The campaign you will never get to run

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Another one I've thought of is a zombie apocalypse game. Starts out as a normal campaign and then someone (perhaps the PCs) starts a plague of undead by opening the wrong crypt.

At first the zombies would be typical Walking Dead/Romero zombies but then eventually as monsters are infected you could have more Left 4 Dead/Resident Evil zombies, especially as some mages try to "fix" things with unforeseen consequences.

Ideally it would be quite a lethal game as the PCs are infected and have replacement PCs come in to replace them.

Haven't done it because part of the fun would be the reveal, but it also violates my "player campaign buy-in".
Very similar to one I forgot I wanted to run - thanks for the reminder.

Players would be bought in.

First session is a flashback where the PCs are relatively low level and they open a crypt of undead horrors and get overwhelmed and all die.

Second session starts 25 years later. The children of those characters are the new PCs. Initial session, they are at the last bastion of civilization next to a huge blighted area the size of Texas. Their mission - go in and 1) retrieve or at least find out what happened to their parents 2) figure out what is up and hopefully stop the spread of this undead blight and 3) maybe, if possible, redeem their parents to history.

Theoretically they might find some glimmers of safety inside the blight; but otherwise it would be survival horror with a mission.

(I have also considered using Golarion and the WorldWound as that setting and saying "Demons" instead of "Undead").
 
I tried doing a campaign where there were two sets of PCs per player, one in the stone age, one in the present day as archaeologists. The stone age side of things was just plainly more compelling, so we dropped the modern part.
 

Bitbrain

Praise Beebo, the god of War!
I would have liked it if the Sci-Fi and the fantasy fought each other a little more.
You want Blades & Blasters by Seth Tomlinson. Seriously, the entire premise is “what if a confederation of sci-fi aliens invaded a medieval fantasy world.”
Best part? It’s for 5e!
 

Coroc

Hero
Ravenloft (the 2e stuff) with the PCs being more late renaissance / up to Victorian. E.g. with firearms.
Did Ravenloft 5e (converted hyskosa hexad) but with the players being rather early medieval background
(think FR 1000 DR interpreted as being tech equivalent of earth 1000 A.D.)
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
Shoutout to a fellow library professional!
I think a lot of Librarians are roleplayers - most of the staff either do play/have played or would play if given a chance... what sort of Library do you work in? I'm a public reference Librarian (26+years) and I've gotten to run a few games disguised as work!
 

Orban Sirgen

Villager
I had an idea around 2008 for a time-travelling game combining 3.5, d20 Modern, and Star Wars d20... There could be pretty much any race/class combination possible, such as gnome Jedi and Wookie monks...
 
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?
I actually did run the first half of a campaign that heavily featured mass combat with the players all as military commanders set in the Dragonlance setting. The most difficult part was figuring out adequate mass combat rules that didn't: a) completely nullify player abilities, b) were simple enough that players could pick it up quick and keep combat flowing, but also not get bored, yet c) not make combat so one sided if either army was outright smaller than the other (so one could simulate 300-esque last stands without completely getting the party destroyed in an unfun way).

What I found to work as to take the UA rules and tweak them at first, but after couple iterations, we sort of decided it might be better to use d6's for rolls and figure out different factors to use as examples to basically boil each turn down to as few dice rolls as possibly on either side. It worked out well enough in theory that I'd feel comfortable using them if the game had continued onward.

My "never get to play game" is more of a "I'll never accomplish it in the scale I dream about in my head" sort of thing. I've a huge overarching Dragonlance story based heavily on a few of their Age of Mortals plotlines all tied together using a VERY heavily modified the Price of Courage storyline that consists of about 10 or so different "substories" each with a cast of a party of different PCs that all is interwoven intricately in my version of one ongoing campaign that spans about 10 years in the setting. Each group starts somewhere between level 2-5 (I dont use first level as a start for personal reasons in 5e) and completes a "stand alone story" that each has an appearance of one of three different NPCs that all collectively serve as sort of a "Nick Fury"-esque character that basically tries to recruit the players into an original nation-neutral Knight Order that is a creation of a friend of mines when he played the NPC in a previous iteration of the game. And eventually all 10 stories emerge into a single 10+ level game that means with a meetup of the different nations of Ansalon to deal with a worldwide threat.

My dream version is either having a group or couple groups of players each play in several of the arcs and then enjoy seeing all their different characters meet each either, or the crazy idea of having literally 40 or so players all in a room together sharing the same story. No idea how the hell I'd run it if it did, but a DM can dream.

