This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Author Topic: Anti-Communist Games?  (Read 1267 times)

kidkaos2

  • Newbie
  • *
  • k
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Anti-Communist Games?
« on: January 09, 2021, 09:26:45 pm »
Does anybody know of any and could they point me in their direction?  I've been on both drivethru and itch.io for a while and the vast majority of games are politically neutral from what I've seen.  But also from what I've seen, EVERY time a game isn't politically neutral, it is anti-capitalist and anti-"fascist", which I put in quotation marks because it seems they define fascist as being "anybody who isn't a socialist."

Now I don't mind left wing games being out there at all.  But it seems strange to me that with a nation that's almost evenly 50/50 right and left wing, 99% of games are left.  Where are the small government people, the low taxes people, the 2nd amendment rights people?  I'm hoping it's just a perception problem on my part, but I can't find anything these days like Price of Freedom or Freedom Fighters from the 80s.

Aren't any game designers familiar with gulags, Stalin's purges, with the cultural revolution, with the Cambodian Killing Fields, with the summary executions in Cuba, etc?

Why in the world would I ever want to fight FOR a socialist dictatorship?  The few games I've looked thru don't even justify it.  They just assume that everyone hates capitalism and wants a socialist nanny state.  Where are the politically active RPGs for people who want small government and individual freedom?

And note, I'm not asking for a political debate here.  I am asking about the seemingly lopsided amount of games out there.

David Johansen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • D
  • Posts: 5403
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2021, 10:49:44 pm »
Well, Twilight 2000, Recon, and The Price of Freedom probably all count.
Fantasy Adventure Comic, games, and more http://www.uncouthsavage.com

Chris24601

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • C
  • Posts: 1494
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2021, 12:08:30 am »
My game (Ruins & Realms, pending) is more superversive than explicitly anti-communist, but superversive themes* are, by their nature, antithetical to communist values (for example, the realm creation rules would drop any sort of socialist realm into the hostile category).

The primary heroic realms of the default setting are The Free Cities (think America c. 1790 in terms of government and values and won its independence from a tyrant about a dozen years earlier) and the Toria Tribes (in D&D terms, think Chaotic Good Barbarians whose religion is basically 1st Century Christianity with the names filed off).

Another is basically a Robin Hood inspired (rob from the rich give to the poor is a lefty corruption... he took back from the government what had been unjustly stolen from the people) alliance of hidden refugee villages in a struggle to overthrow a corrupt government that is a puppet of kleptocratic oligarchs who hold their people in perpetual debt slavery while indulging in their every depraved desire.

So not literally anti-communist, but fully embracing the larger strokes of man's continual war with tyrants who wish to control them.

* heroes are heroic, people are basically good, courage, honor and virtue matter, true love and beauty are eternal, hope is real and, even though it may struggle and stumble, good will always triumph in the end... also that heroic virtues are faith, hope, love, courage, temperance, diligence, justice and wisdom.

SHARK

  • Great White Hope
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2650
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2021, 03:58:54 am »
My game (Ruins & Realms, pending) is more superversive than explicitly anti-communist, but superversive themes* are, by their nature, antithetical to communist values (for example, the realm creation rules would drop any sort of socialist realm into the hostile category).

The primary heroic realms of the default setting are The Free Cities (think America c. 1790 in terms of government and values and won its independence from a tyrant about a dozen years earlier) and the Toria Tribes (in D&D terms, think Chaotic Good Barbarians whose religion is basically 1st Century Christianity with the names filed off).

Another is basically a Robin Hood inspired (rob from the rich give to the poor is a lefty corruption... he took back from the government what had been unjustly stolen from the people) alliance of hidden refugee villages in a struggle to overthrow a corrupt government that is a puppet of kleptocratic oligarchs who hold their people in perpetual debt slavery while indulging in their every depraved desire.

So not literally anti-communist, but fully embracing the larger strokes of man's continual war with tyrants who wish to control them.

* heroes are heroic, people are basically good, courage, honor and virtue matter, true love and beauty are eternal, hope is real and, even though it may struggle and stumble, good will always triumph in the end... also that heroic virtues are faith, hope, love, courage, temperance, diligence, justice and wisdom.

Greetings!

