Weird, ridiculous campaign ideas that we all secretly want to do...


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Scarab Sages

This one came from an old Dragon magazine article (back in the print days) that suggested a bunch of campaign hooks. I always liked the suggestion of the PCs suddenly awakening from stasis/paralysis/petrification to find that years have gone by.

I envision more like centuries going by. The PCs wake up to discover that everything has changed. Not only has everyone they knew died, but the countries they were familiar with are gone or radically altered, the world has been taken over by monsters/demons/Elder Gods, or the lands have been drowned or torn apart by volcanoes and earthquakes. Perhaps some races have vanished or been wiped out and PCs of certain races now may be the last of their kind. Perhaps magic itself ceased to exist, yet somehow the PCs are still able to access it.

To make it really work I think either you'd have to play for a while in the old world before this happens, or else the players would all have to be invested in writing extensive backstories for their characters so they could really feel the sense of how much they've lost.


I feel like a danger with that ploy would be that if they have enough investment to care, they'd have enough investment to hate you for taking that away from them. :P


I've always wanted to be part of a game where Serpentfolk are the main antagonists.
Playing as a Serpentman, who for political reasons is determined to bring down the enemies of the other PCs, luring them along the subtle path, convincing them to fight the great evil that stalks their land, all for nefarious purposes while hiding true intentions.

Scarab Sages

Illia- wrote:
I feel like a danger with that ploy would be that if they have enough investment to care, they'd have enough investment to hate you for taking that away from them. :P

Agreed. I think the players would have to know in advance that was going to happen and agree to it. It shouldn't be something the GM springs on them as a surprise.


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As I recall, D&D Heroes for the original Xbox had the characters being raised from the dead after many years to reface a threat they had already dealt with in life. It would certainly be an interesting start to a campaign.


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with the tech guide, iron gods adventure path, and distant worlds books i would love to put together a xcom themed game


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Blackvial wrote:
with the tech guide, iron gods adventure path, and distant worlds books i would love to put together a xcom themed game

Why, Commander...why...


I really want to play that now...

Dark Archive

Arakhor wrote:
As I recall, D&D Heroes for the original Xbox had the characters being raised from the dead after many years to reface a threat they had already dealt with in life. It would certainly be an interesting start to a campaign.

Reincarnation makes for the funkier possibility that everyone starts with a quasi-random racial choice (I say quasi random, because it would be best if the 'random' race be selected from a few options so that the PC doesn't end up embodied in a race that would be terrible for their class choice).

The level loss that comes with some forms of coming back from the dead (or level draining critters) can also make for a strange campaign, in which the PCs *remember* being high level champions of myth and legend, but aren't currently able to recapture those levels of power.


On the other hand, they can explore prestige classes that let them put a permanent end to the problem.


1. A campaign where everyone in my home group actually play like good guys. It'll never happen, because one player never ever wants to, and a party is only able to be as good as the least good PC.

Shadow Lodge

Josh Vogt wrote:
2. Slowly reveal that most of the PCs are actually figments of one PC's imagination, or fragmented personalities within his/her mind.

I had an idea for a one-shot in the middle of a campaign. You give the players a set of new characters for the one-shot, where everyone wakes up on the beach with amnesia. They explore the beach together, and find an asylum nearby, where they're taken in. PCs being PCs, they start exploring the asylum not trusting things, looking for evidence of bad experiments. That's when they find a chest containing the prized belongings of the regular campaign PCs.

That's when they realize that the one-shot characters have been each other's PCs all along, and that they received amnesia somehow. Now, they have to get themselves back out, and get themselves back.


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One idea I always thought about for a very different campaign is have all the PCs start as the victims of an evil witch having cast baleful polymorph on them and a mass of other people as well. The PCs are the only ones that retained their minds and have to adventure as frogs, rabbits, chickens, etc. They would have to develop their class abilities while avoiding being hunted as food and searching for a spell caster powerful enough to remove the curse.

