Hey, /tg/. I rolled up a character for a 1922 CoC game for my group who fought in German Africa in the Great War. He returned to some medals and a fucked up country. My question is this: What are some interesting factoids/history from that period in Germany? Are there any little things I can add/look up to get more into what Germans were like at the time? Just that sort of thing. I don't want to be just an American wearing a German hat.
Also, since I noticed no current one, CoC general.
Don't get too hung up on the particulars, odds are if your Keeper isn't any more of a German from that time period than you are, even if they are German. As far as I am concerned, time periods from before we are born might as well be different worlds.
Sure, we can read about it, but will we have enough of it internalized to roleplay? No sense worrying about the answer.
If you must, start here:
As you say, German in the post-WW1 period was in the shitter economically. Think Great Depression America and you're not far off. This is where the Nazis drew their support group from, people pissed at having their nice lives ruined because THEY got stuck with the bill for some asshole shooting Franz Ferdinand.
Hyperinflation was a huge thing because the government just printed more and more money to pay down its debt, massively devaluing the mark. I have, in my house, a five hundred MILLION deutschmark note that I picked up last time I visited Berlin as a curio, to give you an idea of how Zimbabwe-esque the economy at the time was.
Yeah, but you see this isn't enough. Why depression? How did the Germans feel about their government surrendering in WW1? In the years after the war, how did the Treaty of Versailles effect your average German? Besides the rise of the National Socialists, what other parties came to be? What was the Kapp Putsch? What was the Ruhr Uprising? What was the Ruhr Occupation?
You can't just boil it down to that, say it was pretty much like the American great depression and drop the mic. It makes you look like a damn fool.
Would you be surprised to know that American Bankers and investors DIDN'T jump from their offices during the crash? American High School students in California are taught that myth as fact.
So no, if he wants to do it right he must read. 4chan isn't his fucking Cliff's Notes.
The counterpoint to that is that you don't want a history textbook because that gets in the way of the game more than it helps - the important thing is to boil it down to stuff that can be "touched", that is, stuff that will come up in the story and character - remembering that the story is going to be about Lovecraftian horror. Total historical accuracy went out the window as soon as old squidface became part of the conversation so if the historical information isn't somehow going towards enriching the actual game in question, it's not important. So yeah, cliff notes are kind of what he needs.
I think you should take a look at the art and music of the time because that's going to undergo a real sea change; the Weimar Republic was associated strongly with decadence by the bitter nationalists that are taking hold in the post-war period, so there could be a clash there in terms of what your character likes artistically.
The War was also a real kick in the pants for new artistic and philosophical movements with a strong nihilist edge, especially Dada, modernism and surrealism. The mass loss of life, the arbitrary assignation of blame, the sudden change in fortune, all totally undercut the idea of established orders and were bitter but at the same time extremely liberating and energetic.
In 1922 Dada ("anti-art") was still going pretty strong in Europe; it had peaked in New York at around 1915 but Berlin was having fun with Dada well into the 20's - the Nazis even showed Dada art in an exhibit in 1937. There are tons of little political/artistic publications cropping up in the early 20's that have a Dada bent to them, like Everyman His Own Football.
Yesterday there was a really interesting thread about Call of Cthulhu in silent-film era Hollywood, or just transitioning into the the era of sound. If we're going into a /cthulhu general/, can we revisit some of those ideas? It died a little early.
The idea is for a campaign framework in which the players are the cast and crew of a small Hollywood production company in the early 20's dealing with production, competition, censorship and, of course, madness. OP in that thread talked about how the idea was that the film crew existed as a justification for getting players to spooky places - location scouting, prop hunting, talent scouting.
What sort of shit could happen on a 1920's film set to spoop the tentacles out of you?
I'm running a future game where the supercop/players have discovered the elder sign, and it infects and spreads like a viral memetic plague encouraging folks to delve into self referential research on the elder sign. It has potential, I believe, to spread like wildfire thanks to a post-information age.
So far the party has managed to insulate themselves from it, but have sacrificed a few underlings in their agency/corporation to prove it.
They are currently side tracked out of town right now, but I'm going to have a pretty big spread happen right as they come back.
You're a future tech society; if an entire apartment complex/peach trees building went dark due to succumbing to the madness of the elder sign, what's your protocol?
Well, depending on the level of futuretech and the hazards/weaponry that we might be exposed to, a sudden "going off-grid" might mean anything. When you say "peach trees building", I assume that's a reference to the mega-bloc from Dredd? One of those huge, practically self-contained places?
Total information blackout? No-one coming in or out? Presumably the early warning signs would actually be people coming in to visit their friends, relatives. An observer might notice a social media trend of "wtf is going on at peach trees".
At this point, you're probably likely to assume some kind of biological event rather than necessarily an "enemy incursion" - a disease, maybe some kind of failure in the environmental systems. Which means your first response is probably a probing team more than a HARD ENTRY SPEC OPS badass squad. Plumbers, health and safety guys, systems maintenace workers that sort of thing.
Yeah the party is based out of neotokyo Japan, but is on mission in South America hunting down of all things, a rogue Nazi terrorist cell from before ww3.
Their level of future tech is about 50 years from today? If your familiar with gurps (our ruleset) it's all tech level 9; rail guns, early nanotechnology, man sized mecha, smart chipped everything.
