Thursday, March 12, 2009

My "Settings": The Unplayed

Hey look, it's a pre-blog filler comic!

No, those aren't actually my house rules. I tend to change what is acceptable and what isn't with every game and every mood change. I used to allow deathblows until one guy got killed twice in two seperate minor mook battles by it. To be fair, though, he was kind of a dick.

Most of my house rules are the usual stuff you do in a homebrew setting; things that don't work like they do in the "core" setting have to be explicitly stated as such.

Incidentally, CR25 Hypermitotic Dungeon Master is almost a year old now. To celebrate, I'll try and get up to twenty posts! Specifically, those posts will be about homebrew campaign settings I have run. Mostly as a way of storing their summaries somewhere I can just link new players to, admittedly, but still.

I find actually making the settings problematic. I tend to leave large chunks of the world(s) blank, to be filled in later, and so a lot of my descriptions tend to be a little vague on some of the details. Also, I often find it hard to retcon things I've already put in. Also also, I worry about being unoriginal despite more or less openly stealing from multiple sources all the time. Tee hee.

So I don't actually have that many well-defined settings and ideas I haven't run yet. Oh, well. There's a first time for everything.

This post will kick it off by listing a few of the campaign/setting ideas I've had but never got around to playing. Some of them might be bad. Some might be "weeaboo" if you're crazy - okay, I'm lying, they're amazingly weeaboo. Some of you might rather I write about your old characters and how awesome they are, but this isn't a blog about sucking your dick, so...

Cthulhu Toppa Gurren Lagann

Okay, this one is
CthulhuTech. CT is basically a bunch of anime settings mashed together with the Mythos added. It is pretty swell, except one of those settings is Evangelion, and I don't like Evangelion. More to the point, I don't particularly like grim-and-dark settings a lot of the time (they tend to come across as dark and edgy for its own sake, and thus kind of terrible), but Evangelion is my least favourite anime ever so I'm going to blame it all on that and not the fact that it perfectly suits a Mythos setting.

What I do like - and if you watch anime you probably saw this coming - is
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which is a... rather different show. So, what would combining CthulhuTech and TTGL be like?

Pretty simple. You start in a regular CT game, and you finish the campaign by slaying Azathoth or some other massive Mythos entity with a giant drill.

I've only tried running this once, and half-heartedly; I still wasn't good with the CT rules, so I wanted to run it in BESM, but I only got interest from one person who wanted me to learn the CT rules first anyway. Oh well.

Baby Kaiju

Another weeaboo setting idea!

Okay, so it's more-or-less Earth. Giant monsters (
kaiju, in other words) used to roam the Earth and occasionally attack cities. Eventually they killed each other off, the humans killed them or they vanished - since then, everyone either believes they are gone forever or (depending on what I feel like) the government has gone to amazing lengths to convince everyone it never happened.

The protagonists are high school students and such (mandatory for weeaboo settings, I hear). One day they come across a large egg. It hatches into a young, dog-sized version of one of those creatures.

It adopts one of the players as its parent. The other players probably come across other things to keep their "power level" in the same range; maybe their kaiju scientist father's old lab in the basement, or something.

Anyway, the players have to deal with issues about what to do with the young beast, possible government agents coming after them, whether or not to hide it, etc. Then the other baby kaiju start to appear around town and the battles begin...

I haven't tried running this one yet; one of the first games I ran with my usual gaming group was set in a high school and also a trainwreck (partly my fault, partly my terrible choice of players, partly their terrible choice of characters, partly my choice of 3.5 D&D...) so I haven't felt like it yet. Maybe one day...


Less an adventure and more a setting. Basically, one day I decided to lump together a lot of the ideas I had for my "usual" setting that didn't work any more and came up with Shatter, a world which suffered disaster and was reduced to floating continents in space.

It's gone through quite a few revisions with only a few things in common across versions (like drug-taking myconids and crazy time/space-violating rivers) - the first version actually had lasers and spaceships. Eventually, I'll deem it playable.

Planescape: Bioshock

This was a half-assed idea I had a while ago, which I mostly remember because someone who didn't like Bioshock got impressively upset about it.

Basically, Rapture is actually a city built on the Elemental Plane of Water. Plasmids become Planesmids, which are made out of planar essence and grant people powers related to the plane it came from. ADAM is harvested from sea slugs that live a little too close to an ever-shifting planar vortex. Andrew Ryan is a Fated (I think; I thought of this a while ago and forgot who was who.)

And so on. The central problem (apart from it being half-assed) is that if you played Bioshock you know how it ends, kind of like people who play in games running published adventure modules and mysteriously know where all the secret treasure rooms are.

Which turn out to be filled with beholders.

Some Kind Of Sci-Fi Thing

In even more vaguely defined territory, I've got a few ideas that don't work in my regular fantasy setting because they need spaceships. Usually I just include magic anyway so it's more of a Spelljammer thing, but eh, whatever.

Actually this one is pretty undefined, I just want to run a sci-fi game. One of these days!!

I'm Just Going To List Some Dot Points Now

I am way too lazy to type these all up properly.
  • Something with superheroes; the closest I have gotten was a solo adventure starring a man in a superhero setting who was also an ex-supervillain who started taking medicine to curb his mad evil scientist tendencies and opened a detective agency as something to do
  • An alternate Earth where magic exists, and it is expressed via games of Rock-Paper-Scissors
  • An alternate Earth where magic exists, and it is expressed via the Internet. At least one character gains powers by keeping his webcomic updated. Also there would probably be trolls!
  • Something set in some kind of unusual high school, because for some reason I've been pretty interested in that.
  • A campaign revolving around hunting and killing a certain type of creature where half the players don't come up with character sheets designed to do 200+ damage to that type of creature a round while being woefully terrible against any creatures not of that type which show up, and they will
  • A post-apoc setting. I tend to lump together most of the possible causes of the setting from meteors to zombies to war to nuclear radiation, so it ends up a little weird. (I tried this once, but then my schedule changed...)

I haven't fleshed out a lot of these, as I said. But one day, when I actually have time to run another game, maybe they'll see the light of day.


Fluffy said...

For the monster hunting campaign, try just not telling the players they're going to be hunting a monster at the beginning. If they choose feats/prestiges/etc specifically to combat whatever they're hunting after all, that would only make sense after that point.

Oh, and if they kill themselves off on purpose, just don't let them reroll :P

Ettin said...

I don't mind people rolling up (monster) hunters specifically, really.

Now, rolling a character with "does damage to that specific monster type" stuff crammed in wherever possible until you can one-hit-kill most creatures around your level, then fleeing in terror from a golem because you suck against everything else...

That was kind of dumb!

Fluffy said...

What if you suck at fighting in general? Is it okay to run away at that point?