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Old 09-27-2021, 11:17 AM   #11
ericthered
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Default Re: Crazy campaigns ideas

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Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
Because modern military would roflstomp a usual fantasy world (citation: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/Gate).

Now, if you gave the fantasy world some kind of magical TL upgrade, then it's a different story....

Now I want to build a fantasy setting that is explicitly designed to be difficult for the Modern Army to deal with, while trying to stay in the realm where a sword-swinger with a pile a magic gear is useful.


You know, geography/topography that makes planes, tanks, and trucks difficult to work with, foes that are bullet resistant for one reason or another, mind resisting effects that can turn strength against you, and so on.
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Old 09-27-2021, 01:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Crazy campaigns ideas

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Now I want to build a fantasy setting that is explicitly designed to be difficult for the Modern Army to deal with, while trying to stay in the realm where a sword-swinger with a pile a magic gear is useful.


You know, geography/topography that makes planes, tanks, and trucks difficult to work with, foes that are bullet resistant for one reason or another, mind resisting effects that can turn strength against you, and so on.
One immediate thought is a dungeon world - it's quite hard to push a tank through a 10'-wide stone hallway. It's the kind of thing that could work if the only portals are accessible through dungeons/caverns/otherwise difficult spaces.

The very easiest GURPS answer to bullets is an abundance of Missile Shield and Reverse Missile effects, but that also feels a bit like cheating. It's the kind of thing where I'd put in a countermeasure that's possible, but costly - individually enchanted ammunition, where putting it on a dozen arrows isn't too bad, but several magazines of 5.56 NATO get prohibitively expensive.

I would probably approach the bullet problem from a couple angles. Spell effects, as above; monsters that are resistant to piercing damage, like undead and blobs; and terrain that usually has short sightlines, so that it's possible to close to melee range. Importantly, none of these are insurmountable problems: spells can be counterspelled, resistances can be overcome with volume of fire, and firearms are still handy in close quarters.

Another challenge is logistics: a Modern Army depends on a good and reliable supply chain for ammo, gas, and food.

Mind control effects are going to be a big whammy, but it's boring if they're a never-fail win condition. I'd definitely include them (if for no other reason than I think mind flayers make great bad guys), but there would need to be workarounds. Experimental psychotronic stuff that doesn't always work, for example...
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: Crazy campaigns ideas

A world of islands floating in air might also give modern militaries pause (I think). Not as much as a dungeon-world, but I can imagine having to use mostly planes and maybe blimps would cut into the usual logistics.
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Crazy campaigns ideas

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Another challenge is logistics: a Modern Army depends on a good and reliable supply chain for ammo, gas, and food.
That suggests that a Narnia-type difference in the time rate might do it. If a royal career of several decades in the portal realm passes unnoticed in a mundane afternoon, then keeping a battalion in supply through the portal is going to be an economic challenge. It will consume more supply than the entire US armed forces, and delivering so much everything to Professor Kirke's spare bedroom would be challenging. Whereas any troops that fall back to the mundane world to resupply will return to discover that not only are the battle and war lost, but that they are forgotten in the deeps of history.
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Old 09-27-2021, 11:42 PM   #15
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That's a good plan! Although it would also limit the reasons why they could be there.
Just to explore/steal stuff would presumably work - in fact, for renewable things, you'd have a fresh supply every day. Repelling enemy forces that were threatening to march through the portal, though, wouldn't really make sense if your victory would also be distant history by the next day and a new army ready to try it.

Quote:
Mind control effects are going to be a big whammy, but it's boring if they're a never-fail win condition. I'd definitely include them (if for no other reason than I think mind flayers make great bad guys), but there would need to be workarounds. Experimental psychotronic stuff that doesn't always work, for example...
Another possibility is to just make it a not very powerful effect that can be resisted by a Will roll, IQ roll, or something like that. Less like Professor X, more like the fairy music that lures people to their doom. Then, since high-tech equipment doesn't make any difference to that (unless you introduce some made-up psychotronic equipment that does), your commandos are faced with exactly as much of a challenge as King Arthur's knights would have been. Not being King Arthur's knights, though, they may have different ideas about how to get past it.

