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Recht und Links

This is a game I've been thinking about for a while. It's set in Berlin in 1918/19. This is when the Marxist Spartacists lead by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht fought for control with the right wing Freikorps, paramilitary organisations set up by soldiers returning from the war who felt stabbed in the back (Dolchstosslegende).

The German government withdrew to Weimar and the battle raged backwards and forwards between the Soldiers and the Workers, although with suprisingly less impact that might have been expected on daily life.

Players play characters caught up in this political maelstrom. At the start of the game they are not clearly associated with either side but as the game goes on are forced to choose one way or the other.

Play takes place over a series of days, each of which can contain several scenes.

The overriding mechanic is one that determines which side has the upperhand each day. I haven't worked out the terminology yet but at the moment this is represented by a pendulum that gathers momentum.

On day 1 the pendulum starts at 0, on day 2 it swings to +1 representing a bonus to the right, on day 3 it swings to -2 representing a bonus to the left, on day 4 it swings to +3 etc. The actions of characters can influence the pendulum dampening or increasing it's swing.

Once the pendulum reaches +/- 10 the revolution ends and one side has won.

PCs are defined with interests on both sides of the divide so have to make difficult choices about which side to choose.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
Interesting. Some kind of card-collecting mechanic might be handy for deciding the cost/benefit of being a Spart or otherwise.

The state of the spart leadership is also a consideration -- didn't they drop to pieces once K & L were captured and murdered, despite having respectable forces still in play? I suppose it's a matter of the sparts fighting for something, while the Freikorps and chums were merely trying to stop them from winning (a bit like Kissenger [IIRC]'s comment that the victory conditions in Iraq were asymmetical).

Feb. 6th, 2007 11:28 pm (UTC)
They did go to pieces although the Kapp putsch a few years later was defeated by general strikes after the army refused to fire on their colleagues.

But this is more alt history and the PCs can influence the income.
Feb. 7th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
There was once a Rosa Luxemburg biopic. If it's anytheing close to the truth, she had a cat, whom she let him eat her plate at the table. She also gave her servants the night off when she and Liebknecht plotted revolution.
Feb. 7th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC)
Interesting as an alternative history idea, but in reality the communists never had the backing and resources to pull through with a Bolshevik-style revolution in Germany.

I think general lack of impact on daily life is a good indication that it was largely a "fake" revolution. The general disorder of Germany's defeat allowed the communists to entertain hopes for a while, but that was about it.
Feb. 7th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
That's certainly true although the fact the workers defeated the Kapp putsch by going on strike shows that if properly mobilised they could have an impact.

I'm just using Berlin for colour really, as somewhere to base the exploration of what might happen in a political situation with swings from left to right.

I'm reading Count Harry Kessler's biography at the moment and his recollections are unintentionally rather funny. He speaks of going to the theatre or having drinks on Unter den Linden whilst ducking bullets and it all seems to be a bit of a lark. Rather like the time, about 15 years ago, when an anti British Nationalist Party demostration near our house turned into a riot and we watched protestors and police running up and down our road. We sat inside, ate pizza and played roleplaying games.
Feb. 7th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I read the recollections of an American journalist (can't for the live of me remember the name right now) who was one of the first in Berlin after the truce.

The battle of left vs right/ east vs west was certainly strong in the minds of everyone (especially the foreigners) - even if the mind's game was not truly reflected in reality. As such Berlin is a great setting for a political game based on that dichotomy.
Feb. 7th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
A politically-based game eh? I know I'm not the most seriously-minded person in the world but I couldn't help thinking of some sort of 'Peter Snow Swingometer' to show the changing daily balance.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )