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fmitchell
08-02-2007, 10:21 AM
One of the advantages of a generic system is that you can cross-pollinate genres, or slam them together, without too much trouble.

For example, lately I've been mulling some sort of "Lost World" campaign, where characters from a far-future world (including androids and cyborgs) end up in a Stone Age, Bronze Age, or even High Fantasy setting. Characters would have to struggle to survive in this different world ... and maintain their shiny toys with only a few tools. Hardly original, I know.

Another would be to create a "fantasy" world which in fact accomplishes its miracles using trickery and fragments of super-science. Again, not original: Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe, Michael Moorcock, and Michael Swanwick have been there before. I'm thinking of setting it in a Hollow World ... or perhaps a Dyson Sphere.

Anyone leverage "generic" or multi-genre rules in more innovative ways?

Brian Vilarino
08-02-2007, 02:33 PM
I generally try to stay away from Cross-Genre games. Especially when I'm running it. I'm not that good at it, and, for the most part, neither have the GM's that I've played with. I personally tend to find them cheesy and all together cliche. A modern Hollow World might actually be fun though. That was one of the first games I've ever played in way back in the day.

Moritz
08-02-2007, 02:39 PM
Nope, I'm with Brian on this one. I rarely ever cross genres. Don't cross dress either.

InfoStorm
08-02-2007, 05:56 PM
The only thing I've done close to crossing a genre is the Dragonstar game setting, which is 100% NORMAL D&D rules shifted into a fully modern setting and a pile of Futurstic rules, equipment and setting info.

Moritz
08-02-2007, 06:01 PM
I had a GM do that to us once. The GM was running a Fantasy Hero game and then shifted the party into a modern setting. Totally couldn't relate to the world.

And in another game, another GM entirely was running a Sci Fi game. The first session he tossed them onto a low tech planet, broke all their sci fi stuff, and it turned into a high fantasy game.

Bla and bla on both.

fmitchell
08-02-2007, 11:42 PM
I had a GM do that to us once. The GM was running a Fantasy Hero game and then shifted the party into a modern setting. Totally couldn't relate to the world.

And in another game, another GM entirely was running a Sci Fi game. The first session he tossed them onto a low tech planet, broke all their sci fi stuff, and it turned into a high fantasy game.

Bla and bla on both.

Well, yeah, a GM who changes the entire game on you without warning is a bad GM.

I'd tell the players what they're getting into. For example, I'd say "In this game, everybody believes in magic, but it's really a mixture of superstition, fraud, and remnants of super-science"; it tips the gaff, but I don't want players who want to be awesome wizards disappointed when all they know is Knowledge (Esoterica), Bluff and Sleight-of-Hand. OK, maybe I'd say "explainable phenomena" instead of "super science", to leave some mystery ... and to keep players from asking when they get ray guns and personal force fields.

Don't forget, "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" was a popular module in its day.

Skunkape
08-03-2007, 06:38 AM
I've done post apoc worlds where technology has fallen so far as to become a fantasy based world, but there were pockets of high technology still around. It worked out pretty well because I used the Runequest core system for the game.

Currently I'm developing a western game the idea of which came from a Dragon's Landing podcast, where you have dwarves and elves in a western setting. My history concept so far is as follows.

Prior to the Age of Enlightenment, the fantastic creatures (elves, dwarves, centaurs, etc) and magic existed in the world. Once mankind moved into the Age, the fantasy creatures and magic faded from our world. But, during the Civil War, while the U.S. and Confederate governments were busy fighting each other, a number of different tribes of American Indians began working together to perform the Ghost Dance ritual. The timing of when they could perform the ritual just happed to coincide with the end of the Civil War.

Upon completion of the Ghost Dance, the world changed and the fantastic creatures and magic returned to the world.

I haven't decided about whether the Ghost Dance also caused mankind to perceive that this is normal, or if they'll have problems with the change, but I'm not going to be running the game for another few months, so I'll decide then.

