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 Post subject: Gaming Influences?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:14 pm 
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The "What are you playing" thread got me thinking - what games/adventures have influenced your own original games or campaigns? Not comic, movies, or other things that (obvious) have an influence on the creative process - but just [b]pure gaming[/b] influences.

In my own case, the 1st ed. module "Dwellers of the Forbidden City" - for whatever reason - struck me as so prfoundly cool when I first played it many, many moons ago that I can't deny its strong influence. Something about adventuring in a dark, creepy jungle makes the adventure tha tmuch better for me. I also have used yuan-ti, aboleth, and other monsters from that one module more times that I probably should in my own campaigns ... but again, that one module made the monsters in that module "cooler" than any other monsters.

Another module - "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks". Ever since then, I've always thrown a hint of sci-fi in every fantasy game I've ever played. (Not to mentione a futuristic crashed spaceship in every fantasy campaign world I've ever created)...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 5:57 pm 
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Boy, this is a tough one. Thinking back on things, the only D&D book that really stands out in my mind as a major influence was the first one I got. It was the red-covered one in like 1983 or 1984 -- Expert Edition or something like that? They had a map in there that was a profile of a dungeon, rather than an overhead view, and for months I was completely confused about how to map dungeons.

Outside of that, I think the biggest gaming influence for me was actually Warhammer 40,000. The original book -- Rogue Trader -- was incredible. It was VAST, an entire universe, in far greater detail than was necessary to run a tabletop miniatures game. I loved that it was well defined but also left wide open. They detailed more than enough to play in the writers' world but left the rest of the universe (such as hundreds of space marine chapters) up to the players to flesh out. It was more RPG than wargame. The next 40K book, Chapter Approved, was also great. The art helped, too; it was a very unusual style. But I'd have to say that my #1 biggest influence was the first volume of Realms of Chaos (the one with the red cover). It was the weirdest, most wide-open, most beautiful game book I'd ever seen at the time (and still ranks up there). I think it was from those books that I got a taste for worlds that are really huge, kind of weird, well defined in some areas, and open for development in others.

Unfortunately, I sold my copy of Realms of Chaos on an internet auction when I needed some cash back in college. It went for $80, as I recall. One of these days, I'll buy myself another copy...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 6:10 pm 
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Oh yes ... Warhammer 40K. God only knows how many hours I invested in that. You reminded me of an element of 40K that was shamelessly ripped off and inserted into my own and my friend's D&D games - the Harlequin Warriors. The miniatures were too cool not to buy, and once painted were too cool not use attempt to use in every game. Chainswords and monofilament whips quickly found their way into fanstasy settings, as I recall...

But you raise an interesting point - just crossing over different games that don't normally fit together, at least not at first glance. (Which, I suppose, is part of the genesis of Broncosaurus Rex. :) ) Both elements of "regular" Warhammer and Warhammer 40K - both tabletop games - found their way into my roleplaying campaigns. (Always loved those infuriating little skaven.) I'm trying to think of what else I made "cross over" in the past - the only obvious one that comes to mind are the villainous Sathar, from Star Frontiers, who I renamed and then shamelessly promoted as an "original" race of monsters in my AD&D game.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 12:26 pm 
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Warhammer FB has been a big step up to my roleplaying ways. I used to write stories concerning my armies and models, many of which have now progressed into D&D adventures. Fun!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:57 am 
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For myself it is a mix of new and old:

The old Greyhawk setting was amazing. For a long time I was very confused as to whether Puffet Sledger was real or not.

... along with ...

Legend of the 5 Rings RPG. Gah. That thing is still beautiful.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:25 pm 
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I will never stop praising Van Richten's Guide to Ghosts by William Connors for the Ravenloft campaign about 10 years ago. As much as a fan of the Ravenloft seting as I was (and am), nothing opened my eyes as a DM to the sheer possibilities of the setting as this book.

