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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:56 am 
 

RE setting your campaign in your home town: Yes, I have done that, years ago in a Gamma World game, where it works very well.  I copied a RW map of our neighborhood and keyed up some encounters to it.  It was alot of fun.

FORMCRITIC:  RE the different interconnected worlds--That's really a great idea.  I may have to steal it from you!  It's time I did something new.  So far,  I've just stuck with Greyhawk, because I like the "feel" of it so much.  My group also plays 3rd Ed rules, but I'm an old school gamer at heart, and that's the feel and style of our game.  So, you know, Greyhawk feels like home.  

I think for my next campaign, I'd really like to do a Basic game set in Mystara.  Just for the nostalgia value.  We had good times there back in the day!

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:49 am 
 

Agent Cooper wrote:RE setting your campaign in your home town: Yes, I have done that, years ago in a Gamma World game, where it works very well.  I copied a RW map of our neighborhood and keyed up some encounters to it.  It was alot of fun.

FORMCRITIC:  RE the different interconnected worlds--That's really a great idea.  I may have to steal it from you!  It's time I did something new.  So far,  I've just stuck with Greyhawk, because I like the "feel" of it so much.  My group also plays 3rd Ed rules, but I'm an old school gamer at heart, and that's the feel and style of our game.  So, you know, Greyhawk feels like home.  

I think for my next campaign, I'd really like to do a Basic game set in Mystara.  Just for the nostalgia value.  We had good times there back in the day!


My own group (s) adventured in the World of Greyhawk from late 70s until Forgotten Realms was released...we wrapped up our latest Greyhawk Campaign in 1987 (the original campaign is still going sporadically at this time), and started in FR.  We adventured there until, in the late 90s, after about 20 years I finally gave world creation a try, and unveiled a campaign world I had been planning for quite a long time.  I started out very small, instead of giving the characters a gigantic breadth of things to do, places to go, adventures waiting to happen, etc I took their scale and focus down to the most basic point...

I gave them the village of Rotwood!

Rotwood was located on a small island in a larger chain with five main islands, and dozens of smaller ones.  I worked hard on that ONE island, only giving them bits and pieces of what life was like outside their small sphere of knowledge.  At first they were very, very skeptical, where was the magesty of Greyhawk or the Realms?  Where were the uber level NPCs, the grand foes, the secret deadly organizations, the sweep of history?  They were villagers stuck on a small, unimportant backwater swamp hole thousands of miles away from The League (the quasi medievel alliance of islands far to the west).  The village was known for reed baskets they wove for trade on the largest island in the chain, and growing a tough fiberous plant that was unappetizing but very nutritious.  I gave them a few minor rumors about the island, and a run down of what dangers existed on the island (there was one, a large owlbear that inhabited the forest, but if you didn't bother him he wouldn't bother you...).  Told them to go at it!
 At first they were surly, pissed, and uncooperative.  "This world sucks.  I wanna go back to the Realms.  Where is this world's Waterdeep?  I like the dwarves/elves/halflings the way they were in Greyhawk, not your way" and so on.  I told them to stick with it for one campaign, if they didn't like it, we'd go back to whatever canned world they preferred...
 Well, they started to get into the rhythm of finding out "Everything you know is wrong".  My campaign world had lots of different rules and ways of looking things. There were no horses on the island.  There was one mage, who you either learned spells from on not (no other source).  Lots of the spells they had enjoyed in the past while in GH or FR were either not on my world, or not in the possession of the old coot in the tower.  Elemental gods of earth, fire, water and air were far more important to people than gods of War, Knowledge and Thievery (the priestess of the water goddess had a lot of influence in the town; the priest of war, eh, not so much.....he didn't even have a proper shrine or temple to worship at!)
Following some rumors, they were eased into the U series (Rotwood became Saltmarsh), which they loved since they had last ran through it almost 20 years earlier, and then battling sahaughin and pirates, and in a year they had their own ship and were fighting slavers in the islands of the Shards hundreds of miles north!  We also ran through UK2 and a few others. The intermingling of some old favorites like the U and UK series with new stuff made them realize that great adventures aren't world specific, and were great adventures because they were good as written, not just because they were set on a certain world.  To this day, I always try to work in one classic old school adventure in per campaign (In that campaign it was the U-series; In Night Below campaign it was T1-4, in the jungle campaign it was I1)

The point being, there is now on my part always an urge to tighten the focus in my campaigns, get the adventuring down to the "basics", the lowest common denominator..."You start from here and you only have THIS much and only know THIS much".  Great events do happen, and characters do manage to rise up to a place of power.  But it's now harder, and the traditional paths and destinations are not open as much (How does a high level fighter in a island chain settle down?  Why, by clearing out a small island, building a fortress into the rocky side of a cliff, and having a small fleet of merchant ships...as one player had his character do.  Not traditional, but fun!)

