Cue music: a slow dirge of notes played on a low stringed instrumentI must confess a strange nostalgic attraction for the 70s. I remember very little of that decade, having been born in 1973, but its culture has affected and shaped me in a thousand different ways, and my recent delving into Electric Company videos has wakened these memories.Voice-over upon a black screen:
"It was a darker time... our shadows stretched across the mortal world, and the humans shuddered at our influence. Their money was becoming useless, their resources scarce. They reproduced at unprecedented rates, spreading disease with abandon while the greatest of plagues incubated in its dark womb, waiting to decimate the population of continents. Class fought class and race fought race, and all the while great nations sent their young men to die in futile struggles. It was the heyday of Hell...."
"The Dark Ages? The Inquisition?"
Music speeds up to become the opening bass riff of "Stayin' Alive"
"Well you can tell by the way I use my walk I'm a womans' man..."
Fade in to Logo: Welcome to the world of Gothic Funk.
For me, the late 1970s will always be extremely cool to me because that was the era of my brother, Shane, whom I idolized. Anything associated with him was cool, and anything he did was to be emulated. (Fun fact: because he was into Dungeons and Dragons, I was into D&D. He was my first Dungeon Master. Oddly, he outgrew it a few years later, and I've never stopped playing with toys and polyhedral dice.) Shane is seven years older than I am, and while I'm a child of the 80s, Shane was (at least to my starry eyes) completely 70s groovalicious, baby.
Shane was cool. Shane was a teenager in the late 1970s. Thus, the late 1970s were (and still are) cool. QED.
If you seek further proof, look at Quentin Tarantino's films. He seems to be making a career out of all the goofy-fun tropes of that time.
So one day, not too long ago, I was considering role-playing games, and thought: I like Vampires. And I like Goth. Vampires and Goths go together like satin and lace. But sometimes, too much Goth spoils the Vampirism. I wonder, would it be possible to combine Vampires with something else I think is cool, but isn't horribly over-wrought?
Then three thoughts occurred to me, in rapid succession:
Satin and polyester.
Vampires and the 1970s.
Sheer brilliance, as far as I'm concerned: Vampires and muscle cars. Big afros, big fangs. Who's the private dick that bites all the chicks? It's Drac, baby. Can you dig it?
It's the perfect blend of camp and angst, and best of all, I can get rid of so many modern conveniences that can rip huge holes in plots:
- Cell phones
- ATM machines
- 24-hour stores
- the Internet
In short, how could I make the World of Gothic Funk into a complete polyester experience for my hapless players?
I welcome all feedback!