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Thread: Crazy RPG Ideas

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    Default Crazy RPG Ideas

    What ideas for an RPG have you had that was crazy? It would also be nice to tell us why it's both cool and crazy.

    Here are mine

    An Accurate WWII Game
    Why it's cool: I've never seen an RPG that encompasses all of the second World War. You could also write campaigns based on actual campaigns
    Why it's crazy: So much stuff happened during World War 2. Besides, even if you focused on the main participants (America, Britain, Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, and Japan) you would have a total of 6 different starter kits for just one class. Also, not that much room for you non-combat fans.

    Counter Strike
    Why it's cool: Okay, hear me out for this one. Sure, Counter Strike is not a video game exactly known for story, but there is actually quite a bit of lore behinds the different terrorist factions. There was also a story added in CS: GO during the Operation Wildfire about the Phoenix Connexion, which is told from both the sides of the Phoenix Connextion and the SEALs. Besides, you don't need to make up weapons, just adapt them to RPG format
    Why it's crazy: It's Counter Strike. It's a game that's played in an arena, not exactly a world made to be explored. Would need a lot of adapting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8BitNinja View Post
    An Accurate WWII Game
    Why it's cool: I've never seen an RPG that encompasses all of the second World War. You could also write campaigns based on actual campaigns
    Why it's crazy: So much stuff happened during World War 2. Besides, even if you focused on the main participants (America, Britain, Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, and Japan) you would have a total of 6 different starter kits for just one class. Also, not that much room for you non-combat fans.
    WWII games are there, though they tend to be more specialized than a game about the entirety of the war - and some of them absolutely aren't there for people who are in it for the fights (Grey Ranks being the obvious example). As far as the concern of needing a bunch of starter kits per class, that's not necessarily a problem at all. Games are varied, and classes are not in all of them, nor are starter kits.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    I feel the biggest challenge for trying to get an accurate WWII game is trying to market a game to RPG fans and getting them convinced of the idea that no matter what they think, do, achieve, or attempt nothing at all is going to impact the story.

    Something I feel that is going to be most difficult.


    an crazy RPG for me is a game about being librarians and the dewey decimal system is like your main focus attribute of your character. I mean there is a game about being a maid and cleaning houses.. why not ne about making sure a library is working efficiently.

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    I have a text file on my computer dedicated to this. OK it also has some not so crazy ideas, and generally a lot more on each system than this.

    Wild Ride: Welcome to the New World
    Why its cool: You play as normal people who have been thrust into the new world (which is actually just our world after some cataclysmic event). Where alien/mystic/psych powers run wild. There is a massive range of characters you can play, from alien sleepers to hive minds.
    Why its crazy: Its completely random. The entire project was to take the type of random and unbalanced character creation people often hate and see if I can make a proper game out of it. ... I might have done it but at the same time if I ever played it the system might fail spectacularly.

    Best & Brightest
    Why its cool: ... I'm not sure if it is. It is a point buy system where you have to spend negative points. Its about playing people with disabilities.
    Why its crazy: OK, besides the challenge of making that fun, accurately and politely laying out rules for living with disability would be a nightmare.

    Adventure (Actually made this one, one play test version.)
    Why its cool: Whole system is two pages (including the character sheet) and a deck of cards. Plays super fast and is easy to pick up. Also involves no math beyond counting.
    Why its crazy: Have you tried making a system with 3 paragraphs of rules and no numbers? Its tricky and massively open to interpretation.

    Teamwork
    Why its cool: A game based around team work and interparty synergy. Every character can support every other character and are often at there best when doing that.
    Why its crazy: I have a few rambling paragraphs... but really no idea how to make this work.

    I am
    Why its cool: Anything you can say about your character can become a stat. Strength can come from a muscled frame, combat training or cybernetic implants, its all the same. Classed by strength, purpose and mechanical effects.
    Why its crazy: Played FATE? Tear up aspect throw the piece into the air and look at the scattered pieces, that is what we are taking about here.

