I may not be a gamer but I’m one hell of a party planner, and planning a meal to go with a game is all about theme! I kill at themes. So, each week (if all goes well) I’ll have Todd pull out a game from his vast collection that I’ll read up on. Then I’ll share my thoughts on the game set-up and what sorts of things to feed your group.
Case Study: Shadowrun
- Genre: Cyberpunk with Fantasy Elements
- Races: Human, Elf, Drwarf, Orc and Troll
- Main Setting: Seattle, Year 2053 (2nd Edition, 4th appears to be +20 years)
- Setup: The US as we know it is toast. Corporations run everything (not that they don’t, now, it’s just not as obvious) and various ruling groups have subdivided North America into a patchwork of smaller nations. There’s a resurgence in American Indian independence and the emergence of several metahuman species (not to mention the magic that makes this world work) did a real number on “traditional” race relations. Tech is everywhere and many folks have benefited from a number of cybernetic upgrades. The corporations run one world with the hackers (deckers) and mercenaries (street samurai) doing their best to hijack the Matrix (yes, really) for their own purposes.
It was a true treat to read through the opening materials of the Shadowrun book–the creators did an excellent job of telling a great story that even a non-gamer like me could get into. There’s a LOT of vernacular being tossed around but most of it can be figured out in context (which is good because I didn’t find a glossary, though I may have overlooked it amongst the more technical aspects that those who are actually playing the game would need. Still, lots of definite roll-playing potential, here.
One thing I found interesting was that lifestyle level not only had to be chosen during character construction but also carried a monthly fee per level. From what I can tell this is rather unique to the game and tells me that this is meant to be a long-term character, not something to just be picked up for a week or two.
Now for the food.
All but one of the races are considered omnivorous (Elves being the vegetarian exception) with Orks leaning more towards carnivore when they have their way. It seems to be lifestyle, however, that dictates eating habits more than that merely setting.
For those interested in eating in-character who maintain Street to Low lifestyles, you’re probably living off what they call “nutrisoy.” My first thought was a soy protein bar but nutrisoy is described as hot, so why not try some Miso soup; eat it out of a steel camping mug or earthenware cup would also be a nice touch.
The higher the lifestyle ladder you climb, the better the food gets. In fact, the “autocook” appears to be able to make just about anything you could want and has “flavor faucets” for that extra kick of I’m not exactly sure what…
In 2053, computers are called cyberdecks (hence hackers being called deckers) which remind me, by description, a bit like portable harddrives. Sure, you can plug yourself into them and surf via your mind but who wouldn’t want that?
It’s a bit meta, but how about rectangular pizza with strips of red, green and yellow bell peppers in a pattern of circuitry?
Tip: For flexible bell peppers, split, seed and roast under the broiler until the skin gets dark, remove from the oven and cover with a damp dish towel (clean, of course) for 5 minutes. This steaming makes the skin easier to remove and then the roasted peppers are easier to cut and position on your pizza.
There are plenty of critters running around the Shadowrun world. I’m not sure if they are hunted and I am sure that they’d be kinda tough to catch and kill in the first place, but let’s not worry too much about that and try these snacks on for size:
Cockatrice Wings–make them extra hot to match their “paralyzing touch;” after all, folks eat Fugu on a dare, might as well live a little, no?
Kraken Calamari–actually, whether or not it’s kraken or just regular squid, adventures based in Seattle are bound to have a fair amount of seafood availability so calamari makes sense on a variety of levels.
The Japanese Emperial State tends to have a lot of sway over the tech corporations, especially in Seattle, so sushi would not be out of place (it’s not always raw fish; get creative with your fillings!), soba noodle dishes or sweet dumplings would round out the meal nicely.
*Got a game you want me to make menu suggestions for? Leave it in the comments and I’ll see what I can do!