A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMoon6 View Post
    Here's another idea. It's a bit on the generic side, so it could fit with a variety of game systems and settings.

    The Villains Have Already Won

    One annoying thing about a lot of game settings is that the heroes are usually trying to do little more than maintain the status quo.
    You probably already know about this, but you might check out the Midnight campaign setting. Sounds like it would fit together really well!

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    While still reading that quote I was thinking "Oh, I remember that Midnight setting from years back..."
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMoon6 View Post
    Here's another idea. It's a bit on the generic side, so it could fit with a variety of game systems and settings.

    The Villains Have Already Won

    One annoying thing about a lot of game settings is that the heroes are usually trying to do little more than maintain the status quo. I get particularly annoyed by this in superhero settings, since the PCs end up always having to be reactive rather than active, making it hard to have any sort of sandbox setting though I have tried my best (one time I created "newspapers" with various articles mentioning plot threads that the PCs could investigate, but the PCs are still "reacting" not acting).

    So, what if the villains have already won?

    The Dark Lord has conquered all the major cities in Generic Fantasy World, even the elves and dwarves and stuff. Or, the aliens have captured and/or killed all of Earth's superheroes during their invasion, with the world's countries now completely subjugated by the aliens. Or, the stars were right a few years ago, so Cthulhu woke up and now everything is bonkers; monsters roam the streets and everyone's going insane when they're not being killed.

    The closest existing RPG I can think of like this is TORG, where the invaders have already invaded and taken over vast swaths of land, but haven't quite managed to "win" yet.
    There's also Exalted and Warhammer 40000. None of the powers that be in those settings are solidly on top, but all of them are villainous

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    While still reading that quote I was thinking "Oh, I remember that Midnight setting from years back..."
    Oh yeah, that was a thing. I remember it completely rewrote the way arcane magic worked as well to make it easier to dabble in. I can't for the life of me remember what I thought of it back in the day.

    Definitely was a cool idea though, even if notMorgoth was portrayed as too powerful for the PCs to actually take down.


    I think Dark Sun qualifies as well. Despite having destroyed much of the environment in the process the Sorcerer Kings have definitely won, and I believe both the 2e and 4e versions had advice for PCs getting to 'changing the world' strength somewhere (in 2e I think it was in the book with the rules for becoming dragons and antidragons).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    I started running it, but I never got to finish. There was a villian named The Immortal. He was spawning dozens more of himself using a psionic power that overwrites people's mind with yours.

    I had the immortal-spawn branch out and become groups of adventurers. Each The Immortal dressed the same, acted the same, but they started specializing as their group needed. But these immortals were not the only ones. They are remnants from when the original challenged a demigod, lost and somehow all his immortality protocols triggered at the same time, including 1000 clones, who promptly went to war with each other. All of this happened 3,000 years ago and this is the 15th generation of "the immortal" (being immortal, their generations are quite long)

    The pcs got to meet a second generation "the immortal" who had fused his body into a set of ruins thus becoming the ruins themselves and got the immortal's back story.

    The game didn't pick up after that for a long time and I am no longer with that group, but basically there were a lot of ways the pcs could have interacted with the immortal, and I really enjoyed running him/her/it. (there were both male and female immortals. Some were even genderless.)
    Last edited by Calthropstu; 2021-06-05 at 04:44 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Planescape being very scarce on actual stuff to do is something I noticed as well. There aren't really any ongoing conflicts other than the ultra generic "it's the blood war" and "the factions have ideological disagreements".
    That's something I would borrow from Ravnica, I think - just make up a bunch of d6 tables incorporating a goal, a villain, a set of minions, and a reason why. Even with just those four that's nearly 1,300 adventures right there. Then multiply it by the number of factions, and you've got a bunch of intrigue-y fun you can have right there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    There's also Exalted and Warhammer 40000. None of the powers that be in those settings are solidly on top, but all of them are villainous
    You know, maybe it's my love of the Terrestrials, but I hadn't considered Exalted to be one of those villainous settings. This is why I love coming on here and talking to people - I get so many new AWESOME perspectives!!!