Connors took a fairly "ho hum" undead with an aging attack and showed you how to created a whole variety of ghosts, no two of which were alike, and make them just as devastasting and scary as a high-powered lich or vampire. (It's also available in one of the Van Richten's Compilations that came out a few years ago.) I've used ghosts in two RL campaigns I've run and had my players off-balance both times. They realized they needed to do research (shocking!) if they were to defeat or at least neutralize the spirit.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:37 am 
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For me has to be Warhammer FRP. When I bought the rule book in 1986 I was pretty much burned out on gaming, but that damn book showed me a new way to look at fantasy RPGs and I was hooked. When SOB came out I thought I had found the perfect campaign and the structure of which showed me crafting a plot heavy campaign was possible. Little did I know that the game the opened my eyes in High School would eventually see me writing for it. The fact that I helped work on Realm of Sorcery still does not seem real.

Other influences was Big Eyes Small Mouth. Here is a game that finally allowed me to go cinematic.

Still in the end the most important influence is Call of Cthulu. Every thing about this game infected my gaming, and horror and investigation became what I would structure my campaigns around.

Richard Iorio


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:15 pm 
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goodmangames wrote:
Outside of that, I think the biggest gaming influence for me was actually Warhammer 40,000. The original book -- Rogue Trader -- was incredible. It was VAST, an entire universe, in far greater detail than was necessary to run a tabletop miniatures game. I loved that it was well defined but also left wide open. They detailed more than enough to play in the writers' world but left the rest of the universe (such as hundreds of space marine chapters) up to the players to flesh out. It was more RPG than wargame. The next 40K book, Chapter Approved, was also great. The art helped, too; it was a very unusual style. But I'd have to say that my #1 biggest influence was the first volume of Realms of Chaos (the one with the red cover). It was the weirdest, most wide-open, most beautiful game book I'd ever seen at the time (and still ranks up there). I think it was from those books that I got a taste for worlds that are really huge, kind of weird, well defined in some areas, and open for development in others.

Unfortunately, I sold my copy of Realms of Chaos on an internet auction when I needed some cash back in college. It went for $80, as I recall. One of these days, I'll buy myself another copy...




I have to agree on the Warhammer universe as a major creative influence. Rogue Trader is superb, especially the art. All of the pages of art plates and the fluff (the images of mercenary marines sitting in bars really set a wild mindset to the universe that I think they lost with the second edition when they went over the top with the dark, gothic atmosphere and got away from the wild, anything goes universe).

The first Realms of Chaos book, Slaves to the Darkness is a mindblower, hands down. The wide range of art, the weird chaos attributes and weapons. I sometimes grab my copy out to just to look at all the weird imagery. The second volume, The Lost and the Damned has a lot of Adrian Smith black and white art, which can be quite disturbing, but the overall feel is not as chaotic, if you will, as the first book. In the back of the Lost and the Damned there is a game called Chaos Warbands, a skirmish game, that GW has resurrected with the 6th edition of WFB. In college we spent countless hours playing the chaos warbands, it was incredibly and simply fun.

Steve


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:46 am 
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Most of my gaming influences came from fantasy books rather than other RPGs.
I read Tolkien, Moorcock and Howard a lot as a kid, as well as Lloyd Alexander and later on Tad Williams. I also read every book my local library had on the Greek and Norse pantheons.
I didn't start role-playing until much later, and by then it was a natural fit. Here was a way to re-create all those stories and have a few of my own!
So as far as influences go, I would point to those authors mentioned above, with the notable inclusion of Lovecraft. Like the guy before me said, horror and investigation are good threads to throw into a campaign.

The only standout RPG influence I can think of was the old "City-State of the Invincible Overlord". That spurred me to take the adventure out of the dungeon and put it on the streets.

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 Post subject: Re: Gaming Influences?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:53 pm 
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Mike_Ferguson wrote:
The "What are you playing" thread got me thinking - what games/adventures have influenced your own original games or campaigns?


The 1e Slavers series set the tone for me as well as The Lost City and several older Dungeon Mag. adventure (The Secret of the Towers, The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb and a few other I can't recall the names of)

Almost as profoundly, the series of novels by Lawrence Watt-Evans The Lords of Dus(Lure of the Basalisk, Seven Altars of Du'sarra, The Sword of Bhelue and the Book of Silence), shaped the way I approach heroic fantasy.

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