I am wondering what setting I’d at some point like to run some non-generic fantasy in. As much as I am enjoying Kingmaker, it is a generic-quasi-Greyhawk setting (magical Europe)…. And in that respect it feels limited/ limiting… and even non-magical…. (no worries to those playing it - it is still a blast - I am just aware that I need to also slowly plan ahead - it is How I Am ;)
But what next (as in in 2+ years time)…. Various settings interest me:
- Shattered world concept – SW have a setting for it ‘sundered skies’ – but it is not quite what I am after (don’t like linear paths to start with)
- Swords and Sorcery concept – ala Conan/ Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, with low magic (Iron Heroes perhaps?)
Post-apocalyptic world – taking some of the ideas from Dark Sun – but in a different political setup.
- Steampunk – early age – ala Defoe (the comic) meets New Crobuzon from Mieville’s work (but I am aware an rpg is apparently been made for this). Iron Kingdoms d20 has some classes and gear which could be nicked for this purpose.
1600s Europe – ala Solomon Kane (but not a replica of that) – Gothic – black powder weapons, clockwork, think Sleepy Hollow.Party concept
I also have another conundrum –what kind of adventuring party concept? I like to set up a game, in liaison with the Team, as to what kind of party angle they would like a stab at, as well as what kind of game….. Having made the guys I game with play good pcs, and with Stuart chomping at the bit to play more of a ‘grey’ moral pc, (ala the anti-heroes of old, as well as Conan/ Fafhrd being heroes who were also pursuing self interest)… I am keen to have a party set up which captures those possibilities…..
Thus possible party structures:
- Mercenaries - like Conan was for part of his career - in the sense they are members of a merc group, have a code of honour, are not evil, but neither are they good - but certainly would be united against the hordes of chaos etc. Could be any pc classes & pure sandbox - although they could seek out missions (for money), as well as developing their own ways of making hard cash - works in low magic S&S/gothic/planar settings OR
- Thieves Guild - they could start off as lowly scum in the city's Thieves' Guild - and the first arc is them rising to mediocrity in the ranks: rogue, fighter, ranger, wizard/ sorcerer - play it out like GTA - with missions, as well as with sandbox - think the Sopranos meets Fafhrd & Grey Mouser here - works in an urban adventure setting - and events could see them having to leave it for a while.....(eg falling out with their bosses).... works in gothic/ S&S/ planar settings OR
- Witch Hunters – they could be members of a religious order & hangers on: inquisitor, paladin, cleric/cavalier, wizard and rogue/ranger - again like GTA - a mix of sandbox and missions from your bosses. Think Van Helsing & Solomon Kane here - works in the gothic/ planar setting
Witch-hunter setting/ campaign - fleshing it out a little
Reasons for joining the witch hunters: personal gain, joy in hunting, with one party member possibly playing the role of a believer in the cause, but also believing in using whatever tools (eg other pcs despite their greed), and methods they can (since they can rationalise anything in their warped ethical code)
Style of game....thus you have a party moving through the countryside, like in The Witchfinder General, hunting down trouble - for gain (honour, gold, power, women's favour, fear of locals, etc). It could also be part urban - Gothing up Ptolus for example - its backdrop of the Spire, and all the undead in the graveyards is a perfect backdrop for a Gothic witch hunter game for d20.
Development. Of course - as pcs progress, the game could explore how the pcs develop - or otherwise - a broader perspective - eg morality etc - but initially - for 5 levels or so – the game could encourage them to act it out as immoral basterds doing pursuing self interest in the name of their gawd.
Technology levels: I am thinking the backdrop would be airships, guns, etc - but these would add flavour initially - rather than being the centre of attention, eg the party could have either a pc or maybe better npc arcane mechanik in their mercenary band who helps upgrade gear - so long as the pcs get them the resources they need to do the work on their portable workshop inside their steam-wagon. Defoe is of interest here - with the zombie-apocalypse as the backdrop, and the famous scientists of the day pressing fast-forward on the tech levels as they try to create better guns and tech to beat the zombie hordes - applying ideas from Deadlands to 1669 England.
Pathfinder – with classes such as the new ones from the APG: inquisitor, alchemist, cavalier (?)… as well as old ones: paladin, cleric, rogue – with tech levels – I prefer those of 1600AD-ish for this .. OR
WFRP could be the other setting/ system for this game of course. 3e or 2e this is the question!!
- what system? WFRP (2e/3e) or Pathfinder (I know there are others - but these will do for me)
- tech levels: Solomon Kane of 1600 - black powder only; or the more souped up stuff from Defoe, or even New Crobuzon, with trains..... Renaissance/ just pre-industrialisation/ industrialisation - all of these choices have profound consequences!!what world? Do I modify/ modernise an existing one - what would happen to it if.... (advantages - people may be familiar with it, eg WFRP - but in an industrial age, so some things would be strange), or start from stratch? (won't upset people, but involves more work!) This partly depends on 'what system'.
- What world? Do I want to modify/modernise a familiar world - what would it look like with these new technologies/ if a zombie-apocalypse happened etc or create a new one from scratch? Each has stengths and weaknesses.
- Is this the game I want to run? (ie I still need to explore the other ideas as well!
More musings another time. Time to bust a groove now and do some work!