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Shadow of the Century as well. One of it's key ideas is that the villain organisations changed with the times and managed to take over the world, changing the game from being 1930s Pulp to 80s Action as new heroes arrive and some of the Spirits learn how to fight in the new world. It's not the most fleshed out setting, but it's very much one where the PCs are meant to be taking the fight to the villains.

    And yes, I really want to play/run it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    One thing I wanted to do was have a very lethal campaign, where your PC was not expected to survive. So each player would roll up a main PC, and then roll up a "lower level" trainee PC. Each trainee would have its main PCs as a mentor. But the twist would be that you wouldn't play your own trainee, but instead would roleplay the trainee of another player, and another player would roleplay your trainee. If your main PC dies, your trainee is promoted to the main role and handed over to you. You would then roll up a new trainee and give it to the player who had been playing your former trainee.

    In theory the fun would come from trying to work with your trainee but having to communicate what you want to its player.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    The Gods Campaign
    It's a Primordial World ruled by elemental forces, dominated by megafauna, and PC races are in the infancy of civilization. The player characters are born with the Divine Spark. They are fledgeling gods with the power to go along with it. Start with mid-to-high level 3.5 power levels, and go from there. Gaining power, followers, support, and taming the wilds. Super wide scale sandbox with the players actions having easy and dramatic impact on the setting in immediately visible ways. Likely with other groups of fledgeling gods, as well as elemental lords, demon princes, etc warring for control over various regions of the world.

    The Ghosts Campaign
    This is a world where evil has already won. The world has gone to ruin and humanity (and other goodly races) have been enslaved. Something happens, and the ghosts of 5 ancient heroes awaken. These are your player characters. Using custom rules rather than regular ghost template, the idea would be they can't affect the world as ghosts, but can possess regular people and impart their skill/abilities, using their bodies. Do you pick only the people who have the rare ability to see/hear you and are willing to consent to being used? Do you possess people however you see fit for the greater good? Do you keep a stable of commoners around to swap between based on situation? Do you start up a breeding/training program to get access to better bodies to possess? It is the sort of concept that opens up some really weird/unique ethical dilemmas and some interesting gameplay scenarios.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    A couple of others I remembered:

    Avengers or Justice League-style group, including both the strong and the weak members

    Whenever you have a superhero group in an RPG, each member is made on the same number of points. But if you look at a group like the Justice League or the Avengers, you see members that are built on very different numbers of points. The Justice League has both Superman and Elongated Man. It has both Wonder Woman and Black Canary. The Avengers have both Thor and Mockingbird. They have both Iron Man and Triathlon. The Legion of Super-Heroes has powerhouses like Superboy, Supergirl, and Mon-El, while also having members like Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel, and Dream Girl.

    How would you represent this in a game?

    Obviously, it wouldn't be fair to give some players more points than others, so here's my idea: Give the players a certain number of points (like 6000 points), but they have to use those points to make three different superheroes. So, they could spend 5000 points on a Superman type character, 700 points on an Elongated Man type character, and 300 points on a Green Arrow type character. Or they could split it more evenly, with three different 2000 point characters.

    Then, every adventure, they get to play *one* of those three characters, chosen randomly (though for really major adventures, you could let them play all three simultaneously). And some people might think that you should definitely play it safe and make three 2000 point characters so that you're never screwed over, but knowing players the way I do, I know a lot of them would choose to make at least one really powerful character.

    VR game turns out to be real

    Here's the particular setup I'm imaging. The players/PCs go to a new storefront VR game place (like those old Laser Tag game places... is this already too outdated of a concept?). The idea is that you get placed in a tube or coffin-like enclosure and then wake up in the VR game. After characters are made, you are then sent into the VR adventure. And the VR characters feel remarkably real.

    From the beginning, things seem to be going a bit wrong. The PCs had planned to play in a "martial arts competition" setting, but due to technical difficulties, they instead end up in a "generic fantasy world" setting. Naturally, they fight (yawn) orcs. After using their characters' martial arts skills (or whatever) to beat up a bunch of orcs, the orc leader strides towards them. Boss music starts to play...

