Thursday, June 23, 2016

Games that I want to run...someday...

With very few exceptions (such as Green Ronin's Freeport: The City of Adventure), I prefer to create my own worlds rather than use someone else's. In my 30 years as a player and GM, I've created several different fantasy worlds (mostly for D&D, but also for BESM and GURPS), but I always have many more concepts for campaigns than I have the time to develop and run. A few of those ideas stick in my head to hopefully see use someday--usually years later.

One of these long-percolating ideas is "Time of the Tarrasque," which I've already mentioned in this column a couple times (here and here). We will finally be starting play on this new Pathfinder campaign sometime later this year, after I wrap up my current Freeport campaign and take a short break from GMing in order to recharge.

Here are a few more ideas I've had for future "homebrew" campaigns, with short blurbs and other comments.

Erebus (Ghosts of Albion [Unisystem])

The heroes are hot on the trail of a vampire lord, who has abducted a Protector for use in some vile ritual. When they finally track him to his lair in Greece, they discover that he has strange allies: tall, copper-skinned men dressed in exotic ancient costumes, whose bizarre magic uses unfamiliar runes. The vampire lord falls in battle, but not before his allies finish the ritual and vanish with the Protector. Who are these strange people, and where do they come from? What do they want with the Protector? And what does this all have to do with the recent earthquakes and outbreaks of monsters straight out of the Greek underworld?

Victorian Theosophy and Classical mythology collide! If I ever do run this, it will have to wait until after I finally wrap up "The Kynthiad," the Greek myth-based BESM game that I run for my wife. There are a couple of specific elements that I have deliberately avoided using in the Kynthiad so that I don't steal any thunder from my plans for "Erebus."

Leonardo's Legacy (system to be determined)

Leonardo's war machines have changed the face of battle in Renaissance Europe, but now the Maestro has died under suspicious circumstances. His proteges in art, engineering, science, and other fields must solve this mystery, and if necessary, avenge their teacher. These investigators must navigate a perilous course through political and religious intrigue in the very period that gave us the adjective "machiavellian."

This is probably the oldest of the campaign kernels I'm discussing here, but it's also the one for which I need to do the most research--both on the Renaissance in general, and on possible game systems to use. None of my previous campaigns have given vehicles, mass combat, or intrigue such a central place as this one will, so I need to find a system that handles them all well--and that won't have too steep a learning curve for me or my players.

The Naughty List (Fate Core)

Monsters have always been among us, but the growth of the internet has made it impossible for humans to ignore their existence any longer. In order to monitor the nonhuman population, two new government agencies were created: Monster Immigration and Customs Enforcement (MICE) and the Secretary of Police for Underworld Denizens (SPUD). One of SPUD's functions is to license bounty hunters who track down and capture monsters who have committed crimes. Of course, not everyone who hunts monsters has a SPUD license, which means that sometimes the hunters become the hunted!

This idea came about from a discussion with my wife and a mutual friend who wanted an occasional, small-scale, comedic game to fill gaps in our regular gaming schedule. They worked up characters for it: a Valkyrie and a Succubus who can pass for human, and who moonlight as unlicensed bounty hunters. I decided to set the game in the Christmas-themed tourist town of Santa Claus, Indiana, which in this alternate reality is the actual home of Kris Kringle and his massive toy factory. We never went farther than this, but it's a back-burner idea for something to try when the holidays roll around and we can't get all of the regular group together.

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I also have a number of ideas for live-action role-playing scenarios that I want to write and run someday, but those will have to wait for another column!

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