• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[interest/planning] CAH3: Cartoon noir with a touch of dark urban fantasy or magical realism

Max

A dapper chap without a doubt
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I've been thinking about something I might want to run at some point in the future maybe, a dark urban game using Cartoon Action Hour Season 3.

The setting would be a deliberately unreal mix of Interwar period moods and fashions and mostly late 1970s technology, heavily inspired by things like Batman: the Animated Series, Dark City and Bunraku along with hardboiled crime fiction (Chandler, natch) and film noir, visualized as a probably R-rated animated show with sharp lines, lots of solid black shadows and select highlights of bright colors, set to a dark retrowave soundtrack. Trenchcoats and fedoras, slinky dresses and feather boas, suits and ties, sportswear and newsboy caps. Sleekly bulbous cars, military motorcycles and police blimps. Monochrome CRT monitors and clicky-clacky keyboards, janky text-based telecommunications, phone booths on street corners, mass media consists of newspapers and broadcast TV and radio, in descending order of importance. Everyone wears hats, everyone smokes, everyone drinks; officially no one worth a thought drinks, and public drunkenness is a crime. The once-thriving port city is a mixture of decaying Art Deco gentrification and abandoned industrial infrastructure, kept barely afloat by political corruption and organized crime. The days are grey, the nights dark but for the riot of neon lights, the economy's gone to hell and is slowly dragging everything down with it, everyone's desperate for money and a moment of relief.

The PCs would be detectives, investigative journalists, private eyes, masked vigilantes, femmes/hommes fatales, mobsters with a conscience and other such, uh, liminal types who habitually tangle with the darker side of the city, trying to stay alive, make a living and maybe do good - not necessarily a coherent group or "party", as such, but a core cast of allies and friendly rivals who frequently cross paths and work together (or at cross purposes if that seems like more fun at the time). Lots of crime and skullduggery, quite a bit of violence (mostly pulpy action stuff), not a little horror, occasional weird, dark shit which may or may not have supernatural elements...

The whole idea kinda sprang from thinking about how to houserule Cartoon Action Hour for a darker, edgier series (because of course I would). I'm currently thinking of two main changes, somewhat along the lines of The Movie optional rules:
- Setback Tokens representing physical damage go away one per scene in which you're involved in. If you're Defeated by physical injuries, you must receive proper medical attention before you can start recovery.
- If you're Defeated, you can grit your teeth and get back up even in the very same scene - but if you do, and receive even one more Setback Token, you die. Yes, even if the opposition isn't physical in nature.
...and maybe something more, but that's what I've got for now.

Now, fair warning, I kinda suck at running PbPs. My track record is pretty terrible. This wouldn't be a daily thing, probably more like three, four posts per week, and I always have trouble keeping to any kind of schedule for long, anyway. I won't be doing this right now, or even all that soon, maybe sometime in the next month or three. And so far I haven't thought out much at all beyond what I've posted here... But all that said, would there be interest in this kind of thing?
 
Last edited:

The Discerning Gentleman

Has Transcended
Validated User
I've flipped through my CAH3 book, but haven't had time to run a RL game, so a non-demanding pbp is fine with me. Keep in mind I've never played, but have been wanting to try it out.
 

Unka Josh

Social Justice Chimera
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm definitely interested, pending what we come up with and what I can come up with.
 

Talisman

The Man of Talis
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Gotta admit, that sounds pretty intriguing. I have CAH3 but I've never actually played it, so this sounds like a great time to learn!

The relaxed posting schedule is fine by me.
 

Max

A dapper chap without a doubt
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Oh, and of course there's an inexplicable line of kids' action figures to go with the adult-oriented show! With playsets like the Police HQ, a seedy nightclub, a dilapidated warehouse and attached pier (comes with cement shoes accessory), a nice clean church and crematorium (includes hidden basement level), an abandoned but functioning meat packaging plant...
 

Elfwine

Registered User
Validated User
That could be interesting. I have a character idea I could adopt to this handily, but I'd have to think about it.
 
Last edited:

Max

A dapper chap without a doubt
RPGnet Member
Validated User
That's OK, I've never run CAH before. :D
 

NikoCarcosa

Registered User
Validated User
Oh man. This is perfect for a vigilante concept I've had for years. A pastiche legacy character that's sort of a super-science The Shadow.

Tentatively putting my hat in the ring.
 

Max

A dapper chap without a doubt
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Oh man. This is perfect for a vigilante concept I've had for years. A pastiche legacy character that's sort of a super-science The Shadow.

Tentatively putting my hat in the ring.
As long as the super-science is appropriately clunky and old-fashioned to suit the inspirational eras ('30s-'40s on one hand, '70s-'80s on the other)!
 
Top Bottom