    And then the game glitches, kicking everyone out of the VR setting. The VR place apologizes and offers coupons for a free visit. Then, that night, as the PCs are going to bed, the orc leader shows up in their home. But this time, the PCs don't have any of the VR-augmented skills, powers, or equipment. So, they should assume they're going to die if they fight. After the PCs run away for a bit (or hide or whatever), the orc leader vanishes. Each of the PCs has this encounter.

    The PCs will want to go back to the VR place (which has a "closed indefinitely" sign up) and ask them "What the heck just happened?" They have to be persistent because the VR place wants to just sweep this under the rug, but eventually the manager will tell them that they have no idea. Basically, they just found some alien technology, assumed that it was a VR machine, and thought they could make some money from it.

    Instead, it turns out that the VR worlds are actually real places, meaning that the alien device has massive abilities (as it transforms the players into suitable characters to inhabit in each of the worlds and allows them to travel to those worlds... the PCs' VR avatars were actually themselves transformed, not just game characters). But clearly, the device is too dangerous to use. So, they have turned it off. End of story? Nope.

    The device is out of control now (even turned off), and for "reasons", the only thing that might stop it from spitting out more orcs and stuff (like dragons, supervillains, etc) into our world involves the PCs going back into the VR worlds and doing "something" in each of the worlds that the device had been connected to, in order to turn off the connection that the device has with those worlds. However, once the PCs are successful, well, the connection to the device has been turned off, so the PCs are stuck in the VR world. For technical reasons, they can travel from one of these worlds to another now, but they have no way to get home. All they can do is explore these new worlds and hope to find a way home.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    The gods are dead! Long live the... oh, crud...

    Initially conceived for d&d 4e: One god decided to game the belief/worship system a little. Got itself declared the official religion of a large nation, killed/persecuted all the other faiths, and withdrew (mostly) its portfolio from the other nations. The other gods had to do the same to keep up. The armies of the nation of the god of war always win, and nobody else gets more than a bloody stalemate. The nation of the god of agriculture has bumper crops, and everyone else has famines. Weather, animals, trade, love, justice, luck. Every god is doing it. They have to in order to survive.

    Enter the PCs. A cabal of powerful arch-wizards and ex-high priests has a plan to gather and send the heroes of the world to kill the gods and assume their powers. 1st level PCs get +5 weapons, armor, other high end magic toys, and a one-use become-a-god ritual that needs a component plus a freshly slain god. The planar gates are opened, the army of mortal heroes takes the diefic hosts by surprise, kill some gods, assume the portfolios... but nobody is worshipping them. All the godly super powers end up being one use. The whole assault on the heavens/hells is so fast, furious, and without pause that most of the powers are fired off before anyone catches on.

    Quickly all the old gods are dead, the new ones come down to spread the word. But nobody is worshipping them and the portfolios all slip away. The world begins a death spiral. War, agriculture, weather, animals, trade, love, justice, luck... it's all failing faster and faster into disaster. Eventually the mighty heroes are reduced to clubbing rats and giant roaches with rocks just to have food.

    It's 4e so encounter building is a breeze. You can use standard basic dungeons and monsters. You're just swapping monster and power descriptions. Take the level 30 monster skins and put them on 2nd level monster frames. You do legit give 1st level PCs +5 weapons, but now the magic resuidium that powers magic rituals only exists in the magic items. Every time you cure a disease, raise the dead, or make some fields grow crops it costs another magic item. The trade god is dead, gold loses value and nobody will part with their stuff. The thief god is dead, heists get harder and less rewarding each time. The crafting god is dead, it gets more harder to make the next thing even if that used to be easier to make than the last thing you made. The magic is finite, and they have to use it up just to stay alive another week.

