Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Fantasy Non-Option

Weirdly, the decision to go with Deadlands as the main game has me thinking about what kind of fantasy game I would want to run the next time it comes up. In between chapters of the main Reloaded book and The Flood I am flipping through a few others and making some notes. I'm mainly concerned with getting the new game pointed in the right direction but these other things are still leaking in.

My campaign notes and binders for 4E still feel like something I need to revisit. There is still a lot to explore there. One of these days we will. I don't think I need to make a bunch of new stuff, it's more that I'd like to "finish" what we started in them. As much as a relatively open campaign can be finished.

For 5E I do have some ideas, many of them revolving around playing through some of the older classic adventures that some of my players, mainly the Apprentices, have never experienced. It might be a way to finish out the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign outside of the 4E version I had worked up. The main open question here is setting - homebrew? In that case old or new? Greyhawk? It's been a long time. Forgotten Realms? I used it exclusively for 4E, don't know that I need to go there again for 5E but my players know it and seem to like it. I'd like to do something again with the Scarred Lands but I'm not sure 5th is the best fit for it. This one is still "TBD" for now.

Dungeon Crawl Classics - It's its own thing. If we keep playing it I plan to make it a world of its own. I'm having fun with the published adventures and I am pretty sure I can string those together into the beginnings of a campaign setting of my own. Maybe a variation of the whole Dragonport thing I used for my Basic games. The plan forward here is to finish our intro adventure, run through a level 1 adventure, and see what people want to do next.

This brings us to Runequest. Runequest of all things! I've never run it. I've never been a Glorantha-phile. I played it for a while 20 years ago and thought it was fun but it's never been in demand with my group of players. That RQ 2 Kickstarter material though has stirred up some things. I could run it, and I think I could make it quite a bit of fun. I've always thought of Glorantha as having more pre-existing lore than I would enjoy tangling with but the early books, this 2E stuff, is much more "here are some cool things" than the commandment-level scripture style that it comes across as in later stuff. I'm not afraid to bend lore in game worlds to better fit what I want to do with the game and this version of the stuff seems much more bendable.

For RQ I have two main ideas:

  • Glorantha - my take on Glorantha. I have one player who played in that same long-ago game that I did and remembers enough of the setting that he could help the other players get familiar with things. I'd probably use Pavis/Big Rubble as the focus of the game. No metaplot, just RQ characters exploring a big ruined city.  I kind of have a thing for those, with Return to the Ruins of Adventure being the biggest example. I think trying it in this world with these mechanics would be a blast. Plus it's authentically retro, not a modern attempt to do a throwback, and that makes it that much cooler. 
  • Mythic Greece - RQ supports magic everywhere, weird mythic beasts, and a generally lower level of tech than most D&D games nowadays. Why not take that somewhere besides Glorantha? Why not the age of the Greek myths? Gods, monsters, heroes, wars, cults - all of that fits really well here. Adapt some of the Goranthan cults and the rune stuff to the Olympian age and see where it goes. I had a campaign outline worked up for a 4E game that never went that far and it could be adapted here. I have some adventure ideas too. I think it's a solid fit between system and genre. the trick is convincing the players that it's a good idea. It's also a chance to run RQ without the Glorantha cultural baggage that sometimes bogs the players down. 
So there are a lot of options for the "someday" fantasy game. I'll keep making some notes and doodling some maps and then one day there will be a need and off we will go. 


Jerry Harris said...

If you run a Mythic Greece campaign, this game could useful for generating adventure ideas and monsters.

Blacksteel said...

Yeah I used to have a link to it on the left side up there but I haven't done anything with it recently. It is a good resource though.