And yeah, a peach trees is an arcology style apartment complex. 2 to 3 hundred stories of living space with emergency power water and food to self contain and survive for a month or two under blast shielding. The party already cleared out a cyst from the far realm that had taken over the penthouse of one such locale. They went investigating a yakuza grow op, the ended up fighting off dog sized ticks that were invisible to electronic sensors and video. Lots of flamethrower usage there...
Ahhh yeah. And then those teams reporting up the chain with " we just lost contact with all the service teams in tunnel 5 to peach trees, and it looks like their blast shielding is down over the access tunnels? What do we do?"
Consider the following:
Louis LePrince beats Edison and the Lumieres to the post in 1888, filming the first motion pictures - Roundhay Garden Scene and Leeds Bridge.
LePrince planned a public demonstration in the United States but vanishes in 1890; he gets on a train and is not aboard when said train arrives in Paris.
Now, suppose something of LePrince's makes its way to Hollywood. Suppose LePrince's disappearance wasn't due to simply falling off (more likely being pushed) from the train he was on, but because a new lens he was working on allowed him to take images of something he really shouldn't have. Suppose LePrince's "King In Yellow" reels start cropping up in someone's editing studio..
I see a bigger problem; what if the plague spreads in n area that isn't self contained?
Do the mad researchers naturally "hole up" and go all mad librarian in their research? I'd imagine it would foster a hard turn towards people barricading themselves in their homes and getting into paranoid delusions quickly. I mean, it's the future; there's still an Internet right? Still relatively free access to mad go ogling and Wikipedia analogues?
Think of an insidious mindfire that drags people to their screens, skipping work to find just the right evidence, just one more piece of the puzzle, as they slowly start to succumb to the fear that "hey maybe my water got shut off because the neighbors are trying to POISON ME and it's the gubmint all up in my shot about fluoride and WHO ARE THEY TO TELL ME TO" etc. Etc.
awwww; kinda disappointing guys. but thanks for the pointer.
Yes it does definitely describe the minutiae of the psychosis presenting, it doesnt give me a good feel of what is going to happen on a grand scale.
I like >>44721636 and the idea that the affected with succumb to a mad ravening for more information, and will suffer severe creeping paranoia and antipathy for other people in the process. It definitely falls into the grand scheme of Mind flayers having concocted the plague to be the fall of modern man.
Germany only became a united state in 1848, and culturally it was more diverse then than it is today. Northeast, South, and West were not only distinct small states, but distinct cultures. Their accents differ so much, they can hardly talk to one another without resorting to High German as a lingua franca (they used French a lot).
Industrialization and the juggernaut of publicized culture was embraced. Berlin was as avant garde as Paris or Milan, maybe more in some respects.
At the same time there was a strictly hierarchical constitutional monarchy with a complex system of nobility and local sovereignty still very much seated in the old traditions. This is symbolized by the Pickelhaube Prussian helmets which were very much a status symbol not only of military power, but also noble standing. These things mattered on a visceral level as demonstrated by this famous tale highly symbolic to the era
So the old world was holding on tightly while the new industrialized global consumer culture was emerging out of the former's shadow. They tried some new shit in politics as well, not that the average citizen would have understood even if it were explained to them.
They knew that war must have changed as well, they just hadn't tried it out yet. But every state in Europe was very much aware not only of the economic implications of dominance over one's neighbors, but also of Centuries of open bills from conflict after conflict over religion, enlightenment, and eventually nationality. So they tried to feel safe by generating lots of treaties that all basically came down to: If anyone attacks anyone, everyone else is at war with them. There were some camps, but those lines were still fluid at the time and mostly political opportunism.
Then the German Kaiser said fuck your English money, I'm making my own gold backed currency. Sure, the Austrian prince was shot by radicals in the Eastern province. But read the details, the day is well documented. That was not the reason for the war, it was the excuse.
Now everything runs pretty much automatic because the strategic situation is very clear and well analyzed. There isn't a lot of other ways the war could have gone. The linchpin is US involvement, and how it came down is worth a few books of its own, Lusitania. But the result was this:
Germany takes all the blame for the war because the alternative is decimation of civilians. It is doomed to economic servitude for the foreseeable Decades. And the monarchy and nobility that started it all (they didn't really, but hey) have virtually disappeared in the new Weimar Republic. You get paid a pile of worthless bills in the morning and have to hurry to the bakery because by shift's end your pile of money will no longer buy you bread.
>Total historical accuracy went out the window as soon as old squidface became part of the conversation
You do not understand Call of Cthulhu at all. But you said 'total' so it's all relative anyway. Nothing is ever total.
OP here, finally got a chance to duck back in
Ah, I'm not sure how I missed this. Yes, this seems like a great little primer to start with, thanks!
Golden. Culture of the day, news of the day, mentalities that emerged from the war; this is the sorta stuff I need to flesh this caricature out into a real person.
Oh man, I've gotta fit a mention of this story in now, somehow.
>fit a mention of this story in now, somehow
There's a famous play, a bunch of movies, and I'm sure a thousand renditions of some semblance in Hollywood.
I mean just stick a yellow sign on frame 7,777 and watch things unfold.