The day calls for a The Red Star article.
But I am missing words, ideas even.
The concept of remembrance moved me so often already that now ideas refuse to come. The seemingly ready made alternative to write about the fantasy mirror universe versions of the so called Third Reich, German fascism and the Wehrmacht on this day is a no go. Especially, as outside of a fullblown “historical” The Red Star setting aiming to make the era of the Great Patriotic War fully playable, which would have to include an indepth look at the Volksreich – The Red Star’s Germany – by necessity, such an article would almost by default agrandize and enoble the fascists by moving them from a discredited, vanquished ideology to some sort of continued, enduring threat or influence. And if there is anything I can do without today, it is spending my time with immortal Nazi sorcerers, unparalleled Nazi technical achievements, or sealed Nazis secret bases which continue to threaten or amaze the campaign world even in the present day. In fact, I can do without that special brand of alternate history fantasy altogether when playing The Red Star.
I believe, what I am looking for today is something… reconciliatory is not the right word. Still, it is sticking for now. Perhaps because The Red Star does carry a reconciliatory note for me. Not wanting to extoll The Red Star as any sort of false icon of international understanding, but the simple fact, that together with Russian friends I am playing an RPG in Germany, that is an adaption of an US American comic (inspired by the author’s father’s tales of his respect and great esteem for his Soviet comrades-in-arms during WW2) about a fantasy Soviet Union, and that this game allows its players to take the roles of Soviet and later Russian soldiers, of dissidents and political prisoners, of Afghan Mujahedin and Chechen rebels (or their fantasy equivalents) straight out of the box (i.e., without all of the crudish homebrew material to be found on this very blog), this fact really does carry a certain reconciliatory weight for me.
And there it is, the idea that previously eluded me. A small, quiet gesture within and for the game:
At a place of remembrance for a war and its fallen, such as a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, characters with allegiances to different bellingerent parties of that war are treated as if they all had the same allegiances and gain the according modifiers to charisma-based skill checks.
Image by moscowjob.net – http://moscowjob.net/2014_Moscow_Tomb_of_the_Unknown_Soldier_2.JPG
2014 Moscow Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Москва Могила неизвестному солдату. Вечный огонь. Александровский сад.
Under CC BY-SA 4.0
The Red Star and all related characters are ™ and © Christian Gossett. Used with kind permission.
The Red Star Campaign Setting is © Green Ronin Publishing, LLC.
The Red Star und alle verwandten Charactere sind ™ und © Christian Gossett. Verwendet mit freundlicher Genehmigung.
The Red Star Campaign Setting ist © Green Ronin Publishing, LLC.