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-   -   Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=174782)

Infornific 09-10-2021 09:07 PM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
There's an interesting write up of the world implied by the original D&D rules that might have some interesting ideas you could incorporate. Petty warlords, scattered powerful wizards & clerics perhaps left over from the apocalypse, strange monsters for each kind of environment either created or summoned by magic, etc. If you assume the war might have drawn in things from other worlds, you could have a forest like Mirkwood, a desert like Barsoom, etc. The feel of the campaign might vary a lot with travel.

ericthered 09-11-2021 12:52 PM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
Thinking of monsters in terms of weapons gives great ideas:


Seige Crabs are massive monsters with heavy armor that can climb right up walls and have a innate reverse missiles effect on them.


old idea of mine.



Quote:

Areas of wild magic where spells have side effects or unexpected results.

Perhaps a necromantic or mind control spell that has achieved at least animal-level sentience, and moves around searching for new victims to power it.

Michael Thayne 09-11-2021 05:44 PM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Infornific (Post 2396022)
There's an interesting write up of the world implied by the original D&D rules that might have some interesting ideas you could incorporate. Petty warlords, scattered powerful wizards & clerics perhaps left over from the apocalypse, strange monsters for each kind of environment either created or summoned by magic, etc. If you assume the war might have drawn in things from other worlds, you could have a forest like Mirkwood, a desert like Barsoom, etc. The feel of the campaign might vary a lot with travel.

Gosh and I thought some of my ideas for this setting were wild. Realistic dinosaurs seem kind of boring as monsters but the Nordlond setting has dinosaurs with weird powers I could use. And maybe I could have some aliens from GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol subbing in for the Barsoomian elements? I like the idea of incorporating sci-fi elements but want to use them judiciously so they don't totally overshadow everything else.

Michael Thayne 09-11-2021 08:03 PM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
I'm trying to think of more ways to incorporate sci-fi—or at least relatively high-tech—elements into a hexcrawl. A few ideas:

Near-future spaceship: Would justify a lot of high-tech goodies but not for the most part weapons or armor. Space suits could be a bit better lighter and more durable than real-world models (like the TL7 model in GURPS Basic Set p. 285) but limited enough to be primarily useful in specialized circumstances (so not as good as the TL9 "vacc suit" found a few lines down in the same source).

Alien prison transport: Might have a lot of weapons for the guards but exclusively of the "less lethal" variety, which could force PCs who get their hands on them to regularly ask themselves, "what's going to help us more here, a few points of damage or a second of stun?"

An entire "wild west" town: Period pistols aren't such amazing weapons that the PCs would never use anything else after acquiring them.

It's also interesting to think of specific items that could fit well in a DFRPG game. For example, something as simple as WWI-era binoculars wouldn't disrupt the game much but would still be superior to the optics in Adventurers. A more fanciful example would be things like chainsaws and welding torches—they look cool as weapons, but if you enforce practical downsides of using them as such they're not going totally break the game.

Infornific 09-11-2021 08:28 PM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Thayne (Post 2396115)
Gosh and I thought some of my ideas for this setting were wild. Realistic dinosaurs seem kind of boring as monsters but the Nordlond setting has dinosaurs with weird powers I could use. And maybe I could have some aliens from GURPS Tales of the Solar Patrol subbing in for the Barsoomian elements? I like the idea of incorporating sci-fi elements but want to use them judiciously so they don't totally overshadow everything else.

That could work. There's also the possibility of adding social engineering if you want to go beyond just hack & slash. Elves controlling a forested region might not want significant human settlement but might be willing to negotiate easy passage in return for help with local problems. A dwarf colony in the mountains might actually want human settlements in nearby valleys for the sake of trade. The subjects of a given wizard/warlord/high priest might be reluctant to support deposing their despot because he provides genuine protection. He might even be a decent ruler, in which case perhaps negotiation is possible.

One other oddball source of ideas might be Mad Max & similar post-apocalyptic movies. Replace tech with magic and it might give you a sense of what some of the communities are like.

A couple other thoughts - are elves, dwarves, orcs, etc creations of the magic golden age? Or even mutants created by the magical apocalypse?

And how does religion work? Is there an old pre-apoc religion and a new one, like pagans & Christians in late antiquity? That might lead to a situation where some of the various holdings are run by Evil(ish) High Priests of the old religion. Or Neutral High Priests of the old religion who aren't hostile per se but might be reluctant to deal with newer faiths. For druids, I'd be tempted to go less Wiccan/neopagan, more Wicker Man but that's me.

On a tangential note, I remember a D&D blogger who came up with the idea of a campaign using only monsters from the Fiend Folio. He concluded you would wind up with something feeling more post-apocalyptic than vanilla fantasy. You might consider filtering for monsters that are a little weird & unnatural and weeding out more mundane & mythic creatures to give more of an "After the End" feel.

Michael Thayne 09-11-2021 10:38 PM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Infornific (Post 2396131)
On a tangential note, I remember a D&D blogger who came up with the idea of a campaign using only monsters from the Fiend Folio. He concluded you would wind up with something feeling more post-apocalyptic than vanilla fantasy. You might consider filtering for monsters that are a little weird & unnatural and weeding out more mundane & mythic creatures to give more of an "After the End" feel.

I actually don't want to do this for a couple reasons—one, I want the premise to free me, not constrain me. Also, in that article on the world of OD&D, one thing it did really well is conveying the wonderful weirdness that can be delivered by encounters which aren't typical for modern fantasy RPGs but are very much something you might find in fantasy literature or older myths—like the dryad who wants to charm a PC into remaining in the forest as her companion forever.

I do, however, like the idea of having a region that is literally ripped out of GURPS After the End, complete with mutants and radioactive craters. Another idea is to drop some steampunk tech somewhere. The fact that GURPS and DFRPG are mostly-compatible with each other means the possibilities are endless.

johndallman 09-12-2021 05:45 AM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Thayne (Post 2396115)
I like the idea of incorporating sci-fi elements but want to use them judiciously so they don't totally overshadow everything else.

$4.99 for a PDF of S2 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks will likely solve this problem.

Michael Thayne 09-12-2021 01:46 PM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by johndallman (Post 2396174)
$4.99 for a PDF of S2 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks will likely solve this problem.

Took your suggestion and bought the adventure, mostly because it seemed like a shame not to own such a classic adventure, but looking at the technology section in the back I'm not sure how well it translates to GURPS. The blaster rifle has effects comparable to what can be done with high-level wizard spells (while only getting three shots per "power disc"), but DFRPG spells tend not to be quite as powerful as high-level D&D spells. Meanwhile the powered armor is IMHO kind of disappointing—only a bit better than the best non-magical armor normally available to PCs, and nowhere near as good as high-end magical armor. I guess I could use that sort of spiritually—modeling sci-fi materials as being equivalent to giant spider silk, dragonhide, or orichalcum, while making sure other gear isn't too much more effective than what can be done with spells? But it's not a complete solution.

acmegamer 09-12-2021 02:20 PM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Thayne (Post 2395863)
If I ever find a reasonably-priced used copy of GURPS War Against the Chtorr, I will consider this suggestion!

What's a reasonable price? I just noted a few on ebay that were in the thirty something or so price range that were in good condition. If I'd not just spent a bunch on Kickstarter and other gaming stuff this month I'd have snagged one of them myself. I'm not going to though because my wife just might disown me if I spent anymore "this" month on my gaming addiction err hobby.

dcarson 09-14-2021 08:29 PM

Re: Campaign idea: the Shattered Lands
 
An area downstream from a toxic spell dump where the alchemical waste contaminates the land causing all kinds of odd one off creatures and powers.


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