    And the one with the XP system based on food didn't even make the list. ... Also I realized a couple don't even go by these names anymore.

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    Memoir: A game where the present causes the past. All the characters are amnesiac, but can rewrite time by forcibly regaining the memories they want to have. They have to become the people whose existence would have prevented the apocalypse that shattered time in the first place, sometimes by e.g. literally remembering having been the person who pushed the button and not pushing it. One conceit of the game was that this rewriting was only possible because the game took place in a realm whose nature was defined by the absence of certain knowledge. If you learned too much about what was really going on, you'd tend to break free of the realm and thus lose the ability to change things. But things you suspected but didn't know were okay.

    I actually ran this one. It was tricky. The players were sort of encouraged by the mechanics to figure things out but to not openly reveal that they had done so, even to other PCs, since that would cause them to 'enlighten out'. So it was sort of a race to figure out enough before you lost the opportunity to use it.

    Ephemera: Idea for a game whose rules text is entirely of the form of what characters can actually perceive in character. This would be an experiment to see what happens when players aren't told hard limits and uses of their powers, but instead have to explore them and figure out how they can be used. So for example, the rules text for a fire manipulation power might be something like 'when you concentrate on a part of your body and imagine things vibrating, that body-part becomes warmer; you experience this as just a comfortable toastiness, but after awhile that body-part becomes glowing hot', and there might be another power for extending awareness out of body 'when you close your eyes and imagine a point in space, you gain mental impressions of sounds from that area; sometimes, if that point contains objects or people, you get other impressions of senses particular to the thing at that point - images, touch, even thoughts or emotions'.

    Then a player might e.g. realize that they can combine the two to heat up an arbitrary point in space. Or they might try to heat up someone's emotions (which would either splatter that person's brain or get them angry, but hey, 50/50 is good odds right?). They wouldn't know what would work or not, but they could discover by doing, and there'd be a hidden underlying set of explanations guiding how interactions work that the GM would use to make things self-consistent.

    Player buy-in would be tricky on this one. You'd need the right group, a combination of people who like to mess with interactions and rules but at the same time aren't too picky about having all those rules written down explicitly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    Ephemera: Idea for a game whose rules text is entirely of the form of what characters can actually perceive in character. [...] Player buy-in would be tricky on this one. You'd need the right group, a combination of people who like to mess with interactions and rules but at the same time aren't too picky about having all those rules written down explicitly.
    The other one seems more of a thought experiment (might work that one time), but this sounds like you could really have fun with it. It also sounds like the best reason to bother with a separate player's handbook I have ever heard. I think you could get it to fly in my group, which has people who play D&D and Roll a Bunch of Dice or Roll for Shoes, not to mention I think only the GM has read the rule book of our main system (just reference sheets). Although I can see myself trying to recreate the rulebook I can't read... maybe I would do it in character, that might be an interesting twist.

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    I'd like a WWI flying system. Have a mix of military missions, espionage or just shennanigans in inter squadron rivalry. There are a number of systems that could handle air combat.

    Alternatively a Porco Rosso type setting. Air piracy was a apopular vein of fiction in the 1930s.

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    Default Re: Crazy RPG Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    ... Ephemera: Idea for a game whose rules text is entirely of the form of what characters can actually perceive in character...

    Why aren't games like that?
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    To 2D8HP: I can think of a few reasons, most of them revolve around the fact that the hard out-of-character mechanics still have to be resolved out of character. If the players aren't doing it than that means that the GM is doing it, which puts extra work on them and pushes the minimum trust level up (which shouldn't be an issue but can be). It also completely destroys the generic systems that use a single set of broad mechanics and lets you apply them how you need to.

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    A Little Adventure: Game would center around having a party of honey I shrunk the kids small characters running around having adventures. Probably in some kind of fantasy setting. And the twist would be they'd mechanically be able to keep up with what's being thrown at them.

    Why it's Crazy: Mechanics would be a nightmareish pain in the butt to make work and to reinforce the ideas at the same time that the PC's are highly capable and not desperately in over there heads every time they begin to interact with anything remotely not on there scale, but still impress there scale at the same time.