    The challenge for the DM is to keep that first few levels with the +5s and god powers moving so fast that the resources they'd use to maintain anything get used up dealing with that minute's crisis. Then it's slowly degrading the world as the PCs level up. Keep swapping skins on monsters and your PCs end up fighting level 30 rats with fluffed demigod powers. Or you could actually power the monsters up and down as needed to keep their abilities the same, because all you do is level-appropriate the hp, ac, dmg, etc. Challenge for the PCs goes up as they use up magic items just to keep enough of the world alive & normal to survive in. Because of how 4e math was based on getting the level appropriate items it cranks the dial from "power fantasy cake walk" to "gritty survivalist struggle" in a relatively smooth fashion.
    Last edited by Telok; 2021-06-08 at 01:01 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    I've always wanted to do an expedition into hell. Like the Paladin in hell art from 1st edition DnD. I can't really imagine what it would be like, it doesn't seem to make any sense that you could go there and live, but it's compelling.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Concrete View Post
    But I really don't know how to run it. It'd focus too heavily on one character at the time, leaving the others on the back burner. And I'd either have to have a near perfect understanding of the players characters to build matching ancients, or take way too much control over their characters.
    The trick would be to deviate from traditional D&D player/GM division of labor slightly. Don't make the ancients, let the players design their own mentor. Don't play the mentor, let the players control them in appropriate scenes. You can even decide if you want to tell the player everything up front, or give them information piecemeal. Either way, allow the player to tell themself what they need to know, and have their mentor teach their character. Alternately, you can do it Better Angels style and have players control someone else's mentor. This honestly might be better, as you have less scenes with someone talking to themself. In either case, this style of RP probably works better in PbP than live, but you could make it work either way with experienced players.

    This technique will help invest your players in the structure of the narrative, giving them some control over the mentorship process so they start thinking about how to make each scene good instead of just "how to beat the bad guy". Crucially, they are now trying to tell the story instead of win the game. Getting them invested in the characters of the mentors, and having them play characters with differing goals (the party-character wants to fight the evil right away, the mentor knows they don't yet stand a chance) can add verisimilitude and depth to the character progression. This might work better if the players get to know most/all of what the mentors know so they can properly understand how outclassed their characters are, but there is still something to be said for presuming the wisdom of the mentors and blanket stating this is the mentor perspective without explanation so the players can undergo the discovery and ingenuity parts.

    Obviously this style of running a game won't go over well with every group as they need to accept the narrative limitations of the mentor character, but if you can convince people to try it out there's a lot you can do with tricks like these once you figure out which ones work for you.
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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    My copy of Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft arrived recently. I've poked through it, and I'm enjoying it from a lore and rules standpoint. (NB: I was never deep into 2E Ravenloft, so I'm not as attached to the existing setting as some fans. I *like* it, just...Imma gonna let 5E have its run with Ravenloft, too).

    I find myself deeply, deeply enamored of the Survivor rules, and I find myself inspired to contemplate, for the firest time, DMing a 5E campaign: I think using them as PCs would darkly hilarious in Ravenloft. Anybody who knows of Palladium's old Beyond The Supernatural, 1E and it's Victims rules, this is no surprise.

    (I've played/am playing a little 5E, but no desire to DM it. Until now...)

    Start them as 1st level survivors somewhere in Ravenloft. Let those who survive level up until they reach 3rd level. No multiclassing! Then allow a phenomenal increase in power: let them take a Sidekick class from the Essentials boxed set. Let those who survive leveling up reach there max 6th level in their sidekick class (as high as Essentials takes them). Again, no multiclassing! Anybody who survives to 9th level can finally take the rarified power of PC classes and have normal multiclassing.

    Or maybe not. Just continue with Sidekick levels.

    ETA: Dark Gifts would definitely be a thing; this is Ravenloft, after all.

    Kits, from the DMSGuild product Campaign Guide: Zakhara, would also be appropriate. They're kinda like additional Backgrounds.
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  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    As a player or as a GM?

    As a GM, a lot of the "premises" I'd like to run (to the extent that I like running at all) are… odd. For example (spoiled in case you know me IRL):

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    World with… strange psychic phenomena. Probably mostly modern setting, although post-apocalyptic could work, too.

    The underlying secret of the universe involves the Big Bang.

    In another universe, there was a being, "at war" with other being(s). Other being fired a "bullet", which struck being, tore a portion of itself into another universe. Thus, the Big Bang. They work on a very different timeframe than us - if there was a second shot, it hasn't hit yet.

    We - all matter in this universe - are the bullet. Dark matter is… the being (or, rather, the small fragment thereof). Its attempts to communicate with us not only cause the psychic events, but also are responsible for many visions / purported interactions with the divine.

    Ostensibly, it appears benevolent (should anyone discover its existence), even to its would-be murderer, keeping the planets in their orbits / trying to hold the galaxy together / (historically) performing miracles for mankind / granting mankind (etc)? Psychic powers (and maybe even sentience).

