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I've been reading through the weird campaign ideas you'd like to play thread, and figured we should also see what people have successfully pulled off.
I'll offer a couple of my own to start:
The BBEG had actually split the world into 4 parts, based on the elements - air, earth, fire, and water. There were prophecies of the chosen ones who will one day have the chance to defeat him. The characters (gestalt PCs) all passed through a magical portal, after which they met each other for the first time. Before the game started, I sent each a player a description of the game world for building their character. I sent each of them a totally different description, randomly assigning each one to one of 4 elemental 'pieces' of the original world. The adventure spanned all 4 elemental realms, the Elysian Fields (Halfling Heaven, as it were), a 5th 'hidden' shard that was the last piece of the original world, and several other planes. It was pretty awesome. The air shard was my favorite and was based on The Integral Trees by Larry Niven. On the water shard, all of the land-based species were forced to live on top of the ice in arctic areas. By the end of the campaign, the party were flying on a planes-hopping mithral-hulled airship and wound up befriending Vinnie, the 30-headed tarrasque. Yes, that involved multiple Nat 20 rolls on the part of the party.
The second bizarre one I started, was D&D 3.5 anthropomorphic animal characters w/ BESM d20 traits. I said this was bizarre from the start, right? Raised on what was, to all appearances, a medieval estate. The entire group, were raised as a family unit, despite being different animals. They were all accustomed to medieval style life, manners, etc. The game started with the death of their father, when they were first able to leave the family estate. And that is when they learned they were in a post-apocalyptic Earth. Including a cult that worshipped the ancient god, Michael Jackson. That was a hell of a campaign. Especially after they got their hands on a Doctor Who inspired time machine.