    Why it would be awesome: Every character is a stealth expert. Battles viewed form the outside as unseen forces disable there foes. Riding a massive Corgi into battle! Do I need to keep going with the kinds of insane things you could potentially get away with with this idea?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    WWII games are there, though they tend to be more specialized than a game about the entirety of the war - and some of them absolutely aren't there for people who are in it for the fights (Grey Ranks being the obvious example). As far as the concern of needing a bunch of starter kits per class, that's not necessarily a problem at all. Games are varied, and classes are not in all of them, nor are starter kits.
    GURPS had an entire line of WWII supplements, all well researched (as GURPS sourcebooks tend to be). Yes, there were lots of splatbooks covering the different theatres of war.

    My terrible idea:
    Band of Gold:
    Using Steal Away Jordan (a game about being a slave in pre-Civil War United States of America) to run a game inspired by the TV show Band of Gold.

    Why it's cool: exploring the "player-characters are property" aspect of SAJ while changing the setting to something modern-day that non-US players will be familiar with, providing a challenging role-playing scenario where the options the players have are limited by the position they find themselves in.

    Why it's crazy: I'm not sure I could do it properly, or that I could find people willing to play it. Much like Grey Ranks or Sunshine, it takes a very particular group of emotionally mature players.
    Last edited by JustIgnoreMe; 2017-03-09 at 08:32 AM.

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    Zero Sum. In a point buy system like GURPS with lots of possible drawbacks and disadvantages, your character always remains a character who costs 0 points. Anytime you improve a skill, you have to balance that by losing something else (forgetting a different skill for example). So, sure maybe you want to jump into that pool of radioactive ooze to gain superpowers but you'll also possibly become horribly mutated. Or maybe you don't mind being blinded by the villain because then your other senses will become twice as sharp.

    Crypts & Cthulhu. Instead of a standard "Dungeons & Dragons" game, this would be a game using D&D rules, but the only monsters would be those from the Cthulhu Mythos (and humans of course). Clerics and Paladins (etc) would gain no powers that rely on divine sources since there are no gods other than the Cthulhu Mythos deities. Summoning spells would be very different as there are no "celestial tree frogs" or anything like that, no elementals, etc. It would be set in a pseudo-historical Europe, where Christianity is in full bloom and any non-Christians are persecuted (so druids who might still have power are burned at the stake), even though Christian Clerics (like all Clerics) would have no special powers. Also, wizards would be viewed as witches in cahoots with the Devil, so they also would be burned at the stake. The only remotely magical class that is accepted by society is the Bard... as long as they don't try telling people that the Earth travels around the Sun or anything else heretical like that.
    Last edited by SimonMoon6; 2017-03-09 at 08:37 AM.

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    I once tried to play an RPG about witch hunters, and hunters of the occult in general. The twist was that it was a paradise island setting (think hollywood Hawaii). It lasted one session.

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    Default Re: Crazy RPG Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMoon6 View Post
    Crypts & Cthulhu. Instead of a standard "Dungeons & Dragons" game, this would be a game using....

    Maybe you'd like:



    Cthulhu Dark Ages

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    A Grand Theft Auto Role-Playing Game
    I believe what it says alone is self-explanatory for the pros and cons this kind of game may have.

    Of course, you can pull off this kind of game with D20 Modern or Fate Core.

    A Hollywood Role Playing Game
    By that, I mean a game where players take on the roles of actors for movies and tv shows.

    Though, it kind of comes off as more of a stupid idea rather than a crazy idea (at least in my own opinion).

    Why?

    It would only work well if you treat game sessions like tv shows or movies, and the genres of these things may depend on what you want to play. Whether it be a Western, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, etc. Though I'm not sure if anybody would be interested in a Soap Opera game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drakeburn View Post
    A Grand Theft Auto Role-Playing Game


    A Hollywood Role Playing Game
    By that, I mean a game where players take on the roles of actors for movies and tv shows.
    ...
    Though, it kind of comes off as more of a stupid idea rather than a crazy idea (at least in my own opinion).
    I don't know. The your player is Harrison Ford playing Han Solo, variant where it's more or less in nested character, (with some kind of Fate/coolness XP?) would allow a certain amount of over the topness, and episodic nature.

