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Letters from Whitechapel» Forums » General

Subject: Retheme rss

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Devin Pike
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Hello! As some have said before the theme of LFW is somewhat troubling for certain people. I really wanted this game but my wife is not comfortable with it. My idea is to build my own retheme. Right now my idea is Robin Hood. Instead of Jack murdering prostitutes Robin Hood will be robbing Tax Collection convoys through and around Sherwood Forest. The investigators will be the Sheriff of Nottingham and other classic Robin Hood characters. I am going to try to create and "identical" map as far as how the numbers connect but replace the city blocks with farms and fields and forest groves. I will probably have to change the shape of the map and city blocks but I think this can be done without changing how the numbered spaces connect. I don't have a lot of experience with computer art but my cousin is willing to help me out and he is a graphic artist. The game is fairly simple as far as components so really the only challenge will be creating a visually pleasing board and mounting it to chipboard. I have never done any print and play or anything like that so I am hoping this project will go well.
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Mattias Elfström
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Although I like the game as it is, I think your project sounds really interesting! Good luck!
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Don D.
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Are you going to buy the game and make your changes directly onto the board?
 
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I never understand the sensitivity around, of all things, boardgames! The era of Jack the Ripper occurred over 100 years ago. It is a period in history more than anything else. Personally, I love the era and feel that this game evokes.

Why not retheme EVERY wargame since war deals with death? What about Pirates? Maybe we should retheme the classic game Battleship around easter where you are searching for chocolate eggs in the tall grass. Woo hoo, who wants to play?? What about fantasy themes dealing with magic, zombies, vampires, etc.... aren't these all forms of blasphemy against the church? Seriously, why don't people understand that playing Munchkin Cthulhu brings us closer to Satan?

Sorry, but this is really annoying. We have surrendered the wonderful cartoons of our youth for being considered too violent and replaced them with complete crap like Barney the dinosaur, the wiggles and teletubbies.

People need to get a grip. cry

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Don D.
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Kimball Bent wrote:
I never understand the sensitivity around, of all things, boardgames! The era of Jack the Ripper occurred over 100 years ago. It is a period in history more than anything else. Personally, I love the era and feel that this game evokes.

Why not retheme EVERY wargame since war deals with death? What about Pirates? Maybe we should retheme the classic game Battleship around easter where you are searching for chocolate eggs in the tall grass. Woo hoo, who wants to play?? What about fantasy themes dealing with magic, zombies, vampires, etc.... aren't these all forms of blasphemy against the church? Seriously, why are we not offended by Munchkin Cthulhu?

Sorry, but this is really annoying. We have surrendered the wonderful cartoons of our youth and replaced them with complete crap like Barney the dinosaur, the wiggles and teletubbies.

People need to get a grip. cry



My first message looked a lot like this but I decided not to. I'm glad you did though...
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dpike2 wrote:
Right now my idea is Robin Hood. Instead of Jack murdering prostitutes Robin Hood will be robbing Tax Collection convoys through and around Sherwood Forest. The investigators will be the Sheriff of Nottingham and other classic Robin Hood characters.


Robin Hood? I am not sure how promoting robbery, lawlessness, not to mention high treason against a government is considered an acceptable theme? Why not make a modern version where you play Edward Snowden as the hero that is trying to elude the NSA? I''m sure this idea will be popular with the Red States!

My point is that you are always going to offend someone in this modern age, best not try to fight it.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now.
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Geez, some guy shares his excitement regarding what could be a very fun re-theme, and he gets piled on by the high-hat adjudicators of acceptable rationale! shake

I hope that the OP shares his progress with this project despite the rather tangential hatin'.

Happy gaming to all!!
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Mc Jarvis
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Kimball Bent wrote:
aren't these all forms of blasphemy against the church? Seriously, why don't people understand that playing Munchkin Cthulhu brings us closer to Satan?


I'm not sure how you translated the OP's post of:

"My wife is uncomfortable with the theme so I'd like to retheme it to something she is comfortable with"

into:

"The game is evil and everyone who plays it clearly should feel bad about themselves and obviously are hugely into serial killing on weekends themselves and probably should be put in jail or on a terrorist list"

There is a stark difference between saying something shouldn't exist because you disagree with it and wanting to retheme a copy of the game so it's a more enjoyable experience for you. One is a judgement of everyone who plays the game, the other is just a matter of preference. One is deserving of rebuke, the other really isn't, IMO.
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I do apologize. Your post has not been the first regarding the grim theme... there has been a few posts suggesting changing it. I guess it finally struck a nerve to where I had to say something.