I'm pretty confident that it'll be a fun if not different game, but whether my players share that view or not will be seen when we start playing it.

Moritz
08-03-2007, 08:49 AM
Don't forget, "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" was a popular module in its day.

I totally had that Module. But never used it.

Brian Vilarino
08-03-2007, 10:27 AM
I totally had that Module. But never used it.

I totally still have that module. Still haven't used it either :D

The only cross genre game that I played in, wasn't really cross genre as much as it was cross game worlds. I had a GM that ran a seperate robotech and a rifts game and when both sides lost players to attrition, he combined both games. I don't remember all the details, but I remember liking that game a lot.

As for Skunkape's idea, I think that's totally awsome and I would actually like to play in that. I haven't played in a western game in a looong time. I think the last time was a Deadlands game. I've had sort of the same idea but for a modern game. I was going to put together a Modern Forgotten Realms campaign, just didn't have the time to really work on it.

Skunkape
08-06-2007, 07:58 AM
As for Skunkape's idea, I think that's totally awsome and I would actually like to play in that. I haven't played in a western game in a looong time. I think the last time was a Deadlands game. I've had sort of the same idea but for a modern game. I was going to put together a Modern Forgotten Realms campaign, just didn't have the time to really work on it.

Thanks. I'm not sure whether we'll ever play more than just the Deadlands one shot game or not, as everyone likes the fantasy games we have going, but I might be able to run it as a pick up game when one of the other GMs can't make it.

At the minimum, it'll give me something to run when I'm at conventions and hopefully, will be one of those games that people look forward to every year!

fmitchell
08-19-2007, 02:23 PM
Prior to the Age of Enlightenment, the fantastic creatures (elves, dwarves, centaurs, etc) and magic existed in the world. Once mankind moved into the Age, the fantasy creatures and magic faded from our world. But, during the Civil War, while the U.S. and Confederate governments were busy fighting each other, a number of different tribes of American Indians began working together to perform the Ghost Dance ritual. The timing of when they could perform the ritual just happed to coincide with the end of the Civil War.

Upon completion of the Ghost Dance, the world changed and the fantastic creatures and magic returned to the world.

This sounds pretty interesting, but the one thing that irks me is that the magical creatures are Western mythological creatures, specifically Tolkien/D&D. It would be more interesting if the creatures that came back were at least somewhat Native American: ancestor spirits, shapechangers, talking animals. Some tribes have tales of little people (http://www.ilhawaii.net/~stony/lore10.html) similar to leprechauns. And there's also the Sioux White Buffalo Woman (http://www.merceronline.com/Native/native05.htm). I just did a few quick Google searches; I'm sure there's plenty of interesting stuff if you dig a bit.

I guess I just get sick of seeing elves, dwarVes (it's dwarfs!), orcs, and the rest in every bloody fantasy game.

Moritz
08-21-2007, 11:01 AM
dwarf http://cache.lexico.com/g/d/premium.gif http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pnghttp://cache.lexico.com/g/d/speaker.gif (https://secure.reference.com/premium/login.html?rd=2&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdictionary.reference.com%2Fbrowse%2 Fdwarves) /dwɔrf/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[dwawrf] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, plural dwarfs, dwarves, adjective, verb –noun 1.a person of abnormally small stature owing to a pathological condition, esp. one suffering from cretinism or some other disease that produces disproportion or deformation of features and limbs. 2.an animal or plant much smaller than the average of its kind or species. 3.(in folklore) a being in the form of a small, often misshapen and ugly, man, usually having magic powers. 4.Astronomy. dwarf star. (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=dwarf%20star) –adjective 5.of unusually small stature or size; diminutive. –verb (used with object) 6.to cause to appear or seem small in size, extent, character, etc., as by being much larger or better: He dwarfed all his rivals in athletic ability. 7.to make dwarf or dwarfish; prevent the due development of. –verb (used without object) 8.to become stunted or smaller.

fmitchell
08-21-2007, 02:34 PM
Moritz, you get the Frank Mitchell Award for useless pedantry.