While adventuring in GH or FR still has a certain appeal and tugging of nostalgia for me, I can't see myself ever going back.  I like having the total control for one.  Now, I don't have to allow any FR or GH racial stereotypes, classes, spells, monsters, history, etc to enter the games. Focus is just on the adventuring, and what you know about your current area and situation, and the grand tapestry of world events stays far out of reach, unless it intersects the world of the players in some way.  

Anyway, well Mark talks of how his players put up with him and his campaign worlds, I'm right there with him.  Sometimes it's hard to break the chains.  But once you do, it's just as fun.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:10 pm 
 

Quick unrelated question about Auctionsieve. First, I haven't been smoking anything stronger than Golden Virginia - honest. But, has anyone ever had a strange message about Barry Manilow and a greeting to Acaeum members pop up whilst they've been using the software? I'm serious.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:39 pm 
 

sleepyCO wrote:My $.02 worth . . . has anyone ever tried running a campaign along these lines:  Turn your  town or area you live in into the D&D dungeon setting!  Imagine you are any setting D&D, etc. characters and then go through your regular life as if you were playing D&D.  (Example:  Try describing a bowling center as-is in D&D terms--it does bring a different perspective!)

In other words, instead of a module, game, CD/DVD, etc.  the setting is the area you live in . . . maybe in a different condition (alternate universe, some form of "post-apocalypse" setting where few if anyone lives in the area, or even a regular D&D campaign with the real area replacing the standard dungeon.  Does that make sense?


I remember this type of game (maybe based on CoC) was run at my local game shop in the 80's.

It was eventually canned due to it becoming too creepy (it creeped some of the players out due to the fact that some of their relatives were 'killed').


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:51 pm 
 

Mike -

   I call a small, localized setting like Rotwood a "micro-campaign."  It forces the players to role-play because it keeps them in a smaller place where they have to take responsibility for what they do...as opposed to a continent-wide campaign where their characters are essentially bandits.

SleepyCO -

   I once drew a more or less accurate scale map of downtown Bremerton, Washington, using 5' per 1/4" grid square, for use as a Car Wars battle arena.  

   Also, anyone from this area who played Shadowrun basically used his home town as an adventure setting.  We could buy our game maps at the local gas station.  They players were visiting places they knew well all of the time...since many of them were students at the University of Washington.  I once game mastered a shootout with terrorists set at the house I now occupy...someone tossed a grenade into the office window where I am sitting right now.

    There were lots of funny geographical errors in the Shadowrun background and novels.  For instance, the Renraku Archology sits right atop what would be Pioneer Square...Seattle's oldest and most interesting area.  The Archology extends something like 50 floors underground...right through what would have been the area known as the "Seattle Underground."  Seattle's "underground" is a set of old sidewalks that are just below the current sidewalk level.  50 floors down would totally obliterate it.  That would make it difficult for orcs to live there, as it says in the game background and one of the modules...unless the orcs are all hiding in the same parking garage.

    For another funny example, a character in one of the books drives to the Redmond Barrens where he smells the "Tacoma Aroma."  Redmond is nowhere near Tacoma.  We're talking 30 to 40 miles apart and maybe more.  The area described as "barrens" is huge.  (He was right, however about the Tacoma Aroma)

    In another place in the books a group of ground vehicles heads south and "strays" into Tir Tangir (Oregon).  Somehow the drivers failed to notice that they were driving across the Columbia River, the major river of the West Coast.  Ah well.   :)

   Those were the days!

   And, by the way....if anyone asked about what his own real-world persona would be doing in 2050 we had a stock response:  "He died of AIDS years ago, now shut up."  Not very nice, but effective.

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:03 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Mike -

   I call a small, localized setting like Rotwood a "micro-campaign."  It forces the players to role-play because it keeps them in a smaller place where they have to take responsibility for what they do...as opposed to a continent-wide campaign where their characters are essentially bandits.



Micro-campaign....I like that.  Did you think that up Mark, or did you read it somewhere?  If you thought it up, I'd like permission to borrow the nomenclature the next time I describe one of my "microcampaigns" to an interested party....

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:12 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
Micro-campaign....I like that.  Did you think that up Mark, or did you read it somewhere?  If you thought it up, I'd like permission to borrow the nomenclature the next time I describe one of my "microcampaigns" to an interested party....

Mike B.


I believe that "microcampaign" is my own terminology.

I generally use it to describe a smaller and more detailed campaign setting within a larger setting...the "macrocampaign."

