I've recently raised the idea of taking up the GM's mantle again for our Thursday night face-to-face group. We've been playing for about 15 months now in a D&D
3.5 game (as previously mentioned here
) and are thinking of moving to something new. There's also the possibility of switching the current characters to True20
and carrying on with the campaign more or less as it is, only with me in the GM's chair. If we go with this, the players can expect to see not too subtle rehashes of some or all of the following ideas in play.
What follows then is more or less the email I sent to the group with the various campaign ideas I had knocking round my head at the time.
The Wolf Age - a sword and sorcery style game, probably set around the Mediterranean in a history that never was, before the Flood/Ice Age/Collapse of the Euro. Characters are freebooters, heroes and villains set to leave their mark on the world. System could be In A Wicked Age
, which I'd like to try but doesn't bind players closely to a single PC each, Reign
, the fantasy game of rulers and heroes based on the system we used for Godlike
and the earliest games of Tudor Talents (the dice pools of d10s), or a modified Pendragon/Runequest/True20
. This appeals to me from the world building perspective and the ease of using some of the traditional fantasy staples (dark sorcerers, tempting demons, deep jungles and ancient ruins, that sort of thing) but not having to worry about an established canon to kick against.
Search, Retrieve, Squirrel Away - a fairly light-hearted game of a Warehouse 23 extraction and retrieval team collecting various interesting things from the weird occult and conspiracy world. Allows for extra-terrestrials, inter-planar travel and alternate worlds, cools powers and all sorts of stuff. Can be played light for laughs, or dark with a threat to humanity and the Earth to be taken very seriously. The player characters are troubleshooters and finders, tracing down rumours and leads to get their hands on the choicest and most dangerous sorceries, dread spells and items, and magically charged knick-knacks from multiple realities. System to be decided.
City of Sorcerers - A city-based campaign, drawing on the Musketeers and other swashbuckling staples with flashy magic thrown on top. Competing schools of sorcery - Vancian fops and duelling rapiers - and the players are all involved with one, maybe two, of the schools, trying to get ahead and compete and all that. Roistering, duelling and the occasional outbreak of demons are all de rigeur. Inter-PC rivalries encouraged but not required.
Finding the Words - A game set in Le Guin's Earthsea (or something similar with the serial numbers filed off). Imagine a disaster of some sort at the Namer's Tower in Roke, the wizards school. A huge number of scrolls and records are lost or destroyed, and it is up to a team of young wizards to travel about the archipelago, dealing with dragons, warlords, and hermit mages and wise women to rediscover the missing true names. (This idea is lifted from some forum post I saw some time ago and I'm sorry I can't remember the original author.)
Nexus City Stories - I'm going to keep flogging this one until someone bites. Nexus City sprawls across the multi-verse, grabbing new neighbourhoods now and then and mixing them all up in the ultimate melting pot. PCs are likely fixers and finders, scouring the worlds connected to Nexus for valuable goods, rare spells, high-tech devices - anything they can sell for a profit. Plot could work round a local business or neighbourhood the PCs are trying to keep afloat, or following the adventures of four top-class finders selling their skills to the highest bidder. System would probably be Nexus
by default, but I'd be open to other ideas.
Specifically systems I'd be keen to try out include:A Wilderness of Mirrors
- a spy caper game designed to keep the planning short and the drama/action high. Group would be a Mission Impossible-style team taking on a variety of missions designed to showcase each PC's speciality. Missions deliberately go pear shaped with entertaining consequences.Everway
- High fantasy world hopping adventurers and heroes, card-based mechanics and picture-inspired character generation system. Quite different from the usual sort of dice rolling thing.Over the Edge
- Played straight, a collision of conspiracies on a weird, weird Mediterranean island, using the simple d6 based system we used for the Mindy the Vampire Slayer game.Truth and Justice
- a super-heroes RPG that stays true to the comics. Simple system close to FUDGE
, with a clever mechanic for connecting the fallout of fights with the PCs relationships and skills (Basically, damage comes off traits, so you can take a hit to your 'Loving Aunt May' relationship as easily as to you 'Tough As Battleship Armour' trait.). Played straight as street-level heroes or bigger scale as Justice League/Avengers style four colour world-defenders.
Given the recent unpleasantness with Jonathan Tweet's public pronouncements I'm less comfortable about Everway
and Over the Edge
, although they are both excellent games.
Initial discussions with the players have also suggested a Mage
-like game, with multiple different systems of magic in the game world. I never really liked the Mage
setting in the first and second editions. I know nothing of the reboot setting. Anyone out in LJ-land have any experience of the new Mage
The responses from the players so far are a little mixed. One player quite likes the idea of the Nexus City Stories and/or the Search, Retrieve and Squirrel Away, another player really doesn't like Nexus City Stories and would probably shy away from an extended run of Search, Retrieve and Squirrel Away. I may have to take a leaf from brianrogers
' book and have a vote. Time to go look at Wikipedia and look for the most zany proportional representation system I can find.