View Full Version : Need help getting background sorted

2011-08-28, 10:38 AM
I am going to run a M&M 3rd Ed game set in the turmoil of the last stages of the 2nd world war. The game will be set in the USA just before the atomic bomb is dropped.

The simple background is that the players are a group of people (and other npc's) who are at one of the first pre-nuclear bomb tests. However something goes wrong and an unknown radiation is unleashed which has caused some changes to some of the by-standers/observers.

However, the game starts with them not knowing if they are affected so players will create their human selves first. And then as the game progresses they notice the changes.

There will be at most 5-6 affected people, including the PC's (so about 4 affected NPC's).

It's then up to the players what they do with the powers and how the world reacts to them.

My question is... what details do I need to know that would make the game seem at least passably realisticly set in 1940's America?

I'm also thinking for antagonists there could be Japanese ninja clans, Nazi survivor groups (some who may have gained super powers through Nazi experimentation into the Ubermen). Not sure how the Soviet Union figures or how to fit the UK/Europe in as big players.

I guess for Europe/UK they could have had representatives at the test site as they were allies.

Any help appreciated.

2011-08-29, 12:53 AM
sounds like a good story idea. you should be able to find a lot of info on wikipedia and at the library/bookstore. if you do some basic research on what america was like during truman and eisnhower's administrations you should get some good info. i'm sure there are some good books you can find about the transition from ww2 to the paranoia of the cold war and fear of atomic weapons. japan was heavily devastated by the war and i'm pretty sure organized crime was a big deal there during the american occupation. so possible things to investigate would be ...

yakuza influence on american occupation/rebuilding japan
soviet union's shift from ally to ultimate enemy
anti-communist paranoia
nuclear weapon paranoia
baby boom / 1950's family culture
post-holocaust/creation of israel

sounds like a fun game, good luck! :smallcool:

2011-08-29, 01:35 AM
Couple of bits and pieces:

- If it's in the closing stages of WW2, it's Franklin D. Roosevelt who was in the White House of the time, dying a short period of time before the war's end.

- There's a theory that part of the reason the US dropped Little Boy was to send a message to the Soviet Union as much as anyone else.

- The US, UK and Soviet Union in at least a nominal sense were actually Allied in the effort to bring down Hitler; the final agreement was nailed down at the Yalta Accords. (In passing, because it's a hooby horse of mine: it was also this meeting that basically crushed the hopes of the tens of thousands of Polish exiles who'd been fighting the Nazis throughout WW2, mostly because part of the Yalta Accord was to sign away Poland to Russia after the war's notional end. Noting, of course, that not one Polish soldier is recorded as having deserted or sabotaged the Allied war effort after hearing of it.) Much of the concern about the poisonous deal reached at Yalta was suppressed by the Allies so as to present a united front against Nazi Germany.

- The US and UK more or less realised they'd been duped by the Soviet Union right after the war when Stalin reneged on several of the promises he made at Yalta. The Cold War started up no more than a year or two later.

- The Soviet Union didn't figure out how to build their own bombs until the fifties or so. Rest assured they were licking their wounds to some extent - evil as Stalin was, Russia had more of its blood spilled per capita during WW2 than almost any nation on Earth (well, except for Poland, which lost one quarter of its entire population.) But they were still very positive under the Russian Revolution's results and united under Stalin: the economic collapse of the regime wouldn't be on its way for decades.

- The US imported several ex-Nazi scientists to assist their own technological programs. Von Neumann is the most famous of them; interestingly, they also converted what was left of the Nazi spy networks into assets against Soviet Russia by enlisting Bernard Gehlen, who was literally the German masterspy, and putting him on the OSS (forerunner of the CIA) payroll. (Again in passing, the problem being that when Gehlen went back to rebuild his spy networks inside Russia, he didn't realise they'd been thoroughly infested with Soviet agents. Western intelligence was compromised in that field for decades.)

- At the same time, the US and several other countries were hunting escaped Nazis for war crimes.

- Late forties flashpoints would include Berlin: it was divided between British, America, and Russian sectors, and at one point the Soviets attempted to blockade it to force it being handed over to them. It wasn't -- mainly through a lot of courageous overflights to keep the city supplied, in what was called the "Berlin Airlift".

- Israel was created in 1948. This was after the country was already experiencing mass migrations into Palestine by the Jewish Diaspora; there was a strong Zionist movement in what was left of Jewry of the time, believing if they had a country of their own the Holocaust could not happen to them again.