View Full Version : Skynet's Rise as a Horror Campaign

07-15-2010, 01:12 AM
For a long time and particularly once I've gotten hold of the d20 modern ruleset I've danced around the idea of doing a long-term post-judgement day Terminator Campaign as a horror campaign.

I've seen that free online PDF (I have it somewhere on my computer) that I already have as a resource and while it has been and will be valuable, about half or more of it is absolutely useless, such as all of the 'monster' information. In preparation of the campaign, I've essentially decided to write an entire monster manual for the campaign, which so far includes all of the terminators (cannon and otherwise) to my knowledge between the 400 and latest experiemental prototypes, such as the T-X.

When I complete the monster list, I would like to include all of the machines I've seen on television among other threats. For example, the I-950 is a mostly-human genetically engineered infiltrator model (think marcus wright outfitted with bioware and some cyberware instead of being a terminator with a human brain and heart) in a book or books I never read. So I thought it would be interesting to create a series of infiltrator models created by skynet's horror factories with the I-950 as the ultimate conclusion of this research (and marcus wright as a pit stop along that path). I think this would bring a lot of interesting avenues for this campaign and give the PCs a break from fighting constructs.

I would also like to design creatures for skynet to make of other creature types as well, as so far I've mostly got constructs, elementals, and potentially one or two other types (for what I discussed above with the I-950 example).

I'm still running as DM a fairly long-term shadowrun campaign, so this is purely something I intend to do at some point in the future. I've done a lot of work already in preparing for a possible terminator campaign but I'm here today to see what others have done, if anything, in terms of a dark future inhabited and run by malignant machines or a overarching machine intelligence hell-bent on human genocide.

Also, I'm concerned with the game eventually devolving from a horror campaign into an action campaign (like so many horror movies) so I would really like to hear advice on keeping a horror/suspense campaign going with at least as much horror as action.

When I do start the campaign, I was thinking of starting off before even the era in which the most recent movie took place, like before 2015 but after judgement day, before a truely organized resistance against skynet was formed, before john connor was captured and subsequently escaped one of the death camps and the campaign may go as far as the ultimate victory in 2029 (or later, if the PCs consistently fail, which will allow me to use more advanced terminators than the 800 series that was skynet's latest production model).
I also want to model the campaign off the fact that the choices they make can dramatically affect the future and therefore their present. Currently, I've done one pre-judgement day one-shot and I plan a few more that will determine when judgement day is (whether it'll be 1988*, 1997, 2004, 2011, or some other time).
*=1988 is a choice for judgement day so far because of the one shot game which aims to bring judgement day sooner than expected, but the others have been cannon judgement days for all of the movies and hte television series, in that order.

So what I want from this thread is mostly advice on running a horror campaign, a road map to avoid any potential pitfalls, and perhaps an idea or two along the way for my goals or whatever. If you've actually run a terminator-based campaign before, that would be even better.