Mega City One Primer


I think I asked this long ago on the old boards but as my premiere to run Judge Dredd (I'll start with Full Eagle Day) draws close (T-11 hours) and I didn't get to put together a "Primer" to Mega City one and being a judge this whole weekend :( I just thougt I'll ask here.

Does anyone know of a good short introduction (other than that in the rulebook) I can give my players to read so they can get the Judge Dredd movie (which is about the only thing THEY know from Dredd) and get into the "real Dredd"?

I gotta admit I don't know too many Dredd comics myself (being in Germany where it only was published a short while at horrendous prices) but the players know only the movie and I think the mindset they got from that is going badly in the "shoot at sight" direction :(
Nah, The Dredd movie was not that bad and really gives a good visual for what the world looks like aside from Sly look at it for what is there. Great visual material to work with.

I personally liked the movie although having some flaws not so true to the comics regardless the movie is good for the visual end and seeing a mega city 1 is brilliance.
I can see both sides of this. I agree that the idea of seeing a visual representation of the world and the judges is a good thing, but the movie can be very misleading. For example, the movie is set on ground level, with a blade runner feel... constant night. Most citizens and judges never even see city bottom. Also, every image I have seen of Mega-City One prior to the film shows massive domed complexes, walkways and roads all raised high above the ground and entwined together. The city is very bright. The colors of clothing are loud an exagerated. But the film depicts it as dark and dingy.

I have a fairly large collection of Dredd novels though, so I just plucked a couple that seemed to show the sides of the judges that I was going for and asked my players to read them. Sure, they picked up some things that I had to try and explain around, but the comics really do help. You should look on Ebay and pick some up sometime.

Also, I did insist that all my players read the intro from the corebook. This really is an excellent intro to players, and since they will be spending a lot of time roleplaying with you, it's worth spending a little extra time in getting a good feel for the world.

If you can get hold of it I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of the graphic novel The Pit as this is one of the strongest Dredd stories todate and shows most sides of the Justice Department, and is a cracking read!

Other examples are Necropolis, Doomsday for Dredd, Doomsday for Mega-City One, Cursed Earth and Apocalypse War. Each of these stories is very strong and has a great insight into the Dredd universe!

And while you are at it check out the new range of Dredd novels from Black Flame, espceialy Dredd vs Death by Gordon Rennie.

The movie is not really that good for introducing players to the character due mainly in part to the reworking of both Dredd and the Justice Department and it could give them a false idea of what the comics are actually trying to convey.

The movie was enough to get my players to want to play, but I always stress to them that they should try to play more like the comics. It works out fairly well on the most part, except for one judge who lives to get a little aggressive.

Selganor, let us know if any of this is helpful to you.

I think a perfectly good primer would be just to give players the Law (the list of crimes and suitable sentences which can be downloadedfrom Mongoose), a few pictures of the uniform, details of thier weapons and tell them that they are future cops in a huge city and that they have the power to sentence anyone they arrest. The hard part after that s to slowly introduce the City and the rest of the Justice Department. If you don't read the comics I think the rulebook is enough to give the GM a really good flavour of where to go with the gaming sessions. As long as you all end up having fun in the setting that's all that matters. I deviate from the comics in my games sometimes because the comics are not always spot on with continuity (especially when John Wagner is not writing Dredd) and just use them as reference poiints. The Mega City my players play in is very similar to the 'official' (Wagner written) 2000ad Mega City One but I do occasionally do things like drop nukes on sectors and stuff and so naturally there is going to be some deviation between the two. :)