To claim it back, I'll add that Tolkien coined the plural "dwarves" to indicate his creatures weren't merely short humans, but a distinct humanoid species, based loosely on Norse myth. (He sometimes called them "dwarrows".) C. S. Lewis and Terry Pratchett use "dwarfs" for similar creatures in their respective worlds.

BTW, Mongoose started using the plural "elfs" (instead of elves) for Glorantha's Aldryami, who are motile human-shaped plants rather than humanoids. Ron Edwards also has a game called "Elfs", about pointy-eared creatures as far from Tolkien's wise elders as possible.

Moritz
08-21-2007, 02:51 PM
Yeah, I have a lot of 'pedantry'. Now quit making me look up words. :)

But thanks anyway. I like clarification on my attempts of clarification. It's always good to know the root of a word; so you can grab it and rip it out of the ground to replant it in the urban dictionary.

rabkala
10-16-2007, 07:30 PM
I rarely ever cross genres. Don't cross dress either.
Not even to get into character!?! How about we call it a kilt and a man bag?

Don't forget, "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" was a popular module in its day
I played in it when it was new, I loved it. I have run several versions of it.

Dragonstar game setting, which is 100% NORMAL D&D rules shifted into a fully modern setting and a pile of Futurstic rules, equipment and setting info.
Love it! I used a lot of this in my last D20 future game.

I haven't decided about whether the Ghost Dance also caused mankind to perceive that this is normal, or if they'll have problems with the change, but I'm not going to be running the game for another few months, so I'll decide then.

I'm pretty confident that it'll be a fun if not different game, but whether my players share that view or not will be seen when we start playing it.
So where's the update, what happened? Have you started yet?

Skunkape
10-17-2007, 06:47 AM
So where's the update, what happened? Have you started yet?

Sorry, haven't even started it yet! When I finally get to work on it, it'll be at the following url...

http://www.johnprime.com/deadlands/

Don't bother going there yet, as I haven't set up that part of my site. I'll post when I do get started. Part of why I haven't started this yet is that our group ended up not having the time to run the game, so it kinda got put on the back burner!

I've decided to do a complete re-write of the cannon Deadlands history and change it to be more my own! Specially since I don't have to rush to get the game done for our group to play in.:D

pawsplay
10-22-2007, 09:53 PM
I was a huge Torg fan back in the day, and I'm thinking my next GURPS game might be an Infinite Worlds campaign.

Moritz
10-24-2007, 08:01 AM
I will note, the only crossing genre I would ever suggest is Rifts. And it even strikes me as awkward.

Holocron
10-26-2007, 12:46 AM
Torg was the bomb! The only problem was some hard to kill bad guys were only troublesome because of their high toughness, so they're not really a threat to you but they take forever to kill and the fight drags on forever...

protonboy
10-28-2008, 02:05 PM
so no one has seen Time of Crisis?
There is a *very* similair one for a Champions & Silver Age Senteniles cross over of each of their respective systems univers's Apocolipsa's characters teaming up to destroy the Omnivers... - ok, point being : Time of Crisis is probly one of the better ways to handle Genre Cross over.

It lets the GM and Players get their feet wet in the difrnt Worlds, and has a very driving reason not to stay nor really give much room for doing too much for derailing an over all plot in your world.

Webhead
10-28-2008, 03:10 PM
Are you talking about Time of Crisis the Mutants & Masterminds adventure module? Just making sure I'm on the same wavelength.

Oh, and I know of the Champions/SAS crossover module that you're talking about, though I don't recall the name of it.

