Gaming in the Universe of… The Watchmen
Watchmen as reviewed by the family
I debated long and hard with myself just how I was going to categorize this GitUo article. I thought about linking back to the Super Hero introduction but Watchmen doesn’t quite fit that category. Watchmen stands on its own and as such will be treated accordingly.
Watchmen is not a superhero story. It is in fact a murder mystery set in a universe of costumed adventurers. I’m not going to reveal the identity of the murderer so as not to spoil the story for those who have not read the novel or seen the movie. This difficulty in ‘pigeon-holeing’ the story may have kept it out of the mainstream. Honestly, I think one of the reasons for the massive drop in box office receipts is that the studio tried to market the movie as 2009’s Spider-Man. Audiences were disappointed that what they got was not what was advertised (but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion entirely).
How would I incorporate The Watchmen into my campaign? Let’s start with Super Heroes (Necessary Evil, Mutants & Masterminds et all), incorporate the Keene Act into your hero campaign. Who will honor the law? and who will continue to fight the fight?
Another option for some one shots would be to play in the actual groups of heroes as very few adventures have been recorded for The Minutemen of the 1940’s. You could also play The Watchmen pre-Keene Act. Want your own character? play in the new post-Watchmen Utopia. Did Ozmandyus really create a Utopia or will he need help to keep it running.
Taking the tropes out for use in your other games, remember Watchmen is at its core a murder mystery. Start the PCs off with the sudden revelation that one of their former comrades has been murdered and lead them on a wild chase for the clues. Another thought is that whatever campaign type you’re are running, the PCs suddenly find themselves outlawed. Do they continue on with the good fight like Rorschach or abide by the law like Nite Owl? How would your PCs handle a truly horrific event like the murder of the little girl which unhinges Walter Kovacs?
I usually stat out the characters following the article. However due to the sheer number of characters to stat, Watchmen character stats will be in part 2.