Goddamn, Chris! ;D Your perspectives and sentiments embraced in your own game are very much similar to my own in Thandor. Awesome, and very nice, Chris. Get some! I think more writers and designers and DM's in general everywhere should do the same kind of thing.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind. Weakens the body. And robs the soul of spirit and determination. Comfort is neither welcome nor tolerated here."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but is doing what you have to, in spite of the fear."
"Let Death and Fire Be Their Portion!"
"Delenda Est Parthia!"

kidkaos2

  • Newbie
  • *
  • k
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 09:40:57 am »
My game (Ruins & Realms, pending) is more superversive than explicitly anti-communist, but superversive themes* are, by their nature, antithetical to communist values (for example, the realm creation rules would drop any sort of socialist realm into the hostile category).

The primary heroic realms of the default setting are The Free Cities (think America c. 1790 in terms of government and values and won its independence from a tyrant about a dozen years earlier) and the Toria Tribes (in D&D terms, think Chaotic Good Barbarians whose religion is basically 1st Century Christianity with the names filed off).

Another is basically a Robin Hood inspired (rob from the rich give to the poor is a lefty corruption... he took back from the government what had been unjustly stolen from the people) alliance of hidden refugee villages in a struggle to overthrow a corrupt government that is a puppet of kleptocratic oligarchs who hold their people in perpetual debt slavery while indulging in their every depraved desire.

So not literally anti-communist, but fully embracing the larger strokes of man's continual war with tyrants who wish to control them.

* heroes are heroic, people are basically good, courage, honor and virtue matter, true love and beauty are eternal, hope is real and, even though it may struggle and stumble, good will always triumph in the end... also that heroic virtues are faith, hope, love, courage, temperance, diligence, justice and wisdom.

Now this is a game that sounds like it's right up my alley!  I wish it was released and not pending!

Chris24601

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • C
  • Posts: 1494
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 10:07:17 am »
Now this is a game that sounds like it's right up my alley!  I wish it was released and not pending!
I’m writing the final sections of the final chapter presently (I’d hoped for the end of last year, but my day job conspired to make that impossible... still no more than two weeks to writing completion).

If you don’t mind giving feedback (especially what doesn’t work; that’s been the most help overall) after looking it over, shoot me a private message and I’ll get you a link to the playtest document so you don’t have to wait (the remaining section is basically how to build regions, realms, settlements, ruins and set up background campaign events... stuff experienced GMs can do themselves, but new ones might need help with... so it’s complete as a playable system for a non-newbie GM.

Goddamn, Chris! ;D Your perspectives and sentiments embraced in your own game are very much similar to my own in Thandor. Awesome, and very nice, Chris. Get some! I think more writers and designers and DM's in general everywhere should do the same kind of thing.
It’s easy to be pessimistic/nihilistic and try to subvert the subversive or use naked caricatures of real people to basically turn your work into propaganda. But subversion just sinks you into the same mud as what you oppose and such caricatures come off as shallow and are quickly dated and therefore can be dismissed as irrelevant to the present day. Better to inspire and try and raise people experiencing the medium through your work up to something greater... to look at those tropes related to classic heroes and instead of subverting them, play them straight because these days that’s almost more shocking (but in a good way).

Most of these struggles, despite some new paint, are the same ones man has been having since civilization began. Who has the power and what will they do to keep it? Who wants the power and what are they willing to do to get it? And what does everyone do when someone comes along and overturns the foundations of power by actually giving voice to those who just want to be left in peace to raise their families and worship as their ancestors did?

Puppet leaders controlled by corrupt oligarchs? That’s as old as trade. Leaders demanding moral adherence to virtues they flout behind closed doors? For as long as there’s been leaders. Enslaving others using force and/or debt? Probably while we were still hunter-gatherers. Silencing opposition? Since the first voice rose against a leader. Declaring some thoughts taboo? Same.

Draw inspiration from the real world, but, unless you’re writing a documentary, you’re better served using themes because history has a way of repeating itself.

As an example...

A puppet leader of diminished mental capacity, ostensibly elected by the people but actually installed by crony oligarchs. A government that uses laws to enrich its members while trapping the common folk in debt slavery. A resistance leader with growing support of the common folk that the government is desperately seeking to destroy.

Am I describing Star Wars as described in the first novelization (where the Emperor was implied to be but a puppet)? Robin Hood? Modern politics? or a realm in my world called The Riverhold Republic?

