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Surf City High - Recruiting Players! [Nostalgia World] 80s Teen Movie RPG

ReynoldsReynolds Gone Fishin'Registered User regular
edited April 2020 in Critical Failures
Welcome to Nostalgia World

First, some backstory...
About a year ago, while my RP group was in the middle of Masks and Monster of the Week campaigns, a friend linked a massive list of Powered By The Apocalypse/PBTA hacks to the group Discord. Variations on Masks, Monster of the Week, Apocalypse World, etc. Scrolling through the dozens and dozens available, one in particular caught our attention: Nostalgia World. The summary advertised a game that invoked classic 80's movies and tv shows, as well as things they'd inspired. Goonies, Monster Squad, Lost Boys, Fright Night. Stranger Things.

So, I downloaded it. It was a bit rough, but what was there was interesting. I couldn't stop thinking about the possibilities. Soon enough I was committed to running a game. A campaign. Only, I had to finish writing the rules first. A core move was missing. Several mechanics didn't add up. We'd soon find out several others didn't actually work right in action. But, we kept moving forward, kept playing. Kept reworking, rewriting. By the end of the campaign, I had determined these '1.5' versions of the rules still weren't quite good enough. I needed to update everything one final time...

And then WoW Classic came out.

Several months later, stuck inside with even more free time on my hands, I dove back in to finish this project. And, since it seems like plenty of us are stuck inside with too much time on our hands, I thought it might be a good idea to share what I've got and invite more people to test drive Nostalgia World 2.0 with me. (Also about five minutes after I finished I noticed a bunch of improvements I could make, so now it's Nostalgia World 2.1 I guess.)

Here is Google Drive a link to the latest version of Nostalgia World.

So, first of all, I'd just love some more eyes on this thing. I've done the best I could to proofread and edit it, but I'm just one person. My original group of test players gave me feedback and helped a lot, but I've yet to run a game with this current set of improved rules. Spot a typo? Don't understand a rule? See an obvious, exploitable flaw or move combination? Just have a general suggestion for improvement, additional content like more moves or playbooks, etc.? Please, let me know! Post here, PM me, whatever! I'd really appreciate it!

Second, I'm looking to recruit a group (or two) to play a short campaign. Both to test the rules, and just to have some fun. I have 1-2 veteran players returning, and a few people I've played with before that haven't played this system yet. So, currently I'd like 2-4 players to fill out this group. But, if there's a lot of demand, I have no problem running a second game! We'll just have to see!

My current proposed schedule is Monday and/or Tuesday, 5pm Pacific, 7pm Central, 8pm Eastern. Right now the plan would be to intro the setting for this short campaign next week (3/30-31), introduce ourselves and go through character creation. Then run the first session the week after (4/6-7). If there's enough demand, I could host one game each night, Monday and Tuesday.

This will be played using voice over Discord, with a server I've set up just for these games. We'll be handling all the dice rolls and character sheets through so make sure you have an account set up there as well. Please post here and/or PM me and I'll send you a Discord invite in a PM. I'll be setting up the Roll20 game soon, and posting an invite for it on the Discord.

Here's a sample from the GM Guide:

And, a list of Playbooks:
  • The Babysitter - You could've been popular, respected, loved. But they're family.
  • The Doofus - Without your friends, you’d have nothing. You’ll do anything to hang onto them. Anything.
  • The Freak - You’re hiding something so big that it would change everything if the secret ever got out.
  • The Geekazoid - You know all about science and math and have memorized every single line of Star Wars. Somehow this hasn't made you as popular as you'd hoped.
  • The Juvenile Delinquent - You’ve been getting into trouble your whole life, and that’s what everyone calls you: trouble.
  • The Loser - You were a rising star, one of the cool kids, before disaster struck.
  • The Orphan - Your friends are all the family you have, the one thing keeping you going. Someday you'll realize they needed you just as badly.
  • The Spazz - You kinda like being too nuts for the bullies to pick on.
  • The Sport - Your parents and teachers hate to see you hanging out with these losers, because you're so full of potential.
  • The Token - You’re the only one like you at school, and nobody will let you forget it.

