The campaign you will never get to run

nomotog

Explorer
I have a small handful of campaign ideas that I want to run where, but I have almost no change to make them work. I am thinking that posting this is a good way to get them out of my system and it will also be neat to see what other ideas people have that they don't think will work.

My never going to work idea is to have a military campaign based around mass combat. Players would be different military commanders & they would get to level-up and customize different army regiments. Combat would be based around swarm-style mass combat rules where regiments are represented as a kind monster with special traits. It would put the focus on trying to include as few special rules as I can to leave the system open. For example, there would be no rule stopping you from using single target spells on a regiment.

I don't think this idea would work in practice because of 3 compounding reasons. One military setting is not too appealing to most players I know. Next, most of my players don't like playing with new rules subsystems, especially mass combat rules. Lastly, my idea not only requires it's own rules on mass-combat, but rules for players to be able to make their own regiments, so more work on my end. It all adds up to be a lot of work for something that would not really appeal to most.

Ok. That is it out of my system. Does anyone else have ideas for campaigns that for one reason or another you won't be able to run?
 

aco175

Adventurer
I had an idea for a Stargate like campaign where the PCs could portal around to cool places each week. I thought that the players could have a few PCs that they could choose from and have a couple PCs going at once but play only one each week.
 

DrunkonDuty

Adventurer
Oh dog, so many.

Beyond the Keep on the Borderlands. Players get to play characters from the Humanoid races - orcs, gobbos, kobolds, lizardfolk. They can oppose the bad guys from the Keep. Or oppose the other bad guy who is totally "Not Sauron." Or not - the setting I drew up is more than big enough for the players to wander far away from such troubles.

Jane Austen's Cthulu. 'nuff said.

Winter Whispers, Summer Swords. An L5R game that focuses on intrigue in the Winter Court in the lead up to an inevitable war in the summer. Played in two parts with the allies and enemies made at court having a major impact on how the war turns out.

Scions of Olympus. Where the characters are, well, descendants of various Olympians and wander an archipelago righting wrongs etc. No overarching plot for this one - it's just peripatetic wanderings with a distinct flavour.

My Players Design the World game. I've mentioned this one a couple of times in different posts recently. The plan was to get the players to sit around and brainstorm ideas for what they'd like to see. Then rate those ideas. Then build a campaign based on that. But nope, yesterday I got gazzumped when on of the players said "Hey, when we (finally) finish this campaign I'll a bunch of classic dungeons that have been updated to 5e." <grrrrrrr>

Bound to be others I've forgotten about.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I've been wanting to run a campaign where the entire party are wizards in a world where arcane magic is suppressed and very rare. Quests designed around acquiring spells, spell components, and magic items would make up much of campaign with some larger story threads for the players to interact with. Not sure my current group would want to limit their class choices in this way, however, and I don't have time to run a second campaign.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I want to run a primitive world exploration game. The players are all from a human tribe, the classes are restricted to "early man/tribal" classes (no wizard, instead sorcerer and warlock. No shining knight paladin, instead restricted to barbarian, fighter, ranger; druids instead of clerics, etc.). As they explore the world, they may run into new races like elves and dwarves. As they explore the world, the players discover they aren't in a primitive world, rather they are in a post apocalyptic world and as they leave their valley to learn more about the world they find ancient ruins and skeletal remains of a people that look a lot like them. Suddenly it changes from primitive exploration to what happened to our ancestors.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Seems my sig is either invisible or missing for now, soooo:
 
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mrpopstar

Sparkly Dude
I want to run a game at the Library where I work, for library patrons. It would be set in a vast half-ruined city where they are watchmen learning to defend their community from what lurks in the sewers, alleys, rooftops and guildhalls.
Shoutout to a fellow library professional!
 

MichaelSomething

Adventurer
I always wanted to do a cross edition game. Where players would have to take the same characters and jump to different editions for various reasons. For example, travel across this one land in 5th edition, storm the castle in 3rd edition, then go underneath it in 1E.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I have a small handful of campaign ideas that I want to run where, but I have almost no change to make them work. I am thinking that posting this is a good way to get them out of my system and it will also be neat to see what other ideas people have that they don't think will work.

My never going to work idea is to have a military campaign based around mass combat. Players would be different military commanders & they would get to level-up and customize different army regiments. Combat would be based around swarm-style mass combat rules where regiments are represented as a kind monster with special traits. It would put the focus on trying to include as few special rules as I can to leave the system open. For example, there would be no rule stopping you from using single target spells on a regiment.

I don't think this idea would work in practice because of 3 compounding reasons. One military setting is not too appealing to most players I know. Next, most of my players don't like playing with new rules subsystems, especially mass combat rules. Lastly, my idea not only requires it's own rules on mass-combat, but rules for players to be able to make their own regiments, so more work on my end. It all adds up to be a lot of work for something that would not really appeal to most.