Hmm, if they tried to overwhelm that with numbers in the hope that some might get through by luck, it might be an interesting thing to have some kind of magic which has more effect the more people are present - a fear spell where everybody amplifies each other's panic, for instance. Then you can't send in your army and the PCs have to try and force their way through alone.
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Old 09-28-2021, 05:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: Crazy campaigns ideas

Back in the day I GM'ed a short campaign inspired by "Stargate": the PC where all modern Special Ops going through a portal that was opened as last effort to balance a series of worldwide Cataclysms unleashed by the lack of "Magnetic Amplified Negative Admeasurement " (M.A.N.A. for short). So they were transported in the literal "Forgotten Realms" to find a way to bring magic into our world.

It was a fun way to introduce GURPS to D&D players and to mess a bit with their expectations, for this reason it was quite light in rules so there were not that many considerations about logistics or realism.

I thickened the plot making them discover that they were not the first party sent through the portal for the same mission and then I introduced the big bad moving behind the scenes: a colossal Red Dragon with so much magic power that wanted to capture the PC to "calibrate" its portal magic to invade Earth.

Unfortunately we never get to the planned end: a full battle between a Colossal Dragon and its minions against an Air Carrier Battle group. But still good memories, like the face of a player discovering that a single assault rifle burst was more than enough to end with a giant ogre.
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Old 09-29-2021, 02:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: Crazy campaigns ideas

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Originally Posted by Apollonian View Post
One immediate thought is a dungeon world - it's quite hard to push a tank through a 10'-wide stone hallway. It's the kind of thing that could work if the only portals are accessible through dungeons/caverns/otherwise difficult spaces.
...
I would probably approach the bullet problem from a couple angles. Spell effects, as above; monsters that are resistant to piercing damage, like undead and blobs; and terrain that usually has short sightlines, so that it's possible to close to melee range. Importantly, none of these are insurmountable problems: spells can be counterspelled, resistances can be overcome with volume of fire, and firearms are still handy in close quarters.
...
Mind control effects are going to be a big whammy, but it's boring if they're a never-fail win condition. I'd definitely include them (if for no other reason than I think mind flayers make great bad guys), but there would need to be workarounds. Experimental psychotronic stuff that doesn't always work, for example...
A classic D&D underdark setting might be a good baseline: extremely rough terrain, no sky to fly in, mystically powerful inhabitants and deadly freakish wildlife.

I'd personally include a few insubstantial foes that can strike with impunity, at least until some countermeasures are obtained from locals one way or another. Another answer to bullets might be foes that come back from the dead. This includes cursed locales, but it also includes the locals casting resurrection spells, and some monsters with fun regenerative properties.

Quote:
The very easiest GURPS answer to bullets is an abundance of Missile Shield and Reverse Missile effects, but that also feels a bit like cheating. It's the kind of thing where I'd put in a countermeasure that's possible, but costly - individually enchanted ammunition, where putting it on a dozen arrows isn't too bad, but several magazines of 5.56 NATO get prohibitively expensive.
I'm curious just how effectively opponents would be able to spam those spells. The magic isn't nearly as powerful in its original context, it costs a lot to cast, and you need to know that its the spell you want. If it can only be kept up for a few minutes at a time, it adds a strategic element to battles.

Quote:
Another challenge is logistics: a Modern Army depends on a good and reliable supply chain for ammo, gas, and food.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
A world of islands floating in air might also give modern militaries pause (I think). Not as much as a dungeon-world, but I can imagine having to use mostly planes and maybe blimps would cut into the usual logistics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
That suggests that a Narnia-type difference in the time rate might do it. If a royal career of several decades in the portal realm passes unnoticed in a mundane afternoon, then keeping a battalion in supply through the portal is going to be an economic challenge. It will consume more supply than the entire US armed forces, and delivering so much everything to Professor Diggory’s spare bedroom would be challenging. Whereas any troops that fall back to the mundane world to resupply will return to discover that not only are the battle and war lost, but that they are forgotten in the deeps of history.
Logistics is an interesting question. On the one hand, modern militaries rely heavily on it. On the other, they've put a LOT of effort into being good at it.