My next campaign, for instance, will be set against the larger backdrop of a crumbling empire, but my players will experience that in real time from the point of view of the small town of Wodin, in southern Germany.

I always wondered about the importance of the major name characters like Tensor, Serten, Robilar and Mordenkainen to the Greyhawk setting.  On a continental scale, who would have even heard of them?


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:26 pm 
 

And...droning on about Shadowrun in Seattle...

The cover of one of the supporting rule books (I believe it is the one that details the tribes surrounding Seattle) shows a beautiful shaman woman conjuring with a model of the Space Needle...which is getting hit by lightning in the distance.

The point of view in the picture is well known.  It is the view from one of several small parks on Queen Anne Hill, immediately adjacent to the downtown.  (If you see a shot of Seattle with the Space Needle prominently placed, it was almost certainly shot from there.  These parks are often used in shots for movies and TV shows set in Seattle.)

My point is....Queen Anne is hardly wilderness as depicted in the cover painting.  It is a community of high priced apartments and includes Seattle Pacific University just on the other side of the hill.  It is in the heart of Seattle, between the downtown and Ballard.

The same scene, shot from Bainbridge Island, with the Space Needle much smaller in the distance across Puget Sound, would make much more sense.  The FASA artist was clearly using tourist poster art from Seattle.  Shots of the Space Needle getting hit by lightning are common fodder for postcards and framed posters...photographed from Queen Anne Hill.

Now....there was also the time when the runners in my campaign shot it out with Native American terrorists called "The True People" at Point No Point Lighthouse, up in Hansville......


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:12 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:
I believe that "microcampaign" is my own terminology.

I generally use it to describe a smaller and more detailed campaign setting within a larger setting...the "macrocampaign."

My next campaign, for instance, will be set against the larger backdrop of a crumbling empire, but my players will experience that in real time from the point of view of the small town of Wodin, in southern Germany.

I always wondered about the importance of the major name characters like Tensor, Serten, Robilar and Mordenkainen to the Greyhawk setting.  On a continental scale, who would have even heard of them?


Well, I sure like running the micro campaigns. Nothing against the world spanning, evil empire toppling campaigns like those figuring in the Dungeon magazine adventure path series, but it just requires a level of commitment (a game a week, for example), that I've been unable assemble at this point of my DMing career.
  The backdrop of a crumbling empire is interesting. The big joke in my homebrew campaign is the presence of The League.  The League was the quickest forming government body after a world wide cataclysm roughly 1500 years earlier. A non-agression pact formed between these handful of island nations (all about as big as England or Ireland) that has allowed civilization, colonization, and culture to flow to the far flung edges of the shattered earth.  Here, hereditary kings, merchant houses, powerful priesthoods, and large armies on horseback work and rule and fight and scheme...

And the players have never been there.  Never, in 10 years of gaming in my world.  And never, never will, in any campaign I run, ever. For I have yet to do more than write a several page history of the league, it's leaders, its alliances, and it's merchant houses.  It exists entirely as backdrop, and although events happen there, what is experienced is entirely the rest of the world's reaction to those events.  So, while a battle being fought between two nations might rock the foundations of The League, it may only affect the players in that a garrison of soldiers from one of the battle nations is removed from the local outpost, or ships of those escaping persecution and war flood into a local seaport, or a local pirate clan grows more bold as League patrols grow thinner with more resources being diverted back home.  So, the joke has been, The League is everything, yet it is really nothing.....more ephemeral than a wisp, yet the backbone of my world.
  Another thing I always wondered about, and wanted to do, was to run a world based on how the world actually runs now....the golden rule (he who has the gold, makes the rules).  The merchant houses of The League are the most powerful entities in the world, and basically make all the decisions that rule the government, as well as employ the majority of people in the outposts of The League all over the world.  There are hereditary leaders, but make no mistake, the ones who hold the pursestrings are the true power.  Those who wish to escape their rule must travel far to the east, north or south and form their own empires, and even then eventually the long fingers of the noble house may eventually catch up to them...every campaign I've run so far, in all the large base towns, there has been at least one, and at times many more, merchant house representatives that exist either in harmony or disharmony with the local government and natives.  So, while Nimroy the fifth may be next in line for the throne, if the merchant house controlling the country decides Nimroy the sixth, or his nephew, is better suited for the job, Nimroy the fifth will have a fatal accident very quickly....and everyone goes along, because they realize what is good for the economy is good for the country....
 And as for important "Name" characters, I agree, there are really none that are known in my world. Certain regional leaders or characters may take on a certain importance, but their influence is limited.  So, say, Gregor the Barbarian may rule the continent of Norvik with an iron fist, and having slain three white dragons with his sword Frost killer he defeated the entire Cult of the White Wyrm, but his name would be unknown outside of several hundred miles....Likewise, King Harry the Just may have just defeated entire nations in battle in The League, but it's what-have-you-done-for-me-lately in the cities of Norvik...

