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If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I was going through my old folders on my computer and found a project I did several years ago, and it got me wondering. Admittedly, the thought was probably at the back of my mind anyway based on a few posts yesterday in another thread about how AD&D was wonky and crossed genres.

So I ask of you, if you could take D&D's default middle age fantasy and push it into another genre, what would it be, and which edition's rules would you use? And tell me why it would be awesome. :) I love hearing how people mold stuff to their own ideas.

Oh! And the project I was talking about, if you're curious, was Westwater. I took B/X rules, races, and monsters, and dumped it into a Wild West setting. The wild west has all the same emphasis on adventure and danger, seeking of treasure and glory, and spirit that D&D traditionally captured, which made it super easy to fit in the D&D clothing. Creating classes was super fun as well. No fighter, thief, or magic users or cleric. Instead there was the gunslinger, scavenger, shaman, and a few others. B/X rules are so easy and streamline, it was the perfect edition to use.

 

Xeviat

Explorer
I've been interested in running a 1 shot iceage campaign, but I don't think it would require much in the way of rules changes so much as it would have restrictions on equipment and maybe classes (no wizards, but other casters are fine). The party would all be characters from a tribe and the adventure would be "track down a mammoth so we can feed the tribe through winter".

As for if I was to create something, I've always been really into d20 Modern's Urban Arcana. I only got to play in one game with it and I loved it. So, modern day but with magic and monsters would be fun. I know there are options for that as well.

WW1 era but with magic would be neat too. Old planes and dragons in the sky ...
 

CleverNickName

Adventurer
I'm gearing up to run a 5E campaign in a sci-fi setting. I don't have many notes to share at the moment, but I can report back when I do. I've been borrowing heavily from "Stars Without Number," "Numenara," and "Starfinder" for ideas.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I'd like a colonial/empire setting feature napoleonian dwarves and the elven colonies declaring independence from their mad dragon king and its empire :p
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I was going through my old folders on my computer and found a project I did several years ago, and it got me wondering. Admittedly, the thought was probably at the back of my mind anyway based on a few posts yesterday in another thread about how AD&D was wonky and crossed genres.

So I ask of you, if you could take D&D's default middle age fantasy ...
so, red sports cars? ;P

D&D has always been wonky, a genre hybrid among high-fantasy/S&S, Lovecraft (and a bit of Poe), and science fiction from EE Doc Smith through Vance. It's pretty nuts, but, really, that's what the 70s were like, very iconoclastic, irreverent, derivative, and, well, there's an in-joke over here: "The Decade Taste Forgot." ;P

and push it into another genre, what would it be, and which edition's rules would you use? And tell me why it would be awesome. :) I love hearing how people mold stuff to their own ideas.
I took a stab it throwing AD&D in 3 alternate directions at various times, with little success: Star Wars (because no one had the license yet, and kids are impatient); Overt Science-Fantasy based on Moorcock's Rune Staff series (crossed with a bit of Forbidden Planet); and, well, I guess what you'd now call Urban Fantasy - I imagined a 20th century that had a magical D&D version of the middle ages as it's history. So, like, you go to a veteran's day parade and there'll be an elf or two marching in their old Minute Men gear, there are magical Colt Peacemakers floating around that can punch through tank armor, a wizard somewhere along the lines added a radiation component to his version of the fireball spell...

...none of those attempts worked out well, the first was just laughable, the last one never really got off the ground. The science-fantasy one, though, I revisited using Hero later and it was a pretty successful campaign for a year or few.

Edit: oh, one more, almost forgot - after getting 0 interest in RuneQuest I did adapt D&D in a bronze-age setting, just reworked armor & weapons and restricted spell lists because magic was also 'less advanced.'

...oh, also within the context of my long-running AD&D campaign, I did introduce a city-state that used quixotic magic to create all sorts of clockwork items, from repeating crossbows to power armor to ornithopters - all inspired by the Aparatus of Kwalish. And another, 'lost city' with magic that /looked/ more like super-science (and probably was, but the source of that magic was destroyed or altered at the end of the campaign...)..

Anyway, I tinkered with AD&D a lot, obviously. Ultimately, D&D's core mechanics just didn't work well with much beyond sword-swinging, monster-fighting, and over the top (but viciously limited) magic. The system generally failed to capture anything with a modern or action bent to it.


3e, even though d20 was used for all sorts of things, I never tried to take it beyond the basic D&D-Fantasy self-referent sub-genre. I guess in that period I'd use Storyteller or Hero if I wanted anything not-D&D.

4e changed that, a little. With Healing Surges freeing it from the Cleric conundrum, Skill Challenges, re-skinning powers & monsters, and something of an action-movie vibe, it lent itself to all sorts of things. All-Martial-PC games came off feeling like S&S, for instance, without even trying. (For another thing, it did Gamma World a lot better than d20 modern, Alternity, or FASE-RIP did, that's a plus in my book as a long-time GW fan.)
My Feywild-centered campaign visited other worlds that were modern (some downright anti-magical, one /painfully/ realistic), or science-fictiony (no, it's not a Warforged Warlock with a rod implement, it's a Terminator with a plasma rifle), or steam-punk (a couple times actually, it can be a fun little genre in it's own right - and I'd helped anther DM repurpose 4e to run Girl Genius). In a campaign I played in that's gone to epic, we visited the dream-memories of a vanished civilization that turned out to be interstellar, fought nightmare aliens... now that I think of it, that same campaign, had featured a sojurn to a 21st-century world where magic had always work, much like I'd tried to do back in the day, but just, casually, like we spent a few sessions there, retrieved the artifact we were after, and moved on... huh.
 
