Random Fate Game Idea Time!
The Doom Which Comes For Rock City!
You’re an unsigned rock band, and you’ve managed score an invite to a legendary Battle of the Bands in the heart of Detroit. Of course so have those posers that keep stealing your gigs around town got in too. It’s finally time to take them down, but you wonder: can you beat out all the competition flooding into Rock City from around the country… and far beyond?
TL:DR: Battle of the Bands vs The King in Yellow.
The players are a band. (I actually envisioned this as a single player game with one “character” representing an entire band, but didn’t get to run it) that make their way to Detroit to compete in a multi-day contest pitting bands against each other. The players also get to invent (single aspect) a rival band they can’t stand but who also were invited.
The battle of the band is a multi-venue music festival with crowds going to various venues and warehouses initially but the final battle happening in giant stadium on the last night.
I picture a system where a band define a Song (aspect) with a rating of their choice, but then have to play up to that rating. Imagine picking a number like 10, then the group mostly makes Create Advantages rolls for things like ‘Epic Guitar Solo’ or ‘Deep Lyrics’ with the last player making the overcome roll (with those advantages to help) to beat or exceed the song’s rating. The opposing band might attempt to mess things up through jeering and taunts, but not through playing music. When a song ends, all the advantage aspects that went into it also end. The song aspects remain into the next song, however, so you can play off the previous song’s theme or style. Bands take turns playing songs, and who goes first each round (NPC – Player; Player – NPC; NPC – Player)
The band that plays (successfully) the best song wins the round. Best 2 out of 3 rounds wins. In the event neither band plays up to their song, the band that missed it by the least wins, regardless of difference in song ratings.
The first real scene is their first battle against a band they don’t know from somewhere else in the country. Classic rock battle back and forth to win over the crowd.
Assuming the players win, they are done for the night, but also find out their rivals made it through too, and that a band from Seattle didn’t even show up, and are now missing.
The next day, as they practice, they are attacked by a strange unworldy monster (think heavy metal demon meets Lovecraftian horror) that proves to be immune to everything but music. Think using a guitar solo to stop a monster trying to eat your face and suck out your soul.
Back tracking the monster (or listening to rumors), they find it has wreaked havoc on the band’s rivals in their hotel room. The authorities might think they smashed up the hotel room and then fled town without paying for it, but the damage to the room is clearly demon related to the players who have now encountered one. Yup, someone used dark magic to steal their chance to show up their rivals on stage!
That night at the second battle of the bands, several members of the crowd are wearing freshly purchased Light of Carcosa merchandise, and their eyes flicker with eerie yellow light during the music. These fans jeer and throw beer bottles, and generally attempt to disrupt both bands, maybe injure a musician.
After the battle, the players hear that there is only one competitor left: The Light of Carcosa with front man & guitarist Enrich Zann. It’s them vs The Light of Carcosa in the final battle.
That night the player’s band is attacked while driving the band-van across town (from venue to hotel room). Think chase scene with a massive demon. I fully expect someone with a guitar to be van-surfing through the streets being chased by a glowing yellow monster.
The finale is the held in a stadium with the Light of Carcosa on a stage at one end, and the players’ band at the other. The place is packed, and there are now finally enough people listening for Zann to play the song that ends the world. He starts up into “Cassilda’s Song” and the spectral yellow glow of magic infuses the arena.
It quickly becomes apparent that a portion of the crowd present has attended Carcosa’s first two gigs and are already enthralled to him with dark rock magic, as evidenced by yellow glowing eyes and lots of Carcosa merch on. It’s up the players out rock Zann and prevent his summoning of the King In Yellow.
The rules of the rock battle go out the window, and the players need to cut through his alien riffs with their own music, and fight of the demons he summons, in order to save the world.
I picture this rock battle being done with a variant of dueling rules from the toolkit. Only the band with the Upper-hand can make attacks, but Zann can do so by sending demons to make physical attacks instead of just trying to out rock the players.