One weird adventure I actually developed and ran was for Christmas 2014. I had the players play Santa's elves (Pathfinder gnomes) that were all a part of Santa's secret wetworks squad, so in addition to toy making (they all had Craft (toys) at full ranks) they also took care of any special "problems" that Santa needed resolved without hurting his PR.

A goblin invasion of the workshops to free one of Santa's rejected prototypes (Ape X, a massive hyper-intelligent gorilla with a gattling gun arm and power hand) to act as their new leader happens on Christmas Eve when Santa is out on the job. The elves were about to kick back and join in the after-Christmas festivities when they have to spring into action.

It was a blast! My personal favorite player characters were the alchemist explosive specialist and the ninja assassin!


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Feros wrote:
One weird adventure I actually developed and ran was for Christmas 2014. I had the players play Santa's elves (Pathfinder gnomes) that were all a part of Santa's secret wetworks squad, so in addition to toy making (they all had Craft (toys) at full ranks) they also took care of any special "problems" that Santa needed resolved without hurting his PR.

That is awesome! I'm envisioning a cigar-chomping gnome hoisting a repeating crossbow and snarling "Looks like you all just made the naughty list."


I have way too many.

-WW2 inspired game: The players start in a very "normal" fantasy setting, until they are eventually sent to inspect "old abandonned fortress", far in the mountains, that was used centuries ago by hobgoblins, make sur they arent "causing any ruckus". There, they discover that the hobgoblins (with goblin and bugbear allies) where planning to take over the world, with Goblin "winged marauder" fighters, undead tanks (made from skeletons and metal plates). Oh, and the invasion force left to attack while they where making their way there. Now they would need to choose how to deal (flee to another country, form a resistance, etc.).

-All-system 40k game (this one is pure madness): The game starts in the "Dark heresy" system, with the players investigating stuff that eventually turns out to be genestealers. Then the game switches to "deatwatch", where the players would need to take out the hive, which reveals the infestation is much worse than thought. Then the game would switch to "only war", where the imperial guard would be trying to fight the genestealers all-out. The game would swap between the three "teams" depending on the needs of the current situation.

-Adventures in bureaucracy: The players are individuals in an evil empire, demoted for some reason and sent to work in the "tax collections" department of some backward town. The game would be mostly humorous, mixing endless investigation through bureaucracy, chassing down tax evaders, and trying to de-stress after such a messed up day.

(i will put more later)


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-The lost isle (would not work in pathfinder): All the players wake up on an island, remebering only their name. It's up to the players to act, whether to explore or to flee.

-The ring of the ancients: essentially stargate SG1 in pathfinder. The players would start in an all-human fantasy world, do a few basic adventures. Eventually, they would be sent to investigate monsters coming out of an old ruin. At the center they discover a great glowing ring from which come the monsters. Then they must decide what to do about it; I would push the leadership to try to do a "stargate SG1" type setup. Drow as Goaould, Elves as tokra, etc.

-Arcane academy: the players start as children in a magical school with nothing but cantrips. The game would be about making the most of cantrips basically (but would need invested and creative players).

-Cinder claws: basically a christmas themed "we be goblins" with kobolds and their red dragon master (cinder claws)

-Xelbaba's lair (short campaign): this would all be about a heist game. THe goal would be to break into the lair of a lich (xelbaba) who has not been paying their taxes for the last few centuries. The goal of the game is to steal the back taxes (about 1000k gp) from various items from the lair, whithout being killed.

Psychic parasite campaign (have a friend interested in this one): You play as an intellect devourer. Your goal is to save your community from aboleth (or some other underdark threat) by getting "up-worlders" to do the work for you. You wouldnt gain levels, but you COULD steal the bodies of more and more powerful creatures, and using their powers. (would need a lot of new rules).

Woo! I think of more frequently, but these are my weirdest

Scarab Sages

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This one actually happened, but I'll share for the fun.

