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Thread: Campaign Hatchery Import

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    Campaign Hatchery Import

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    Campaign Hatchery
    Submitted by gdmcbride, "Roleplay Discussion",
    2005-12-15
    T04:08:14-04:00
    So, we all have a campaign we wish we had time to run. Post those ideas and discuss which are you favorite or how you would improve them. Who knows maybe someone will take your idea and turn it into an actual on-going campaign. Any genre, any system, sky's the limit. Only requirement – it must an RPG campaign you have not yet run. I'll start the ball rolling.

    "City of Thieves"

    Though created and referenced by Robert E. Howard in his Conan tales, the author never chose to center a story in the Wicked City Shadizar. Still, he left us hints enough to embellish this Hyborian city of thieves. For those not familiar with the local Robert Jordan described it thus:

    Night caressed Shadizar, the city known as the Wicked, and veiled the happenings which justified the name a thousand times over. The darkness that brought respite to other cities drew out the worst in Shadizar of the Alabaster Towers, Shadizar of the Golden Domes, city of venality and debauchery.

    In a score of marble chambers, silk-clad nobles coerced wives not their own to their beds and many-chinned merchants licked fat lips over the abductions of competitors’ nubile daughters. Perfumed wives, fanned by slaves wielding ostrich plumes, plotted the cuckolding of husbands, sometimes their own, while hot-eyed young women of wealth or noble birth or both schemed at circumventing the guards placed on their supposed chastity. Nine women and thirty-one men, one a beggar and one a lord, died by murder. The gold of ten wealth men was taken from iron vaults by thieves and fifty others increased their wealth at the expense of the poor. In three brothels perversions never before contemplated by humankind were created. Doxies beyond numbering plied their ancient trade from the shadows and twisted, ragged beggars preyed on the trulls’ wine-soaked patrons. No man walked the streets unarmed but even in the best quarters of the city arms were often not enough to save one’s silver from cutpurses and footpads. Night in Shadizar was in full cry.
    – Robert Jordan, "Conan the Magnificent"

    The PCs did not come here of their own freewill. They were dragged to the Wicked City as slaves destined to be a whip-strapped laborer, a pit fighter, a prostitute or to be sacrificed on the altar of some dark Zamorian demon-deity. The fickle gods of fortune had other plans. They escaped just before passing through the Gate of the Morning Star. With neither food nor water, the Slave City was their only oasis in the savage Desert of Arallus. Now they must make their way in this cruel caravanserai upon the Road of Kings. It is a city with neither hope nor heroes and desperate for either. Behold the Golden Throne of the Mad Tyrant, City of Princes and Thieves, Jewel of Eldest Zamoria, Gateway to the East, Temple of Spiders, Fabled Shadizar.

    The campaign would center around a rag-tag group of escaped slaves rising to control the thieves and rogues of Shadizar. It would be up to the players to decide whether they were good guys fighting against the all too prevalent evil or whether they embraced this city's darkness. Think Sin City meets Lankmar and Thieves World in the Hyborian Age.

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    What is an (RPG) god?
    Submitted by fmitchell, "Roleplay Discussion", 2006-08-28
    T04:15:25-04:00
    Reading Requiem for a God by Monte Cook, which talks about the death of a god in D&D, I wonder what is or should a god be in D&D or other RPGs. In Runequest 3e, the gods exist in a different time, so dead gods were, are, and always will be dead. In Ars Magica, the GURPS world of Yrth, and Caliphate Nights there is only the one eternal god worshipped by the One True Religion and desecrated by heretics and infidels. Terry Pratchett's novels portray gods as overinflated spirits; Tolkien and Robert E. Howard omitted gods entirely (except for Howard's emulation of Lovecraft's godlike alien horrors).

    In Earth mythology, Osiris, Tammuz, and Inanna died or descended to the underworld and came back; Persephone does it every winter, but Baldr died and went to the underworld forever. Zeus slew or imprisoned the Titans, and killed even his own father. One article on RPG.net argues that even priests follow religions, not individual gods; the priest of the temple of Osiris might pray to Isis for his niece's safe childbirth.

    So, how do you handle gods in your games?

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    Last Three RPG Items Purchased
    Submitted by bento, "Roleplay Discussion", 2006-05-27
    T10:05:26-04:00


    So, what have you been buying lately?

    Were they to supplement a current game or flesh out a new idea?

    We want to know!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    Last Three RPG Items Purchased
    Submitted by bento, "Roleplay Discussion", 2006-05-27
    T10:05:26-04:00


    So, what have you been buying lately?

    Were they to supplement a current game or flesh out a new idea?

    We want to know!
    Most reciently it was the "Hall of Many Panes" 3 in 1 bundle at rpgnow.com

    http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=6035

    My play group found a tower full of magic portals and I wanted some quick-run material to use if they decided to do some portal exploration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inviktus View Post
    Most reciently it was the "Hall of Many Panes" 3 in 1 bundle at rpgnow.com
    Cool. Let's see, most recent three roleplaying purchases? Well, I bought these cool brass dice over at RPG Shop. And they are awesome! There's just something about throwing down a heavy brass die. I'm thinking now about getting a brushed steel set and maybe a set of amethyst. Crystal Caste -- dice for the gaming fanatic, and for all who might have a hole burning in their pocket.

