What's the consensus on sudden tonal or genre shifts in games?
You're all pirates, sailing the seven seas and looting, suddenly zombies and you're conserving ammo and making desperate food runs. You're police detectives in prohibition Chicago, fighting the crooked system and busting rum runners, you stumble across a cult to The Elder Ones and your lives go down a completely different path.
Is that acceptable? Fun? Should this shit only be done with prior warning to the players, or just prior warning that 'something major is going to change the tone at some point'?
It's acceptable and fun as long as you don't do it in such a way that the players get gimped.
A bad way to do it is like that GURPS game an anon described where the GM said it was medieval fantasy, player took tons of Contacts, GM approved the sheet, then alien kidnapped the party in the first session and the player never got new contacts to replace his old ones.
It's very annoying. I once played in a WoD game, one guy made a hacker/tech support another guy made a vampire with AIDS. An hour into the game "Okay now you're all being sent to ancient Rome in spooky time shenanigans!". Everyone quit there and then. Give warning and make people aware if they're making a character that will completely ruin the game after the twist.
>you're actually switching between realities involuntarily.
>try to kill the bbeg because he unknowingly pulls the party with him on his quest to save his waifu
>the party doesn't know that and they just want to get back home where it was a slice of life campaign.
My suggestion would be to not do it at all. Think of the entire affair as a story in which players decide the actions of the characters. When's the last time a story had a drastic tonal shift and the effect was actually good?
>hacker goes to ancient rome
That is laughably dumb
>When's the last time a story had a drastic tonal shift and the effect was actually good?
Yes, but it needs to be handled with care. Like any good gm you shouldn't just drop the floor out from under people. There has to be a reason for things to happen, and that reason should not be "the gm is a dick".
Have the smugglers run into mangled corpses that aren't just hits. Wacked out friends and family succumbing to something odd. Dark creeping shadows that aren't cops on the chase. Bring things in by degrees.
By all means, a good reveal is dramatic, but not just "you open the door and there is a shoggoth. Roll will versus insanity". Do it with some consideration and effort. Some of the most fun games I've run relied on a good shift, but there was always a buildup
Ditto, was in a PDQ Godgame where we were in the middle of building a fantasy world when the game runner (who was probably 13-16 in retrospect) told us our gods got sucked 10,000 years into the future and had to explore our world as mortal adventurers. The other players replied with a collective "fuck that noise" and the game ended there.
It should come with prior warning and, if the party ain't into it, a compromise should be reached. Personally, I like it so long as it evolves. If it finishes after the tonal shift and only gets more difficult, its boring I feel.
Like, you start as pirates and then suddenly you have to deal with zombies. In the midst of the ordeal of surviving, you start to get clues to whats causing it and how you might stop it and you then need to go about gathering allies to deal with it. Sure, it adds another tonal shift but this one builds on the prior one as a slight extension to the natural evolution and offers interesting play opportunities.
It can be done right, but usually isn't. And unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, warning the players about it eliminates the point of such a shift, that of the rapid transition from one perspective of the game to another.
I've had GMs pull this on me a couple of times, and it's a tough sell. I've never once been happy at the table when it happened, but I'll admit I mellowed out about the better ones afterwards.
>You're police detectives in prohibition Chicago, fighting the crooked system and busting rum runners, you stumble across a cult to The Elder Ones and your lives go down a completely different path.
Isn't that how Lovecraft stories go. Also Silent Hill, sorta.
I like the way it skips from pseudo-medieval to vaguely western, I think a lot of the setting is well thought out and neat, I like the way the evil villain's backstory could be a book by itself and the magic system is unique and well-explored.
However, it's pretty badly written and the author has clearly never seen a vagina. Nobody's perfect.
Dunno about Silent Hill but yes that is one of the Lovecraftian Archetypes.
Other options include ''Reporter following an odd lead'', ''explorer who found the wrong ancient temple'', ''random civilian who found the wrong temple'', ''random civilian that tempted fate'' and ''intellectual who received a strange letter from a peer''
It starts out as the slice-of-life adventures of a carefree kid and his magic mums.
Then it becomes madoka complete with grey as fuck moralities.
Then it becomes DBZ but with a looming sense of death.
And then it becomes slice-of-life with an autistic green thing.
Sorta? It changes tone more so.
