Ideas.   Posted by greenvoid.Group: 0
 GM, 3 posts
 Jaded One
Fri 14 Aug 2015
at 13:31
fire away, people

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:02, Sat 15 Aug 2015.

 GM, 4 posts
 Jaded One
Fri 14 Aug 2015
at 13:32
Pathfinder eidolon PCs
PCs with Eidolon rules. They either don't have classes, or play gestalt class/eidolon. There are different tribes of these beings, with different themes for appearance. Example tribal themes:
  • trees / bark / vines
  • swamp / mud / reptile
  • rock / lava / fire
  • smoke / wind / lightning
  • feline / dark / magical
  • angelic / gems / flying
  • etc.

The tribes' continent is dotted with very alien ancient ruins (high-tech, chthuluid, undead, whatever fits the group). On the other continent, standard races exist (humans, dwarves, trolls, orcs, elves, etc.) who regularly intrude onto the continent of the tribes.

Conflicts and stories are usually about exploring the ancient ruins (and learning about the past, maybe how the tribes came to existence), tribal wars and skirmishes, and evicting the intruders from the other continent.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:46, Fri 14 Aug 2015.

 GM, 9 posts
 Jaded One
Fri 14 Aug 2015
at 16:45
Golarion - Taldan scouts
The party is sent on a business mission to an minor Andoran merchant house. The main negotiator is a member of the Emerald Shadows, a scout company based in Veirford. Since this negotiator feels comfortable with fellow scouts while travelling through the Verduran Forest, (s)he chose other scouts of the Shadows.

That is, all PCs need to have at least 1/3 of their levels (rounded up) be ranger, to qualify to be a member. And, of course, nobody forces them, so they actually all prefer to be rangers. They start at level 2, so anyone who wants to can multiclass already.

Having successfully made the deal, the party is on its way back to Taldor through the Verduran Forest. They are at the edge of the woods.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:36, Fri 14 Aug 2015.

 GM, 15 posts
 Jaded One
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 07:33
Re: Ideas

This message was last updated by the GM at 04:00, Tue 18 Aug 2015.

 member, 3 posts
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 18:21
Re: Ideas
moved this post to link to a message in this game (discussion thread, msg #12)

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:02, Tue 18 Aug 2015.

 member, 3 posts
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 22:00
Re: Ideas
moved this post to link to a message in this game (discussion thread, msg #13)

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:06, Tue 18 Aug 2015.

 GM, 19 posts
 Jaded One
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 05:16
Re: Ideas
posted by Chupabob, but this thread was locked at the time

This concept is not original. I stole it almost directly from Kevin Hite who suggested it many years ago in his column for Shadis Magazine, The Suppressed Transmission.

In real history, the Year 1000 A.D. was when Western Civilization was nearly wiped out. Europe was in the clutches of the Dark Ages which followed the slow fall of the Roman Empire. The pipes had stopped working in the bath houses, the docks and aqueducts had fallen apart, and the famous Roman road system was overgrown with weeds. From the North, Vikings raided the coastline. From the south, Islamic invaders had captured Sicily and most of the Iberian Peninsula. From the east, barbarian hordes from Asia like the Magyars were rolling over kingdoms. To the west, there was only open ocean seemingly forever. Has God turned his back on Christianity? It was internal division and fortification which saved Christianity from being wiped out in Europe from this crisis on three fronts.

Hite suggested turning this into a high fantasy epic game with elements of horror. The Vikings are werewolves in longboats. The Magyars horsemen are hyena-riding orcs. The Moors become Lizard Men whose magic is second to none. Fortunately, King Charlemange has a plan. The entire point of the game is to preserve a Saving Remnant. In other words, it is the job of each PC to decide what is most important and worthy of saving. It could be a holy relic, a work of art, a collection of seeds, or a single child. Find your Saving Remnant and escape Europe with it while you can.

