"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Physics of that World

The other day I was thinking about different campaign ideas and my thoughts evolved to a short list of different campaign worlds (either published, literary, from movies, etc) for each old school game system I am familiar with. The trick is that I wanted to come up with some different ones - games and campaign worlds that normally people would not put together. Here is what I came up with:

- OD&D or S&W: Whitebox in Leigh Brackett's solar system. Not really a world but worlds. The ferocious heat and savagery of Mercury, the mystery of the dark jungles and fetid swamps of Venus, the corrupt hive of Earth and the dusty dying world of Mars.
- Holmes in Dark Sun. Get rid of all of the crappy metaplot and you would be left with low power rule set to reflect the danger of a dying world ruled by Sorcerer Kings.
- B/X in the world of the Sinbad movies. Fast and furious action in a setting from movies watched on weekend mornings - goes together like peanut butter and jam.
- Tunnels & Trolls in Talislanta. Just coming up with all of the kindreds would be great fun.
- Castles & Crusades in Greyhawk. Okay, this one isn't different. To me, C&C and greyhawk work great together.
- S&W: Core in the Old World of Warhammer Fantasy.It might be too depressing to actually play.

Are there any game systems and campaign settings that you would try to mix together?


  1. This is a fun thought experiment. Quite a while ago (last year, maybe?) Dr. Rotwang had a similar post. I'll say the same thing here that I said there -- I actually think The Fantasy Trip would put an interesting spin on some of the canon D&D settings. It's hard to really say why, exactly, but it seems to me that the 1st edition gray box version of the Forgotten Realms would be a really nice match with TFT.

    In fact, throw out the railroading, add TFT, and I think you could even redeem the War of the Lance era Dragonlance setting.

    Sorry, I know, I know, I'm not supposed to say the "DL" word out loud in public. But I do think you'd get a more brutal and unforgiving, pulp sword and sorcery vibe out of each of these settings with TFT. With the Forgotten Realms, that would be a matter of emphasizing some flavor that's already there. With DL, it'd be more of a "re-imagining," and you'd end up with something a little more distant from the original.

  2. I have no trouble with Dragonlance. Like most D&D products, a good DM could get some really cool stuff out of it. Some of the set pieces in the modules were excellent. I have wanted to run a pre-war of the lance game with B/X.

  3. I think you could easily run a fun campaign in that part of the timeline. A pre-war of the lance game would also be nice and gritty -- no clerical magic.

  4. I once ran PlaneScape under GURPS... I'm toying with the idea of adapting Swords & Wizardry for a Barsoom/Morgaine/Dark Sun 'Sword & Planet' kind of world, can't decide whether a Traveller/Mutant Future mix is better suited to Red Dwarf or Blake's 7... and think some form of Basic would be a good match for the current Robin Hood series.

  5. As a kid I ran a Gamma World game where I had the party teleported to a D&D world. Typical kid thing to do, and as the other players were mostly adults, I got a pretty hard time for that. "We came here to play Gamma World..."

  6. I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier: run Conan's Hyborian Age (I have GURPS Conan) using Call of Cthulhu, with weapons/armor/skills lifted from the back of the Dreamlands sourcebook.

  7. Damn, you have suggested the combination of two of my biggest favourites and I hadn't thought about it!!

    T&T and Talislanta would be so cool.