    I also recently purchased the Monster Manual IV, which I wasn't all that impressed with. BUT, I do like the idea of the Spawn of Tiamat, so the book wasn't a complete wash. And, having some prebuilt monsters with character levels doesn't hurt either. My group is definitely fond of the monsters with NPC levels since they drop a tremendous amount of treasure... LOL, actually, at our last game, they collected something like 30 potions from a single encounter!

    Oooh! And how could I forget about THIS big boy?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    What is an (RPG) god?
    Submitted by fmitchell, "Roleplay Discussion", 2006-08-28
    T04:15:25-04:00
    Reading Requiem for a God by Monte Cook, which talks about the death of a god in D&D, I wonder what is or should a god be in D&D or other RPGs. In Runequest 3e, the gods exist in a different time, so dead gods were, are, and always will be dead. In Ars Magica, the GURPS world of Yrth, and Caliphate Nights there is only the one eternal god worshipped by the One True Religion and desecrated by heretics and infidels. Terry Pratchett's novels portray gods as overinflated spirits; Tolkien and Robert E. Howard omitted gods entirely (except for Howard's emulation of Lovecraft's godlike alien horrors).

    So, how do you handle gods in your games?
    In my superheroic games, I tend to omit gods from existance. Religious leaders are utilized to cause trouble for the heroes, citing them as spawns of Satan or in some cases, manipulating the more angelic heroes to be pawns of their religious sects. I will say that I have utilized a greek god and goddess once. But they were not gods in the aspect of some D and D definition, but more like ascended or even mutants. We all may recall Champions' listings of the Olympians, or perhaps the Marvel Universe's take on such things. More powerful beings risen from Humanity.

    In my darkworld game (a lovecraftian type genre where the 'evil' or 'tainted' isn't quite as overt as most lovecraftian stories / mostly implied stuff), I also omit gods, yet, do have a greater power or presence which is more viewed as an evil than a good. Something that gives the shadows and things that lurks in them, direction.

    While in my Star Wars game, there is no god, there is only the Force - go figure that.

    And finally, in my D and D games, there were the D and D gods found in the standard D and D books. They were used.

    None of my games featured a 'one true god' or maintained any value in the ravings of some religious leaders that have always striked me as game show hosts.

    Moritz
    Last edited by Moritz; 09-20-2006 at 11:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    Last Three RPG Items Purchased
    Submitted by bento, "Roleplay Discussion", 2006-05-27
    T10:05:26-04:00


    So, what have you been buying lately?

    Were they to supplement a current game or flesh out a new idea?

    We want to know!
    I recently picked up the d20 Mutants and Mastermind's 2.0 core book from Generation X Comics on 157, just north of 183 in Bedford. I'm half way through reading it and must say that I'm impressed with the game mechanics.

    It takes the best of Marvel Super Heroes and Champions and puts it into a simple, easy to use, yet very detailed system. And, my favorite part of it... you won't be rolling dice and doing math for 3 hours to play out a 30 second super battle (IE: Champions). It allows me to run battles like I do in DnD where I can toss up to 20 battles in one night at the players and things are burned through quickly, thus getting to the real story.

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    Hmmm ...

    I'm not sure slamming three or four threads into one really works.

    I think if I post more Campaign Hatchery I'll start another thread, maybe in the genre-specific areas, and I hope if Gary continues the Song of Seven Fires he'd start another thread too.

    The "Last Three Items" probably works here, and I think we've beaten the god thing to death.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Re: What is an RPG god?

    Inevitably I've written up and extended the discussion in an essay at
    http://www.frank-mitchell.com/games/rpg-gods.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Moritz View Post
    None of my games featured a 'one true god' or maintained any value in the ravings of some religious leaders that have always striked me as game show hosts.
    True, but in some game worlds religions can become important forces. In a historical or quasi-historical European Middle Ages game, the power of the Christian Church can't be handwaved away; the same is true for Islam in an Arabian Nights campaign, or the prevailing religions in most other historical locales.

    Apart from the social and political impact of a religion, it's interesting to consider how the (game) existence of a god or gods affects the game world. In the world of Glorantha, all powerful magic derives from a god or some religious/metaphysical worldview. If one truly embraces the worldview of a particular historical locale, then one must allow for the presence of divine miracles and powers granted to religious figures, as in Ars Magica or Pendragon. Or, one could simply treat gods, as you said above, as ultra-powerful mutants, wizards, spirits, or alien beings, differing in scale but not nature to "mortals".