I don't believing in changing everything to meet the sensibilities of the few. There is no theme that will agree with everyone.
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Devin Pike
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I understand everyone's concern with changing things that make us uncomfortable. In this case it is specifically because my wife, who in addition to being the love of my life and mother of my children is also my number one game partner, is really uncomfortable with the idea of murdering prostitutes as a victory condition. There are other games I have passed up on in the past because one of us wasn't really comfortable or excited about for one reason or another. I assure you though that this project is simply because I reeeeeeeeeally want to play the game and honestly I would love to handcraft something like this.

Now one of the comments did bring up an ethical question: Am I stealing from fantasy flight by creating this? I don't intend to buy the actual game. The rules are available online and everything I need to make it can be made or bought. How do others handle this issue?

I looked up some maps of sherwood and nottingham from the 13th and 14th centuries and I think I can make something that will fit the existing number grid of the game. Like I said earlier, I think I can use groves of trees, fields and village blocks to represent the city blocks of whitechapel pretty well.
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dpike2 wrote:
Now one of the comments did bring up an ethical question: Am I stealing from fantasy flight by creating this? I don't intend to buy the actual game. The rules are available online and everything I need to make it can be made or bought. How do others handle this issue?


I was referring to the Robin Hood theme... him being a robber and all.

I think Bigfoot would make for a fun theme as well.
 
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Mark Clark Jr
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You could also take a look at Garibaldi: The Escape. Similar game from the same original company, if I remember right, without the murdering prostitutes part.
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Devin Pike
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I actually did look into Garibaldi but I really like the moving back and forth from the hideout aspect of LFW. I thought it would fit really well with Robin hood stealing from the caravans and taking the goods back to the hideout.
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Scott Boor
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I think it sounds like a very good retheme. Especially since you've captured the true essence of the Robin Hood story. He was not robbing the rich to give to the poor, he was taking back the people's money which had been immorally taxed out of them by a corrupt and illegitimate government.
He was more a revolutionary figure than a criminal one. He was righting a wrong.
I applaud the story as showing the proper response to immoral and illegitimate law.

I would be very interested in this as a re-theme - not because the current theme makes me uncomfortable, but because the re-theme stands on its own merit.
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Greg Parkinson
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Letters from Whitechapel is a great game, but I understand the theme making others squeamish.

One solution is to play the game as written, but replace the victim tokens with monopoly houses - you are now a cat burglar in Victorian England about to go on a crime spree! The police get a tip regarding a number of houses you plan on burgling, but don't know which one until you've committed the crime, then it's a race to your hideout! I don't have the rules in front of me, so there may be some minutia to it, but it's easily doable for those who find the original theme too dark.

As far as your specific retheme, I like the idea and the theme you've considered, please keep us updated on how it progresses!
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Devin Pike
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scott_Boor wrote:
I think it sounds like a very good retheme. Especially since you've captured the true essence of the Robin Hood story. He was not robbing the rich to give to the poor, he was taking back the people's money which had been immorally taxed out of them by a corrupt and illegitimate government.
He was more a revolutionary figure than a criminal one. He was righting a wrong.
I applaud the story as showing the proper response to immoral and illegitimate law.

I would be very interested in this as a re-theme - not because the current theme makes me uncomfortable, but because the re-theme stands on its own merit.


Thanks! I grew up watching the Errol Flynn Robin Hood movie with my best friend probably once a month. I also really enjoyed the new Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe version.
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Don D.
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I wonder at what crime does the theme cross the line? Somewhere between burglary (a life in prison felony in many cases) and murder ?
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Devin Pike
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For my wife it isn't just the murder. I mean, we have played many games with assassination which is just political murder. I believe it is the actual circumstances of the case. The organ removal, the mutilation, the letters... She really is disturbed by it. For me I appreciate the history and the fact that Jack the Ripper has become a piece of British folklore almost.
 
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Devin Pike
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I agree. I think different people have different levels of what they consider tasteful. Just like with movies or books. Everyone is going to draw their own personal line differently. I am really thankful that there is such a wide variety of games out there. I have a friend who absolutely refuses to play any sort of science fiction themed game. He thinks that sci fi is stupid. While I vehemently disagree on that subject I can still play agricola with him. And if I had the time and resources to retheme eclipse I probably would! I think he would enjoy but he is too hung up on the sci fi aspect. With my wife I am naturally more sensitive and understanding.
 
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