View Full Version : Looking for help brewing up campaign worlds

2011-08-31, 03:21 PM
Ok, so here's the deal, I have alot of ideas for campaigns but I'm not very good at fleshing them out all the way, so I'm asking for help. Here's the ideas I have and what I have so far, please offer up and ideas you might have. I have notes after each writeup.

Sucked In

You wake up and look around you. The last thing you remember you where going about your perfectly normal life, when suddenly the world started spinning around you and you blacked out. You look around you to see several others who appear to be in a daze just like yourself, normal everyday looking people you might see on the street, or going about their lives. You seem to be plucked from all walks of life, but all in all, everyone you see was plucked from the early 21st century. You are all in a small room with only one door. Standing in front of that door is an armored knight with his sword at the ready, and a man covered in robes. “Welcome champions. I have called you here because our world is in need of heroes.” The robed man says. “Although you really don't look like much.”

In GURPS 4e:

Low starting power level (about 70 character points). Expect large amounts of roleplaying mixed with hack 'n slash action and small amounts of puzzle solving.

Probable allowed books: Basic Set, Magic, Martial Arts, Thaumaturgy, Fantasy, High Tech. You are Tech Level 8, stuck in a Tech Level 3 world, and as such have High Tech Level (5). You also start out in the “real” world, and as such lack access to supernatural and exotic abilities, but you will be able to get them later.

Notes:I've tried running this game using D&D 3.5 before, but the system just does not support the change in tech level as well, plus it offers no way to start out as a “normal” person.


On a voyage to a newly founded colony your ship runs into a violent storm. Tossed by the waves the ship runs aground on a reef surrounding an island. Your ship is held immobile, and the storm has died down, but who knows how long before the ship breaks loose and sinks. Most of the crew and passengers are missing, and noone knows where you are. Can you survive? Set in the real world circa 1680

In D20 Modern:

Starts at 1st level with 25 point buy for stats. Low combat, but lots and lots of roleplaying and survival puzzles. A very non-traditional game with lots of skill use, knowledge and craft skills are almost a must.

Probable allowed books: D20 Modern core

In GURPS 4e:

A low-power level game (Around 70 character points). Low combat, but lots and lots of roleplaying and survival puzzles. A non-traditional game with lots of skill use. A realistic game, so try to avoid supernatural or exotic abilities.

Probable allowed books: Basic Set

NotesI've tried this before used D&D 3.5, it didn't work very well, I think D20 modern would work better, but I think GURPS would work best here.

Campaign ends when all characters die, when the group finds a way to get themselves off the island, or when all players are bored with it and the group is “rescued”.

Lead Justice:

Welcome to Everston City. A thriving city of almost 1 million people in the midwest United States, Everston City has always been fairly calm as far as crime rates go for a city this size. At least it was until recently. Gang related crime has shot up 400% in the last 6 months, and the city has seen not only only it's first serial killer, but it's second and third as well. Crime of all sorts is on the rise in Everston City and noone knows why. A coalition of Everston PD and the FBI have set up a task force to find out, and you are on it.

In d20 Modern:

A mid/low-level game (around level 5), with 30 point buy stats. Low/medium combat, with extremely high amounts of puzzle solving and roleplaying.

Probable allowed books: D20 modern core, Weapons Locker, and Martial Arts Mayhem.

In GURPS 4e:

A medium low-power level game (around 125 character points). Low/medium combat, with extremely high amounts of puzzle solving and roleplaying.

Probable allowed books: Basic Set, Mysteries, High Tech, Martial Arts

Campaign ends when the source of the crime has been rooted out.

Notes: So, this concept is meant to fall about half way between the CSI, NCIS, Criminal Minds concept and the crime thriller concept, with one extremely intelligent bad guy at the root of it, maybe with some sort of loyal helpers, infiltrating the various gangs and criminal organizations to incite gang wars and other criminal activities, infiltrating the police, and generally causing all sorts of havok allowing him to sneak his profits through the cracks while everyone is to busy. This would compllicate the player's attempts to discover him, which would be farther complicated by the personal ambitions of the mastermind's victims. and those criminals who aren't actually involved in the plot, just caught up in it. Overall if the game is set up right players should have to end up in the midst of everything from armed robbery and grand theft auto to drug trafficking to serial killers [perhaps several set against the city at once] to gang wars, maybe a semi-climax where all the remaining gangs in the city are coherced into attacking the police [and the players] all at once, and then a climax somehow where the players and whatever backup can be had on short notice storm the mastermind's deathtrap hideout, dealing with him and his personal bodyguards.

Avenging Dragons:

You are a member of the elite and secret Dragon Commandos, in fact you are from the first Dragon Squad created, and your squad is nearly ready for deployment. The Dragons are the most dangerous force ever created by the United Terran Military, and each squad is made to be as well rounded as possible and fully capable in any situation. You showed extraordinary abilities when put through testing in early childhood, and since have been trained using the most cutting edge techniques in various sciences and combat abilities by the best and the brightest teachers available. You have been given the most advanced, top secret technology. You also don't officially exist. Your training took place on a hidden planet in a mostly unexplored region of space. The existence of the planet itself is almost as well kept of a secret as your own existence. The United Terran Government planned to use you to help defeat the Drachians, an alien civilization that humanity and it's few allies have been at war with for centuries. You never got your chance though. After years of training for battle against one enemy, and new and more dangerous enemy has appeared. News of attacks throughout the UTG's territory by an unknown threat reached you mere moments before all communications from earth cut off. Now a group of unknown warships has entered the solar system of your training planet.