    Alternatively:
    Casting elements would form a natural inlet for (literally acting bit of) role-play. You'd need some form of judging though.
    While there's plenty of scope for a game based on influences, and budgets and the like. I'd imagine rather than die, you'd have cards that you 'call in', and secret objectives that you want.
    I'd imagine it would have severe PvP elements in it, though, and be of limited duration. And not sure how they'd mesh together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8BitNinja View Post
    An Accurate WWII Game
    Why it's cool: I've never seen an RPG that encompasses all of the second World War. You could also write campaigns based on actual campaigns
    Why it's crazy: So much stuff happened during World War 2. Besides, even if you focused on the main participants (America, Britain, Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, and Japan) you would have a total of 6 different starter kits for just one class. Also, not that much room for you non-combat fans.
    If it's really about "the whole of the war", there's a lot of scope for noncombat games. Technological development (think of the Manhattan Project, or the development of jet and rocket propulsion, or... well, it's a long list); spying and counterspying; propaganda, POW escapes, sabotage, smuggling (of contraband or people)... well, it was a big war.

    But the war as experienced from the hull of a U-boat, the cockpit of a Spitfire, the slopes of Monte Cassino, or a hut in Bletchley Park is - very different things. I don't see much sense in trying to combine them all into one game.

    My suggestion would be "an accurate medieval/crusades game".
    - Lots of mud
    - No magic
    - Rampant disease and infection
    - Watch your paladins torching villages and slaughtering noncombatants.

    Or "an accurate Reformation-period game". I tried to run one of these once, set in Antwerp in 1560, but it never really got past the character generation stage. The idea was to have the players juggle for their own (and their family's) position and safety in the chaos of the reformation, leading up to the Spanish invasion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I am
    Why its cool: Anything you can say about your character can become a stat. Strength can come from a muscled frame, combat training or cybernetic implants, its all the same. Classed by strength, purpose and mechanical effects.
    Why its crazy: Played FATE? Tear up aspect throw the piece into the air and look at the scattered pieces, that is what we are taking about here.

    And the one with the XP system based on food didn't even make the list. ... Also I realized a couple don't even go by these names anymore.
    I've played an older version of FATE (perhaps 2nd edition) which did basically this. It had players make up their own skills, and make up abilities with a positive and a negative, so that they could be tested against the character.

    The HeroQuest RPG, specifically 2nd edition, works in much the same way. In fact, the character creation rules involve writing a paragraph about your character, then picking out key words to use as their skills. The system also has a method of resolving a broad skill vs. specific skill when it comes up in play, so the "weaponmaster" character doesn't immediately outperform another character which took different skills for various martial weapon stances, for example.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metahuman1 View Post
    A Little Adventure: Game would center around having a party of honey I shrunk the kids small characters running around having adventures. Probably in some kind of fantasy setting. And the twist would be they'd mechanically be able to keep up with what's being thrown at them.

    Why it's Crazy: Mechanics would be a nightmareish pain in the butt to make work and to reinforce the ideas at the same time that the PC's are highly capable and not desperately in over there heads every time they begin to interact with anything remotely not on there scale, but still impress there scale at the same time.

    Why it would be awesome: Every character is a stealth expert. Battles viewed form the outside as unseen forces disable there foes. Riding a massive Corgi into battle! Do I need to keep going with the kinds of insane things you could potentially get away with with this idea?
    I had a vague idea of running a shrunken adventure once. The easier way to do it from the standpoint of, e.g., Pathfinder seems to be to upsize the monsters rather than scale down the PCs (i.e. a shrunken elf PC is still "Medium-size" even though they're only 1' 5" instead of 5' 8", it's just the normally-Tiny housecat is now also Medium).
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    The system also has a method of resolving a broad skill vs. specific skill when it comes up in play, so the "weaponmaster" character doesn't immediately outperform another character which took different skills for various martial weapon stances, for example.
    Cool, that is one problem I was wrestling with when I was working on the system. Thanks for the input, I should keep those in mind if I ever go back to work on it. My current project is sane enough to not make this list.