I took this concept went a little more High Fantasy and a little less Horror with it. Using the Senzar Fantasy RPG as a base, I took substituted the Dragon Peninsula for Europe and I set the campaign in a Bronze Age (just to be different). The invaders from the North are Jotun Giants who come to raid and abduct slaves. I kept the Viking theme. The invaders from the continent are Azaar, a native race of four-armed jungle-dwelling humanoids who show up riding dinosaurs. I am more copying the Mongolian culture and tactics of Ghengis Khan's age for my Azaar barbarians. The invaders from the south are Silestians (basically like High Elves) who fanatical sun-worshiping warrior religion has developed into a purify-the-land-of-infidels fanaticism. Against any one of these forces, the powers that be in the Dragon Peninsula would stand a fair chance, arguably even have an advantage. Against all three, nobody thinks they have a chance. The PCs have been selected by the nobility. They are granted the title of Paladins and with it, permission to travel freely in the city-states of the peninsula and the secure what saving remnants they choose.

I ran a few sessions of this campaign with my home group. Here is our campaign homepage:  The PCs dealt with skeptical locals, brushes with the enemy scouts, NPCs wanting to trade favors, refugee camps, a brief ship wreck, and of course, dangerous displaced wildlife on the roads. We got about half-way through the scenario when my players grew bored with it.
 member, 6 posts
Sat 22 Aug 2015
at 15:14
Re: Ideas
I think it is about time I contributed an idea of my own.

First, premise of the world is that nature tends towards balance. Equal amounts of conflict and peace, equal amounts of sorrow and happiness and everything is supposed to be cyclical. Well, this is a world that matured along the lines we are given in most D&D worlds. The "good guys" won, the "bad guys" were either culled out of existence or enslaved to serve the needs of the good guys.

So the world had complete peace and prosperity for 500 years, 5 centuries where the power more and more flowed to centralized power and everything was kept in strict order, where every people had their place in the grand scheme of things. And though those in nature warned that the gods wouldn't abide by this forever, they dismissed the warnings as the rulers felt they were too powerful for what they had made to be destroyed and that they were bringing ultimate good to the world.

And then one day a meteor fell from the sky right onto the capital of this empire. With hardly any warning at all, the grand capital was reduced to a giant crater in the ground. Since all the most powerful mystical artifacts had been collected there, the magical energies within them broke free and turned the whole area into a mystically toxic and mutating environment. Survivors in that area did not survive long and demons and other outsiders would emergence from it to wreak havoc on the other cities.

The strict order that had been kept in place by the empire fell apart. Not just some, but a large portion of every people who lived within the borders went bad in one way or another, mostly embracing chaos or tyranny to try to survive in the world in its current state. A lot of the systems that people had been relying on for so long broke down and the wilds became more and more dangerous just as people had to find new ways to live.

Peoples of the world
Humans - Although not ruling, humans had a nice position in the empire prior to its fall. They were the second or third best at everything making them quite adaptable for many sorts of work, but also failing to specialize in anything in particular. This meant they were never the most prosperous and they were the most likely to learn many different trades during their lives. In the aftermath of the meteor, the humans have prospered better than ever, adapting to the new environment quickly without altering their ways of living much. Many humans have turned to being opportunistic thugs and sellers of false hopes to the masses, but for the most part they just try to keep their lives going.

(A) - They were the noblest of all the races, they were the rulers, the nobles, the bureaucrats and the knights. Long lived, powerful and naturally regal, of course the other people fell on their knees before them and provided them with all the power they needed to run the world. But the meteor took most of their people when it fell, it isn't even clear the survivors scattered across the word are enough to keep their people going. Many of them have done everything they can, stooped to some rather desperate measures, to retain their positions of privilege and authority. Others have become hopeless drunks or hedonists. Still, there are a number of them who are still working to do good for people and hoping this time of troubles will pass with time.