Ok. That is it out of my system. Does anyone else have ideas for campaigns that for one reason or another you won't be able to run?
This won't help you with gettting player buy out out of your group, but have you considered that the campaign you want is essentially wargaming? I'm not into it, but I'm sure there are game systems built explicitly for this out there.
 

pukunui

Adventurer
I’ve got quite a few as well. However, the only ones can think of at the moment are:

*A Sliders-style episodic dimension/world/plane-hopping campaign

*An “all the PCs are the same race” campaign (all dwarves or all warforged in particular)

*A 5e Nentir Vale campaign making use of several of the official 4e adventures published there, esp Madness at Gardmore Abbey.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I always wanted to do a cross edition game. Where players would have to take the same characters and jump to different editions for various reasons. For example, travel across this one land in 5th edition, storm the castle in 3rd edition, then go underneath it in 1E.
I've wanted to do something like that as well. In my case starting with Becmi to 2e to 3e and then to 5e. It would be interesting to see how players develop their PCs in each edition.
 
Next, most of my players don't like playing with new rules subsystems, especially mass combat rules. Lastly, my idea not only requires it's own rules on mass-combat, but rules for players to be able to make their own regiments, so more work on my end. It all adds up to be a lot of work for something that would not really appeal to most.
I've found good success treating military units as 'high-challenge rating' single monsters. I could share a statblock or two, if you want some inspiration. The intent was to let mid-level PCs go up against, like, a troop of two dozen soldiers, and have the party kick butt quickly, since the troop counts as one Challenge 3 creature. They're pretty easy to design, and much faster to play than, like, rolling fifty dice for attack and damage.
 
Shoutout to a fellow library professional!
Shoutout to a fellow library professional!
I ran a campaign where the PCs were characters in a history book, brought to life.

The gimmick was that, unbeknownst to the PCs, the world basically ended when the demon lord Baphomet conquered the whole plane. His savage presence causes text in books to turn to gibberish, and only one library bastion survived. In it was a copy of The Book of Lorem, which is the textual and physical manifestation of the Word of God.

A librarian wanted to see if it was possible to save the world, and found a history book about the group who initially found Baphomet's prison and inadvertently released him. She unbound that book, and spliced a section of the text into the Book of Lorem, which technically made the events in the history book Word of God. So the PCs, despite being long dead, were alive in the text, and could, like, learn things that were known at the time but had since been lost, and they could report back to the librarian, who would devise a way to fix things.

The first half of the campaign went well. The party, with the aid of a librarian, figured out how to fight back against Baphomet when he was released, and they banished him. But when I had the group learn that they were in a book, the players lost interest in my Inception-style plan to use a copy of the Book of Lorem inside their own book to go deeper, eventually finding God Himself and doing some weird stuff to rewrite canon.
 

FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
The White Whale. I have tried to run this campaign maybe six or seven times over the last twenty years and I have finally come to admit that I've missed my chance and will never be able to find the right players for it.

It's a crossover campaign between the Planescape setting and the StarꞏDrive setting (for Alternity/d20 Modern) in which the player make up two separate parties-- one in each setting-- and run through the published adventures for those settings. Modified, to reflect the fact that the settings are slowly merging and the PCs need to figure out why so they can stop an ancient threat to the combined multiverse.

It was going to be epic, with PCs being responsible for shaping the creation of a brand new multiverse.

But there are fans of Planescape still haunting the place, and there are fans of StarꞏDrive, but I'll be damned if there's more than a handful of fans of both left.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I always wanted to do a cross edition game. Where players would have to take the same characters and jump to different editions for various reasons. For example, travel across this one land in 5th edition, storm the castle in 3rd edition, then go underneath it in 1E.
I did something sorta like that. I ran a Fantasy HERO game based on D&D mechanics. When you designed your PC, you could make the, from whatever version of D&D you wanted, as modeled in the rules of HERO. (I helped with the modeling.)

The biggest variations came in the martial classes. There wasn’t much difference in the spellcasters of a given class unless they were made using 2Ed‘s Player Option rules.
 
Does anyone else have ideas for campaigns that for one reason or another you won't be able to run?
I always wanted to be a dm+player in a campaign that lasts decades of real time where the levelling up pace is progressively slow, to the point of taking tens of quests to gain the next level, and the PCs growing old with the players.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I always wanted to be a dm+player in a campaign that lasts decades of real time where the levelling up pace is progressively slow, to the point of taking tens of quests to gain the next level, and the PCs growing old with the players.
I’ve done that, and it was both fun and frustrating.

Every once in a while, one of the player-DMs (we all did double duty) would forget that some resource, spell or other MacGuffin was unique to one of their OWN characters, and the adventure would stall out because of a bottleneck that requried it.
 

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