Bryan Mullins @ 2019-07-27 22:25:53
Okay! This is the only place that can help me... While watching the first ep. of _Archer_ s.9 “danger island” I recalled _Tales of the Gold Monkey_ and then recalled Disney’s _Tale Spin_. My question is... what is this genre and where do we inherit it from? American WWI flying ace in (the South Pacific?) what places did the French control nominally in ‘38 ? Who has a Grumman Goose and a mechanic and on and on....much like the “L.A. cop home from WWII, this seems to be a thing and I’m just griping the tip (just the tip) of this iceberg. Is it just another flavor of Indiana Jones? Who has deets? Links? Hot takes?
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-07-28 02:10:08
I don't know if this has a particular genre label, but I know what you're talking about. I tend to think of them as South Pacific stories. I actually stumbled onto the genre myself due to an RPG setting sourcebook that was emulating it. Heroes of Rura-Tonga http://griffonpubstudio.blogspot.com/p/heroesof-rura-tonga-buy-heroes-of-rura.html
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-07-28 02:12:48
This thread doesn't go very deep but at least talks about the subject: https://www.rpgpub.com/threads/tales-of-the-gold-monkey.328/
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-07-28 02:14:16
So if you were going to run it, what system would you run it with?
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-07-28 02:42:46
After following a hunch, I think I've discovered Patient Zero of this subgenre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tales_of_the_South_Pacific
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-07-28 11:58:00
Couple of movies in or adjacent to this subgenre: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085327/ http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/kamikaze/films/japanese/lorelei/index.htm
Bryan Mullins @ 2019-07-28 12:19:20
Nice finds! One thing that I’m wondering about and find interesting is that the 3 examples I’m correlating all seem to deal with a former WWI pilot and seem to be in between the wars. Like part of the equation is a guy, who was a hero, but is a bit past his prime? Maybe they’re all direct rips off the one previous that’s would be lucky, but maybe not unheard of?
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-07-28 13:44:25
Okay, been digging deeper. The cited inspiration for Tales of the Gold Monkey is Only Angels Have Wings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Only_Angels_Have_Wings
Bryan Mullins @ 2019-07-28 22:00:45
Excellent! I found a pretty rich page of reference: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TwoFistedTales
Roger Giner-Sorolla @ 2019-07-29 08:25:19
Han Solo also owes a debt to this genre.
Bryan Mullins @ 2019-07-29 17:43:39
@RGS Exactly! I wonder what pulp serials Lucas was watching when he borrowed Han...complete with hulking mechanic sidekick! 😱
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-07-30 00:53:46
Hmm, in recent years I've attributed Han to a protagonist in one of Leigh Brackett's short stories. I can't remember which one off the top of my head, but he seemed like a great fit even down to his ship's name.
Paolo Greco @ 2019-07-31 06:33:45
Indiana Jones also fits this.
Alistair Langsford @ 2019-08-02 01:32:33
I was reminded of this take on the genre by getting a copy of a PbtA hack. That was simply ‘the south pacific in the 1950s’. I tend to think of these things as variants of ‘Pulp’. The time period could be 1920s to 1960s. Sometimes even a bit earlier, back to the 1880s. Frontier areas & lost cities/treasures feature (but civilization is important, even if just by way of contrast or what the main characters are running away from), made up countries that could have been real, where tech is important and a key thing, but takes second place to characters and people (and also may not be particularly rigourous). Adventurous tales that don’t require too much thought, more clearly defined good and bad, Characters tend to be a bit larger than life, but they could be you if you’d applied yourself differently.To borrow a tag line from a later genre/series: its a place where one man (or person) can make a difference. I also tend to think of it as the ‘default’ style of most Traveller campaigns that I run. I think both Han Solo and Indiana Jones definitely owe a lot to these stories.
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-08-05 10:51:14
@Alistair, agreed this is a subgenre of Adventure Pulp.
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-08-05 10:54:54
@Alistair, Traveller is a funny old game from that perspective. It has bits that are recognisable from some fiction including the Dumarest series, but it's not trying to emulate them. It is definitely seems to be going for an adventure in space feel that owes more to classic adventure movies than genre fiction. So your default style seems pretty on point.
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-08-05 12:11:57
A couple of the classic adventure movies that fit as inspiration both for Traveller adventures and South Pacific stories are The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen. Just need to reskin and relocate. Tekumel also has this stuff in its DNA alongside all the orientalism.
Alistair Langsford @ 2019-08-07 12:31:07
Loved the African Queen. I know I’ve seen the Treasure of the Sierra Madre but it was long ago (no, I did NOT see it when it first came out!) and I don’t remember. Perhaps not quite in genre, but in that period of film making: The Wages of Fear.
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-08-07 14:49:44
Wow, Wages of Fear. Agreed, not quite in genre but definitely smacks of the sort of craziness a Patron might hire some PCs to perpetrate!
Alistair Langsford @ 2019-08-08 06:06:53
One of the nicest compliments I ever got was, after a particularly tense session of a game, a player said: “I haven’t been that on edge since I watched Wages of Fear”. I hadn’t seen it. So, when he managed to find a copy somewhere, we watched it at his place some months later. We were rapt, and I understood and appreciated his compliment. I have some pretty cool players.
Mamading Ceesay @ 2019-08-09 00:31:27
@Alistair check this out https://talestoastound.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/thoughts-on-the-play-style-and-fiction-for-classic-traveller/
Alistair Langsford @ 2019-08-09 09:17:36
Thanks! I remember reading that some time ago, but only dimly. The refresher is welcome. Very on point. Some great inspirational fiction noted too: “The man who would be King” is a great movie and one of my favourites.
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