    I started this thread primarily to re-examine how games, particularly D&D, treat gods, and to suggest more "realistic" or interesting alternatives.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Re: Last three RPG items purchased

    Major items:

    1. Promethean: the Created: I finally caved and bought this on Amazon for 2/3 the price. I've only skimmed it, but the treatment of damage to Prometheans, and the notion of Disquiet and Wastelands, looks interesting. Other bits are typical White Wolfisms -- five lineages, five philosophical outlooks, ten powers, blah blah blah -- but I might mine it for ideas. The new White Wolf system also looks interesting, and simpler.
    2. Penumbra: The Ebon Mirror: This little module I picked up at my FLGS. I've long speculated on buying it, if only for the concept of "The Sacred Undead". Again, I've yet to read through it, but with adaptation it might be an interesting module to run.
    3. Lightspeed (PDF): Just downloaded this, again after eyeing it for a while. It's cheap, and maybe it will inspire me to chuck this fantasy crap and run a space campaign.


    Minor items include two sets of White Wolf Dice (Promethean and World of Darkness, since the Promethean dice barely distinguish success and failure numbers), a portable Dice Boot which seems to make my Gamescience dice more random, miscellaneous small downloads from RPGNow, and (still in the mail somewhere) GURPS Greece, to complete my ancient historical GURPS 3e worldbook collection.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    Inevitably I've written up and extended the discussion in an essay at
    http://www.frank-mitchell.com/games/rpg-gods.html



    True, but in some game worlds religions can become important forces. In a historical or quasi-historical European Middle Ages game, the power of the Christian Church can't be handwaved away; the same is true for Islam in an Arabian Nights campaign, or the prevailing religions in most other historical locales.

    Apart from the social and political impact of a religion, it's interesting to consider how the (game) existence of a god or gods affects the game world. In the world of Glorantha, all powerful magic derives from a god or some religious/metaphysical worldview. If one truly embraces the worldview of a particular historical locale, then one must allow for the presence of divine miracles and powers granted to religious figures, as in Ars Magica or Pendragon. Or, one could simply treat gods, as you said above, as ultra-powerful mutants, wizards, spirits, or alien beings, differing in scale but not nature to "mortals".

    I started this thread primarily to re-examine how games, particularly D&D, treat gods, and to suggest more "realistic" or interesting alternatives.
    The value of the actual church in any setting is quite high. Utilizing it as a tool to manipulate the masses and such. As you point out in the medeval world the church is quite powerful and a cornerstone of the society. I even played in a game once where the 'mutants' worked for the church. The church told them that they were gifted by God and that they should be doing God's work to pay for these gifts.
    The church commanded the PC's to kill 'evil' and 'possessed' beings. Basically, more mutants to be their slaves. And if they didn't cooperate, they would be killed in the name of God.
    So, yes, using the church as a tool to motivate the players, that's excellent.

    There was even an instance during the first Gulf War (which was incooperated into the game) where in my Superheroic game that I manipulated the players through the church to help abolish the evils of the Islamic Terrorists of Satan.

    If I use any sort of 'miracles' in my modern games, then it originates from some 'mutant' or the like. Not from some divine energy. For example; Take an angelic looking character (white feathery wings that can heal). He's going be a mutant in my campaign, not some angel of the seraphim or cheribum.

    To add, I've found that if you start adding divine situations to a real world based game, then the players may have their own beliefs on how their God may act and in that may tend to argue with the DM/GM about the semantics of how to handle this or that. (see rules below)

    In my D&D games, I sometimes use the Gods to help guide the players; to charge them with some quest. But it's rare. And in most cases, doesn't happen until epic levels.

    Overall, I'm pleased with the astronomical number of gods in the D&D pantheon and all its usage of other world pantheons (norse, olympians...). It allows the DM to pick and choose and truly work within the confines of the god's writeup to extract a story friendly result. But you'll still get players who will argue about this or that which bring us to the following:

    One thing the players often forget are the two golden rules

    #1 - the DM/GM is always right.
    #2 - any questions, see rule #1

    I digress

    Moritz

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    Re: What is an (RPG) god?

    I thought I was done on this thread, but I just finished reading M. A. R. Barker's "Create a Religion (In Your Spare Time For Fun and Profit)". The only slightly typo-ridden essay examines how religions emerge from a culture (with historical examples), why the author finds D&D assumptions about gods and magic unsatisfying, and to what extent gods should be "real". It's available for $4 at http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/catalo...oducts_id=1761

    If you're happy with the multiple pantheons of D&D gods coexisting, that's fine, and I have to agree with the incongruity of real, active gods in modern or historical settings. (Even in _Ars Magica_, the Divine mainly inhibits other magics; miracles almost never happen even to the truly holy.) But I'm the sort who likes to create "realistic" fantasy worlds, at least with regard to human behavior and logical consequences, and like Professor Barker I find the typical D&D setup of clerics, gods, wizards, and alignments jarring.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Thieves World

    Any one remember that series? It was very enchanting in my simple opinion, and I am currently using one of its' story lines to host a play-by-post adventure on another site. Fortunatly the 'children' playing there don't read those thirty year old stories, or perhaps they might figure out what they need to do in order to save a small boy from being sacrificed soon.
    I like what I have read here so far, and if you all don't mind my doing so, I will snatch some of yalls thoughts to flesh out a few story lines of my own.
    WAH-HAHAHA-HA, as the evil GM sometimes says...
    Sure, Life IS like a bowl of cherries, but how SWEET they are depends on how much crap your willing to take to fertalize your DREAMS. Michael L. Cross

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