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:37 am 
 

i always wanted to play a proper ran shadowrun game, but the guys were never that fussed to give it a shot.

Al



  


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:44 am 
 

sleepyCO wrote:My $.02 worth . . . has anyone ever tried running a campaign along these lines:  Turn your  town or area you live in into the D&D dungeon setting!  Imagine you are any setting D&D, etc. characters and then go through your regular life as if you were playing D&D.  (Example:  Try describing a bowling center as-is in D&D terms--it does bring a different perspective!)

In other words, instead of a module, game, CD/DVD, etc.  the setting is the area you live in . . . maybe in a different condition (alternate universe, some form of "post-apocalypse" setting where few if anyone lives in the area, or even a regular D&D campaign with the real area replacing the standard dungeon.  Does that make sense?


We did a Car Wars game set in Cleveland, Ohio (my hometown). It took me weeks to map out downtown on graph paper, but it was worth it to battle it out in familiar territory. CW was much of a role-playing game, even though it was promoted as such.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:24 am 
 

We did a Car Wars game set in Cleveland, Ohio (my hometown). It took me weeks to map out downtown on graph paper, but it was worth it to battle it out in familiar territory. CW was much of a role-playing game, even though it was promoted as such.


My gaming group did the exact same thing for our hometown of East Jordan, Mi ...look for the name on all fire hydrants, manhole covers and sewer grades.

Nothing like being 14 and spending the weekend vulcan machine-gunning your local hometown and it's residents.  8)  :twisted:

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:44 pm 
 

U.S. President George W. Bush is going to undergo a colonoscopy this Saturday.  During that time he will transfer power to Dick Cheney since he will be under anesthesia.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19872260/

I've never had a colonoscopy but how long does something like that take?  Couple of hours at the most?  Still, a few hours with Cheney at the helm of the most powerful military in the world scares the shit out of me.  That guy has one hell of an itchy trigger finger.  :roll:

On a more positive note....maybe the doctor can dislodge George's head.  :wink:


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:00 pm 
 

In Bush's case, they can go through either end.
This might be fun. Cheney has always wanted to take a shot at the presidency.......


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:50 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:U.S. President George W. Bush is going to undergo a colonoscopy this Saturday.  During that time he will transfer power to Dick Cheney since he will be under anesthesia.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19872260/

I've never had a colonoscopy but how long does something like that take?  Couple of hours at the most?  Still, a few hours with Cheney at the helm of the most powerful military in the world scares the shit out of me.  That guy has one hell of an itchy trigger finger.  :roll:

On a more positive note....maybe the doctor can dislodge George's head.  :wink:


:lol:


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:20 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:U.S. President George W. Bush is going to undergo a colonoscopy this Saturday.  During that time he will transfer power to Dick Cheney since he will be under anesthesia.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19872260/

I've never had a colonoscopy but how long does something like that take?  Couple of hours at the most?  Still, a few hours with Cheney at the helm of the most powerful military in the world scares the shit out of me.  That guy has one hell of an itchy trigger finger.  :roll:

On a more positive note....maybe the doctor can dislodge George's head.  :wink:


This is what cracks me up about the vocal minority who are droning on, saying "Impeach Bush"....so, you WANT Cheney and his bionic heart as priesident? Please. Most liberals/Democrats (and some Republicans) hate that guy WORSE.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:23 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
This is what cracks me up about the vocal minority who are droning on, saying "Impeach Bush"....so, you WANT Cheney and his bionic heart as priesident? Please. Most liberals/Democrats (and some Republicans) hate that guy WORSE.

Mike B.

Who's third in line, anyway?  (Cheney's likely to have a heart attack at the thought of running the place.)

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:55 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Who's third in line, anyway?  (Cheney's likely to have a heart attack at the thought of running the place.)


Nancy Pelosi. Then Robert Byrd.

At the risk of angering some people, I will keep my comments to myself. :)


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:25 pm 
 

khartsfield wrote:At the risk of angering some people, I will keep my comments to myself. :)


Well, if anyone gets angry over a little joke, they need to lighten the hell up.  I'm a Republican, a Texan, and I voted for GW and frankly he has done some asinine shit during his time in office.  I believe I am duly entitled to poke a little fun at him.  :twisted:


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:18 pm 
 

hey we werent allowed to get into UK politics, so how is it fair to talk US politics :)



  
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