(B) - They were the builders and merchants prior in the old empire. They were the best at various crafts and professions and ran the banks. Their lot in life was determined by birth, they would be born to families who would pass their trade down from generation to generation and those families were organized in the guilds which kept records of their entire people safe. The guild records were vital for them to prove their family line which was more than enough to vouch for their skills and trustworthiness. Unfortunately, those guild halls were in the capital and when the capital was destroyed, so were those records. This meant the identity of their entire people had been lost. Despite the obvious dangers, they formed expedition after expedition into the abyss that had once been the capital in hopes of digging up the archives. Less than half of those who entered emerged at all and those who emerged were crazy, twisted versions of their former selves possessed by sinister dark magics. Those not seeking the records have either fallen into deep depressions, have simple kept plodding away figuring that someone else will recover them or have taken this opportunity to reforge their own lot in life.

(C) - They were the grand military of the empire, enforcing the will of the rulers upon those who would defy them on both the large scale and the small scale. Even prior to the fall they were not well liked by anyone but the rulers as they were known for being calculating and merciless in their approach to enforcing the laws. When the capital fell, the order they had always defended fell as well. Many of them decided to try to keep order as before, only this time asserting themselves as the ultimate authority over others. Still others turned to banditry and rebellion. Still others became sell-swords looking for anyone who would give the a new mission to fulfill. And still others simply became malcontents using their families' long service record and their physical superiority to get what they wanted out of people.

(D) - Under the old order, these guys were kept in control by keeping them in shackles and bonds. Naturally far larger and stronger than other peoples, they were given the task of performing the heaviest and most physically demanding of labors. Generally nothing more than beasts of burden, none were happy with their lot in the old empire. Although countless of their people died when the meteor fell, they found it a chance to finally escape from their bonds. Turning on their masters and escaping into the wilds, they formed bands of roving thugs who did little but smash everything that resembled civilization and kill those who are identified as agents of their former oppressors. Although some remain in bondage, more than anyone else they have embraced the new chaotic state of the world with zeal and asserted themselves almost as well as humans have.

(E) - These small people were below most people's contempt in the old world. Not even treated as people with rights, the fact that they breeded quickly made them little more than expendable tools to be used in the most dangerous and dirty of jobs that often guaranteed a short, brutal life. When the meteor fell, they had their chance for freedom and embraced it. They escaped out into the wilds where they generally life on simple raiding and banditry. They lack all of the necessary skills to form a proper society of their own and with a pitifully short lifespan they haven't the time nor patience to learn a better way to live. While there are some that are still kept as pets of sorts by the rich, for the most part their existence is seen only as an infestation by other peoples.

(F) - They are "one with the wilds", even at the height of the empire they kept away from civilization and stayed within their untamed forests. However, the forests themselves were quickly and systematically being removed from the world and being replaced by woods where wood was simply grown as though it were a sort of farm. As the true wilds of the world became smaller and smaller, they tried to warn about this direction but were not heeded. Perhaps it was even they who were behind the meteor, though none of them have ever sought to claim credit. The demons that were released seem to have affected them even more deeply than the other peoples. As their woods get corrupted and twisted by the infernal darkness, those who are tied to those lands get corrupted and twisted in very similar ways. So many of their people have been turned monstrous in that way that people are now wary of them even though they were once the most favored.

You could slip quite a lot of races into slots A through F here. This isn't even necessarily the maximum number of slots, but anything else being added would need to fit into this puzzle in a meaningful way.

Reading these descriptions, what would you think races A, B, C, D, E and F would be?
 member, 4 posts
Fri 28 Aug 2015
at 00:27
Re: Ideas
Regarding GHornet's fantasy setting:

Okay, I think I am getting the vibe. This is a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting where survival and lawlessness are the major themes.

You know, some historians consider the Arthurian Legends to be this type of story. After the Romans pulled out of Britain, society sort of crumbled for a few generations. The roads, ports, bath houses, and defensive walls all fell apart. Without ships coming into port from Rome, the plantations had nowhere to sell their cast crops, and they instead turned inwardly to become self-sufficient, thus the start of feudalism in Europe. Arthur was one of the kings trying to restore order to a realm which had become an anarchy.

Back to your setting specifically, would you describe this world as High Fantasy or Low Fantasy? What are the origins of monsters: did they mutate out of the meteor crater, enter from a different plane, or are they pushing into the the former-Empire from the wilderness?

