Things You Wanted To Run And Haven't


I always sit around and think of ideas for campaigns. Some of these ideas make it into campaigns I'm already running, and some eventually become campaigns of their own. But there's always ideas that just don't work for one reason or another, or slip through the cracks and get forgotten about.

So, I put the question to the Gamegrene massive...what are the ideas you wanted to run and haven't yet? And if there's a reason why you haven't used it, what is it? With the brains on most of the members here, I bet we can sort each other out with some new ways to use those ideas so that maybe we end up getting to put them into a campaign in the future.

My short list is this:

1) A completely underwater campaign.

I haven't used the idea yet because I don't want to use the same old underwater races (merfolk, tritons, sahuagin, etc.) I want to have something truly cool, especially for playable races. I've also toyed with the idea of having surface characters in an underwater campaign, but the whole idea of having some magic gizmo or whatever that allows them to breathe and move naturally bugs me. However, 3/4 of my homegrown campaign setting is covered in water, so the potential for underwater play is even greater than that of surface play...or is it?

2) A plane-spanning campaign.

I haven't done this one yet, as I was one of the three or four people that didn't really like Planescape, and Malhavoc Press's Beyond COuntless Doorways didn't really do anything for me either. Maybe I'm just not a Wolfgang Bauer fan? It always seems to me that the awe-and-amaze factor of plane hopping adventureers wears thin REALLY fast, so I've only used other planes and travelling to them as elements in a few campaigns, and then so sparingly that I amy as well have not even bothered with it in the first place. I did however once set a campaign in the plane of shadows to great effect. It was a film noir inspired campaign, though still fantasy, and the fact that everything is black and white in the plane of shadows in my cosmology was cool...but only for the first couple sessions. After that it became normal and limp.

3) Period simulation.

All the research in order to make it realistic and believable seemed to me like time I could have been developing my own setting, so I've never bothered. But ancient Rome and the plains of North America when the explorers from Europe always intrigued me. I know there are published settings that I could borrow from to make this work...but again, I could use that time on my own setting.

Like I said, this is my SHORT list. I could go on but won't. That's my top three though.

I should also add Wheel of Time to my list. I have the setting for d20, and ran through Prophecies Of The Dragon as a filler between regular campaign play just for a break. But to really do it justice, I'd have to read all the books I think...and I actually detest reading fantasy. Moorcock wrecked me for all other fantasy so I just keep re-reading The Dreamthiefs Daughter and The Skrayling Tree over and over. LOL.

1) You might check out Blue Planet.
2) I think the planes of D&D are a little too abstract for most people to comprehend beyond the fire level of Diablo 2. That is pretty much everything is the same, but lots more fire. It's also a little too awesome for most GMs. A shift in realm maybe goes a little easier, a connecticut yankee in King arthurs court, or John Carter of Mars style.
3) very little interest in this area. History is great in small doses, but not really campaign interst for me (beyond stereotypical hollywood lore). I like Wild West, but dont have any actual knowledge of the period.

Im pondering Vigilantes and Cthulhu. Call of Cthulhu and Villians and Vigilantes use similar character rules, and I thought it might be an interesting one shot to combine them. I'm thinking 1940's.

You may want to check out the Nocturnum campaign that came out for Call of Cthulu. I ran it awhile back and it was just plain awesome. Great handouts too...and that makes any adventure/campaign even better. It's d20, and set in the modern day...but it was a really good campaign nonetheless.

1. I've always wanted to run a modern day sci fi/horror that leaads to the end of the world. After ten years of waiting and several abortive starts, I have finally begun that journey.

2. I wanted to run a fantasy world where aliens crashland. Their masters show up and subjugate the world with their far suprior technology. The pcs are characters rising in revolt of their alien slave masters.

3. An epic Shadowrun campaign.

Most of my dream list revolves around stories, some in themes like horror or detective / murder mystery, etc. The counter balance is a single epic world adventure with hack and slash morphing into a leadership role of mass battles and broad drama and on through generations of King Maker or strat-sim behind the individual action.

Ironically fear keeps me from working on horror seriously. I don't think I could pull it off.

1)This thought occurred to me after reading your post. What about a game in which the pcs ARE the alien crashlanders on a strange world? They could be friendly, nonthreatening people, but they always have to run and hide because everyone wants a piece of them, be it for scientific "research", government exploitation, xenophobia, or simple UFO nuts. Running around on a world where you can't communicate and can't trust anyone or even go out in broad daylight could be quite the experience.

2) Those of you who haven't seen this ( forum, come and sign up! I'd love to run this, if I could get some players.....

We played a "NightBreed" game (loosely based on the movie. We played the monsters. I was Godzilla with a thyroid problem, that is, I never got huge. There was also a small pc that looked like a childrens toy.
We were pursued by silver bullet packing national guard.


I've always wanted to run a game set in Ice Age Noth America where the PCs are part of the original tribe that settles the continent. In addition to fighting mammoths and saber tooth tigers they would also have to fight against a mysterious remnant of super civilization that was destroyed in the ice age. Imagine warriors riding armored mammoths. Since, there is so little known about this epoch its easy to add in fantasy elements. Unfortunately I haven't been able to convince my current gaming group who alternate between Star Wars and D&D.

"leadership role of mass battles and broad drama and on through generations of King Maker or strat-sim behind the individual action."

Aozora, I found D20 rules for massive battles in Testament: Roleplaying in The Biblical Era. However, the rules only work with ancient or medieval armies.