I also have a 3-part series of adventures that crossover Deadlands with Werewolf: The Wild West. Those were pretty awesome, actually.

nijineko
10-29-2008, 03:03 PM
all games that i run are cross-genre. it has never bothered the players yet. ^^ course, not all of them have discovered those particular aspects either!

i suspect that my versions of cross-genre have a smaller footprint than most, due to the fact that i borrow and blend, not drop one into the other without warning. so some might argue that mine are more homebrew than true-crossover. for example, you may find a light saber-ish weapon, but you'll never find any cannon star wars stuff. you may find modern or ancient weapons, superscience and super magic, or even just super powers, but all of them have been incorporated into the continuity of my campaign(s). where you will find such things, there is a good reason as to why it is there, and a backstory and history to be explored and learned.

i guess that the best way to describe it, is that i run genre generic crossovers, not story/plot specific crossovers. (by way of example, my little brother will blatently mix star wars with ranma 1/2... where as if it was me, it would instead be a mix of futuristic (ancient?) sci-fi with super-ki weilding martial artists instead.)

protonboy
10-31-2008, 12:03 PM
honestly nijineko that *isn't* cross over. maybe a melting pot of setting elements.

Cross-Overs are when multiple universe come together. So DC vs Marvle. The x-men teaming up w/ the JLA, for example. or it can be be as simple as moving them from one alt time line to another.

using your world for example: your PC's discover a huge circular metal ish ring ... big enough to fit a double decker buss thru w/ some strangely egyptian symbols on it. getting too close in an atempt to investigate, it activates, and sucks ur players through!

they spend the next 5 sessions jumping from one world to the next. Maybe the start in the distant past, w/ T-Rex chasing them, then the ring re-activates, sucks them into a world that's all Nazi like (as in we didn't win WWII)....maybe next they are at starfleet command.... ect.

The key thing to a cross over is that you have a home world that your players are familur with and recently from, and for plot device reasons are now not in anymore, typically their mission is to restore balance and get home. though not always. you can desing a short one shot mission, or multi session ... some have even had fun doing an entire campaing of Crossing Over.

nijineko
10-31-2008, 12:29 PM
yeah, that's what i figured. ^^ i guess i'm just not really that much into crossovers then. whereas my brother really is. i generalize the elements and add them to expand upon my sandbox, rather than playing in someone else's sandbox. ^^

protonboy
10-31-2008, 02:14 PM
cross overs are great for a season finale
save not only the world, but every world !
and a great way to find new characters, introduce new options for characters, introduce new vilians from a difrnt genre...

not to mention its a great way to ret-con, play test new rules, and otherwise clean up any exsisting issues with your current world. And if your on the more realistic side of things, you can always destroy your home world and call it a day.

tesral
11-01-2008, 01:42 AM
i guess that the best way to describe it, is that i run genre generic crossovers, not story/plot specific crossovers. (by way of example, my little brother will blatently mix star wars with ranma 1/2... where as if it was me, it would instead be a mix of futuristic (ancient?) sci-fi with super-ki weilding martial artists instead.)

My most recent was to drop the D&D PCs into a Shadowrun version of their own world. I stuck the the D&D rules but dipped heavily into the d20 Modern books for the Shadowrun version of things. Easier than teaching my players a new system for a few sessions of play.

templeorder
05-05-2009, 11:58 AM
I've had multiple cross-genre stories. If done right, players usually find it fun. Technology and frame of reference matters, so theres a lot of sanity checking and fear going on until things calm down. A lot of it is the players and their character attitudes. I've seen paladins in night clubs, and Vietnam vets running through dungeons...

Adjusting is part of the fun, if you can ignore are bridge language barriers. Its fun too if the players go with it, ham it up and player their characters as if if they had just faced something impossible by their own standards.

This is not something to be done lightly, especially if you introduce advanced technology in any sort of permanent way. Its also tempting for modern character to try and make items and get rich... it has to be roleplayed well for it to work. The easiest way is going from advanced to a lower technology - because advanced is so reliant on items it fun to watch them deplete and then try and pick up a sword and use it. Or guns against a fully armored knight - still dang tough to kill depending on armor quality.