Judging by the people that I know that like it, Episode 1 covers goofy hijinks and something about cat fingers while episode 90something covers themes such as abuse, the horrors of war, sexual assault and oppression in various forms.
Reminds me of a lot of the campaigns I run. They start out light before I have the plot in swing and then by the end you need to cut the key out of your friend to escape a trap and fight the BBEG
>sailing the seven seas
>desperate food runs
What, did we all forget how fishing works? And what's to stop us from just sailing somewhere that hasn't been zombie'd yet?
Surely 'fuck off back to /co/' would equally apply to you saying it's shit. Since it's all cartoon discussion.
Chill brah. We've all got our opinions. Yours isn't wrong, it's just a happy little accident.
Nah, Steven Universe is shit.
Doesn't mean I don't have family members that like it. You pick shit up hanging around with edgy teen cousins at family events.
You're not good at reading comprehension, are you? Bar the first guy, none of us said its good.
This brings up a thought: Zombies are traditionally cannibalistic, to the best of my knowledge. Now, obviously, they try to destroy in general but would a zombie eat outside its ''species''? Would an elf zombie eat a human?
How do you play zombies, by the by? Im about to move into heavy zombie territory in my campaign and Im unsure should they just rush the PCs and facesmash until they win or die or should they be smarter about it?
Basically, swarming zombies or predator zombies: Which works better?
If you trounce the group's basic expectations then you can expect butthurt. Yes, sometimes you will get that easy-going guy who thinks it's awesome, but mostly people will be irritated at having put thought into characters based on a specific theme and setting only to have it all suddenly changed.
You can give some prior warning, that will help. On the downside it's a spoiler. Better, I think, is to make the sudden change only temporary, and to make sure the players know that. Try to limit how drastic the shift in tone/genre change is too, to eliminate any "cannot unsee" effect when you change back.
Consider the following:
>DM tells you that your PCs will be amnesiac, the world suffered a near-apocalypse, that almost everyone the party meets will be hostile, and that clerics/paladins will face additional complications
>Session 1 it turns out you're all sapient zombies trying to survive in a world that hates and fears you
Would you be okay with that?
>the world suffered a near-apocalypse
>almost everyone the party meets will be hostile
>clerics/paladins will face additional complications
>world that hates and fears you
So it's a traditional campaign, but we don't have to eat or sleep?
Thematically? If I have faith in the DM, yes. Sounds interesting but difficult to actually run well, unless we're supposed to just wait in a cave and murder adventurers.
Mechanically? I know next to nothing about AD&D so I don't know how well that works.
All in all, I'd need to ask the DM how they plan to run it but in theory Im down for it
You forgot less healing. A lot less.
>unless we're supposed to just wait in a cave and murder adventurers.
It would basically be a sandbox. Track down a half-remembered kingdom, figure why you're undead, don't killed by terrified mob, discover your own history, etc.
Yeah, could be interesting. Can zombies choose from the full standard range of classes or do you have to be like a barbarian and just hit harder with your ''slam'' to do more damage?
Zombies can be any race or class. I'm designing the Zombie rules to be like a 3.X monster template.
Pretty sure they do. But undead don't heal naturally.
I had a campaign based on the party being mercenaries in an unstable African country. Gradually shit got weirder and weirder. The campaign fizzled out but the end game was that magic was making a comeback (thanks to quantum pseudoscience) and the party would be recruited by an international coalition of magehunters. The transition from tacticool to "that was pretty fuckin' weird" was going smoothly, and I'm pretty sure my group would be cool with the eventual transition into magehunting.
Helck. Strongest man on earth befriends demons he was supposed to be fighting against, goes on an adventure with one of demons' greatest
management staff member.
I was gonna do something similar in a 20 minutes in the future central Africa, but with an alien infested asteroid landing, covered in rare minerals, but also silicate infectious life
I have been a victim too many times of dms telling us that a game is going to be a certain way and then it changing. Also been on the end of the same with gms not telling us anything about the game before doing it.
If I spend time making a tech specialist or I.T guy for gurps space and 2 games in we are stuck on Rome Planet with a broken and un powered ship for the rest of the game and no tech connection, I will give up and leave if I can not reroll or respec.
We were playing typical D&D helping out a town, but the game turned into a town making game with a harem of orc women. A pretty big change in pace, but we're having more fun now that we were as typical adventuring, even if it is fairly magical realm now.
