Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Legend

Once upon a time, there was an elite team of warriors who lead an army that swept the galaxy and eliminated the dangerous and powerful Revolution Army. The team featured some of the most powerful people to ever exists, proving to thousands that gods do indeed walk among mortals. This team was known as the Happy Force Nine.

Now if you're like most people, you read that name and either scoffed or chuckled at how ridiculous it is. Congrats; you are normal. To us however, that name holds power. Within my group, the title "Happy Force" is not only the team that the player characters made up, but the universe we crafted as a whole. It spans histories, generations, and whole separate universes. It holds so much weight in our hearts that we even named our RPG system after it.

The name - and the legend - all started with four of us sitting down with a new RPG book we had ordered off of the internet. At first, we had no interest in a story. All we wanted to do was role-play and have fun with it. I believe we had a conversation akin to this:

Me: Okay. Make whatever character you want. I'll run with it.

Keiri: Space cowboy!

Sydtronic: Fire ninja!

Silverain: Angel!

Ex-member: Yoda!

Me: Okay. Done. You will be mercenaries, traveling the galaxy looking for treasure and adventure (not necessarily in that order). Who will your captain be?

Group: The twenty-second clone of Abraham Lincoln!

Me: Okay. Done.

Group: Our ship is in the shape of a giant top-hat and is named "The Emancipation Proclamation III"!

Me: Okay. Done. What will your team's name be?


And so it was done.

The group wrote up backgrounds (some more detailed than others) and other ideas for their characters. Our first session consisted of them going out in search of 'not-so-sunken treasure'. Subsequent sessions took them to a haunted-house style planet (yes, the WHOLE planet was haunted) and burning down a church/town, on an excruciatingly long and now-infamous wooded train ride, and eventually to rise up in mutiny against their captain (who was neither evil nor stealing gobs of their hard-earned money behind their back).

for the first six months I had no real direction for the loose shambles we called a story. Then, after slaying some random wolves on a mountain adventure, they had the bright idea to make the wolf bones into a bad-ass gun.

And then things really got out of control: I had an idea.

The following session, they took the wolf bits to an NPC (non-player-character) who would supposedly be able to craft them into a magnificent weapon. He told them about the Wolfen Gun- a weapon of such power and magnificence that they would have no choice but to go on a fantastic adventure to collect a number of ludicrous parts in order to create it. So the NPC sent them off with a grocery list and a pocket full of dreams.

Over the course of the next four (out of game) years, the Happy Force scoured the galaxy for these parts. They met dozens of friends and enemies, many of whom were PCs (player characters) of people we brought into the group. I believe we had a record of twelve different characters played by twelve different people (not all at the same time, but our record for that had to be somewhere around 10). To say that things got a bit chaotic would be an understatement. The storyline of the main game alone -not to mention the back stories of each character- became so winding with plot twists and side events that it is impossible to explain in a single sitting (if at all). Believe  me, I tried.

We eventually had a space gypsy, a mutating lizard man, a nondescript telepath, a blood-thirsty little girl, a vampire-werewolf, a black-winged angel, a transvestite biker, and a tiny black-hole creating... thing traveling among the pack. Half of them had specific antagonists specifically tailored to their back stories who were just as extravagant.

Unfortunately, the story ended rather abruptly when my wife and I relocated for my job. However, the legacy lives on. As I mentioned, the Happy Force name transcended more than just one story. We've seen several iterations and spin-offs over the years (in fact, I last heard that several old members even started their own spin-off of it recently). I would love to go into more detail and recount some of the adventures of the original Happy Force Nine, but that is an attempt I will make at a later date.

The project I will be focusing on (the whole reason I started this blog in the first place) is to recount the adventures of one of my own spin-offs of HFN called Happy Force 109.

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