaign would have revolved around dealing with the virus (if the players want to) and maybe tracking down the guy who made it to get a cure (if one exists).

It was basically an open-form plan, with lots of opportunity to just go have adventures and even ignore the obvious Main Plot and go screw around on a backwater planet or join a spaceship race around a solar system, or play politics, or whatever.
Hafochafoc on March 9th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
The Mountain Wins Again
Ten Degrees and Getting Colder
Space Oddity
Attack of the Giant Hogweed
and, while we are on the subject of Genesis,
Nursery Cryme

A random lazy cat: Samurai Coptwentythoughts on March 9th, 2012 03:26 am (UTC)
Muse - "Map of the Problematique"
Shining - "The Madness and the Damage Done"
Opeth - "The Funeral Portrait"
Ulver - "Blinded By Blood"
Queens of the Stone Age - "Into the Hollow"
Fleet Foxes - "False Knight in the Road"
A-Ha - "Mother Nature Goes To Heaven"
Mew - "Eight Flew Over, One Was Destroyed"
Stalbonstalbon on March 9th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
Muse's 'Uprising' or 'Knights of Cydonia'.

Both inspire a bit of 'freedom must prevail over tyranny' through their lyrics, though 'Knights of Cydonia' is much more a band of do-gooders looking to make their epic trek while 'Uprising' is more of a rebellion fighting against the oppressive authoritarian government.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on March 11th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC)
Hee, you and Anvil both suggested Muse songs in adjacent responses ... when there's no way you could have known.
silmaril on March 9th, 2012 03:58 am (UTC)
"Taxman," as in by the Beatles.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps," the same.
ebony14 on March 9th, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
I'm about to start a Deadlands adventure that I have titled "Drivin' Steel." It's a reversed title, because if I call it "Steel Drivin' Man" then someone will figure it out before they open the McGuffin box. Which, as you know, spoils the fun.

"New Kid in Town" by the Eagles was the start of an idea for a campaign where the first-string heroes had all perished under sinister circumstances, and the PCs had to fill their shoes. I haven't run it, but it's shaping some fiction ideas I'm kicking around.

leonard_arlotteleonard_arlotte on March 9th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
REM - It's the End of the World as we know it
Queen - Who wants to live forever?
Joan Jett - Bad reputation
Shakespear's Sister - Catwoman (from the moon)
Styx - Heavy Metal Poisoning
Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire
TheBitterGuythebitterguy on March 9th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
I'm tempted to just start rattling off Rush songs.

Peaceable Kingdom
Red Tide
Emotion Detector
Manhattan Project (or possibly not)
The Camera Eye
I Think I'm Going Bald.

Okay, maybe not the last one.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on March 11th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)
This is the DC Universe. I have Lex Luthor.
Pakapaka on March 9th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
some song titles
The Day I Tried to Live
Black Hole Sun
Station to Station
Scary Monsters and Super Freaks
We Could be Heros
Mean Mr. Mustard
Polythene Pam
Fixing a Hole
Know Your Enemy
Bullet in The Head
War Within a Breath
(Deleted comment)
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on March 11th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)
Do feel free!