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Random Gaming Thoughts

It's a little early to put any real thought into it now, but being in "the final stretch" of Red Hand of Doom naturally leads to thoughts of "So, what will come next?"

My first post-RHoD priority as a GM will be to finish up that Star Wars scenario from, y'know, April. From there I'm not sure if I'll continue that game or not; as much as I like Star Wars, I've been finding myself hard-pressed to do something that isn't "ditto, ditto" of things I've already done with it. I might like to do something in the Knights of the Old Republic era, tho. (I also thought of using Saga Edition as the basis for that discussed-but-never-run Crimson Skies campaign.)

Second priority will be to actually run some Uncanny Midnight Tales. The Halloween Call of Cthulhu one-shot was a nice appetizer for that, but I want to actually get to the main event now. The character group that the players came up with for that sorta came at me from a direction I wasn't expecting, so I've had to retool some of my plans to make it work. (I chose to run "The Haunting" as a CoC one-shot largely because it ended up on "the cutting room floor" of my UMT plans but I wanted us to have gone through CoC's version of The Keep on the Borderlands.)

That just leaves what's next in the realm of fantasy. I already know I don't want to switch to D&D 4E, but I don't really want to stick with 3.X either, particularly with the group's copy of E-Tools gradually-but-perceptibly falling apart the way it is. So the ruleset will probably be S&S Saga or a close variation thereof, although at this stage part of me wants to jettison even that much connection to "pure d20" and come up with my own ruleset. (I doubt I will, though — system creation is just an urge I get periodically.) But assuming "system neutrality" for the moment, I have had the following campaign ideas:

  • Sword and Sorcery — The game S&S Saga was created for, an episodic string of pulp fantasy adventures set in a Hyboria-esque world. The heroes would be a motley collection of random adventurers thrown together by fate (i.e., shipwrecked together, all enslaved by cruel overlords and needing to escape, or something similar) who then spend the rest of the campaign wandering from place to place as adventurers for hire, searching for rumored treasure, getting involved in the schemes of petty warlords or evil sorcerers, etc.

  • The Red Maid of Cardolan — Set in a slightly-alternate Middle-Earth, the premise of this game is that the ring Bilbo found in Gollum's cave was not the One Ring, but was in fact Durin's ring, thought lost when he was slain by the Balrog, but instead stolen from the dwarf lord's body by an orc and traded (or stolen) among the tribes until its owner was also slain during the ambush that slew Isildur — the One Ring has not been found. The year is now T.A. 2991; Balin's company has established a colony in Moria, Sauron has openly declared himself, and while The Wise are preoccupied with locating and either claiming (or destroying) the One Ring, the Rangers of the north find themselves dealing with a new threat closer to home — a malevolent and powerful witch known only as the Red Maid of Cardolan, whose army of wights and twisted huorns are turning their attention to Bree and Rivendell, and if unchecked from there to the Shire, Angmar, Eregion, and beyond. (This idea steals some of the neater ideas from LotRO, I freely admit it. But I'd make it my own.)

  • Iuz Must Die! — You've survived the Tomb of Horrors. You've turned back the armies of Elemental Evil. You've escaped the Lost Temple of Tharizdun. Now you've been asked to go on one last, great adventure. Veluna and Furyondy are openly at war with the demon-realm of Iuz the Old — and while their nations spill their blood to keep his infernal army at bay, you've been given an even more daunting task: travel Skull Road to the fortress of Iuz himself and slay him, by whatever means necessary. More of a one-shot than a complete campaign, the idea behind this game is that everybody will have a 20th level version of a previous character (Kyriela for jamesbarrett, probably Kory or Angelina for laurie_robey, perhaps Brother Murphy or Wadsworth for sirfox, some new character for hantamouse, Celedras as a party NPC), tricked out with 20th level gear, and your job will be as described: go to the heart of Iuz's empire and destroy him, going through whatever horrors stand in your way.

My players: I'm curious as to which of these ideas (if any) you'd be interested in. Everyone else, I'm curious as to what other comments or suggestions you might have. :)

-The Gneech


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 8th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
I say kick it old school and go sword and sorcery. Or maybe have Conan join up himself with the group so you can do a mock of his voice or something.

Or maybe for something silly, put the heroes against a twinked out SJ crew. I can see Tiff with a chain whip and Comfort casting Magic Missiles ;)
Dec. 8th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
Well, you already know I'm all for the Iuz thing, if only to get to play Kyriela. Not so sure about the middle earth one. Everyone else will know all this stuff I won't (not being the big LotR nerd as everyone else is), but as I said earlier, I'm all ready to get roguish as hell in any S&S game you come up with. -Frisk
Dec. 9th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
The new Scum & Villainy book is out.You could always take a look at it. Maybe it's time to be pie-rats. Yarrrrr-dook. Plus, the YT-1930 is in the book, and that makes it totally worth it, since it makes the 1300 look like a piece of junk. The 200 tons of cargo space makes upgrading emplacement slots very easy.

So yeah, maybe it's time folks put on their Han Solo vest and blast their way across the universe for money. Hmm? Hmm? Yes? It could be like Indiana Jones... with a YT-1930. Running around the galaxy, looking for Sith artifacts before the ebil Empire gets their paws on them. Could do that inbetween Episodes 3 & 4, using the Force Unleashed book, you know, when it was free enough to do things without actually being free.

Uh, I'm rambling.

Dec. 11th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
Hey, Art would love to go rambling across the galaxy in a ship, preferably if it was his own ship, but that's beside the point. (n)_(n)
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
"The character group that the players came up with for that sorta came at me from a direction I wasn't expecting, so I've had to retool some of my plans to make it work."

How many times has that happened to me? I shudder to think. Probablly as many times as I have run a campaign. Or near to it.

Now if I were a player in your games I would love to play in any of those three you mentioned. But I am heavily inclined to the Red Maid. Especially if you figure out a way to really capture the feel of the setting. Most LotR systems I have had experiance with just didn't do it for me.
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, what did they get wrong? I have my own ideas about what would make a good Middle-Earth game of course, but I'm always interested in what other people think. (For instance, I thought Decipher's recent game seemed to work fairly well, but I've encountered people, including some of the game's own developers, who didn't think so.)

-The Gneech
Dec. 9th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
Mostly it was magic. MERPs is the only one I played and it felt like just another fantasy game ladden with Middle Earth language. (And I hate games built around consulting tables, so that biases me against MERPs to begin with.) Using systems written for something else, or even GURPS, and made to play in Middle Earth felt much the same. I have not played Decipher's system, but from reading it, some time ago, it did seem like they adressed magic well, but overall I am not sure about the Coda rules. I am afraid my evaluation of it was just to far in the past to get into specifics.

In the end I think its really going to be up to the GM, you in this case. Its kinda like Star Wars or any other property. It can come down to feeling a lot like DnD unless you can convey that somehow undefinable quality of the setting.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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