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Ashrym

Explorer
I ran a 3.5 rules Witch Hunter Robin campaign in a light steampunk Renaissance era. I wouldn't mind early 20th century pulp noire with the same concepts using 5e.

I'm a fan of 5e so would prefer that rule set and apply it to the Firefly space western, Dick Tracy era gangsters, or a straight modern era fantasy like Bright.
 

Leatherhead

Adventurer
My home campaign is set in what is basically The Age of Sail.

There are ships (of course), colonialism, dismemberment in combat and prosthetic body parts, and of course, guns.
 

77IM

The Grand Druid (level 22)
I once had a dream about a D&D setting in the roaring twenties -- orc gangster, elven bard who runs a speakeasy, human private eye ex-paladin ("I knew she was trouble the minute she misty stepped into my office..."). I think I called it the "Roaring d20's" or something like that. It was totally epic.
 
I am about to play in a Super Hero campaign based in today's world, the characters are being ported over from Marvel Super Heroes - from what I have seen so far the DM is doing a good job in this transition.

So that is the genre I would pick.
 

Lanefan

Hero
I can think of three, of which [MENTION=53176]Leatherhead[/MENTION] already hit one and [MENTION=6750235]Ashrym[/MENTION] narrowly missed another:

Classical Roman/Greek sword-and-sandals (say, -200 to +200 era)
Age of Fighting Sail (1750-1850 except neither the steam engine nor industrial revolution come along to ruin it)
Full-on Steampunk (1875-1910 era)
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
My issue with D&D rules in other genres is challenging the characters at higher levels given their HP and damage dealing increases. In the Age of Sail setting, for example, how does that work out? Or do campaigns need to be level limited?
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I have extensive notes on a never-run post-apocalyptic 3.5Ed fantasy campaign, based in part on:

Here's an interesting fact: Aspen Trees are a clonal species- they can spread by runners. One of the largest organisms on Earth is an Aspen grove in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains that has 41,000+ trunks.

That inspired this:

No Man's Land:

5000 years ago, a druid (whose name is lost to humanity...) of great power picked a large and remote island devoid of human life as his home, choosing a grove of aspen trees his most sacred space. At some point, he chose to cast Awaken upon one of the aspen...and the entire grove came to life! He had forgotten that Aspen spread by runners...the entire grove was actually one plant- and now it had a mind equal to his own. He trained it in the ways of the druids.

Eventually, death found the druid, but his greatest student lived on. Eventually, the Aspen grew enough in power that it began to experiment with Awaken itself. First, it made other Aspen and a few other mighty trees as self aware as it was, forming the Green Council, each a druid, cleric or mage in its own right. They, in time and in turn, granted awareness to some of the animals of the forest...bringing them into a society ruled by the Green Council, each day's food created by powerful magics.

As decades passed, the island became a great druidic haven, but still unknown to man.

1000 years ago, Man came...and he was not ready for what he found. The animals and trees welcomed those who resembled the one who had made their haven possible, but the ignorant sailors who found the island hunted for food for their journeys, and were driven back by the island inhabitants. The sailors returned to civilization to tell tales of the mysterious island to the East, where both animals and trees thought and fought as if men.

The Council's research of the civilized world (directly and through its awakened, shapechanged agents) has brought them much information about the destructiveness of man...and also solutions as to how to fight back. Those shapechanged agents often lived lives among the so called civilized men, bringing their children, natural shapeshifters, back to the island. The Council did much the same.

Now, the island is inhabited by more than trees and awakened animals. Alongside them now live natural shapechangers and other curious hybrids of man and beast or beast and plant...all members of an insular society on the island.

And they are leery of Mankind's intent.

(In game terms, the island is inhabited by Awakened Trees of the Green Council (each with 20 levels of some combination of Druid, Cleric, Wizard or Sorcerer, some with Epic levels); Awakened animals (any class, Rangers and Druids most common); Anthropomorphic Animals (see WOTC's Savage Species); Shapeshifters (see WOTC's Eberron, but instead of being linked to Lycanthropes, they are linked to Druids); and Woodlings (see WOTC's Monster Manual III).
Other elements included races altered by the events that created the new world’s realities: a Cyberman/Dalek-like race of Dwarf/Warforged; only 3 kinds of “elf” (loosely described as starry, shadowy, planty); orcs with translucent flesh; a different take on Planetouched, etc.

Because surface civilization had collapsed, I intended published spells to be hard to find, with players encouraged to try creating their own.

*****

I have also done some design work on a fantasy version of the Civil War, recast as the war between surface elves and Drow.
 

Bupp

Villager
The wild west has all the same emphasis on adventure and danger, seeking of treasure and glory, and spirit that D&D traditionally captured, which made it super easy to fit in the D&D clothing.
While D&D traditionally had all the trappings of a medieval setting, swords, armor, kings, and castles, I always thought the feel was always more wild west. In fact, for new players I always described it as a western with swords and magic instead of six guns and technology.

I've always wanted to use colonial America as a setting, much like Northern Crown or Colonial Gothic. (Those are affiliate links, btw). I have copies of both and was planning on picking and choosing the best bits of each. One version in my head I was wanting to have the players replacing Lewis and Clark on a hex-crawl.

I also started up (but it fizzled before getting going) a full on zombie apocalypse type game.
 

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