    But most campaigns in the setting wouldn't touch on or notice the underlying truths of the setting, they merely inform the mechanics, the underlying "why".


    As a player? Hmmm… I'd love to play a 2e game played "by RAW". There's numerous cool "crossover" premises I'd love to play in. A "super villain team" could be fun. Or "the players are sucked into another world". Or "the Sue files done right".

    And there's lots of pitches that never happened that sounded fun, like "all baby Dragons", or "Battletech as the clans", or "run a Wizard university".

    And there's several Playgrounders who run… "explore a premise" games that sound interesting.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    As a player or as a GM?
    Both! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Or "the Sue files done right".
    OK, what are the Sue files?

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky McDibben View Post
    OK, what are the Sue files?
    The SUE Files are a legendary campaign log from this forum notable for having a if not very inventive at least interesting starting point and having the same GM ruin two campaigns via his self insert DMPC. One campaign is ruined directly, the other indirectly.

    It's also noticeable because the primary poster was very, very resourceful and in the second campaign playing a (GM-approved) character that played to his strengths and degree. This led to a lot of rulings against his plans to the point that logic broke down and Shrodinger's Trees were common.

    Because you see there is only a finite amount of awesome, and every time the players defeat an encounter with quick thinking they take away some of the awesome that rightly belongs to Marty, the dual katana wielding psychic wizard uber-vampire* who convinced Palpatine to hand over the Empire with five minutes of conversation because he's just that logical.

    Wanting to do it right is fairly common among those who've read it. Remaking the Universe for Fun and Profit is my version, unlike a lot of people I think the interesting part is taking down the self insert (here barred on me, and so a somewhat pathetic Cinemancer who farms Significant Charges by acting like a clichéd villain) and taking the path to godhood yourself so that you can tangle with the canon powers of [insert setting here], not the multiverse stuff


    * With at least twenty levels in the Badass class.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonMoon6 View Post
    A couple of others I remembered:

    Avengers or Justice League-style group, including both the strong and the weak members

    Whenever you have a superhero group in an RPG, each member is made on the same number of points. But if you look at a group like the Justice League or the Avengers, you see members that are built on very different numbers of points. The Justice League has both Superman and Elongated Man. It has both Wonder Woman and Black Canary. The Avengers have both Thor and Mockingbird. They have both Iron Man and Triathlon. The Legion of Super-Heroes has powerhouses like Superboy, Supergirl, and Mon-El, while also having members like Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel, and Dream Girl.

    How would you represent this in a game?

    Obviously, it wouldn't be fair to give some players more points than others, so here's my idea: Give the players a certain number of points (like 6000 points), but they have to use those points to make three different superheroes. So, they could spend 5000 points on a Superman type character, 700 points on an Elongated Man type character, and 300 points on a Green Arrow type character. Or they could split it more evenly, with three different 2000 point characters.

    Then, every adventure, they get to play *one* of those three characters, chosen randomly (though for really major adventures, you could let them play all three simultaneously). And some people might think that you should definitely play it safe and make three 2000 point characters so that you're never screwed over, but knowing players the way I do, I know a lot of them would choose to make at least one really powerful character.

    VR game turns out to be real

    Here's the particular setup I'm imaging. The players/PCs go to a new storefront VR game place (like those old Laser Tag game places... is this already too outdated of a concept?). The idea is that you get placed in a tube or coffin-like enclosure and then wake up in the VR game. After characters are made, you are then sent into the VR adventure. And the VR characters feel remarkably real.

    From the beginning, things seem to be going a bit wrong. The PCs had planned to play in a "martial arts competition" setting, but due to technical difficulties, they instead end up in a "generic fantasy world" setting. Naturally, they fight (yawn) orcs. After using their characters' martial arts skills (or whatever) to beat up a bunch of orcs, the orc leader strides towards them. Boss music starts to play...

    And then the game glitches, kicking everyone out of the VR setting. The VR place apologizes and offers coupons for a free visit. Then, that night, as the PCs are going to bed, the orc leader shows up in their home. But this time, the PCs don't have any of the VR-augmented skills, powers, or equipment. So, they should assume they're going to die if they fight. After the PCs run away for a bit (or hide or whatever), the orc leader vanishes. Each of the PCs has this encounter.