Is it the third part of the Ravenloft campaign Grim Harvest?
>I'm designing the Zombie rules to be like a 3.X monster template.
GH actually has rules for undead-ing adventurers.
Speaking only from games I've run/played:
Good for plot hooks and the like
Reserved for special events.
>adds "tumblr" to [thing he doesn't like]
I had a DM who'd always, no matter the genre, find a way to include sexual violence or exploitation into his campaigns. Which work fine in a modern day crime campaign, less well in Star Wars and completely out of place in Lord of the Rings-esque fantasy. Got pretty fucking annoying towards the end.
I've been thinking about doing such things to give players a bit of a break, especially in really grimdark campaigns. Sort of like how most tragedies have a few comedic interludes.
If I was having a Dark Heresy campaign, after enough bloodshed and loss, I'd have them stumble across a Tzeentchian Chaos cult that was still so used to not having free will, the cult leader was still trying to teach them that.
>Okay, here are these two levers. Pull on the left one.
>*person gets zapped*
>Not very nice, right? Okay, which one do you want to pull now?
>...not the left one?
>Wow, you have made a lot of progress in the last few months!
How come /tg/ is all "Oh you should totally give warning beforehand," but then when some guy posted about his GM advertising "low magic low fantasy world" and then going "you all get sucked into super-magical hell and now have to fight your way past tons of demons," everyone was all SO AWESOME xDDDDD?
Because it's the difference between 'A story' and 'Something you can interact/built a character for'.
In a story, you have no control of anything so it's not as much of a problem when things change. A hacker sent back to rome could make an interesting story because the difficulty is interesting. It would make a shitty GAME because the player would have spent a lot being good at things that no longer matter at all in the game.
As I recall, historically they'd just loot them from the ships they sacked so really you'd only need to start worrying about it if you went too long without sacking someone.
Also, just grog, not water. Water went stagnant too easily. Thats why they drank Grog, you could use seawater and it'd taste alright and still be somewhat hydratin. It wouldn't sustain you for very long, hence why the Doldrums were so dangerous, but it'd do ya for a while at a time. Generally pirates only set to sea for a month or so at a time before they'd put back in to port, if that.
In one situation there's a risk of unwittingly making a character who well be basically crippled after the switch. In the other the DM tells them to make a bunch of fighty killy guys and then lets them rip and tear as they were meant to.
Ooop, yeah. Just looked that up, I fucked up.
So I guess the rum was as much to mask the nasty ass taste of the stagnating water as anything, huh? Suppose it might sterilise it as well, perhaps?
>or just prior warning that 'something major is going to change the tone at some point'?
This is the key here.
There has to be a narrative build up.
It's perfectly fine in my opinion (as long as the players aren't known to hate a setting type, or are locked down on one specific setting type) to do even shit as crazy as doing a GTA type campaign with bank robbers or gangsters or something, and then have some new client show up they can't really find anything on, who keeps hiring them to collect weird shit, that eventually leads to something that awakens the great lord Cthulhu.
As long as there was build up. As long as the players were there every step of the way, and weird shit slowly started happening as things got closer to when everything switches into a different gear.
Infact, most players will generally sense that something is coming up, if they're paying attention, and if the DM's running the game right, with the players having a say in things, they'll probably tell the DM if they really don't want this eldritch sort of game. And even if they don't spot it until it's too late, as the DM, the world is yours, so even if they tell you too late that this is not the game they want to play, you can pull any sort of bullshit out of your ass to let them fix it. Might take some work, but you are the master of the world, you have every key in your hands.
Yes, alcohol was primarily a preservative and disinfectant for fluids. It's not perfect, but a little helps a lot.
The problem with sailing in those days was that you were picking up new infections in every port and the leukocyte count of those sailors must have been phenomenal. So they need their fluids.
You fill fresh water in barrels and store them on board. If you have time and barley you brew ale, if not you rely on spirits to add to the water before imbibing. You could have boiled it as well, but fuel was scarce on a ship that could sell every nook and cranny at a premium. Meals were cold.
I think the rum & water mix also came from the fact that when the British Navy moved over from beer rations to rum rations, sailors were hoarding it for binge drinking later; so, they added water to make it go bad quicker, and to reduce the amount of alcohol in the drink.