Iron Chef as an RPG. The PCs were operatives of 'The Kitchen', the secret Illuminati-like organization for which the tv show was just a cover. The real Iron Chef was creating his culinary masterpieces for some secret purpose that even the operatives didn't know. They were sent on missions to get ingredients like manticore flesh, while fighting against enemies such as the Antarctic Nazi Brewmeisters, who had a flying saucer (the spaceship, not an actual saucer).

The PCs were a chef with massive knife skills, a chauffeur who could drive like James Bond, a Steve Irwin-inspired Aussie hunter, and an Atlantean sorceress. The rules system was Risus: The Everything RPG.


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Being the kind of person who enjoys actually PLAYING some ridiculous ideas, I did a thing. XD Feel free to check it out if you're interested in some Play-by-Post.


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For a while I wanted to do something I would call the "average adventurer" because I wanted to have a few sessions focused on interesting ideas and game play.

Everyone would pre-prepare several interesting puzzle/combats/encounters for a dungeon, be assigned a number and when a room was cleared the gm would roll a die ~ signalling the next gm to take the hot seat.

We would all roll for our stats and then build a character around our (most likely abysmal) stats.

From there we would start our dungeon crawl.

~

The focus would be on creative ways to beat encounters and tight teamwork to get through problems.


GM Rednal wrote:
Being the kind of person who enjoys actually PLAYING some ridiculous ideas, I did a thing. XD Feel free to check it out if you're interested in some Play-by-Post.

I've tried running some ridiculous ideas. My current game (rogue trader) is loosely inspired by duck tales.

But silly ideas take motivated players, and I have had little luck finding those. Stil, one can only hope!

Scarab Sages

I would someday like to play in a D&D campaign in a Bronze Age Mediterranean setting. I realize it would require some heavy modification of things like weapons, armor, and equipment, and possibly magic, too. But I think it would be fun to play in a setting like that with magic, using only creatures that would have been found in Greek and Egyptian mythology (and maybe introducing some from other cultures, like Mesopotamia).

But it will never happen, because I'm not GM material, and my friends who GM don't have much interest in that kind of historical setting.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dire Elf wrote:

I would someday like to play in a D&D campaign in a Bronze Age Mediterranean setting. I realize it would require some heavy modification of things like weapons, armor, and equipment, and possibly magic, too. But I think it would be fun to play in a setting like that with magic, using only creatures that would have been found in Greek and Egyptian mythology (and maybe introducing some from other cultures, like Mesopotamia).

But it will never happen, because I'm not GM material, and my friends who GM don't have much interest in that kind of historical setting.

Green Ronin released two books that might help with this one: Testament, which lets you play during the events of the Bible and Trojan War, no points for guessing when you can play in this one.


Mongoose Publishing released OGL Ancients, dealing with the pre-Roman Mediterranean, and Sean K Reynolds did The New Argonauts (a fantasy Greek setting).


thegreenteagamer wrote:

A game that lasts over a year without anyone flaking, ditching, or claiming "real life gets in the way" while simultaneously managing to keep every single other aspect of their social life regularly scheduled just fine.

I know. It's a crazy concept.

This is still true, if you were wondering. This latest one lasted three months before the first player dropped, and a month until the next...


thegreenteagamer wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:

A game that lasts over a year without anyone flaking, ditching, or claiming "real life gets in the way" while simultaneously managing to keep every single other aspect of their social life regularly scheduled just fine.

I know. It's a crazy concept.

This is still true, if you were wondering. This latest one lasted three months before the first player dropped, and a month until the next...

Mmm... I have the reverse problem. I'm always the GM with my home group, and I almost always burn out halfway through the campaign. Nobody else wants to GM and we just wait until I'm not burnt out again.


I've actually not had any problems with players dropping out. More just being unreliable (I've been tempted to boot out some recently).


An all Improved Familiars campaign. Their Masters are all trapped in a magic curse, and the familiars must quest for the a solution.