    The PCs will want to go back to the VR place (which has a "closed indefinitely" sign up) and ask them "What the heck just happened?" They have to be persistent because the VR place wants to just sweep this under the rug, but eventually the manager will tell them that they have no idea. Basically, they just found some alien technology, assumed that it was a VR machine, and thought they could make some money from it.

    Instead, it turns out that the VR worlds are actually real places, meaning that the alien device has massive abilities (as it transforms the players into suitable characters to inhabit in each of the worlds and allows them to travel to those worlds... the PCs' VR avatars were actually themselves transformed, not just game characters). But clearly, the device is too dangerous to use. So, they have turned it off. End of story? Nope.

    The device is out of control now (even turned off), and for "reasons", the only thing that might stop it from spitting out more orcs and stuff (like dragons, supervillains, etc) into our world involves the PCs going back into the VR worlds and doing "something" in each of the worlds that the device had been connected to, in order to turn off the connection that the device has with those worlds. However, once the PCs are successful, well, the connection to the device has been turned off, so the PCs are stuck in the VR world. For technical reasons, they can travel from one of these worlds to another now, but they have no way to get home. All they can do is explore these new worlds and hope to find a way home.
    I like the way you think.

    I proposed the concept of "Justice League" play to some of my players, and they liked the idea and began crunching numbers.

    I love many variants on your VR. Were I in the specific game you described, though? My goal would be to take over a world / universe, such that *anything* that came through would be friendly / mine, and would be a benefit to this universe by being here. Turn the curse into a blessing.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I like the way you think.

    I proposed the concept of "Justice League" play to some of my players, and they liked the idea and began crunching numbers.

    I love many variants on your VR. Were I in the specific game you described, though? My goal would be to take over a world / universe, such that *anything* that came through would be friendly / mine, and would be a benefit to this universe by being here. Turn the curse into a blessing.
    You know, it would be kinda fun to play "the avengers: b listers"

    The guys who don't actually make the cut. They have powers and abilities, but not really cool enough to make them top tier.
    Last edited by Calthropstu; 2021-06-14 at 07:27 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Epic interplanar romp.

    So dreadfully vanilla, I know.

    But I really want to play in/DM a proper epic D&D campaign, with actual high-level gameplay. Xanatos gambits, colossal armies, apocalyptic threats and all.

    I had the initial stages of that campaign going, but it slowed down at some point, then COVID put the final nail in that coffin and buried it under 350 ft. of dirt. I'll have to perform some truly grand necromancy to resurrect that one. Which I plan, it's just hard.
    Last edited by martixy; 2021-06-15 at 12:36 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorr-kan View Post
    Mahabba, City of Silence

    My love for Al-Qadim (2E) knows no bounds. But what I'd like to run is a rogues-only campaign set in Mahabba, the City of Charity, more often called the City of Silence. It's a member of the League of the Pantheon, but it's basically occupied by the other members and its own military in response to a series of semi-popular uprisings by adherents of the local deity's religion. 2E has *A LOT* of rogue subclasses. Basically, play it like Northern Ireland occupied by the Mafia.
    This sounds awesome. I call dibs on the Merchant-Rogue, whenever you start this campaign.

    "30% of all gold invested in the enterprise is lost! We have no Fate but the Fate which we are given!"

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    I have been so inspired to start thinking about other campaigns by this thread - you all are a true treasure!!!

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by LordShade View Post
    This sounds awesome. I call dibs on the Merchant-Rogue, whenever you start this campaign.

    "30% of all gold invested in the enterprise is lost! We have no Fate but the Fate which we are given!"
    Because of the material, I almost think this one *has* to be a face-to-face game...but I'll keep you in mind.

