Freedom Squadron vs The Toys That Made Us
The irritating thing about having both a normal full-time job and a part-time gig writing RPGs is that it doesn’t leave much room for actually playing RPGs (especially if you have anxiety like me and just have no spoons to give after a day’s work). I really want to start a regularly-meeting in-person campaign again—and as much as I know I should use that time to develop Savage Rifts® or The King is Dead, what I really want to do is run Freedom Squadron.
Specifically, I want to run a Freedom Squadron campaign where every adventure is a crossover with another ersatz ‘70s/’80s toyline. I was goofing around with this on Facebook the other day and came up with the following adventure seeds:
The Six Million Dollar Man: The team rescues a highly-regarded agent who has been horribly mangled. FS super-scientists save his life by turning him into basically a Rifts® Full Conversion Cyborg—but then he goes rogue! Is he a traitor or the victim of VENOM brainwashing, and what does Sasquatch have to do with it?
Barbie: When the president has a photo op with the pilot of the first NASA FTL flight, the press goes nuts over how much they look alike. Soon it becomes apparent that scores—possibly hundreds—of women (in just as many professions) worldwide appear to be clones of each other. What kind of sicko is carrying out this bizarre genetics program, and is POTUS the unwitting donor or a clone herself?
TMNT (and its knock-offs): After a cold open in which the team rescues Catamount from a South American VENOM gene-splicing facility (where he gets Low-Light Vision after an infusion of Wally’s DNA), the team heads to New York to investigate rumors VENOM’s ninjas are training uplifted animals and splicer soldiers in the arts of ninjutsu!
Jem: This would be basically a redux of the G.I. Joe episode “Cold Slither,” but with the Misfits working for VENOM. No need for alternate dimensions or anything (though maybe allow players to run both their own characters and the ersatz Holograms).
He-Man/Silverhawks/Thundercats/Etc.: I kinda already made up a setting blending He-Man, Silverhawks, Thundercats, and a few other sci-fi/sword and sorcery toylines. This epic, multi-part adventure would be a classic planetary romance allowing the Freedom Squadron team to assume the mantle of the He-Man-like characters. I’d probably give anybody who wanted it the choice to leave their commando behind on EDEN3 and spin-off a game set there.
MASK: The player’s Freedom Squadron heroes conduct wargames against a new team with weird, transforming vehicles—but it turns out one of the new team is a traitor trying to arrange for VENOM to steal the prototypes.
Inhumanoids: The basic concept fits well with the weird Venom-La mythology of the setting, and it’s basically just Cthulhu vs power armor anyway, so this practically writes itself. I’d just have all of the characters take power armor boot camp early in the mission.
Care Bears/My Little Pony/Rainbow Brite: While attempting to communicate with EDEN3, the team is instead transported to a world of talking magical animals in rebellion against a formerly-beloved princess who has succumbed to the powers of darkness—in the form of a seductive VENOM sorcerer! The cold open could lay the groundwork by having some of VENOM’s magicians carrying Power Point reservoirs filled with rainbow-colored mana.
Shogun Warriors: I never read the Marvel comic that tried to give a bunch of robots from different anime a shared storyline, but it was basically just Pacific Rim before Pacific Rim, right? I see no reason I can’t squeeze Kaiju into FS Earth. Hmm… This would probably be a great chance to pit a wannabe Godzilla against one of Freedom Squadron’s mobile bases.
Star Wars/Battlestar Galactica: Just when it seems things can’t get any more epic than fighting giant monsters, the arrival of a space fleet ends the campaign with the revelation that the Venom-La/human conflict is only a microcosm of a struggle that began a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.