To answer the question about races, they don't necessarily have to be different races in the traditional fantasy sense. These people might be all the same species and even same ethnicity but different social castes, like it was in ancient India or Feudal Japan. If you do want to plug in fantasy races after all, here are my picks. A Elves, B Tieflings, C Dragon-kin if high fantasy or Dragonborn if low fantasy, D Trolls, E Halflings (or even better Drowlings), F Dryads if high fantasy or Gnolls if low fantasy
 member, 8 posts
Thu 10 Sep 2015
at 20:11
Re: Ideas
Here is something I had cooking for a modern supernatural investigation game. I thought it was very epic. I designed this scenario to be played in Palladium's Beyond the Supernatural RPG, but it would work just as well in Hunter: the Reckoning, Supernatural RPG, and could be shoe-horned into Call of Cthulhu.

Setting: An artificial island just a few hundred feet off the coast of Dubai. A real estate developer has invested roughly two billion dirhams (nearly a billion U.S. dollars) into the island itself, a luxury hotel, and neighborhood of mini-mansions. He cannot, however, finish construction. Every night, his equipment is wrecked, including huge backhoes being flipped over, and the work of the previous day is vandalized. Any security guards he places there at night vanish. Video cameras record nothing but blackness and the occasional scream.

The PCs: A team of foreigners who have been brought in so as to not tip off any local media. They include mercenaries, psychics, parapsychologists, and anyone with extensive experience in dealing with hostile supernatural entities. This is a game designed for high level characters.

The Reason for the Module: There is almost nothing out there for high level characters in a contemporary monster-hunting game. Everything out there is designed for beginning or low level characters. I wanted to create a game specifically for those PCs who had to be retired because they got to be too high level.

The Monsters: The real estate developer has a bitter ex-wife (or ex-husband if you prefer) who has been summoning monsters to keep the development from ever opening. These creatures are Shadow People, intelligent and stealthy with an agenda of their own. In most Palladium games, there is a monster called a Shadow Beast who is easy to summon and serves as cheap muscle with some nice stealth abilities as a bonus. In The Rifter Magazine, a couple of articles have expanded upon the Shadow Realm from which they originate and the other monsters there. What the summoner does not know is that she had brought over enough Shadow Creatures to achieve a type of critical mass; they have been able to organize and plot. They are scheming during the next eclipse to sacrifice her and other captured humans in a ritual spell that will tie the two world together, making this island permanently anchored to the shadow realm and allowing shadow creatures to freely pass from one world to another. If they succeed, this island will become a major source of trouble for this part of the world for generations to come.

Resources:  I thought that because this is a planned community, the GM could easily grab any set of blueprints for a house and use it over and over again for every encounter.

My Problem:  I created an extensive module based upon this plan, but I couldn't get passed the politics. My first working title for a tabloid newspaper article to accompany the module was "Shadow People Gated Community" and no matter how I tweaked the title or the scenario, it always came out sounding like a bad racist joke.
 member, 9 posts
Sun 11 Oct 2015
at 09:16
Re: Ideas
A while back, I suggested a series of campaigns for the Robotech and Macross games. Several of these games focused on the events from the antagonists' points of view. One of the more memorable suggested campaigns revolved around the Marduke aliens of Macross II and their Zentreadi shock troopers; I also borrowed heavily from horror RPGs for this project. For those not familiar with the setting, here is how it normally works. The PCs are humans who military pilot spaceships and fighting robots based upon the technology of a crashed alien ship. Those aliens are first the giant humanoid Zentreadi and then their masters, the xenocidal Marduke. The edge that the Earthlings possess against these superior invaders is human culture, specifically music, which has a devastating effect on the culturally isolated and entirely militarized societies of the aliens. Some aliens occasionally switch sides and join the Earthlings.

Roll Reversal

A campaign of military horror for Macross II RPG from Palladium Books. For as long as the Marduke Empire has existed, two legends have been whispered. One is the great legend of legendary ship, the Alus. The other is the terrible legend of a planet which is the womb of all terrible things in the universe, Earth. In this game, the PCs are good Marduke spacefarers who are facing evil and corrupting Earthlings who have stolen the legendary ship.

