Saturday, September 18, 2010

That Squamous Feeling

Blair's recent "Just Imagine..." post at Planet Algol got me to thinking. He wants to play in an RPG that has Captain Kirk kicking Cthulhu's hind-end in a massively insane ultimate smackdown free-for-all that defies all common sense, good taste, copyright laws and any other crapulous creeds and legalistic impediments to gonzo free expression and Hargrave-level mad genius good times. That'd be cool. But it'd even be cooler if such a thing were televised. The revolution is already getting televised, even if it is over the internet, and I don't just mean "I Hit It With My Axe," the usual suspects doing gaming-related podcasts, RPG-podcasts, etc.  Nah.  That'd be too damn easy.

If the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society can produce a really effective pseudo-vintage faux-silent-era movie version of The Call of Cthulhu (which they did and it is absolutely wonderful and you can find it here and here), and the Trek-Fans have been able to crank out their own episodes of the series that would not die such as here, here and here, (and I'm really only scratching the surface when it comes to new versions of old Trek online...so definitely, if this is of any interest to you, check out the Wikipedia page on Star Trek Fan Films...there are a LOT of them...), then why not do a seriously demented mash-up involving Cthulhu's minions corrupting the Federation from within and bringing Kirk into the battle against the gargantuan nihilistic Jell-O(TM) bodied mathematically-dangerous, madness-inducing/anti-muse/squid-god of doom, despair and agony for all mankind?

My money's on James T. Kirk.  Especially if it's Shatner.  But even if it isn't Shatner, maybe it's better if it isn't Shatner/Kirk, you could show the forces of nihilistic gibberitude demolish the Federation, take on the Klingons and get smacked around by the Organians and so on.  Losing Kirk frees you up to blow shit stuff up in a big way, and that'd be good fun.  The PhaseII episode Blood and Fire comes close to bringing Cthulhoid squishiness into the future, even if it is just some 'Regulan blood worms.'

The quality is uneven and a bit hokey at times, but even so, the effects are at least as good as 1965 and steadily improving, the writing is getting better as people gain valuable first-hand experience, and actors from the actual series are getting involved...it sounds a great deal like the OSR in relation to RPGs, only it's television...podcasting...new episodes of old, dead shows...in a way it's as daft as doing marketing materials for dead RPG products, and who'd ever do anything as silly as that?  If you haven't experienced the burgeoning renaissance of fan produced episodes for Star Trek (likewise for Star Wars via Atom and Lucas himself since he officially & personally supports the making of fan-produced movies inspired by his franchise),  it's worth giving them a look.  Some are pretty good, some are more than a little rough, and quite a few are nowhere near as crappy as certain installments in the franchise's big-budget movies have been...but that's a pissing match calm and respectful discussion to have some other day.

Why stop at just a game session around the table?  Why settle for a few rolls of the dice when the technology is available and getting cheaper every year, allowing us to actually get out there and make the movies we want to see...as long as we dance around Copyright issues, trademarks, and other landmines of modern IP law.  The game scenario sounds like fun, and it is...Dave Hargrave would have run it in 1979 and he'd have included a Bolo tank and  a balrog just to keep things interesting.  Don't get me wrong, it would be a fabulously crazed thing to pull off at a convention or in a campaign...it is most certainly as Old School as anything else that claims the name in the RPG-end of the imaginative pool...but wouldn't it be more fun to see it come to life as a freaking movie out on that there internet?  We have tools and resources available to us today that the originators and root-level creators would have killed to get their hands on.  Why pitch your world, your game, your most precious possession to coke-snorting accountants and narcissistic 'producers,' when you can make use of the technology available to do it yourself?  DIY is at the core of the Old School weltenschaung, ain't it?  Heck, if budget is a problem, and unless you've got Paramount's backing it always is, why not do a fan production mash-up of Star Trek and Cthulhu over at the Go Animate site?  They already let people do Star Trek animations/toons...and HPL's stuff is in the Public Domain...so it's eminently do-able...just think, those Orion Slavegirls might have more than a little in common with the New Innsmouth colony...

If I get some time after the next big project, I might just see if I can re-build some of my old mini-comics over at Go Animate.  It might be fun to adapt some HPL short stories as 2-D Flash animations as well...
Why wait for the Nerd Messiah?  Rise up and exploit entertain the masses with technology!  Let's build fun stuff!