    I've never played a merchant-rogue, but I've sure statted up enough of them. Had a college suite-mate play a halfling one once. That AQ campaign was ready for a shift to spelljammer when summer break hit. We never did revisit it. Too bad; the character was entertaining.
    I'm taking part in the Character Creation Challenge (#charactercreationchallenge): 1 character per day for January 2021. Come see who I've made at:
    https://www.livejournal.com/rsearch?...earchArea=post

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Welcome to the Galaxy

    A seemingly standard fantasy genre to start, when a falling star seems to imply a prophecy is starting, go through an adventure or 2 where you wind up fighting strange creatures you have never seen before, to eventually beat the seeming leader... Que strange people teleporting in "hey, sorry we shot them down over your planet. Now a full force is coming to salvage, any way you could lend us a hand?"

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    *The PCs are all aspects of Iuz searching for Zuggtmoy during the time between Temple of Elemental Evil and Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil and much of the campaign is a parody of Super Mario Bros.

    *Several of the published versions of Castle Greyhawk mashed together. Including the comedy one being a shadow illusion overlaid over the real castle greyhawk by the epic illusionist at the end of the comedy one

    *The PCs are demons fighting their way though the lower planes to assault Baator

    *Toon campaign set in the world of Paranoia

    *Toon campaign set in an intergalactic space hotel

    *game where we just roleplay testing out magic items in an SCP-like fashion

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Fighting In The Queen's Navee

    Most likely run with Fate or the like.

    A Gilbert & Sullivan inspired naval game, with the PCs as very polite sailors. All attempts to socially influence NPCs must be delivered in song, and the NPC must reply in kind.

    Bonus points if the players can successfully avoid combat and keep the game focused on romantic intrigue.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky McDibben View Post
    Any system, any genre. Give me your elevator pitch for the coolest campaign you've never been able to run.

    Here's mine; this is what I sent to my players, so it might be more of an escalator pitch than an elevator pitch:

    Science Fantasy (Esper Genesis System):

    The galaxy is large and dark. Humanity believes itself to be alone in the galaxy, 200 years after humanity left Earth and began settling the solar system. Faster-than-light (FTL) starships are still quite new, but a few private consortiums are building them and funding pathfinding teams to identify lucrative colonization opportunities. Who runs these consortiums? What are their ultimate aims? They are curiously unregulated, as laws and governments race to keep up with developments already out of their control. Earth's existing colonies chafe under the yoke of the motherworld - colonies on Mars, Venus, and the asteroid belt grumble under mercantile trade restrictions and more forceful violations of their liberty. Many of these colonists actually consider themselves a new species, as the "spacers" underwent extensive genetic modifications. A new name has been bandied about for them: "Prometheans." And of course, where there's trade, there's crime. And space trade has its own version of criminal: pirates! Thus far, government navies have done more to fight each other than the pirates. Therefore, deserters and mutineers swell the pirates' ranks...and make matters in the Sector just slightly more desperate.

    Twenty years ago, galactic explorers activated the Tartarus Gate, opening up the dark space of the Tartarus Sector. The Sector has already attracted attention for the discovery of sorium, a potentially limitless energy source that can power anything from a lightbulb to a battlecruiser. Now a gold rush to stake claims on potentially rich worlds has started...but what lurks in the darkness? And why are explorers reporting strange ruins and ravenous living beasts? And why is there such a high percentage of these worlds that are potentially habitable....yet uninhabited?

    This one is going to be a somewhat gritty, hard science exploration run, striving to stay alive, dodging natural predators, battling pirates, and discovering aliens (yes, you get to do first contact!) like a hopefully less-horny cross between Dr. Aphra and Capt. Kirk. While fantastic elements will still be present (eg, psionics), they will be less prevalent than in the other options.
    Hard science and ftl together means that you have to create new rules of physics for keeping the whole thing coherent.(or resort to untested theoretical stuff we do not have any empirical proof of the functionality off in which case it becomes speculative science instead of 100% hard science)
    If you add up sorium (unless it is limitless as in "a whole lot just like a pocket black hole or antimatter") it is nearly guaranteed you will have to work quite a lot to make the physical rules of the setting.
    Last edited by noob; 2021-06-26 at 08:01 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    I'd like to set up a grand urban campaign for a few low-level characters. Build a sprawling, exotic city in a fantastic setting - maybe an island, or an oasis, or some strategic point that lets it control the area. Work with players to develop colorful backstories, including family, friends, and contacts who might live in the city. Develop the economy, the people, geography, and politics. Seed it with hints of grand adventures and conspiracies while letting them explore the area and cut their teeth on local issues like gangs, corrupt watchmen, and errant monsters.

