Mondays on NBC!

That guy creeped me right the fuck out in the '80's.

You tell ’em, Dungeon Master!

Let’s try a little experiment in plot and setting, shall we?  Bear with me here, this is going to be fun.

Imagine your favorite form of entertainment. It can be books, movies, video games – hell, it can even be a pen-and-paper tabletop RPG if you want.  Actually, let’s go with that: your old buddies from high school or college – you know, the ones that you used to hang out with on the weekends instead of going out and getting laid – decide to start up a new tabletop campaign.

You mean like the Dark Ages?

Imagine Eberron, without all the magic.

It’s a homebrew fantasy setting, different from your typical sword-and-sorcery stuff in that it’s a world where it’d set in the remnants of a once-powerful empire ruled by those who could bend magic to their will to accomplish nearly anything they could conceive. We’re talking the whole shebang: instant communication between far-flung city states thousands of leagues apart, the ability to cheat death through advanced alchemy, magically-powered land, sea, and air transportation, advanced weapons and engines of war.

Then, suddenly and without warning, the magic all goes away.  The empire, once mighty and world-spanning, is thrust into a literal Dark Age.  Society breaks down into brutal, post-apocalyptic Social Darwinism writ large, and in just 15 short years – less than a generation – the once great empire is in shambles, carved up into a patchwork of petty warlords keeping a ravaged populace under their control in the kind of feudal squalor that makes North Korea look like Six Flags.

Fuck this "WIngardium Leviosa" bullshit.

Bitches don’t know about my double-barreled hand cannon.

You and the rest of the players are all from one such small feudal village  trying to eke out a life of farming and sheep herding while trying to hold on to what little memories of the past you may have, until one day the captain of a local warlord shows up, threatening the village elder, a kind, compassionate man that has always done right by you and everyone else in town.  He has something the warlord wants, and is about to be taken away in chains when the village revolts, picking a fight that ends horribly – the elder is killed, along with several of the townsfolk, and the elder’s only son is taken as tribute by the warband.

The elder’s dying words, as told to the adventuring party, are, “go to the closest city and find my brother there, he can help rescue my son.  The warlord will come for him too – warn him, and tell him it’s true – that the magic can return.”

Let's see if NBC sues me.

Fooled you! … well, probably not.

It’s an exciting premise, isn’t it?  It’s also the plot of Revolution, the new NBC show that kicked off this season – just replace “magic” with “electricity” and you’ve got the set-up for the entire series.

I’ve only seen the pilot so far – life’s been busy, what with running around like a chicken with its head cut off – but what I’ve seen so far I like.  I’m figuring I’ll give it a shot, considering how much of a fan I am of speculative fiction and especially alternative history.

Hell, if I ever get back into tabletop, maybe I’ll steal a couple of ideas for a new setting.


8 thoughts on “Mondays on NBC!

  1. Let me start off with the cons

    1 its aesthetics are all wrong. 15 years after the apocalypse and almost all the characters are wearing top quality clothing and their hair and makeup looks fabulous… instead of being threadbare and worn ragged. This was a major blow to my suspension of disbelief. I know it sounds petty… but look at book of Eli. The visuals tell their own part of the story. This show almost totally lacks this component.

    2 a few of its political overtones kind of erked me but to discuss why would definately seem petty or oversensative. So well leave that complaint as it is.

    The pros:

    Pretty much everything else, the plot so far is riviting, and like you said, perfect for any good adventure. Sadly that first con is enought to make me not excited to watch and find out. But well see how it goes as the show progresses.

    Good review Dave.

    • The clothes thing did kind of strike me as incongruous. Is there a fully-stocked Kohl’s nearby that they’ve been keeping a secret from the rest of the populace? It would be nice to see some hand-spun duds, maybe out of some of that wool from the sheep they were herding in that first episode.

    • Pam and I are going to see if we can’t catch up with the rest of the episodes On Demand or something. Say what you want about cable, at least they offer SOME decent services.

      I miss my DVR though.

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