That’s the value of broad strokes... it makes the story timeless because people are people regardless the year. For all the guff the prequels got, and the author’s original intent for the line c. 2005, “So this is how democracy dies; to thunderous applause” is as apt today as it was then.

In looking for an anti-Communist game, what you really need to find is one that embraces man’s struggles vs. tyranny because that’s all “communist” really is; a hat put on by certain tyrants to justify their injustices as “for the greater good of mankind/progress” rather than the power lust that always lies at the true heart of their actions.

You also need a system that encourages you to play heroic figures who oppose tyranny and not play the Stormtroopers or evil overlords. This could be through something like Dark Side Points in WEG Star Wars or by restricting access to species or classes that promote wickedness. For example; my system includes Diabolists (demon-magic) and Necromancers (undead) only in the NPC section of the GM’s Guide because, in the default setting, both are objectively evil acts that enslave the user’s free will... fine for NPC villains, but not for PC heroes (they’re balanced for PCs because someone will assuredly make their own world where demons and undead are not irredeemably evil and allow those to players... so making them NOT stupidly overpowered just because they’re intended for villains makes sense... you want a tougher Diabolist? Build them at a higher level).

Stephen Tannhauser

  • Curmudgeonly Refugee
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • S
  • Posts: 524
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 01:04:08 pm »
Where are the politically active RPGs for people who want small government and individual freedom?

Well, it's the old gag, isn't it? The people who want small government and individual freedom are too busy to have much time for games, and when they get time for games they want games that don't remind them of politics because they see politics as an obligation rather than a vocation.  ;D

That said, definitely put me down as another Ruins & Realms customer when it sees print.  :)
Better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. -- Mark Twain

STR 8 DEX 10 CON 10 INT 11 WIS 6 CHA 3

Valatar

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • V
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 05:09:51 pm »
Superhero RPGs set in the 20th century could pretty easily have an anti-commie theme to them, as could any retro-futuristic setting where you need to rocket into space to save Mars from those dirty reds.  There are also some military special ops RPGs floating around here and there that would easily be adapted to that theme.

HappyDaze

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • H
  • Posts: 3046
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2021, 05:17:16 pm »
Superhero RPGs set in the 20th century could pretty easily have an anti-commie theme to them, as could any retro-futuristic setting where you need to rocket into space to save Mars from those dirty reds.  There are also some military special ops RPGs floating around here and there that would easily be adapted to that theme.
It could be done with almost any game, but I think the OP wants a game where that's explicitly the aim of the game.

Eirikrautha

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 189
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2021, 06:01:46 pm »
Now this is a game that sounds like it's right up my alley!  I wish it was released and not pending!
I’m writing the final sections of the final chapter presently (I’d hoped for the end of last year, but my day job conspired to make that impossible... still no more than two weeks to writing completion).

If you don’t mind giving feedback (especially what doesn’t work; that’s been the most help overall) after looking it over, shoot me a private message and I’ll get you a link to the playtest document so you don’t have to wait (the remaining section is basically how to build regions, realms, settlements, ruins and set up background campaign events... stuff experienced GMs can do themselves, but new ones might need help with... so it’s complete as a playable system for a non-newbie GM.

Goddamn, Chris! ;D Your perspectives and sentiments embraced in your own game are very much similar to my own in Thandor. Awesome, and very nice, Chris. Get some! I think more writers and designers and DM's in general everywhere should do the same kind of thing.
It’s easy to be pessimistic/nihilistic and try to subvert the subversive or use naked caricatures of real people to basically turn your work into propaganda. But subversion just sinks you into the same mud as what you oppose and such caricatures come off as shallow and are quickly dated and therefore can be dismissed as irrelevant to the present day. Better to inspire and try and raise people experiencing the medium through your work up to something greater... to look at those tropes related to classic heroes and instead of subverting them, play them straight because these days that’s almost more shocking (but in a good way).

Most of these struggles, despite some new paint, are the same ones man has been having since civilization began. Who has the power and what will they do to keep it? Who wants the power and what are they willing to do to get it? And what does everyone do when someone comes along and overturns the foundations of power by actually giving voice to those who just want to be left in peace to raise their families and worship as their ancestors did?