We treat exposure to Earth culture as we would exposure to the mythos in a Cthulhu game with the same degeneration effects to the victim's sanity. Earth music is particularly dangerous, causing random insanities with as little as a single exposure. The Earthlings occupy only a small corner of one galaxy, but their technology is comparable to the empire's own, and they change their tactics frequently. Tricky Earthlings might use a suicide bomber one minute and then demons or vampires the next. Enemies might include U.N. Spacy, Gremlins, Gargoyles, and even the Night Lords.
 member, 10 posts
Fri 16 Oct 2015
at 05:32
Re: Ideas
On the old Dragons Landing Inn forums, a user called RivCA posted several outstanding campaign concepts for a variety of gaming genres. Here is just one of his ideas, this time for science fiction and kaiju action.

Reign of the Steel Gods

The players take on the rolls of giant robots (cyborgs technically) who defend their planet from alien attackers. The PCs have more than enough power in their bodies to accomplish this task, but to access that technology, they must first remember why they are fighting. They must roleplay through flashback scenes from the time before they converted their bodies into war machines.

Background: In the distant future, humans colonized most of the Milky Way Galaxy with the help of nanotechnology. Nanomachinery became the linchpin of humanity's society. The far reaching human civilization extended even into the rare systems where cosmic radiation (harmless to humans) rendered nanotech inoperable. Those few humans who rejected the use of nanotech for various philosophic or religious reasons settled these few systems.

Things went swimmingly until a colonizing probe of nanobots returned from the Hades System unexpectedly. Something had gone wrong in the Hades System, and the nanites which were sent their to teraform came back aggressive. The rogue programming of aggressive nanites spread like an infection through the civilized worlds without explanation and without warning. Within days, almost all of the humans across the galaxy were killed. The refugees who made it out in time fled to the pockets of space where nanotech was inoperable.

The revolution against humanity did not end there. The nanite swarm which began in the Hades System attempted to press into the refugee systems. Unable to operate even shielded, the swarm began experimenting with other tactics. It sent asteroids and then rockets into the refugee systems. Then it began developing more complex technologies including killer robots and bio-engineered monsters. One by one, the refugee systems folded and were wiped clean of survivors.

In the last remaining system, scientists and engineers worked desperately to create countermeasures to these incursions. Robots were developed which could fight toe to toe with any trouble which arrived from deep space, but these systems were unreliable for a variety of reasons. One problem with robots is that they are by design stupid. The humans (and the swarm) both found that the smarter robots were unwilling to follow directions. In fact, the intelligence of an A.I. was directly improportional to its willingness to fight. The A.I.s had formed their own society which wanted no part in the war between the swarm and humanity.

Cyber-Gigantism: The first major breakthrough came when a scholar rediscovered an abandoned science from centuries previously. Cyber-Gigantism allowed the human scientists to alter the bodies of soldiers into order to become any size desired. That would allow human soldiers to carry and power the most potent weapons technology which the engineers could build out of thousands of years of experience.

The early prototype Cyber-Giants seemed to be a success. They were initially very effective on the battlefield. The problem with this program turned out to be the mental toll taken on the volunteers. Many became wreckless in battle and allowed themselves to be killed. Others simply self-destructed. None of the prototypes survived more than a month in the field. These prototypes were the titans of their day, powerful beyond imagination but flawed and destined for failure.

Enter the Player-Characters: The PCs are not titans, they are steel gods.

The second phase of the Cyber-Giants strategy involved a more careful screening of volunteers, a more gradual introduction of weapons technology, and an extensive counseling program which never ended. Most importantly, engineers added technology based limiters on their weapon systems which did not allow access to powerful systems until the soldiers met certain psychological thresholds.

Being a monster is not enough to carry one through an arms race for survival. The steel gods must continually remind themselves what it means to be human. They must remember why they are fighting in order to carry on. They must struggle to remain human as they become physically less and less so.

Other characters: RivCA also wrote an extensive post about the role of robots in his setting. It was interesting stuff but not entirely required to understand nor run the game.