By strange conjunction of stars, I just consumed two Peter Pan related bits of media.

Dead Lies Dreaming

One of the more recent novels from the Atrocity Archives series aka The Laundry Files by Charles Stross. If you happen to be a fan of Lovecraftian horror and the Cthulhu mythos, I’d highly recommend it. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a fan of heist movies and there is at least three heists woven through the book. Not my favourite of the series, but it’s going into some new territory here, moving on to a different cast of characters than those directly connected to the Laundry (imagine MI5 but dealing with covert eldritch threats). Apparently it’s the start of a thematic trilogy dealing with the ‘New Management’ (can’t say more without some serious spoilers). See here for how the author describes where to start. Also, Charles Stross likes his James Bond bits.

The Peter Pan connection: In addition to a Wendy D, there are a pack of Lost Boys, Neverland, a few other minor bits, and a very ominous Tinkerbell. Think of it less as a reimagining and more of a “Hey, this would be a cool starting point / structure to riff on – let’s see where we can go with it!”

Gamer’s Eye

The New Management cycle of stories is where the game goes if your Call of Cthulhu investigators have failed or compromised one too many times and the Mythos haven’t just started to bleed over into this world – they’ve started overtly running it. The world hasn’t ended immediately as this slow motion apocalypse has bent reality to a point beyond repair and now it’s up to the PCs to figure out their survival strategy under these new conditions. In some ways I’m reminded of the timeline given in FATE of Cthulhu though it could apply to just about any of the Mythos inspired RPGs or horror games out there.

Peter Panzerfaust vol. 1 – The Great Escape

It’s a comics series written by Kurtis J. Wiebe (of Rat Queens fame) and illustrated by Tyler Jenkins (this is essentially his first big hit) and published by Image. The art style is loose and the color conveys that gritty war feel. The writing bounces between tragedy and the wild adventures of these Lost Boys (orphans escaping a Nazi occupied Calais) and their leader, Peter (a bold American boy on his own quest). There’s no hint of the magical so far in this first volume, nor do I expect any in the volumes to follow. It still manages to weave these aspects of the Pan lore throughout without sounding too hokey IMHO.

I’m happy to see where this goes. The narrative is split between a journalist interviewing one of the Lost Boys all grown up now and flashbacks to the WWII. The first collection of issues is Toodles’ tale to tell and it leaves off with the reporter being told to speak to another of the Lost Boys to hear the next part of the story. Apparently the series lasted 25 issues and appears to be collected into four trades so I might wind up grabbing a few more at my FLCS.

Gamer’s Eye

A plucky band of orphans just trying to find a place of safety against the backdrop of a world war – the game scenarios pretty much write themselves! If not orphans, this could be as easily some other band of irregulars who by fate and misfortune find themselves thrown into rescue missions and acts of sabotage when all they really want is to escape the warfront. I anticipate that if I ever get my Achtung Cthulhu game going, I expect to shamelessly draw upon some of the characters and scenarios from this series.

This would be a strange setting for a Kids On Bikes game (it’s a whole genre of game), but I can’t shake the vibe that it would work. There’s no weirdness going on, but an action driven game like Savage Worlds (they have free Test Drives!) would fit this far better than some grittier games like any of the Achtung Cthulhu (current or past). FATE might be another contender, as these characters seem to swing quickly from being compelled into danger but have the fortune to overcome them and the frequent complications that continue to crop up.