    Then a few sessions in, the characters wake up to find that 99% of the population were zombified overnight.

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    PirateWench

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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Here's another game I've never gotten to run:

    A brand new DC Universe

    The idea here was inspired by one of the central problems I (or my players) have with a standard superhero setting. Either you use an established universe (such as the Marvel Universe or the current DC Universe or whatever) or you have a completely new setting. I always liked to use an established comic book universe (as I am quite familiar with both Marvel and DC's universes... or at least I was until a few years ago). However, a complaint from one of my players was that *he* wasn't familiar with the comic book characters, so he felt a bit left out. I then tried running a game in a new setting, full of brand new heroes and villains that nobody had ever heard of, but that created the problem that now *nobody* was familiar with the characters in the universe... not the players and not even me as the GM.

    Obviously, one solution is to *not* try to have a standard superhero universe, chock full of heroes and villains all over the place. But there is still an incredible draw to having PCs in a world of well known characters.

    For a while I had joined a new gaming group. And I even considered what it would be like to run a superhero game with these players, who were mostly not very knowledgeable about superhero comic books. And I wondered how I could run a game that I would enjoy (involving a lot of DC characters and stuff) but also a game that would not be intimidating by having too many characters that the players don't know about.

    So, here's what I came up with:

    Welcome to a new world, a new Earth. This is a world in which Superman and Batman have just begun their careers. They are the first superheroes, about to inspire the PCs to become heroes too. Batman is still mostly considered an urban legend. The players do not get to play as Superman or Batman. However, the players can be anything else. They can play as brand new heroes. Or, they can play as versions of other characters, so they could be *this* Earth's version of Wonder Woman or Green Lantern (probably not as powerful (yet) as the well known versions). They could even be characters with connections to a well-known character if they don't want to be the iconic hero (like, they could be Superman's descendant from the future, now living in the current day).

    Then, there is a menace that the PCs fight individually before coming together to fight the main menace (like the Appelaxian invasion). And Superman and Batman show up. And (if things go well) they suggest forming a group. This is the origin of this Earth's Justice League (or whatever they want to call themselves). Superman and Batman won't be able to show up on their adventures very often (just like in the early Justice League comics), but Bruce Wayne will finance their organization and even give them a headquarters (even if it is just a cave, like in the early days of the Justice League).

    Then, for an added twist:

    Worlds will live and worlds will die. Yes, this Earth is going to be part of Crisis on Infinite Earths. And of course, this new Earth wasn't shown surviving during Crisis. So... what's going to happen? The PCs will have a chance to save their Earth. And if they don't, they end up on the "merged" Earth at the end of Crisis.

    The teaser for Crisis will be the appearance of an "angel" who seems to appear and disappear in the sky at various times. This would turn out to be Dawnstar who is very lost and will serve as a source of exposition for the PCs.
    Last edited by SimonMoon6; 2021-06-27 at 06:35 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's Your Favorite Campaign Premise You've Never Gotten To Play?

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Hard science and ftl together means that you have to create new rules of physics for keeping the whole thing coherent.(or resort to untested theoretical stuff we do not have any empirical proof of the functionality off in which case it becomes speculative science instead of 100% hard science)
    If you add up sorium (unless it is limitless as in "a whole lot just like a pocket black hole or antimatter") it is nearly guaranteed you will have to work quite a lot to make the physical rules of the setting.
    I don't think I have to create anything - I just file it in with the "fantastical elements" I mentioned in that post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talwar View Post
    I'd like to set up a grand urban campaign for a few low-level characters. Build a sprawling, exotic city in a fantastic setting - maybe an island, or an oasis, or some strategic point that lets it control the area. Work with players to develop colorful backstories, including family, friends, and contacts who might live in the city. Develop the economy, the people, geography, and politics. Seed it with hints of grand adventures and conspiracies while letting them explore the area and cut their teeth on local issues like gangs, corrupt watchmen, and errant monsters.

    Then a few sessions in, the characters wake up to find that 99% of the population were zombified overnight.
    You had me at "zombified."

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