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 Post subject: New Game Ideas
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 2:47 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Here's a thread where we can all post new game ideas. Being a greedy writer who wants more work, I'll start the ball rolling with a few ideas I've come up with over the years.

"Age of Atlantis" would be a science fiction RPG taking place during the period when Atlantis was around. The PCs would come from countries like Atlantis (of course), Lemuria, Mu, Hyperborea, Thule, the Osirian Empire (think REALLY ancient Egypt), Tiahuanaco (the Andes region), and Inkicydu (Mexico and the southwestern US).

This would be a science fiction game with a fantasy flavor. In the nations mentioned, only the ruling classes have high-tech gear like guns, motor vehicles, etc.; the lower classes get by with swords, chariots, and the like. However, those who are willing to work for the upper classes will slowly earn privileges, such as the right to begin using some modern/futuristic gear. Starting at second level, every time your character rises a level, he gets to use ONE type of modern item in addition to his archaic gear. Thus, you could have a rifleman still wearing chain or plate mail, or the commander of a company of archers, spearmen, etc. who uses a bus, transport vimana (airplane), or the like to take them to and from the battlefield. This stops at twelfth level, when your character earns the right to use all modern gear just like the bigwigs do. There's no magic in this game, but psionics will be available, and the psionics-users will resemble wizards in appearance rather than futuristic types.

Because this takes place in prehistoric times, the bestiary will include modern and prehistoric creatures. Despite the presence of the kingdoms, most of the Earth is still wilderness to be explored. If the RPG becomes successful enough, we could even have a "World War" boardgame spinoff, in which this entire glittering age was brought to an end by the major powers using advanced psionics and high technology against each other.

For a more technical game, I just thought up "Coup of '45". This alternate history game assumes that William Wallace becomes so incensed with the fact that FDR dumped him as VP in favor of Harry S. Truman during the 1944 presidential election that he organized a coup d'etat against them both. To shorten things, he gets Roosevelt but not Truman, civil war breaks out, and the US armed forces are pulled out from all over the world to fight on American soil and in American waters and skies. Realizing how vulnerable the US is now, and that this is an opportunity that may never come again, Stalin halts his own armies and sends the best units to the Pacific to effect a landing, leaving only a holding force in Europe. In command of "Britain's last army", the cautious Field Marshal Montgomery chooses to defend in place (the coup takes place on New Year's Day, hence the title) until things get squared away. Thus, Germany and Japan are now off the hook, and they take advantage of this to rebuild their armed forces and churn out their promised "wonder weapons".

As time goes on, the war becomes even more of a civil one, with Truman holding the north and the rebels---who soon discard Wallace---the south. Most US military leaders support the government, though Patton and MacArthur are prominent exceptions. Running low on oil, the "Union" is forced to invade Canada to seize control of Alberta's oil and natural gas. That brings Britain into the war; France is abandoned, and the Royal Navy fights the last great naval battle in history against what remains of the US fleet. In the meantime, Germany and Japan crush Russia, and Germany also conquers France and Britain as well, leaving them with governments in exile in Quebec and Montreal. There's also a Russian government in exile in Alaska, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest, which is all Stalin was able to conquer. To top it off, Mexico invades the US southwest.

The PCs in this topsy-turvy world---you can start play at any of a number of turning points---will play either spies or military personnel of some sort. There's no magic or psionics, but plenty of military hardware, and if you play Germans or Japanese, you might even get some odd wonder weapons to player with. Let me know what you think; I've got to go now.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 4:26 pm 
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"Coup of '45" is one crazy world! It seems more like a boardgame or strategy game than an RPG.

"Age of Atlantis" is more my speed. :) There was an RPG that came out last year that was basically ancient Rome with guns, but I can't remember the name of it. I don't think it was as broad as yours, though. I think a lot of people will miss magic, though. It sounds like it's basically a fantasy world with limited modern equipment, and it seems like you'd need magic to keep the fantasy element entertaining. It would also make it more interesting for those with the technology, maybe creating an arms race of sorts...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 5:33 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Location: Boulder, Colorado
While I shouldn't say much about it, I've been working on an Over the Edge/D20 setting based in the Atlantean Age -- should be coming out from Atlas Games sometime next year. It doesn't take your technological approach, and it draws on a lot of elements from Over the Edge, but there are certainly similarities to "Age of Atlantis".

-Keith


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 12:01 am 
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Ah, what if you used psionics on a very limited basis?

Of course, you don't really have to tell the players what they're actually playing. I once ran a game in India where the characters were members of a militray response team with lasers, jet fighters, and all sorts of ultramodern/futuristic gear. They didn't even figure out it was "ancient" India until on eof them strated correalating ancient Indian myths with the adventures I was running them through.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 12:28 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Location: Boulder, Colorado
[quote][i]Originally posted by Mr. Author[/i]
Ah, what if you used psionics on a very limited basis?