Shell-Shocked XCOM Agent wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
with the tech guide, iron gods adventure path, and distant worlds books i would love to put together a xcom themed game
Why, Commander...why...

because I'm evil


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I have always wanted to run a Dr. Seuss campaign. You'd start at level one with There's a Wocket in my Pocket. (The Vug would probably be the boss.) You would travel through the world of stories and encounter the likes of Bartholomew or Yertle. The Cat in the Hat would be a deranged summoner. If we were playing in Pathfinder, anyway. Thing one and thing two are Slaads at best.

The arc of the campaign could be to topple Yertle, reform the Grinch, or even uncover corruption in the highest ranks of storytelling and authority. (Ideas reserved for if I get the courage to run it.)

Stopping me? I'd have to speak in rhyme the whole time.


@flamethrower49: Hmm... I suppose that if there were some Lord of the Rings-like situation in your campaign with orcs despoiling a forest, then instead of an ent (or treant) you could have the Lorax appeal to the PCs for help.

Maybe the PCs could fight through monkey swarms and a vulture (or vrock?) to rescue Whoville.

I wonder how many tigers the PCs could lick in one day?


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Vikings vs Nazis

During the last days of the Third Reich, the nazis send a small army of soldiers, workers, scientists, polish slaves and high ranking members of the Party and the SS back in time to Scandinavia 800 AD in order to restart and form the Fourth Reich.

The Allies catch on, sending back their own team to arm and united the local fighting viking clans.

PC would include the typical dark ages lot (vikings), as well as escaped Polish slaves, disenfranchised nazi scientists, AWOL ss and army members and time travelling Allies.

Would include Nazi mutants, weird viking magic and increasing senile Hitler....


TheMountain wrote:

Vikings vs Nazis

During the last days of the Third Reich, the nazis send a small army of soldiers, workers, scientists, polish slaves and high ranking members of the Party and the SS back in time to Scandinavia 800 AD in order to restart and form the Fourth Reich.

The Allies catch on, sending back their own team to arm and united the local fighting viking clans.

PC would include the typical dark ages lot (vikings), as well as escaped Polish slaves, disenfranchised nazi scientists, AWOL ss and army members and time travelling Allies.

Would include Nazi mutants, weird viking magic and increasing senile Hitler....

If this isnt the next season of DANGER 5 I will be sorely dissapointed


Surely, AD 800 is the First Reich, given that Charlemagne is still alive.


Slight paradox - whoever sends back the first group in time alters history the instant they do, and thus the second group can't actually find out, even a split nanosecond later, and go back themselves. Unless you're running off multiverse theory, in which case anything you do changes nothing in your universe and there's no point to travel back in time.

Time isn't Terminator Genisys where you can completely ignore cause and effect. God I hated that movie and it's gaping plot holes you could fly a starship through.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I highly doubt a Terminator movie would have plot holes, you must be remembering it wrong. :-D


Arakhor wrote:
Surely, AD 800 is the First Reich, given that Charlemagne is still alive.

Funnily enough I imagined Hitler in his usual insanity, has declared himself Charlemagne/Frederick-Reborn; all others are pretenders (He is very, very insane at this point, from a mixture of stress, meglomania and syphilis). That said, I imagine attempts of an alliance would be made.

Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:

Slight paradox - whoever sends back the first group in time alters history the instant they do, and thus the second group can't actually find out, even a split nanosecond later, and go back themselves. Unless you're running off multiverse theory, in which case anything you do changes nothing in your universe and there's no point to travel back in time.

Time isn't Terminator Genisys where you can completely ignore cause and effect. God I hated that movie and it's gaping plot holes you could fly a starship through.

Cannot stress enough, this is purposely meant to be an awesome dumb idea (or a really dumb awesome idea). Unless of course the decision was made that the Allies snuck themselves in with the first group, with the Allied Powers acknowledging that the world timeline was going to irreparably changed, but still considering it better than the alternative, i.e. the Nazis curb stomping and enslaving 800AD Europe.

On the side note, I would think Sabaton would be the best band to go with this adventure...

Shadow Lodge

Redbeard the Scruffy wrote:

Slight paradox - whoever sends back the first group in time alters history the instant they do, and thus the second group can't actually find out, even a split nanosecond later, and go back themselves. Unless you're running off multiverse theory, in which case anything you do changes nothing in your universe and there's no point to travel back in time.