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    Right now I'm working on a WWI rpg with bio-engineering, primitive robots, and frankenstein monsters. PCs play as soldiers working in an army.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belac93 View Post
    Right now I'm working on a WWI rpg with bio-engineering, primitive robots, and frankenstein monsters. PCs play as soldiers working in an army.
    So, basically Iron Kingdoms?
    You've got rifles, chain gun emplacements, mortars, trains, bipedal robots, etc. in the main kingdoms, then there's another kingdom with frankenstein zombies, ghosts, non-frankenstein zombies, franken-robots, etc, and then another faction that is giant humanoid pigs and giant humanoid frankenstein pigs. (Plus several other factions)

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    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    Memoir: A game where the present causes the past. All the characters are amnesiac, but can rewrite time by forcibly regaining the memories they want to have. They have to become the people whose existence would have prevented the apocalypse that shattered time in the first place, sometimes by e.g. literally remembering having been the person who pushed the button and not pushing it. One conceit of the game was that this rewriting was only possible because the game took place in a realm whose nature was defined by the absence of certain knowledge. If you learned too much about what was really going on, you'd tend to break free of the realm and thus lose the ability to change things. But things you suspected but didn't know were okay.

    I actually ran this one. It was tricky. The players were sort of encouraged by the mechanics to figure things out but to not openly reveal that they had done so, even to other PCs, since that would cause them to 'enlighten out'. So it was sort of a race to figure out enough before you lost the opportunity to use it.
    First, shut up and take my money. Seriously, I would buy that game/back that Kickstarter in a phemto-second.

    Second, I am reminded of the legend of Osmodeus the Paladin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    First, shut up and take my money. Seriously, I would buy that game/back that Kickstarter in a phemto-second.

    Second, I am reminded of the legend of Osmodeus the Paladin.
    Here's the player's guide for it. Let me know if you give it a try.
    There's also an updated version for a different campaign using the same rules base, but very different premise here.

    The GM side of things is random scattered text files (this is the most consolidated version I have for the mechanical bits and pieces, and this for setting notes), weird Javascript-based props, etc, but unfortunately is pretty relevant to the experience. For example, this is the powers tree associated with the side-effects of absorbing/consuming/destroying shards of history. Those powers were initially hidden, and as players bought them the tiles were revealed. Then later it was discovered that the powers tree has actual cosmological correspondences to planes/demiplanes/etc, and became a map for planar travel. This was the headquarters of the PCs, a building that literally could be reconfigured on the spot by folding it's blueprint in different ways.
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    An Anthropomorphic Role Playing Game
    Another idea I've had for quite a long time is a tabletop role playing game where players are anthropomorphic characters. Nothing like furries, but rather the kind of characters you'd expect to see in Zootopia, Redwall, or Disney's animated film Robin Hood (raise your hand if you ever wanted to play a Redwall Role Playing Game).

    Why it works: For anybody who might be getting sick and tired of playing generic fantasy races (dwarves, elves, halflings), this idea may offer some new options for everybody to try out. A party of adventurers consisting of a bear fighter, a fox rogue, a wolf rogue, a turtle wizard, and a rooster bard sounds more interesting than the usual adventuring party, doesn't it?

    You could play this with Fate Core, or even Dungeons & Dragons if you don't mind making homebrew races for it.
    I'm sure that coming up with mechanics for this game won't be a big issue.

    As for issues, I'm not sure if there are any major ones (though a few minor ones come to mind).
    But if there are, feel free to point them out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drakeburn View Post
    An Anthropomorphic Role Playing Game
    Another idea I've had for quite a long time is a tabletop role playing game where players are anthropomorphic characters. Nothing like furries, but rather the kind of characters you'd expect to see in Zootopia, Redwall, or Disney's animated film Robin Hood (raise your hand if you ever wanted to play a Redwall Role Playing Game).

