Archive for October 4th, 2007

Cold City Hack II: The Pacific, 1939-1945

2007 Oct 4

Lordy, I’m gonna have to talk to Malcolm about doing a couple Cold City supplements. First there was Mwaantaangaand and now, I was just doing my work, minding my own business, when I read the following:

    By the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, Japan had built up a comprehensive intelligence network in China… The Ume Kikan [Plum Blossom Agency] was one of four “flower” agencies established by the Staff Headquarters of the China Expeditionary Army to conduct intelligence in different parts of China. The other three were the “orchid” (Ran) which targeted the Guangxi Clique leaders in South China, the “bamboo” (Take) which sought to win over Wu Peifu and other former warlords in North China, and the “pine” (Matsu) which was active in Northwest China.

These four intelligence agencies just happen to match pretty closely to the four “flower” tiles in the game of majiang. Now, making some majiang-based varient rules for running Cold City in North China — trying to destroy the monsters created by Japanese biological, chemical, and technological experiments — that’s already pretty tempting. But then I read…

    The role of the Ume Kikan could be obtrusive, and leave the Chinese [collaborators] feeling humiliated… [O]ne of the participants, Tao Xisheng, likened the talks [between various Japanese-controlled puppet factions] to a mahjong game in which the players never decided strategy; instead decisions were taken by Japanese advisors reaching from over the shoulders of the players.

Um… and there’s the mechanic right there. The players play majiang and the GM, acting for the Japanese, constantly makes move for them over their shoulders, manipulating the flow of the game.