A Refined Palette

Posted: 25 March 2013 in Settings
Tags: , ,

Things have been busy recently at the House of Weird Games (as my children and their friends call it), in ways both good (playing Shadowrun and playing with my first grandson) and bad (overtime at work). Still, I managed to get one thing done last week as part of gearing up for 2014’s space opera campaign; establishing the palette.

The palette is a concept I’ve borrowed from Ben Robbins’ Microscope. Before play commences, you go round the group of players, and each one can add or forbid one concept. Then you go around again, and again, until people run out of ideas – taking turns helps because several people have the same idea they want to ensure is in, or out, of the game.

As it turned out, there were lots of things people wanted to see in the game, and only a few that they didn’t.


This is the players telling me they want these things to be important in the game.

  • Spaceships (possibly with secret labs inside them)
  • Space pirate Amazon ninja catgirls
  • Cyberware
  • Rayguns
  • Psionics
  • Laser swords
  • Robot PCs
  • Really big mecha
  • C4 and flamethrowers
  • Edible explosives (I have no idea what’s going on there)
  • Norse gods (for a while now I’ve been thinking about Hellas or Dogs of Hades and the Ancient Greeks in Space vibe, but actually, Norse myth is equally entertaining and Norsemen in Space hasn’t been done as an RPG setting, as far as I know)
  • Ancient Greeks (at first hard to reconcile with the Norse influence, but then I thought of Byzantium)
  • A world-class cooking school which sends the PCs on missions to collect rare ingredients (see, I know that’s important now, but I would never have guessed if I hadn’t asked them)
  • Lolcats as a religion. Among the catgirls. With a sub-cult of velociraptor priests. (that has potential even if I’m not sure how to use it yet – never mind, I have 9 months left to figure that out.)
  • Stargates


These are topics that one or more players definitely do not want to see in the game.

  • Headcrabs
  • Zombies
  • Estate agents (I have no idea what’s going on there either)

So what’s coming out here is basically Robot Viking Thieves in Space. With catgirls and Jedi. Or possibly Jedi catgirls.

I can work with that.

  1. thetailrace says:

    sign me up! 😀

  2. raikenclw says:

    Actually, it sounds almost like what I can remember about the Battletech universe, were one to give up on using made-up names for the various factions/cultures involved.

  3. R Singers says:

    Rather than a Cooking School what about something like Darwin’s Gourmet Club http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin%27s_education#Third_year.2C_theology_and_natural_history

  4. Umberto Pignatelli says:

    If I can advance a suggestion, pay attention to the requests of the players, but remember that YOU are the man that will have to design the setting, create the scenarios and run the game. Do something that YOU like, otherwise gaming becomes a burden.

  5. Sean says:

    Now that sounds like wacky, good fun. Good idea to get players invested in the campaign.

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