Puppet leaders controlled by corrupt oligarchs? That’s as old as trade. Leaders demanding moral adherence to virtues they flout behind closed doors? For as long as there’s been leaders. Enslaving others using force and/or debt? Probably while we were still hunter-gatherers. Silencing opposition? Since the first voice rose against a leader. Declaring some thoughts taboo? Same.

Draw inspiration from the real world, but, unless you’re writing a documentary, you’re better served using themes because history has a way of repeating itself.

As an example...

A puppet leader of diminished mental capacity, ostensibly elected by the people but actually installed by crony oligarchs. A government that uses laws to enrich its members while trapping the common folk in debt slavery. A resistance leader with growing support of the common folk that the government is desperately seeking to destroy.

Am I describing Star Wars as described in the first novelization (where the Emperor was implied to be but a puppet)? Robin Hood? Modern politics? or a realm in my world called The Riverhold Republic?

That’s the value of broad strokes... it makes the story timeless because people are people regardless the year. For all the guff the prequels got, and the author’s original intent for the line c. 2005, “So this is how democracy dies; to thunderous applause” is as apt today as it was then.

In looking for an anti-Communist game, what you really need to find is one that embraces man’s struggles vs. tyranny because that’s all “communist” really is; a hat put on by certain tyrants to justify their injustices as “for the greater good of mankind/progress” rather than the power lust that always lies at the true heart of their actions.

You also need a system that encourages you to play heroic figures who oppose tyranny and not play the Stormtroopers or evil overlords. This could be through something like Dark Side Points in WEG Star Wars or by restricting access to species or classes that promote wickedness. For example; my system includes Diabolists (demon-magic) and Necromancers (undead) only in the NPC section of the GM’s Guide because, in the default setting, both are objectively evil acts that enslave the user’s free will... fine for NPC villains, but not for PC heroes (they’re balanced for PCs because someone will assuredly make their own world where demons and undead are not irredeemably evil and allow those to players... so making them NOT stupidly overpowered just because they’re intended for villains makes sense... you want a tougher Diabolist? Build them at a higher level).
Lots of wisdom in this post...

Pat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • P
  • Posts: 2247
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2021, 07:07:25 pm »
There needs to be a Fuck Yeah! line of games. America Fuck Yeah! Rohan Fuck Yeah! (Middle-earth) Aglarond Fuck Yeah! (Forgotten Realms) The Yeomanry Fuck Yeah! (Greyhawk) The Rebellion Fuck Yeah! (Star Wars), and so on.

Armchair Gamer

  • Enemy of Love and Gaming
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • A
  • Posts: 2232
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2021, 07:48:17 pm »
Ken Hite’s The Day After Ragnarok is ripe for fighting Russian (or Iowegan) Soviet villains, including giants and man-apes.

kidkaos2

  • Newbie
  • *
  • k
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2021, 01:57:38 am »
Ken Hite’s The Day After Ragnarok is ripe for fighting Russian (or Iowegan) Soviet villains, including giants and man-apes.

Didn't he write one of those safety tools that say all play should immediately stop without any explanation is anybody raises their hand for any reason?  Now that isn't related to anti- or pro-communism directly, but it does indicate a lack of commitment to individual responsibility that generally goes with being anti-communist.

jhkim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8568
    • View Profile
Re: Anti-Communist Games?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2021, 02:07:46 am »
Ken Hite’s The Day After Ragnarok is ripe for fighting Russian (or Iowegan) Soviet villains, including giants and man-apes.

Didn't he write one of those safety tools that say all play should immediately stop without any explanation is anybody raises their hand for any reason?  Now that isn't related to anti- or pro-communism directly, but it does indicate a lack of commitment to individual responsibility that generally goes with being anti-communist.

I think you're confusing him with another author. As far as I know, he hasn't published anything like that. Here's his RPG publication list:

https://index.rpg.net/display-search.phtml?key=contributor&value=Kenneth+Hite


Gagarth

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 583
    • View Profile
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 04:23:37 am by Gagarth »
"The slave trade has been the ruling principle of my people. It is the source of their glory and wealth." - Ghezo King of Dahomey

 “Don’t worry about the election, Trump’s not gonna win. I made f*cking sure of that!” Eric Coomer -  Dominion Voting Systems Officer of Strategy and Security