I think if it's a slow development it's more fun but in most cases you should only do it in groups of friends you know would appreciate it. For example, in a 2nd edition campaign I've been running the players started in low fantasy and slowly built up as they retrieved rare old artifacts and donated to the guild labratories. It's pretty standard stuff but sometimes they're given cool gimicky magic items and tools. In a few levels I'm hoping to have them investigate a strange meteor
that turns out to be a UFO whose technologies will slowly plunge the world into the Spage Age - cue Spelljammer.
I know my friends would like that development, and I have a place in mind for each player. That said, I'd sure as hell warn an unfamiliar group before they make their characters.
Grog specifically came about because one navy captain put something with citrus in the watered down rum rations. Higher ups at some point realised that his crew didn't have issues with scurvy, and the entire navy eventually moved from watered rum to what was from that point on called grog.
Might as well pitch my campaign idea here. I'm planning a sci fi game where the party are hired as part of a crew that are meeting up with a team of scientists on a freshly discovered new planet, hoping to expand the space empire the setting takes place in. The important thing about the setting is that there's no aliens involved and no pew pew laser beams either, except for experimental weaponry used by the military. It's a lot like Firefly.
I'm planning on splitting this proposed game into two halves. The first half will be a fun romp with the party racing against other groups of adventurers to get to the planet and explore it. They'll be making stops along the way at some colonies, they'll get marooned on a different uninhabited planet for a bit, there'll be recurring antagonists that foil their progress, stuff like that. It'll generally be light hearted, but it'll get freaky in the second half when they actually get to the planet. I'm basically going to be adapting At The Mountains Of Madness, really playing up the horror element of it and having them find weird shit in general including ancient aliens.
The shift in tone is what worries me. Would something like this be too jarring for players to run into? How should I handle the sudden mood whiplash when they get to the planet? Do you guys think it'd work?
Yeah, here's how I understand it. Before the British Navy got to the Caribbean, they used to have beer rations, or wine rations for the officers. When they discovered rum, and how long it took for rum to go bad, they switched to rum rations. What they didn't expect was for the soldiers to stash their rations away for a mass boozer later, which resulting in a lot of health and disciplinary problems, so they watered down the rum to make it go bad quicker, and to effectively give them less alcohol. At some point, a captain nicknamed Old Grogam (because he wore grogam cloth coats) started added either lemon or lime juice to his crews rum rations. This practice eventually spread to the rest of the navy.
Also, possibly pirates took the idea for grog and turned it into bumbo instead, which is water, rum, sugar, nutmeg and possibly cinnamon.
Usually a duck move and often perpetrated by That DM so he can laugh it up.
It can be done well, possibly. However, every time I have experienced it, it's been clumsy, juvenile and broke the pace of the game, most often leading to abandonment of the game shortly there after. Funny that, not everyone who likes Pirates of the Caribbean is interested in Left for Dead.
citrus juice is not only a decent source of vitamin C, but also acidic. That too lowers the bacteria count significantly, though not enough in those ph ranges. Strong vinegar is a good enough disinfectant, but not something you drink.
Sounds like fun, but as a player, I have found that having an expectation for the game built up well then flipping the game on its head was really frustrating. Mostly because the original premise for the game was more interesting to me.
>PC's are minions of a crippled mad scientist
>Modern-Day with some magic thrown in
>End up creating a VR system by mistake
>Kicks off with the players, now we spend half of our time in this fantasy game
>Mfw when I improvised and came up with all of the setting on the fly
>It can be fun if executed properly.
It seems obvious enough, but with TTRPGs almost anything can be fun if you actually take the time to execute it properly, and write the corresponding part of the adventure to be interesting/exciting.
Reasons to change the tone or genre of a setting
1. It's a natural progression of the story, maybe after the first few levels of chopping goblins and rats up, things get a little more serious, or grim-dark for the group.
2. To give the characters emotional motivation. Having a party member get killed by an assassin can send the group on a revenge quest, in my experience DMing, players are usually super motivated by vengeance. The key with this is killing off a lovable character. That being said I would suggest killing of your own character if your group rotates DMing, or ask someone in the group (privately) if it's okay to kill them off.
3. It's a natural response to the action of the PC's: Maybe the PC's REALLY fuck up a quest, or maybe they make a terrible choice and are now outlaws. Whatever the reason, players are sometimes retarded in their decision making, and while I don't believe in punishing players for not following your exact plans for them, I do believe in consequences. Sometimes consequences means being labeled outlaws, or accidentally destroying an entire town, or whatever.
Reasons not to change the tone or genre of a setting
1. Magical realm. I don't really need any explanation here, do I?
2. You wanted to play D&D but your friends wanted to play Shadowrun: Teleporting your PC's 3000 years into the past just to play the setting YOU want to play is horseshit. Don't fucking do it.
3. You saw a movie about zombies and you want to try that in your campaign. Listen, if it doesn't fit into the natural progression of the story, don't do it. It's going to seem weird and hamfisted to everyone.
The Grim Harvest/Requiem rules are pretty bad though.
Better to homebrew from scratch than try to fix it.
>When's the last time a story had a drastic tonal shift and the effect was actually good?
>When's the last time a story had a drastic tonal shift and the effect was actually good?
I don't like to inflict this image onto people, but you're asking for it.
No it's not something horrible. Not unless you know exactly what it is.
It's overall bad.
Unless the players are ok with it, or know something regarding it beforehand, it tends to ruin the game.
Even "minor" genre switch, can be annoying.
For example, once I was in a game that was promised to be lighthearted and all. So I made a friendly character, fit for that kind of adventure.
Two sessions in, we were thrown in the middle of Ravenloft with the DM going "Surprise!".
The game didn't last long afterward as we were looking forward for high adventure, rather than grimderp everywhere we looked.
I remember a Cyberpunk 184.108.40.206. campaign where we ended up on another planet, fighting aliens who'd kidnapped entire villages to extort sacrifices from them. Turns out the GM had stolen the idea from a sci-fi novel he'd read recently...
He'd even planned this whole thing from the start, and had told us ooc after one session before the twist happened that what was coming was NOT what we'd signed up for, so it's not like he changed tack on a whim. That campaign was damn good fun, and the GM was amazing at setting the tone, but... yeah, it was kinda weird.
I warned you, the path you walked was, as is for each of us: Your own.
in a game that I am still playing actually. not a complete shift, just a completely unexpected game changer.
playing as a bunch of Brotherhood of Steel dudes in a semi fallout thing, and after a few weeks we discover some old dusty experimental armor. enough for everyone in the PC squad.
we use it and discover that it lets us have some green lantern energy armor shit, but it needs to use stats that not one of us set up our characters to use.
it was a weird thing to come in the middle of a fairly normal game. but the GM has been good about giving us buffs to the ability to use it so we are not crippled.
Group builds characters for a Rogue Trader game.
Get through 2 adventures that lead the group to wormhole gate. "Well, we should find out where this goes!"
Ship ends up in the Star Wars universe. Grimdark meets space opera.
Giggles were had.
I know exactly what it is.
A hamfisted attempt at shocking people that ignores that the law of equivalent exchange doesn't let you lose something.
Neither girl nor dog are actually lost.
If you want feels watch the episode where Ed and Al return to central in good spirits, learn that you know who was murdered and visit his grieving widow who cries behind closed doors but put's up a smiling facade for guests and her daughter.
Shit was tragic.
My current GM did it by making them truly magic instead of just "infected" and by making them art projects of a demon obsessed with decay. They wear these cool wooden masks, too, I can't wait to get someone to look at it.
Sure, I'm just salty because the only feel that went viral is the one I don't share and think is stupid.
Now something related to the OP:
A lot of animes change tone after a couple of episodes or halfway through.
kill la kill
fight for revenge > fight of alien invaders
giant robots vs monsters > cureing the human condition
crime solving > working around a conspiring government to neutralize a revolutionary terrorist
I tried to run a game kinda like that once. Players began modern day nonmagic alternate universe, normal human points. Then, end of first session, they discover a supernatural underbelly to the city, and become host to alien parasites that grant them 100 new points for magic powers.
No setting change to gimp players, though.
There was a period where it was kinda grey - when they freed lapis. Dumped a lot of questions into the moral assumptions that had been made that weren't really cleared up until Jailbreak.
>in a Weird War Campaign
>fightan some Micks, going good
>DM says he wanted to change settings, asked if that's okay with everyone
>became a Day After Ragnarok game instead
Loved that game shame my friend died and I didn't go back to it
Best campaign was a genre shift from high flying steampunk fantasy to reality warping horror. The core "dungeon" throughout the campaign was a research facility that the party later discovered to be a dead god. The substance that was causing the world to go to shit was his crystallized blood.