Of course, you don't really have to tell the players what they're actually playing. I once ran a game in India where the characters were members of a militray response team with lasers, jet fighters, and all sorts of ultramodern/futuristic gear. They didn't even figure out it was "ancient" India until on eof them strated correalating ancient Indian myths with the adventures I was running them through. [/quote]

Have you read "Lords of Light" by Roger Zelazney? That also has a science fiction take on Hindu mythology...

-Keith


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 1:54 pm 
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I haven't, but I will now.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 2:32 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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If I ever get a chance to work on "Age of Atlantis", I'll emphasize that this game world will have an archaic flavor to it. Aside from there still being dinosaurs and the like around, the architecture of even the major cities will be based on ancient designs, such as Classical ones and those of the Aztecs, Mayas, Incas, Egyptians, etc. Military gear, particularly armor, will look as it did up to the time of the fall of Rome, with helmets having crests, or at least a spot to put a crest; even full plate armor---or powered armor, if I allow it in the modern stuff---will look like Greek hoplite armor or a Roman legionary's outfit. Maybe instead of automobiles, aircars, etc., modern land vehicles would be chariots pulled by robot horses. Imagine an enclosed chariot like this, with air conditioning, a radio, and all the trimmings of today's latest cars; sounds like a nifty piece of "treasure", doesn't it? Even the psionic powers would be described in such a way as to resemble magic. Perhaps mental images could be formed in the air when you use a psionic power. For example, if you use pyrokinesis to set something on fire, perhaps an aura or image of flame or a fireball could appear in midair and connect with the target before it burns up. Or a flying or levitation power creates an energy aura around you that includes etherial wings.

I didn't have time to finish my talk on "Coup of '45". All the fighting and intrigue would take place in the US. Remember that the main conflict is a civil war, with plenty of opportunities to get opposing units to defect. Also, when Mexico invades, the California-based units of the two US combatants will unite to defend Los Angeles, and when Japan eventually invades, the Mexicans will form the same rogues' alliance with them to keep the "non-North American" people out.

Truman's side holds the northern US eventually, but has trouble getting enough recruits for the ground forces; everyone wants to fly a plane. However, he has maintained control of the old US Government's POW camps with hundreds of thousands of German and Italian prisoners of war, and is eventually desperate enough to hire them as mercenaries. Remember how much of Germany's ground weapons---tanks, antitank guns, machine guns, etc.---were superior to those of the US? The Truman government was making plans to produce some of those arms, copied from captured arms, on at least a small scale, so now they do so in Pennsylvania, effectively making the defense of that state the responsibility of the hired German and Italian troops. So yes, you can be part of the "Pennsylvania Panzers" in this war, fighting for Truman until the time comes to betray him (at the moment Germany invades the US with its reconstituted army well-equipped with wonder weapons).

The German and (to a lessor extent) Japanese secret weapons will be the big draw in this came for novelty seekers who miss magic and psionics. Who could resist playing, say, an Me-262 jet fighter pilot in a world of propellor-driven planes? Or the commander of a Tiger tank---or a company of them---when the opposition is driving Shermans, and for once your side has enough air cover to watch your backs?

I'm already thinking of doing a novel on this subject, game or no game, so I've already done a lot of research on it. There are lots of sources on Germany's secret weapons, with the definitive one on her aircraft projects being the book "Last Talons of the Eagle" (don't remember the author at the moment). For futuristic German tanks, try Achtung Panzer's website (www.achtungpanzer.com) for vehicles like the Panther II and the Lowe (Lion). Also study the King Tiger section; there's a paragraph in it concerning the proposed "Klein Tiger" or "Small Tiger": a Sherman-sized vehicle with sloped armor and a potent 100mm gun. For Japanese aircraft developments beyond late-war models like the Shiden, Raiden, Reppu, Frank, and Tony, try---as I did---the Hikoki 1946 site (http://j-aircraft.org/xplanes/). It's a treasure trove of unheard-of models of fighters, bombers, etc., both prop-driven and jets.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 2:45 pm 
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[quote][i]Originally posted by gregdetwiler[/i]
Maybe instead of automobiles, aircars, etc., modern land vehicles would be chariots pulled by robot horses. Imagine an enclosed chariot like this, with air conditioning, a radio, and all the trimmings of today's latest cars; sounds like a nifty piece of "treasure", doesn't it? [/quote]

The idea of transportation occuring via robotic horses, rather than wheels, is great. What a terrific image that makes! And it's totally the way societies think -- I can just see an inventor scoffing at the suggestion of wheels. "Why should we use wheels when we have robotic horses?"