Aozora...the rules for mass battles in Cry Havoc are by far the best I've found. It's a Malhavoc Press release, so you know it's good. I'm not a Monte Cook fanboy or anything...but he does know the rules inside and out, and I've yet to find a product with his name on it that was lacking. I believe it was Sean K Reynolds that did the book, but I may be mistaken...I'm not near the bookshelf at the moment. Currently, I am running a twisted campaign for a devil-possesed PC, and I've incorporated alot of horror elements into's gone quite well so far. There's also a d20 version of Birthright that I used for a bit that may help along with the King Maker ideas. Of course...I've said all this without knowing what rule set you use for your campaigns. ;)

Sacrosanct...if your group likes D&D, then use the d20 rules to do it. Get yourself a copy of Frostburn and go to town. I only bought it for one session where a PC was crossing the most inhospitable cold barren wasteland in my setting, and found it quite helpful. Believe it or not, it was worth the price just for how much it helped me with that one session...and I'm sure it'll get used again in the future. Would your group be against a limited list of available classes? I usually try to limit mine to 5 or 6 they can choose from, and I make sure that only 2 or so are the core keeps my players interested as the majority are normally non-standard choices and they want to try out the new classes. It's gotten them into ideas they were unsure about many a time. I would use Barbarian, Druid, and Ranger as the core choices, and find a few others thata fit the setting and theme to go along with those. The Totem Warrior from Arcana Evovled comes to mind. Aslo, considerr making the Fighter an NPC-only class and limit it to your super civilization. The fact that they are intrinsially better on paper will translate well into the flavor you are trying to establish as them being an advanced culture...they would no doubt have a more scientific approach (Feats) to battle than the barbarian or Ranger would. After the PCs have encountered them a few times, open it up to multiclassing, but give it BAB and Feat prerequisites like a Prestige Class.

"Testament: Roleplaying in The Biblical Era" and "Cry Havoc", check. Excellent leads, thanks gentlemen!

Games that I'd love to play:
- cyberpunk adventure (shadowrun/gurps/CP2020) - oozes coolness
- a game full of intrigue and backstabbing (the Song of Ice and Fire books really created this desire)
- a mage: the awakening campaign/adventure: seems like neat stuff.

Games I'd like to run:
- political intrigue (see above)..but i'm afraid i'm not up to it.
- epic space opera, complete with precursor race, space combat, aliens and LASERS.
- A campaign set in an earth where each area is set at its most interesting (to me) period: medieval Europe, dynastic china, ancient babylon and egypt, classic greece, aztec/inca south america, and so on. I think Dangerous Journeys tried something similar.
- a time traveling/ dimention hopping (not necessarily fantasy) campaign, where the PCs are agents of The Agency. (inspired by the GURPS Time Travel book)

"- epic space opera, complete with precursor race, space combat, aliens and LASERS."

Read the Forbidden Borders trilogy by W. Michael Gear. That'd make a pretty good setting and I doubt that anyone else you know has read them.

Have you ever read/played/ran Torg?

nope, nope and... nope.

Dude, I hated Torg!!! It was worse than Rifts!

No, I never sugar coat things do I?

Torg was rubbish...that's for sure. "roleplaying the Possibility Wars" . Ugh...what a crock that whole idea was.

But, I still use the red and blue d20 that came with it to make saving throws for NPCs that are about to die, and Spot and Listen checks for when my players are passively wandering through woods not taking care of the noise they make. Basically anytime that someone should have know better, but craps the bed anyways, I make the roll using the die that came with Torg.

I've always liked the idea of a sandbox campaign - something set on an island, with a closed locale, rather than going all huge scale and world-spanning. I keep coming back to this idea of a ship of penal colonists from Thay getting shipwrecked on this island "with a mystery". I like the idea that the things they do contribute to the building of an overall town or colony, that eventually threatens their Thayvian slavemasters, and they have some form of revenge, or they form their own little nation.

Less ambitiously, I've played with three different adventure story concepts:

1. A race against an evil orc party to retrieve an artifact from an underwater ruin (the ruin has air).

2. An actual race, in some kind of airship regatta in which many nations partipate and evil is afoot.

3. A small ruin that is scattered through *time*, where the party must navigate through different time periods in the same space to collect items and save the day.

I like the sound of that last one...

The kernal of the idea came from someone I used to know, who really enjoyed high concept stuff. I started to write it (and the first one) - I mustered every time travelly bit of ambiance and game mechanics I could get.

Interesting that should come up. The notion of time travel plays a major role *behind the scenes* in my setting. I took the idea of Paradox and Continuum from the Chronomancy book that Mongoose put out and ran with it. Basically everythng is happening all at once in the same place at the same is perception that makes the world appear linear. The more people believe something happened a certain way, the more true it becomes.

Add to that beings with long memories (dragons, the Elu (which are not like elves...but almost)) and you have a very stable timeline where it is imposible to go back and, say, kill your own father...but time travel is still possible, as is changeing minor events in the past.

I've never really had any players with characters that time travelled though...guess the idea never interested them the way it interested it's remained a background element behind the scenes.

What I've always wanted to do with time travel is run a campaign where the players relive the same time period over and over again, like in the movie Groundhog Day or something. At the end of the time period, some terrible catastrophe occurs, but they have a magic gadget of some sort that can take them back to that morning.
Come to think of it, isn't that how The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask goes?
I haven't run this one for two reasons:
1. I'm still not quite sure how to set it up. It needs a lot of internal consistency to work.
2. My players all suck and never show up for anything.