  • @Kadoken as Ricky, The Juvenile Delinquent
  • Reny as Lucy, The Freak
  • Miranda as Jennifer, The Sport


Reynolds on


  • ReynoldsReynolds Gone Fishin'Registered User regular
    As an aside, at one point I realized that the original hack had also been uploaded onto a Google Drive. Taking a shot, I sent an email...and the original creator actually responded! So, while this isn't 'official' by any means, at least the person who wrote the foundation for this (themselves inspired by and borrowing from Masks and etc.) was able to give me the okay to edit, upload, and generally do whatever I want with it.

    I asked for their opinion on my 1.5 updates, and didn't get a response. I hadn't heard from them since last summer, before sending them another email yesterday, before setting all this up. Hilariously enough, they are also currently stuck at home, bored, and had independently begun looking over the original rules and updating them to run a game for their own group. So they've once again responded, and we're both quite curious to see how the other's set of rules have diverged from the original core.

  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    When would this be played? I’ve wanted to try something like this sort of theming for a while.

    I’ve been playing GMing RPGs for 6 years and playing them for 7-8 now having played EoE, DnD 5E, DH, a couple of very roleplay heavy Call of Cthuhlu sessions, and now getting into GURPS and writing my own setting. I have the gist of Powered by the Apocalypse but never really put it into action. I’m very willing to learn.

  • ReynoldsReynolds Gone Fishin'Registered User regular
    Aiming for Monday/Tuesday night. Might be up for more negotiation there if the time is a big sticking point for multiple people.

    The base system is very easy to play! It's great for playing online as well, with no maps or range and such to worry about. I've really enjoyed playing and running multiple different PBTA games.

    Nostalgia World does have some funkiness, and a few basic concepts are glossed over, just assuming you've played other Apocalypse games before. The stuff about Secrets and Bonds starts to feel natural fairly quickly, but the sort of 'conversation combat' it encourages can take more getting used to.

  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    I could do not this Tuesday but Tuesday the week after this one along with most Tuesdays in April would be great. Also, unless anyone else wants them, I would like to play the Loser or the Delinquent. I read the Loser's playbook and the basic rules.

  • ReynoldsReynolds Gone Fishin'Registered User regular
    Invite sent!

    Looks like the current plan will be to unveil the setting this weekend and have people send in their character/secret concepts this week. Then, we'll hopefully run the first game on 4/7/20 at 5 Pacific, 7 Central, 8 Eastern. Until we're ready to stop, I suppose!

    If anyone else is interested, people contact me ASAP so I can get you set up with the Discord/Roll20. If Kadoken winds up being the only person that would miss a session this Tuesday (3/31) we might just do a session for some character creation and general questioins.

  • ReynoldsReynolds Gone Fishin'Registered User regular
    Get ready to go back.
    Back to a time when everything was perfect.
    The music was hot, and the girls were hotter.
    And the guy with a cool bike could get laid all summer long.

    Get ready to go back - to school. Back - to the beach. Back - to Surf City High.

    Summer vacation has ended, but the real fun is just beginning. Because here in Surf City, California, summer lasts all year.
    For locals, the beach is like a church, where they all worship at the altar of rock n'roll. Bikinis are always in style, and tanktops are considered formal attire.
    If you don't have a surfboard, skateboard or keyboard, you're not getting on the scoreboard anytime soon.

    So kick off your flip-fops, brush off the sand, and break out the sunscreen. Time to relax, soak up some rays, and let all your troubles drift away.
    Not a care in the world.
    There's nothing to worry about here in Surf City.
    Nothing at all.

    That's what they all keep telling you...

    You'll be playing new arrivals to Surf City, entering your first day of high school. Maybe you lived one town over, maybe you've spent a summer or two vacationing here, or maybe you've just been homeschooled up to this point. Whatever your history, this is the first time you've had so much contact with the teens of Surf City High. Naturally, the outsiders have all found themselves banding together. You're all used to being a little different...but around here, you almost feel normal.

    And that's weird.

    Had our first session yesterday, and it was a lot of fun! A few small roadbumps explaining the system and getting everyone comfortable with the setting, but things were going smoothly by the end of the night.

    We've still got room for 1-2 more players! I'd really love to get a couple more people involved. I think 4-5 people would really make things flow well.

    Just post here or shoot me a PM, and hopefully we'll find you a spot and the perfect Playbook!

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