AS I’m sure the perceptive of you are aware, I play a lot of D&D. The thing about the dungeons and dragons is it has this certain feel of the game, if you just pull it out of the box, give it a shake, and set it down to play. But often, this medival fantasy doesn’t scratch my itch for the style of game I want to play. Today, I’m gonna draw up a list of things I’d love to do in a game.
Before we get into the list though, I do want to say that I acknowledge that D&D might be a bad system for these concepts. You might be able to get a good story done, but because D&D is a combat engine with action resolution wrapped around it, and a thin role player wrapper placed around that, there are things that it does not do elegantly. Pretty good for killing dragons, tho.
1. Bike/Bubblegum/80s Nostalgia Mystery
So this could be one hard to describe genre or three very similar genres. In this, the protagonists aren’t hard bitten adventurers, but are children. Idealistic kids who’s world has never been expanded beyond their town, kids who discover something, where adults don’t believe or can’t help, where strange things are afoot and only the kids know.
I’ve been seeing this type of game floated a lot recently, mostly attributed to the popularity of Stranger Things, which my innate hipsterism won’t let me watch. It also is the basic genre of Goonies, IT, The hardy boys, ET… None of which I enjoy. Why do I want to play this genre?
J/K, there are a lot more examples, including ones I enjoy. They are tales of innocence and liberty encroached by the unknown and the different, where as young as we were before, we will never be as care free again.
At the moment, I think I’d be a better player than a DM for such a game. I’m not as immersed in the genre as I’d like if I needed to run. I don’t know how to direct the camera. As a player, I can build a character and stick to it, easy. I’m not sure if I can build a world.
2. Pokémon Hexcrawl
Boy, have I put a lot of thought cycles into a Pokémon RPG, and a hexcrawl at that. I think I know of the right way to do it, now I just need to do the work and I don’t want to do the work.
3. Wilds of Gothregel
Hey, this project has a name! What’s up with that?
I have learned a LOT about this project from running ToA. Every week, I feel I learn a little bit more. I want this project to be amazing, so it will continue to wait.
Oh, I guess if you don’t know, Gothregel is my wilderness survival game I want to run one day, where the party has an entire world to explore. Still a lot to try and rectify with it, but I think it would be great. (And I’ve dug up a lot of FUN monsters for the world. Scary fun monsters. )
In a similar vein, I’ve been thinking about Megadungeons recently. I’ve never played in anything like one. It’d be interesting, I think to see where the roots of D&D began.
I have heard that it feels weird to be running someone elses’s megadungeon and building your own is the way to go. So I definitely want to do more research before starting the project.
5. Monster Play
Some vidja games have this. Since we have these stat blocks for the bad guys, wouldn’t it be great to craft an adventure for our world that lets the players take the evil shoes and touch the world.
Urealms Live does this rather often, although calling what they do “Monster Play” isn’t quite right. Their show is too complex for that.
6. Animal Play
On a related note, I’d love to play a game where everyone is playing as various animals. Think 101 Dalmatians or Homeward Bound or something like that.
7. Naked D&D
This title might turn people away, but it is not what it sounds like! This idea is to play a session as characters without a class. Classes in D&D contain a lot of the power of individuals and it would be interesting to see exactly how much you can do without it.
I think you would need 5e for this, honestly, because it plays really close to the roots of the d20.
8. Mad Science Game
I read a few comics with mad geniuses in them, who can turn a pile of scrap into a deathray in a few seconds. That would be an interesting game. I’m not sure if the right system exists, however. I think Narbonic had an RPG system made up, but I don’t recall how it worked. GURPS probably has something. I know the Dr Who RPG has some rules for device creation and I imagine other systems do as well. BUt I’m looking for some mechanics for death rays out of nowhere.
9. Tron game
This doesn’t square well with the rest of this list’s concepts, as it’s a system instead of a flavor, but as I was watching Tron:Legacy I kept thinking “Man, I NEED to get the book to run this game.” Turns out, there is not a system for that film as far as I know, but I would love to play in that world
and, what’s more, I would love to play in a world where there were rules for characters being able to completely reprogram their enviroments. Being able to alter how the world works changes how things are played. (For example, Minecraft Dungeon Maps have an issue where in the standard game, players can just dig through any wall, or floor, they choose. They can also throw up any number of walls, pit traps, etc and change the face of your dungeon, making the design a lot harder.)
So yeah, I don’t know what exactly this would be. Maybe shadowrun has some stuff for this. I know there is a system or two with digital fortresses and stuff.
10. Fixed Table
I’ve talked before about this concept and I’m certain there would be a better system than D&D for it. All the rules get in the way of what I want: a set of characters who are played by a different player each session. I’m really curious how people trying to use the defined characteristics to play the character the same and have their own play style come out.
11. (Anime) School
It doesn’t have to be anime, although that is the more plentiful example. It could very well be a Hogwarts type place, but the core of it is a school, where classes of some type are happening as time progresses, but there is alosso something else going on. You need to be in your classes, but you’re also saving the world on an etra-ciricular basis
12. Character Driven story
Out of everything, this is the most likely to occur, and yet, the one I see happening least. The rest are gimmicks, things I put on. But this involves the players working hand in hand with me and, honestly, I don’t have the right player pool for it. But this is the party who doesn’t need the DM to establish the story, to force a march. This is a party where all the PCs have traits and bons and flaws, where the story simmers like a good soup. Where the party chooses where to go and what to do and my job as DM is not to make content, but to adjucate and inform of the world. I think Acquisition Incorporated’s the C-Team does a good job of this type of story.
13. Paranoia/Clone/Robit Reboot
So, just including this idea on the list makes it so it won’t be run. It’s that style of idea. But have a few sessions, where the game just seems episodic, but, gradually, the characters are being recognized in places they haven’t been and it turns out they’re artificial or something and they’ve been restored from a back up to do a different mission.
14. Mecha/Zords/Fighter Pilots
That’s a lot of ideas in that section title, but they are very similar in core concept. In addition to the character’s base attributes, he also has a second set for when he’s climbed into the cockpit and gone toe to toe with whatever. Aliens, probably. This’d be like power rangers, Rogue Squadron and other star wars stuff, basically, anything with a suit of power armor. I think it would be a blast
So that is what I’ve been wanting. No idea if any of that would ever happen. But I wish it could.