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2002 3:56 pm 
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According to most legends, a lot of magic didn't have a big "boom" effect. A lot of it was very subtle, almost unnoticable to those who weren't trained to see it....mind tricks, illusions, and bodily transformations were the rule. Transformation was obviously quite blatant, but the others could be very psionic in nature. For the big stuff, alteration of weather through superscience and similar techniques could almost be magic to commonfolk.

Just think, instead of magic, technology so advanced it seems like magic. It wouldn't have to be all that advanced, either.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:44 am 
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That brings up the seed of an idea I had for a setting/series called "Triple Helix". magic is achieved by "picotech", the next step beyond nanotech. Certain humans with a third, cybernetic, strand of DNA are born with cyberware. I also have a decent explaination for the proliferation of humanoid aliens that are all too common in science fiction.

Imagine...

"We have taken the stars. What aliens we found are nothing like us, and rarer than the prophet Sagan ever imagined. We remade ourselves to fit our new worlds, until none of us were quite human anymore. At least that's what we thought. Half a century ago, the first fleet of pilgrims arrived; the last to reach the Outer Rim. We had thought them lost, and indeed they were, having traversed a singularity that flung them across Spacetime. "

I went a little over the edge there. I'm ok now. :) Most science in my concept is so advanced that Clark's Law is fully realized, though the flavor is not "fantasy" by any stretch. You won't find a psuedomedieval space setting, but instead something more akin to good hard science fiction, with an epic sweep. The line between the possible and impossible would be blurred, based upon the most speculative of modern scientific theory. The would be about the glory of science used for the betterment of humanity, and its potential. As much as I've wanted to, I haven't seen Traveler, but if they deal with these issues in a way I like, I'd forgo my idea and use theirs. Otherwise, someday...


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 Post subject: Complete Guide to Werewolves
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:54 pm 
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My favorite lycanthrope - the werewolf! I believe they deserve a decent d20 treatment. Goodman was great with the wererat book, I think they should do a werewolf book too.

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 Post subject: Re: Complete Guide to Werewolves
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:23 am 
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Golem2176 wrote:
My favorite lycanthrope - the werewolf! I believe they deserve a decent d20 treatment. Goodman was great with the wererat book, I think they should do a werewolf book too.

I think this is a great idea! :twisted:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 3:29 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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you know what would be great?

a game based on Larry Nivens' Ringworld series of books, particularly the first one. the scope of the thing is -amazing.-

-c


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:17 am 
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heh, i'v been considering using dragon mech losely combined with the geography of the ringworld books to make a campaign setting...

persoanlly, i prefer the second book and on setting, with the diverse races of hominids and improved "scientific" explanations of the ringworld system

of course, using D&D with a 'scientific' setting will be a chalenge...

and, if you've read through the ringworld books, the origins will be entierly different, so i can incorporate magic more easily

i'm actually planning on incorporating some elements from Terry Pratchett's 'Strata' into the setting for magic to work

(yoinks inate cybernetic enhancements idea)

of course, i'll probably not be able to get it working properly... my group doesn't meet often enough that i could get a second adventure running

of course, that's all behind the scenes stuff, nature of magic and all that, it would look and play like regular D&D with dragonmech tech in a ring-world like setting, for the most part

*realizes he's gone entierly off-topic*

it'd be nice to be able to do a ringworld based setting, but the cost of aquiring the rights to do so would probably be astronomical (pun intended ;) )

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:20 pm 
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1628 wrote:
you know what would be great?

a game based on Larry Nivens' Ringworld series of books, particularly the first one. the scope of the thing is -amazing.-

-c


There was a Ringworld game back in the 80's, I think by Chaosium. You might be able to find it used somewhere.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 9:15 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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i was at the pool the other day and, god knows why, this image popped into my head:

Sigil...city at the center of the planes...once the single most vibrant place in all creation (and beyond)...now a desolate waste. The vast ring hangs silently above the Grey Wastes, broken and lifeless. The Lady of Pain, once the city's great protector, is now a maddened killer who stalks the empty streets in search of any living thing.

so...what does that mean?

well, if Sigil is that ravaged the rest of the planes must be a total shambles. a fantastic game setting would be one in which the prime material is tooling along just like it always has...but the planes are a tattered remnant of their former selves. all of heaven and hell is crumbling into ruin, and no domain seems safe...and no one on the prime material has any idea what happened or when.

when civilization rose back out of the Dark Times that came before (insert mythic leader here), the new Order of Magi sought out the knowledge that forgotten tomes spoke of in the places beyond our world...and found nothing but a wasteland.

what happened? where are all the petitioners? the Blood Wars? the Gods?

just a thought....but i bet it'd be hell to get permission to make it.

-chris


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