>some crazy fuck sets up a research facility inside its titan corpse
>the crystallized blood of a god is tampered with, causes bad shit to happen
That's not a bad set-up to a campaign. I like it.
I remember signing up for a random CoC game on Roll20 that was advertised as us going to investigate some mansion that one of the PC's character's uncle owned and had died and they were now inheriting. I get into the session and it turns out that it's not in fact set in the 1920s, and instead we're traveling through space and we know what Cthulhu and the Old Ones are and, Cthulhu's been dead for years now and is trying to come back. And in order to prepare for that we keep jumping into some sort of "dream simulator" and go back to different time periods like the 30s, 70s, etc.
I felt like I was false-advertised, and coupled with the fact that there was constant tension and drama between one player and the GM, as well as the fact that we were reprimanded for any iota of OOC fun, I quickly decided to leave.
>Sure, I'm just salty because the only feel that went viral is the one I don't share and think is stupid.
Hey, spoiler feels guy here.
I actually agree with how this particular moment isn't the best executed out of the series, however, I think the reason people caught on with it so much, is because it's kind of where shit gets real.
Anything else that is dark up to that point, is just so distant, and feels like it's a part of the lore, and then this moment comes and it signals just how fucked up what's to come is.
Which is also why I put this particular moment in, instead of what I agree is a much better moment by your example. Since that already came after the tone shift.
Wow way to make a good point in the worst possible way
From Dusk till Dawn
Now, I agree, if there is no forewarning at all. G-L and Berserk both had in medias res intros that let you know what it would become and in BB the cosmic horror builds slowly.
From Dusk till Dawn is the only exception to this I can find, but that really was just Tarantino trying to fuck with as many people as possible, until the marketing department spoiled the twist.
Do whatever you want man.
The only problem is when your group ends up feeling like you gypped them.
Have you talked with your group before starting the campaign, and do you have a firm grasp of their expectations and wishes, and do they have an idea that you like mixing things up? Then nothing can go wrong.
But don't just invite people for D&D and then suddenly go "we walking dead now." That's just a recipe for people feeling tricked.
You don't invite people over for barbecue and then serve them vegan.
But you don't show up for a buffet without letting someone know in advance what you're allergic to either.
My group got surprise bullshitted into Ravenloft as well. We were originally from a Sundered Earth setting, pretty much just Fallout with elves n' shit thrown in. Tone remained about the same, it was pretty grimdark to begin with. What pissed me off was that this was right after a significant story shift: a dead god was brought back to life, but at the cost of letting Asmodeus back into the world, as if it wasn't crapsack enough. My character, the LG cleric of the god's mother, was now pretty dead-set on ensuring the child could rise to full godhood without being killed again; but thanks to the wish of some asshole vampire, we'll all stuck in the land of brooding fucksticks and filthy thieving gypos that drug you in the middle of the night and steal all your armor, weapons, and the plot coupons needed to get back home.
Once our GM made the darkest fantasy campaign I've ever had chance of playing in.
First session was gold. We barely managed to infiltrate some dark cult.
Second was even better with us discovering that the cult was planning to "stop worlds in their walk from child to an elder world" thus providing their master with power of that world.
On the third session he threw us on a colorful, floating island full of blue goblins with white hats, living in fucking mushrooms.
We finished playing just as we picked up all our sides.
We wound up in Ravenloft by way of Athas. Most of us came to the conclusion that this gray, misty, brooding place was far and away nicer than home, and enjoyed the respite from rapespiders, scenery that tries to eat you, and death from exposure.
I loved this show but on some level I feel like "hey, let's model the plot for this based on what a lawful stupid and bored fashion model would write in his spare time, and justify it at the end with a huge asspull"
Arguing over who gets to be red Flamenco was the best though.
I'm really hoping we can leave soon, but now all our shit's been stolen, that might take a while. I was the unlucky one who got drugged and abducted from my room while I was sleeping; everybody else got to get their fighting gear at least, while I, the only current heavily-armored pc, was and still am reduced to spamming spells in a nightgown in a campaign where long rest = 1 week.
DM does get a real chuckle that we're trying our damndest to get out of Ravenloft and back to a war-torn post-nuclear wasteland.
Every individual section maintains a consistent tone within itself, and to be honest the changes in settings don't change the tone of the story that mich, it's still primarily a shonen battle series.