Saturday, December 19, 2009

10 ideas that never made it pt.1

It's really cold here, -13 degrees Celsius (8.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Somehow the Melvins' Boris helps to keep me warm.

It might seem strange, but I often come up with my most creative/weird ideas in the shower. Today I thought about gaming ideas that I had in the past, but somehow never got to realize.

Here's my first installment of...

10 ideas that I always wanted to realize, but failed or forgot to:

10. Playing Shadowrun

I bought the main handbook and always wanted to use it, even though I could never imagine how all the pieces came together. I know people who played the game extensively and had lots of fun... I guess my experience running the shadows is yet to come!

9. Wladir Lennist and Karel Merx

This idea actually kicked off pretty well, but ended shamefully. Wladir Lennist and Karel Merx were characters created by me and my friend for a fantasy game of non decrepit origin (also known as the "anything goes" type).

I was playing Lennist, an elf, who with his gnome comrade Merx tries to start a revolution against the feudal lords. Merx was the brains and face of the duo, giving out fiery speeches and creating magical bombs. Lennist had a horrible burn covering the whole side of his face due to a bomb misfire. He was the muscle of the operations, skilled in fencing and acrobatics, assassinating the enemies of the people (usually by blowing them up).

By this point you probably noticed that our main inspiration for those fucked up PCs were Lenin and Marx, followed by the whole bunch of 19th century anarchists...

At the beginning things were running smooth. However, we haven't foreseen the fact that our gaming group would incorporate a VERY irritating guy (seriously imagine this guy as a player)... At first staying in character wasn't difficult, but with the passing of time, my in game goals shifted. I didn't want to liberate the people of the state, I wanted to kill the irritating player. I wanted to torture him in every possible way, throw his preposterous character (it was a dark blue skinned vampire with black angelic wings, which was supposedly "the chosen one" of his race, blah blah blah) into a meat grinder...

At this point I should probably say, that I am a bit ashamed of what I did, as it was an example of extremely bad gameplay, but I don't regret it.

What happened is: after his 4059 stupid remark my character simply started attacking the irritating vampire schmuck. To my surprise this polarized the party (i think people simply decided not to act out of character) and a huge fight broke out. Needles to say it ended with a TPK ( I think, I blew myself up just to kill the last enemy) and the DM treating us like a bunch of idiots.

I still think the characters could have been fun to play, although that was probably the first and the last time I tried to incorporate a modern political concept into character creation.

8.Goblin Campaign

Ever since I encountered a review of Orkworld in the only Polish RPG magazine, my imagination was filled with dreams of running a campaign wit PCs being goblins, orcs, trolls or things like that.

We even created some characters. My favorite was a small goblin, who in a conanesque fashion was trapped in a cave that turned out to be a tomb of a long dead king. There he acquired a Powerful Great-sword.The only problem was, the poor gobbo was barely able to lift the thing.

I still feel sad about this idea never working out.

7.Creating a Cube-like dungeon

This idea was inspired by the movie Cube (duh!). The main point wasn't to create a dungeon that would look like the place from the movie, but for the layout of the dungeon to change in an organized pattern.

Such a dungeon would need to have a very thought out and logical construction. The pattern in which the rooms layout would change is also very important. It shouldn't be random, since the main point of the adventure would be for the players to crack the pattern in order to get out (as opposed to getting out by means of some magical device in the dungeon etc.).

I think it's not a very fresh idea, but surely a inspiring one. I never got myself to actually do it because it's extremely demanding both from the players and the DM. My biggest issue is the pattern of the dungeon transformations. A complicated one might prove to be too difficult for the players, one that is easy to break would simply kill the whole adventure...


  1. For your cube dungeon, if you go to a craft store (Michaels or Joanns in the states) you can get little wooden cubes for a couple of bucks. Once you work out your rooms, you can label the wooden cubes(maybe even for orientation) and assemble them into the larger cube to create your map. when the cubes rearrange in the game, rearrange the wood cube.

  2. For the cube dungeon, how bouth this:

    Have six options in six directions. If the PCs get into a room thru the south, X always happens, if through the floor, y always happens. Make it so they have to do all six to get out.

    That way you get a minimum of 6 encounters (that's at least a session worth of play)plus no mapping for you at all. Plus it'd probably take at least 3 for the PCs to figure out the idea. Plus a few more to test it.

    Some of the encounters could involve foes or mcguffins leaving through a door. This makes it seem like the PCs should be following it out that door, but if they go thru, it's just like always.