    Why it works: For anybody who might be getting sick and tired of playing generic fantasy races (dwarves, elves, halflings), this idea may offer some new options for everybody to try out. A party of adventurers consisting of a bear fighter, a fox rogue, a wolf rogue, a turtle wizard, and a rooster bard sounds more interesting than the usual adventuring party, doesn't it?

    You could play this with Fate Core, or even Dungeons & Dragons if you don't mind making homebrew races for it.
    I'm sure that coming up with mechanics for this game won't be a big issue.

    As for issues, I'm not sure if there are any major ones (though a few minor ones come to mind).
    But if there are, feel free to point them out.
    this actually exists.

    It more pirate based than fantasy based and it could be called something as awesome as bunnies and buccaneers.

    but taking the theme away from the mechanics should be easy enough, and slapping in some sort of magic rule-set.

    in all honestly though there are scores of RPGs where the selection of races include anthropomorphic animals, just a glance at the local store should show 1 couple, unless D&D, Pathfinder, and the newest Starwars RPG is the only thing sold like at the one at the nearby barnes and nobles. oh yeah they have a mouse guard book too I think.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Crazy RPG Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    I feel the biggest challenge for trying to get an accurate WWII game is trying to market a game to RPG fans and getting them convinced of the idea that no matter what they think, do, achieve, or attempt nothing at all is going to impact the story.
    Why not? A lot of people bought tickets to see "Titanic" even though they already knew the boat sank. Stories are a journey, not a destination.

    Before watching Rogue One, everyone knows they succeed in stealing the Death Star plans. The story isn't "the plans get stolen. The end!" It's "who" and "how" and "will they live through it?"

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    Default Re: Crazy RPG Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Drakeburn View Post
    An Anthropomorphic Role Playing Game
    Another idea I've had for quite a long time is a tabletop role playing game where players are anthropomorphic characters. Nothing like furries, but rather the kind of characters you'd expect to see in Zootopia, Redwall, or Disney's animated film Robin Hood (raise your hand if you ever wanted to play a Redwall Role Playing Game).

    Why it works: For anybody who might be getting sick and tired of playing generic fantasy races (dwarves, elves, halflings), this idea may offer some new options for everybody to try out. A party of adventurers consisting of a bear fighter, a fox rogue, a wolf rogue, a turtle wizard, and a rooster bard sounds more interesting than the usual adventuring party, doesn't it?

    You could play this with Fate Core, or even Dungeons & Dragons if you don't mind making homebrew races for it.
    I'm sure that coming up with mechanics for this game won't be a big issue.

    As for issues, I'm not sure if there are any major ones (though a few minor ones come to mind).
    But if there are, feel free to point them out.
    There is at least one dedicated system, 3-5 highly adaptable/universal systems, and rules for 3.X to do this.

    I was almost in one once for Pathfinder, but the DM told me Path of War was overpowered and unbalanced but was going to allow a wizard, a summoner, a Shamen and an Oracle among the applicants and I didn't bother paying any attention to anything he said after that as he clearly either was in favor of caster supremacy or didn't know the first thing he was talking about.
    "I Burn!"

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    Default Re: Crazy RPG Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    Why not? A lot of people bought tickets to see "Titanic" even though they already knew the boat sank. Stories are a journey, not a destination.

    Before watching Rogue One, everyone knows they succeed in stealing the Death Star plans. The story isn't "the plans get stolen. The end!" It's "who" and "how" and "will they live through it?"
    You'll note that the audience has no agency in a movie. Tabletop games generally encourage players to have agency and feel like there is a point to play.
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    Default Re: Crazy RPG Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    Why not? A lot of people bought tickets to see "Titanic" even though they already knew the boat sank. Stories are a journey, not a destination.
    Hilarious example. The Titanic had a journey, but no destination.

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