I love to use it, especially to mix steam-punk level stuff with high fantasy, and even mixing modern day conspiracy type (Illuminati, Trilateral) that spans worlds and universes is cool... there's also a way to mix mythology (ancient egpyt, celtic britain, etc.) with these conspiracy ideas, or even take a god and place and just say that in your players world, that called is called by another name, but needs the help of their loyal followers to go to a different time/place that threatens their aspect's survival.... I've also taken new characters and just dumped them into a whole new world - transported from the get go so they can have different perspectives and powers and they then have to learn how to permanently adapt and survive... coll back story and it binds the group together.

In short, its not bad if done sparingly and well.

cliff
05-05-2009, 03:04 PM
I've also taken new characters and just dumped them into a whole new world - transported from the get go so they can have different perspectives and powers and they then have to learn how to permanently adapt and survive... coll back story and it binds the group together.

In short, its not bad if done sparingly and well.

To do the above, you REALLY have to have players that are accepting of such things. I've pulled a changeup exactly once, and my players revolted... they'd spent time building characters to meet particular expectations (astronauts and scientists on a moonbase)... then hit them with a major shift.

They were very displeased.

If I were to try something like that again, I think I would have them make those astronauts and scientists KNOWING that I was going to hit them with a universal shift, so that it at least wasn't a surprise to them.

Of course, your mileage may vary, as every group is different, but I had a pretty receptive group in general, so it is something I personally would never try again.

Their primary gripe was that none of them was effective in combat. heh

Xandros
05-29-2009, 04:27 AM
I once ran a campaign that was a post apocalyptic world similar to earth. After the apocalypse it had reverted to a mostly medieval world. There were still skyscrapers (with no electricity) mostly in ruins. A few remnants of modern weapons and vehicles existed, but to get them and keep them running required the proper modern skills, hard work and a lot of luck.

Magesteff
09-24-2009, 07:02 AM
Another would be to create a "fantasy" world which in fact accomplishes its miracles using trickery and fragments of super-science.



Arthur C. Clarke's rules:

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


You can have a campaign where the civilization has fallen from the high point say from Information age back to a dark age environment but still have access to the high technology which to the "common man" would be a miracle or a wonder. The "religions" might be set up to tend the technology while the non-initiates would not receive training.

One example you might check out is Ursela K. LeGuin's book Always Coming Home (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Always_Coming_Home )
Where the civilization is post-apocaliptic, fallen back to hunter-gatherer/bronze age/early steam and steel, but they have information/communication kiosks (computers).

Blending genres can be a lot of fun - I think as a player I would have fun trying to figure out what each "miracle" may have started out as in the current world. Some might be easily recognizable while others may have taken on a whole new use far from what they might have started out as.

Utgardloki
02-07-2011, 01:35 AM
I am thinking of doing some sort of "mirrors" campaign in which the PCs go from one setting to another (via mirrors, perhaps).

I ran a Dungeons and Dragons/World War II crossover game once. I used a lot of stuff from the Deadlands D20 book to help define modern classes and stuff. For example, one of the characters was a gypsy who was a Rogue/Expert/Maverick/Thief-Acrobat. I've thought about restarting it, since the game ended up degenerating rapidly. (I didn't have Weird World War at the time, so I had to do everything without that book.)

Sometimes I'll use something defined in one genre and apply it to another. For example, I might use a science fiction alien race in a D&D game, decked out with archaic equipment if an NPC race. Or I might use a D&D monster type as an alien race in a science fiction game. In fact, recently I was pouring through the Pathfinder Bestiary II thinking of ways to use the monsters in a science fiction setting.

Another idea I'm working on is using the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons rules to define a campaign set on Mars 2,000 years in the future, reflavoring everything as psionics.

tesral
02-07-2011, 06:21 AM
Ideas are where you get them. I recast animals as SF races, using the broad behavioral norms and building a society around that. I'll often disguise the looks however. Copping a race from fantasy or another game is the easy way. I like easy.