Time isn't Terminator Genisys where you can completely ignore cause and effect. God I hated that movie and it's gaping plot holes you could fly a starship through.

from the TV show, apparently they use multiverse theory of a version ascribed to by Dr Mcninja (basically around the time period of the doc's life there are a thousand different ways the world could end and a few hundred years later chuck always ends up finding a time portal and going back to fix one problem after another, so far it's up to I think 6 or 8?)

Anyway point is, each time someone in the TV show of movies time traveled they explicitly are from another universe caused by the result of the previous time travel
When that happens enough times, you get the weird s!&$ of the most recent movie.


You know, now that I've found this thread I think I'll travel back in time and post some ideas I've had about games I'd like to run...

gee I hope they aren't stupid


Time is a river. When you go back in time, the branch of the river you came from usually ends. Then it branches out from the point in the past you landed. In The Flash, apparently, Barry destroyed the black hole, causing 2 branches of the time river. One where the anti flash lived till he got erased, and one where he never lived and meddled in at all. So called Earth 2.


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Time works exactly how the writers want it to work. :)


...even if how they want it to work has no internal logical consistency.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Doc was right! He's trapped in the old west, but he was right!!


Games based off of song titles. Or a mix!
"Veterans of the Psychic Wars" - Blue Oyster Cult
"Seven Devils" - Florence and the Machine
etc.


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I've done characters like that.
One was Chumbawumba...

"I GET KNOCKED DOWN - BUT I GET UP AGAIN - YA NEVER GONNA KEEP ME DOWN!"

Or the blaster wizard with spell specialization, spell focus, elemental focus, and the greater of all them...and of course empower and maximize: "Goodness, gracious, Great Balls of Fire!"


I have always had this weird feeling that the whole album, Heaven and Hell, by Black Sabbath was an adventure.

Scarab Sages

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Arise from thy slumber, thread!

This one just popped into my head a few minutes ago, while I was looking at some miniatures:

A party of retired adventurers. They have all gone home and got married or started businesses or both. Maybe some have become important people in the city/kingdom. For whatever reason, they have to come out of retirement to start adventuring again, to defeat some great evil or recover a stolen artifact or some such.

They would naturally be starting above 1st level, but some or all of them could have age penalties. They would be reluctant to leave their current lives and loved ones behind.

In addition to being older and desiring more creature comforts, they also have a whole troupe of followers (family, servants, apprentices, squires, scribes, beloved mounts and pets) that they have to keep track of and protect from danger, just to prevent the PCs from being too powerful. They would be expending a lot of their magical buffs and healing on their entourage, which would mostly be made up of non-combat, 1st-level characters that wouldn't be much use in whatever endeavour the PCs are pursuing.

Part of the fun would be roleplaying them reminiscing about their past adventures, as well as how they treat their followers. Imagine a fantasy equivalent of a "helicopter" mother as a wizard taking her child/apprentice out adventuring with her for the first time, or a fighter as the football coach trying to teach his young protege' the ropes.


I've been wanting to build a full magipunk setting. Not quite ebberon, where magic is simply adapted into our tech; try to imagine what "tech" would evolve from the numerous spells that exist.


williamoak wrote:
I've been wanting to build a full magipunk setting. Not quite ebberon, where magic is simply adapted into our tech; try to imagine what "tech" would evolve from the numerous spells that exist.

True Strike gun. Half an hour cool down time between shots?


I've always wanted to do a good and proper fourth wall breaking meta campaign. I don't know what shape or form it would take, but the characters would certainly know they're in a game.


Goddity wrote:
I've always wanted to do a good and proper fourth wall breaking meta campaign. I don't know what shape or form it would take, but the characters would certainly know they're in a game.

Have the player be the previous incarnation of the character.

Introduce a magic hypnosis amulet that triggers past life regressions.
Warning, you might end up with magical ponies and catgirls.

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