In D20 Modern:

Starts at medium-high level (around level 8), with high stats (6d6b3). Expect lots of very very dangerous combat, tactical puzzle solving, and a respectable amount of downtime for roleplaying, but anything might be called on a team that represents possibly the last hope for humanity, so the part should be well rounded (remember the Dragon Squads where put together with the expectations they'd be sent into a very wide variety of situations)

Probable allowed books: D20 Modern Core, Future, Future Tech, Martial Arts Mayhem, Star Wars D20: Starships of the Galaxy (much better starship rules than D20 Modern)

In GURPS 4e:

High starting power level (around 250 character points). Expect lots of very very dangerous combat, tactical puzzle solving, and a respectable amount of downtime for roleplaying, but anything might be called on a team that represents possibly the last hope for humanity, so the part should be well rounded (remember the Dragon Squads where put together with the expectations they'd be sent into a very wide variety of situations)

Probable allowed books: Basic Set, Space, Ultratech, Biotech, Martial Arts, and specific (mainly the ship creation system, ask first) parts of Traveller Interstellar Wars.

Notes: Yes, I'll admit right off that the concept for this IS a ripoff from HALO and Star Trek: Voyager. That said I have some background that a put together. It's really cliche and badly written but it's a start:

It's the year 2656. The governments of earth reached out from earth to explore first the solar system, then the galaxy centuries ago. Six centuries ago the nations of the earth began consolidating into groups of allies. Meanwhile various governments set up colonies on the Moon and Mars Half a century later, near the end of the 21st century the earth was thrown into the deadliest war it had ever faced, which was given the obvious label, World War III. Nuclear weapons where attempted to be used, but where thankfully all shot down without ever hitting the ground, sparing the earth from nuclear holocaust. Still, over half the population of the world was killed. In the end all the nations of the earth killed themselves off, but a new government was built to take their place, covering the entire world.

The United Terran Government, or UTG, a feudal meritocracy, built by a few remaining military men and women who survived the war, and joined by a few engineers and scientists, has run things ever since. The government is ruled over by the Commander-in-Chief, who has both proved himself both via testing and through ability in their job. The Commander-in-Chief has to answer to a small group of representatives from each sector ruled by the UTG, who have passed through rigorous testing and been deemed the best to hold the positions. Each sector has three representatives. The earth has 7 sectors, one for each continent, each other planet in the solar system is considered one sector, including it's moon. Most other solar systems ruled over by the UTG are considered one sector, no matter how many planets they include. Obviously Earth was better controlled than anywhere else.

The UTG, being a meritocracy, tests all of it's subjects yearly on a variety of skills, and placing them in positions in society based on their scores. The tests where originally designed by the first group of military and scientific personnel, and have been updated regularly since then to keep them up-to-date. The tests are on basic knowledge, advanced sciences, physical fitness, and a wide variety of other skills. The Commander-in-Chief and Sector Representatives have discretionary power to hold a person in a position despite test scores, but may face loss off their position if that person fails in the tasks given to them.

Over the next couple of centuries the earth suffered through a state of technological standstill as the nations of the earth rebuilt itself and the population came back up, with technology being only slightly more advanced than it was at the beginning of the 21st century. As the population on earth started coming back up, the UTG began to put population control methods into place, and did the same when outer colonies such as the moon and mars started reaching difficult to support levels. Breeding licenses are required, and are granted based on test scores and genetic testing to determine suitability of the parents to produce the best possible offspring.

Technological studies started to pick back up two centuries after the war ended, quickly advancing, until after a century of study scientists made two major break-throughs that radically changed the UTG. The first was functional artificial gravity for starships, allowing crews to live and work on them more easily. The second was of a functioning faster-than-light drive, allowing quick travel through space. These new technologies allowed the UTG to expand through space, colonizing planets as it went. In the late 24th century the UTG met with the first sapient alien race it had ever come across- the Drachians.

The Drachians as a race where equally advanced technologically as humanity, and about as intelligent, and by all rights the two races should have gotten along well, if not for humanity's fear and cultural disagreements between both parties.

Drachians are a quadrupedal species that stands about 6 feet tall with a vaguely humanoid torso with four arms. They have an internal skeleton, but also have armored plates on their bodies that are the remnants of a vestigial exoskeleton. Their heads are humanoid, but their mouths have vestigial mandibles, revealing their evolution from ancient spider-like creatures. Making matters worse in humanity's view, they keep a species of large non-sapient humanoids as livestock.

All of this, along with the Drachians slightly predatory nature and quick tempers, led to the first diplomatic meetings between the two species ending in firefights, and beginning a war that has lasted for two and a half centuries.

The Void

The world you know is small, metal, and ruled by tyrants. Everywhere around you is surrounded by a bottomless pit- the void. Those who go in and make it beyond the line of sight never come back.

Notes: Some um, yeah this is a weird one, the idea came from dream I had one night and it was to awesome to pass up. Basically a super advanced society built a large self sustaining prison to hold all it's criminals. It then bioengineered an increadably large sessile creature and placed the prison over it's maw. Several thousand years later the society has destroyed itself and the society on the prison has devolved to nearly stone age level. The idea of the campaign is the players, being outcasts from society must fight against the warriors of the society elite, and eventually defeat the void and return their society to the world.