View Full Version : Stitching Together Frankengame (Advice Request)

2010-06-14, 11:18 AM

So in a few months I'll be running my first ever in-person D&D game, 3.5. The players are all good friends of mine and completely new to the game; I started them out by building some first-level characters and running practice fights, all the while trying to figure out what kind of game they'd like to play when the time came to start the campaign. When we last met, I got a list of elements they'd like to see included (organized by general theme:)

Scarab beetles
Tailless cats
Cool Egyptian-style treasure
Generic treasure
Booby traps
Bouncing mushrooms
Angry mobs
Bad wigs
Village burning
Golems made out of food (calzones, cannoli)
Jensen Ackles* (as a lute player)
Zombies (hordes of the undead)
Creepy statues*
Lava level
Ice level
Grouper Queen*
Giant Rat Squid*
*- These are inside jokes; we're a quirky bunch.

We also worked out a sufficiently wide-open adventure hook: some god or another has called upon these unlikely heroes and ordered them to gather together in order to retrieve the legendary Golden Sheep Egg.* A few of them have integrated their backstories together.

(Side note: I wanted to take something of a 'whatever you want' attitude during character creation, so I kept the worldbuilding deliberately vague save for one point that came up as a joke but since integrated itself into the fabric of my fictional universe: the groupers. Giant floating fish roam this world and eat things that displease them. They have a hive mind and originate from their forehead of their massive grouper queen fully-formed.)

So what I'm looking for: general advice for helping new players get into the game, specific advice on taking at least a few of the elements listed above and creating a coherent whole out of them, true love, and maybe some pointers on DMing real-life games when the players are your rowdy best friends.

Your help is greatly appreciated!

2010-06-14, 03:10 PM
An angry mob of fiddle-playing Sphinx pirate zombies wearing bad wigs, covered in scarab beetles, wielding fireworks led by a Robespierre mummy, who uses Calzone golems (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/Cooking.pdf) as his bodyguards, chasing away a load of camels, jackals, tailless cats, canaries and a dragon mime from their burning village to a pyramid in the jungle, which has lots of lave around, yet is frozen. The zombie mob is also being chased by the Grouper Queen and in front of the whole horde is an army of Giant Rat Squids, who live in the moat around the pyramid. All around the pyramids are creepy statues which explode when anything is nearby, and the pyramid is defended by Jensen Ackles, who had set a load of booby traps around the pyramid to defend the Cool Egyptian-style treasure as well as the generic treasure, and he plays his lute, so the Giant Rat Squids are under his control. Below the pyramid is a dungeon, where there are Guillotines so Jensen Ackles can execute those who displease him. There are also mines connecting to the dungeons, so all the treasure can be made. Bouncing mushrooms are also harvested around the pyramid, and locals ride them for fun.

That's all of them (I think). That alright for you?

2010-06-14, 04:18 PM
A surprising number of these can be covered by an alt-history in which the reign of the Egyptian Pharaohs lasted even longer and conquered the greater Mediterranean before being ended by a French-style Revolution.

"Queen Nefertiti XXI, upon hearing the talk of famine, was reported to say 'They have no grain? Let them eat cannoli!' before unleashing the Royal Golems upon the unruly crowd."

2010-06-14, 05:08 PM

Gotta say, volthawk, that was a good bit more condensed than I think I could have managed, and also lulzier. However, to avoid excessive absurdity, the idea was to incorporate the elements over the course of a (fairly long-running) campaign, rather than in one delightfully strange scene.

And as AMAZING as Lapak's idea is, alt-history isn't really my forte. I know exactly enough about history to know I don't know enough about history to do it properly. Mad kudos all the same. :smallsmile:

2010-06-14, 06:46 PM
I love doing Frankengames!

That said, briefly skimming over the list, it looks like you want an apocalypse cult of French-Italians that worship ancient Egyptian doom-beings, and they use golems made of their native foods as defense alongside those already inside the pyramids.

I suggest Scion/Exalted. :smallbiggrin:

Or, you know, whatever...

You could even tie in the grouper queen by saying that it is the being the cult worships, believing that the Golden Sheep Egg is the one thing that will rouse it from its slumber, at which time it will eat the planet it so truly despises.

Honestly, that was the first thing that formed in my mind, and now I want to run that game...

2010-06-14, 07:40 PM
And as AMAZING as Lapak's idea is, alt-history isn't really my forte. I know exactly enough about history to know I don't know enough about history to do it properly. Mad kudos all the same. :smallsmile:Ah, but that's the beauty of alt-history: push a thousand years in a different direction, and your projection of what might be is just as accurate as the next guy's. :smallsmile: I'm really glad you liked it, though!

2010-06-14, 09:22 PM
I really like that, actually. Maybe they could level up in a few apparently unconnected dungeons, Zelda-style, all the while seeing recurring images of the Golden Sheep and Grouper Queen, and run into cultists along the way who are pursuing the same goal: recovery of the Egg.

Oo-hoo-hoo, I'm getting excited. :smallsmile:

Does anyone have anything to say about gaming with new players or people who are already your friends? That's actually a pretty major concern of mine.