One of the groups I'm GMing recently got their hands on d20 Modern and BESM (Big Eyes Small Mouth, anime rpg). After reading both of them (and liking them much more than standard D&D), I started planning to GM a couple short campaigns, beginning with d20 Modern.
I first came up with a X Files-style conspiratorial plot with psionics and maybe some occultism (Illithids as agents of Chtulhu, go figure). Nice, but not quite enough to convince the entire group.
Then I read BESM once again, specifically the "Atlantis Rising" campaign idea. Basically, the BESM idea is that a battle between a destroyer and a submarine frees ancient beings when a dept charge misses its target. These guys start rebuilding the old Atlantis Empire and attack coastal targets, etc (something like XCOM Terror from the Deep, I guess). Mankind has to unite to face them, but the Nazis make an unholy pact with them. Players are to stop the bad guys until the Allies develop the Manhattan Project (well, this IS Anime, it has to go with a Bang! )
So far, so good.
And then something made click! inside me. I started remembering Wolfenstein 3D (Nazi zombies, gotta love it!), the Indy Jones movies, Casablanca, plenty of WW2 movies, some Argentinean and US comics about alternate timelines (like "1946", where WW2 still rages on and "Zeit Projekt", where Martin Bormann escapes to a parallel dimension taking with him the nuclear technology. Net result: Australia becomes leader of the Free World after the UK and the US east coast are turned to dust and the Aussies develop their own bombs). Heck, I even remembered the Rocketeer, Brendan Fraser's Mummy and Heavy Metal 1
I also looked at my family's collection of WW2 books. Plenty of SpecOps, intrigue, Maquis, tech data on vehicles, biographies, etc.
"Hell, why not? It would give me space for everything in this book!" (except for the Urban Arcana section, which I despise).
I hope you guys can give me your opinions and ideas, since I haven't decided yet on several issues:
-No "Shadow" dimension. The concept utterly sucks.
-It's 194X: Certainly after Itally becomes a battleground but I'm not sure about France, did Normandy happen or is it still a secret plan?
-I happen to like the destroyer-sumarine idea, but I'm considering other ideas to explain the presence of the Ancient Ones. Perhaps they were behind the Nazis all the time, or one of those "Nazi archaelogical teams" found them. Maybe Hitler's mania for occultism finally paid off.
-Psionics & Moreaus: Definitely yes to both.
From the KGB's Paranormal Division to Hoover's FBI agents trying to figure out if that card is an ace or a six or the US Army looking for a Captain America). The Nazi owuld have the illithids and their thralls. Maybe they also use Puppeteers?
I like the Moreaus' concept. Nazi experiments to get perfect aryan soldiers or on war prisoners to obtain cannon fodder. Soviet Bear Cosacks. Even a mystical explanation is possible (like an Egyptian cat-like lady or a jungle spirit in the Pacific, hunting soldiers).
-Magic: I'd use Occultist and Shadow Slayer. Both would come from groups with extensive knowledge of the Ancient Ones (Lovecraft's Circle, The Roman Catholic Church, a Jewish Rabbi who needs to be rescued from a concentration camp).
-Monsters: Plenty of them. Nazi/Ancient experiments to get powerful servants is just one idea. Oh, most people wouldn't know about this. The governments keep it as a secret.
-Secret projects: Ditto. From the Habakkuk ice-carrier, to the V3 in Peenemunde("yeah, you'll have to open the silo's doors so that the Flying Fortress can hit it").
-Character classes: Just about everything is possible (in d20 Modern profesion is a different thing). Even Personalities (plenty of Hollywood and sport stars served in their Armed Forces).
-The PCs: Not sure if I should make them a team working for the OSS (later known as CIA), make them characters in a neutral/occupied city (Casablanca style, which also allows for more varied options), or have them discover the truth the ugly way (like FBI agents and locals discovering the truth), or a group of mavericks working for a special division under united Allied authority (brits, yanks, ruskies, anzacs, italians, frenchies).
-The plot: It depends on what do they want to play. I'm certainly planning to have them rescue Oppenheimer at some point, before Nazi agents and their Illithid masters extract from him the A-Bomb blueprints or before General Groves tags him as "expendable". And of course, SOMEBODY will have to deliver Fat Man right under Chtulhu's nose (oh, but what a way to go... )