View Full Version : New Campaign... feedback and suggestions requested

2012-01-19, 03:22 PM
I'm about to start a campaign for some friends that may or may not last. The basic premise of the game is lifted directly from Shadowrun, though with a slight twist. My players are all modern day and the first scenario will have them getting together to play role-playing games. Shortly after they get together, weirdness ensues.

The plan is to run them through the beginnings of the return of magic to the world. Humans will start turning into meta-humans. Magic starts to work. Dragons wake up.

My first scenario revolves around an outbreak of a strain of the HMHVV at the CDC campus in Atlanta (we all happen to live in Atlanta... the game is basically set at my house with all of us as characters, so we know the area s well as the characters would). I'm going to run it as a straight-up zombie apocalypse until the characters make it to reasonable safety. That's when I'll hit em with the fact that "zombies" aren't the only weird thing going on.

We're using the Savage Worlds system. None of the players have any idea what's in store except that I had them make modern day gamers as characters with no supernatural talents/abilities. After the first game, I plan to give them the option of picking up templates for various races, magical traditions, etc.

Any thoughts?

2012-01-20, 06:26 AM
Sounds fun! But I wonder... why would they pick up racial templates?

For suspension of disbelief, just make it to where they have to remain human, unless they're being affected by something mutagenic. At that point, it would make more sense... but then it wouldn't make sense that they'd pick their race. That would be something that would be forced on them, not something they chose.

At any rate, I've been to Atlanta, and it's a big place... even someone who has lived there all their life could be surprised by what the city has to offer. See if you can't get a tour of the city via Google Maps. Also, head to the Chamber of Commerce, or at least a local hotel and grab all the brochures you can find about hot spots and tourist traps in the area. Incorporating these scenes could add a nice dynamic to your campaign that you may have forgotten about since you live there. Also apartments, hospitals, and museums make for seriously creepy settings in games like this. Floor plans of these places can be easily found online, or you can just head to the lobby of the nearest apartment complex or the information booth of the nearest museum, theater, convention center, etc. in the area and pick up a floor plan. Boom... there's the template for your maps.

Those are just a few quick ideas off the top of my head.

Kol Korran
2012-01-20, 07:25 AM
i think it could be a fun idea, however 2 questions stand:

1) what is their goal after they finish with the zombie apocalypse part? a sandbox might be well and dandy, but if this is anything resembling shadowrun in the scope of possibilities and the potential depth of details, i suggest to think of a few possible hooks/ interests to keep them a bit more focused.

another approach would be to do sort of "so what would you be interested in exploring now" kind of discussion and see where it goes. it could be fun, or it could suck- depending on your abilities as GM.

2) what keeps them together? ok, the apocalypse is handled (or they decide to run away from Atlanta which becomes The Necropolis) some groups the players decide on their own why to keep together, but some require a little "push" from the GM. just something to keep in mind.

this sounds especially awesome if they don't know shadowrun. i'd love to see the goblinization acted out!

2012-01-20, 09:19 AM
Sounds fun! But I wonder... why would they pick up racial templates?

For suspension of disbelief, just make it to where they have to remain human, unless they're being affected by something mutagenic. At that point, it would make more sense... but then it wouldn't make sense that they'd pick their race. That would be something that would be forced on them, not something they chose.

The player chooses, the character doesn't. Few people like having something forced on them.

2012-01-20, 12:03 PM
Few people like having something forced on them.

My point exactly. It feels a bit like a no-win if racial options are introduced at higher levels. A race is something you're born with. I can think of only a few "mad scientist" situations where a person could turn themselves into a different race or species of their own volition.

I guess, in the end, it depends on what type of party you have. If you're group is like, "If I wanted realism, I wouldn't be playing a fantasy game, bring on the racial options," then your group is willingly suspending disbelief for the right to play a non-human. So throw them a bone and give them a racial option, but have them act out how they change.

If the group is more like, "Why would I suddenly be able to turn into a different race? Nah, that's stupid. I'll remain a human," then you may lose a bit of credibility as a story-teller for not maintaining high enough standards of verisimilitude to suspend disbelief.

My group wouldn't like the sudden racial option, unless it was carefully woven into the plot to make it make sense. That's just how we roll.

Of course, if racial options are on the table, Changeling (MM3, pg 25) could be really cool. They already kind of look like mutants (you could say the curse on Atlanta mutated them into what a Changeling looks like) and then they can change their features to look any way they want. It could provide a humorous way to get through a horde of zombies (see Shawn of the Dead for reference) and also open the floodgates for role-play.

2012-01-24, 03:21 PM
The changing of race is something integral to the Shadowrun setting. I didn't give it to them in the first game because... they don't know they were playing Shadowrun. :D

The premise is that magic comes and goes in cycles and that some people who thought they were humans were actually orcs, trolls, dwarves, elves, etc but those traits were lost when magic faded. Now that it is returning, those traits are re-asserting themselves.

So, the first game went fairly well. No casualties, only a few panicked moments (sadly). My players were WAY too prepared for a zombie apocalypse (I guess they know me too well). One of my guys, at the first sign that anything was slightly odd, grabbed two of the other characters, jumped in his van, and hit the road. 3 players out of the game, since i didn't want to run two separate groups. I had to give him a police officer I had intended to be a brief cameo NPC and the other two took the roles of survivors the group ran into (with stats suspiciously similar to those they had originally come up with).

I dropped in a few hooks. A kid told the police officer that he had seen a troll under one of the I-85 overpasses and it seemed to be killing all the zombies that came near there. The group ran into one "zombie" that seemed to have retained his intelligence and was watching them from a distance. Finally, all manner of radio communications within a 30 mile radius of Stone Mountain quit working (which made escaping from Zombie-Atlanta even more difficult).

As far as keeping the group together and motivating them to go adventuring... they were all friends prior to the game, as they were basically playing themselves (or slightly fantastical versions of themselves). I told them at the end of the game that they were welcome to apply some racial and/or arcane templates to their current characters or to come up with new characters based on the setting. This was intended to be a one-shot with the possibility of continuing, based on their reactions. Verdict is still out, whether or not it was fun enough to take the place of my Warhammer game. Once i find out if we're going on with it and who wants to keep their characters, i'll figure out a way to push them out into the big, scary world.

Thanks for the ideas and suggestions!