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A Mashup Idea: Mutant Chronicles, Achtung! Cthulhu, and Space:1889

posted Mar 06, 2014 20:00:36 by JohnRudd
This mashup sort of has 3 variations (3 different time eras), that emphasize the 3 source materials in different ways in each era.

(to pre-summarize the 3 eras, Era #1 is the most like Space:1889, with the addition of the Dark Legion, and without really bringing in the Cthulhu Mythology, though you could do that as well ... Era #2 is like a pure Diesel Punk version of the MC, moving the timeline to match the actual Diesel era, while incorporating elements of the other two games ... Era #3 amps up the Acthung! Cthulhu influence on the Mashup)

1) Things are as they're described in Space:1889 -- Edison discovers the Ether Screw the mid/late 1800's, and by 1889, the inner system has been colonized by the major powers. We meld together the MC Megacorps with their Colonial State counterparts: Japan, Russia, Germany, the UK, and the US replace Mishima, White Star, Bauhaus, Imperial and Capital (respectively). British explorers keep pushing out into the outer solar system, and break the seal of repulsion, opening a portal for the Dark Legion, causing a more Steam Punk version of the MC setting, minus Cybertronic. The easy part is: less sophisticated firearms explain why we still have a heavy reliance upon melee weapons. The harder part might be re-defining the Dark Legion heavy/long-range weapons around that same limitation.

2) Similar to above, but the emergence of the Ether Screw doesn't happen until after WWI (or, at least, it isn't a game changer for the world's tech level and exploration of space until after WWI). In 1923, Hitler doesn't get caught -- he flees Earth for the outer solar system. He and the NSDAP are the ones that end up breaking the seal of repulsion, sometime during the mid 1920s. The result is something like a melding of Achtung! Cthulhu, the Dark Legion, and the way the MC Brotherhood believes Cybertronic to be evil tools of the Dark Legion (in this case, they are). The Nazi's return to the inner solar system in the late 1920's, attempting to make a claim at peaceful re-integration to the political scene. They have uneasy relations with Germany, obviously ... possibly offering some sort of reparations to smooth things over. Their connection to the Dark Legion is not immediately revealed ... but there is definitely something building/brooding around the same time (like the new, early, timeline for the MC setting -- the Dark Legion are operating behind the shadows). That's the state of things in 1929 ("Space:1929" ... you can also work in material/concepts from "Rocketship Empires", if you can find that out-of-print document). Also, this setting is less-ambiguously Diesel Punk than standard MC. A bigger stretch might be properly integrating the Cthulhu Mythos and the Dark Legion, though there will also be some issue with Dark Legion tech levels (but less so than #1 above). Though, the hardest stumbling block here will be that you can't easily use White Star as an analog for the Soviet Union. The Soviet presence in this era might need to be completely created from scratch.

3) If you take #2 and step forward to the late 1930's or early 1940's, then you've got a setting that emphasizes more of the war-time elements of Achtung! Cthulhu. The Nazi's are at war with the Earth's major powers (not sure where to put Mishima/Japan in this version of the timeline), the amount of visibility there is into their affiliation with the Dark Legion is comparable to how visible it is in Achtung! Cthulhu.

The biggest question is how to handle The Brotherhood. There's room for some of their elements to be handled in the standard pulp adventure "Mysticism", but that is less like a large Catholic Church element (the way the Brotherhood is presented in the MC setting).

What are people's thoughts about the ideas?
A) what do you think about each of the 3 eras for this mashup?
B) what do you think about scaling the weapons tech to the eras?
C) what do you think about melding the two enemy mythologies?
D) what do you think about how to handle the Brotherhood in each era?
E) what about how to handle the Soviet presence in the latter two eras?
F) what about how to handle the Mishima/Japan presence in those eras?

G) there's another element to the setting, for my own meta-purpose, that I haven't mentioned yet -- and that's using a sort of Marvel Cinematic Universe concept of the universe, as seen with the gateways between worlds in Thor 2. This allows me to work in some other elements, as well... but the main point to make here is: I might have the Dark Legion be from Helheim... the breaking of the Seal Of Repulsion is essentially opening a portal to Helheim. This might also imply that Ilian is Hel (the Norse goddess). If you want to comment on the implications there, go right ahead.
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2 replies
JohnRudd said Mar 06, 2014 21:59:06
As written above, Era 1 and Era 2&3 aren't compatible with each other ... either Ether Ships start in the late 1800's (era 1), or in the early 1900's (era's 2 and 3). A variation that might allow all 3 Eras to exist in one timeline:

* start with Era #1 above, but like the "Dark Symmetry" Era, the Dark Soul is completely obscured ... it's more like an X-Files / Gumshoe / Indiana Jones type era where there are discoveries among ruins that cause locally bad things to happen ... but the Seal of Repulsion hasn't been actually broken.

* Replace the Thule Society (precursor to the NSDAP) with a Dark Legion + Cthulhu cult. It is still founded in/around 1911, growing in power and influence as a conspiracy background for the NSDAP and the source of the occult power behind the A!C material. The founding event is based on the story in the 1st Ed MC campaign "The Venusian Apocalypse" ... members of the Thule Society discover ruins on Venus that lead to their corruption. The release of the Dark Soul leads to the next item: WWI

* WWI is a result of the machinations of the early Dark Symmetry period, sewing the seeds of discord among the major powers... until a relatively minor event leads to an all out war. However, the Dark Legion is not visible nor discovered by the major powers (not officially anyway -- they might all suspect a common cause that is supernatural, but they don't have anything concrete) at this point. (how is the history of WWI different if Ether Ships are present, and the inner system is colonized?) (the Thule Society is not yet powerful enough to have been directly causing WWI, but they are one of the seeds that gets sewn)

* As above in my outline for Era #2, Hitler and the NSDAP flee Germany (and the inner solar system) in 1923. They end up breaking the Seal of Repulsion in the outer system, possibly intentionally (due to their links to the Thule Society)... releasing the Dark Legion and becoming the human face of the Darkness. They return to the inner system in the mid-1930's, sparking a war that starts out with regional conflicts between this faction and the various other factions. It starts with NSDAP vs Germany/Bauhaus, as the NSDAP invades the Eastern part of Germany and Western Poland trying to fulfill their desire to rule Germany. Imerial/UK and France come to the aid of Germany/Bauhuas. (again, I don't know what to do with Mishima/Japan in this alternate history) It starts out as regional battles against a common Axis, sort of like the way, in the 1930's, there were a few small wars in the far east, and the escalation of wars in Europe, but not yet a full out World War.

* In 1941 the conflicts finally include Capital/US. Capital/US might be drawn into the conflict when the presence of the Dark Legion is finally concrete and public, and their connection to the Axis is revealed. That becomes the point where involvement of Capital/US can no longer be resisted.

This still leaves things unanswered wrt to Russia/USSR and Mishima/Japan. You can easily use White Star for things up through the end of WWI... but do you keep going with that, and not have the emergence of the USSR in this timeline? Or, is the USSR the first casualty of the return of the NSDAP to Earth? Maybe they're decimated by this invasion... and that causes the Sino-Soviet war of that era to instead be Mishima/Japan vs Dark Legion. And Dark Legion vs Bauhaus/Germany is the start of hostilities in Europe. That gives us friendly non-Nazi Germany and non-hostile Japan on the side of the Allies, with the Dark Legion being based in a conquered Russia. How does that sit with people?
JohnRudd said Mar 06, 2014 23:21:09
(It just occurred to me that I should look into Cogs, Cakes, and Swordsticks as a different basis for the steampunk part of the mashup ... I'll have to see how that changes my concept of things)
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