I suspect dungeon world gets roads blasted into it pretty quickly, and those will be useful... you just have to build a road to get your cool stuff anywhere.

The air world would get slowed down by needing to fly everything via helicopter... but ultimately airlift is something the military practices and is fairly good at. They've even worked out how you adjust equipment when you have to airdrop everything.

The narnia time difference problem is weird, and a lot depends on the relative time rate. If its something sanely managable, like 20:1, you just have to supply the folks inside 20 times more. Its annoying, but really just a problem of big numbers. If the number is something like 1000:1 or worse, you probably need to throw an expedition at it you know won't fail and has everything it needs for the campaign. And you might want to send a chunk of manufacturing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inky View Post
Another possibility is to just make it a not very powerful effect that can be resisted by a Will roll, IQ roll, or something like that. Less like Professor X, more like the fairy music that lures people to their doom. Then, since high-tech equipment doesn't make any difference to that (unless you introduce some made-up psychotronic equipment that does), your commandos are faced with exactly as much of a challenge as King Arthur's knights would have been. Not being King Arthur's knights, though, they may have different ideas about how to get past it.

Hmm, if they tried to overwhelm that with numbers in the hope that some might get through by luck, it might be an interesting thing to have some kind of magic which has more effect the more people are present - a fear spell where everybody amplifies each other's panic, for instance. Then you can't send in your army and the PCs have to try and force their way through alone.
Magic that forces elite forces is a really good thing to encourage. Foes that transform their victims into more of themselves are good for that. Like a necromancer who only needs more bodies to make more undead, or some sort of aberation that seeds its victims with eggs. Mass anti-army fear spells could work too.


One thought is having a local "I win" button that has a local countermeasure that's in limited supply, like magical amulets or swords that can hit ghosts.
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Old 09-29-2021, 02:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Crazy campaigns ideas

What if there is more than one portal?

Say, half-a-dozen or so, scattered randomly around earth and the new world. Every major power - or, to make it more fun, some minor ones - has one and starts to "explore" and "develop" the new world.
Soon, alliances are forged, "cruel barbaric regimes" are toppled and replaced by puppets, and then the spheres of influence cross.

Proxy war, anyone?
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:24 PM   #19
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In a similar campaign draft, I used a partly programmable Star Gate with two bad problems for the guys taking part.

First the gate itself was in a deep cave, you could only reach it by food and boat. The way was at least 10 km long often narrow and slippery. So no fancy helicopters or tanks, just foot troops maybe augmented by codiacs or quads, and with generally limited supplies. Good thing no big invasion could get in bad thing the own side was limited to above conditions and in a game taking place now maybe a few light drones.

No way to build a tunnel big enough for real stuff, the gate sits in a center of a unknown material which can be very well necessary to keep the gate running, and from the gate to the fringes of the material are it 300m in a direct way, but thanks to a real labyrinth inside the way is at least 1 km.


Secong the gate works only if on the side which opens it, a person with after intensive research still not understandable advantages, uses the controls. This people dont stick out and are real seldom, so far only a dozen has been found. The only way to test if they can use the gate is to set them in front of the controls and see what happens. Different persons can reach different places, gladly a person who opens a connection can open it also from the other side. Every person in the program and every "sherpa" is tested but alas... . Next problem is that nearly all of this persons are not the stuff for heroes or to old, young etc.

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Old 10-01-2021, 05:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Crazy campaigns ideas

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One immediate thought is a dungeon world - it's quite hard to push a tank through a 10'-wide stone hallway. It's the kind of thing that could work if the only portals are accessible through dungeons/caverns/otherwise difficult spaces.
To a point, for some time. The modern army's response would be to clear the underground place with FAEs, flamethrowers and/or gases, then drill a shaft up, then install a heavy-duty mine elevator in the shaft. Now they're on the surface.

Note that if you are facing a medieval army, you don't really need a 70-ton MBT, a lightly armored vehicle will already be a challenge for the locals.
Magic, of course, changes the equation.
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