I also have considered lately the logistics of running a heavily modified 5e or perhaps call of cthulhu game set in the SCP universe. I'd basically have the players make a bunch of disposable characters to be on mobile task forces that will inevitably die horribly, researchers to try to deal with containment breaches, and their main characters would be administrators reporting directly to the O5 council and delegating over stuff. I feel there is a lot of potential for a fun campaign there in the same vein as something like the film Cabin in the Hoods (if the players were the people pulling the strings), but it's still sort of in early planning stages on mechanics.
 
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mrpopstar

Sparkly Dude
I think a lot of Librarians are roleplayers - most of the staff either do play/have played or would play if given a chance... what sort of Library do you work in? I'm a public reference Librarian (26+years) and I've gotten to run a few games disguised as work!
I work in a private membership library by day, and I teach library science as adjunct faculty at a state university by night.
:cool:
 

Orban Sirgen

Villager
I actually did run the first half of a campaign that heavily featured mass combat with the players all as military commanders set in the Dragonlance setting. The most difficult part was figuring out adequate mass combat rules that didn't: a) completely nullify player abilities, b) were simple enough that players could pick it up quick and keep combat flowing, but also not get bored, yet c) not make combat so one sided if either army was outright smaller than the other (so one could simulate 300-esque last stands without completely getting the party destroyed in an unfun way).
I would recommend Heroes of Battle... Its "victory point" system enables PC actions to actually matter...
 
I would recommend Heroes of Battle... Its "victory point" system enables PC actions to actually matter...
I shall check it out. The problem we had wasn't even the lack of player usefulness in battles, it was a logistical problem of trying to find a way that strike a fair balance between not boiling down the entire fight between two single units on the field rolling one attack each (not very dramatic) and turns not taking 30minutes each of having to roll 30 dice rolls for each side due to multiple units on the field. I like the option to display multiple miniatures to represent different parts of each army, but keep it reasonably simple and fastpaced. Anything more difficult than the base 5e rules (or similar stuff like vehicle combat) isn't want I want.

My party couldn't care less about advanced tactical tabletop combat, they just want to see a lot of minis on the field and feel like army generals.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I want an easy to run battle system as well since a battle is brewing in my game at the moment though it may end up just being background so I won't really need rules, just a decision. I might try the strongholds and followers simple warfare system which seems similar to the old Rules Cyclopedia system, which I might also adapt. I do want the PCs to be able to influence things though, like striking against the enemies siege weapons or taking out spellcasters, etc and thereby influence the battle. I might see what heroes of battle has going for it as well.
 

MichaelSomething

Adventurer
Your party is invited to participate in an upcoming music festival. There they learn that a music group has mysteriously gone missing. The party then investigates a rumor where listening to a certain song at midnight will allegedly show a dead bard. Your party listen to this song themselves and are then sucked into the Midnight Stage.

There, they discover a mysterious entity is using strange ribbons and a song to force Shadows to form a bond with her, effectively brainwashing anyone who comes into contacts with the ribbons. Unable to use violence in this world, the group discover that they can use the power of song and dance to express their feelings to the Shadows, freeing them from the voice's control.
 

Jacob Lewis

The One with the Force
Dragon Age: Origins on Moonshae Isles (4e FR setting)

Dragon Age is one of the few CRPGs I have ever finished and played more than once. The story elements are compelling, evocative, and just downright awesome. For me, it hits all the right notes for a dark, gritty, and fantastic world where morality and politics are as tangible and tantalising as the adventure itself!

As much as I would love to run a campaign based solely on that world and storyline, I think it would be fun and interesting to transpose the storyline and elements into another setting with a different, but compelling flavor. And for this idea, I found the Moonshae Isles is a near-perfect canvas!

Most of the themes and elements of DA will find purchase within the Celtic-inspired and self-contained setting. The elves are at odds with non-fey inhabitants, and wizards are largely feared and mistrusted. The "beast" can be easily reimagined as a "dragon" that emerges during the time of a blight. The historic feud between the Ffolk and Northmen provide a background of conflict, while the ongoing of expansion from outsiders, such as traders from Amn and Baldur's Gate, continue to bring new beliefs and philosophies that clash with the ideas and interests of the nature-centric peoples. And so on.

It would take some amount of conversion and adaptation, but a campaign could potentially write itself! But alas, it is something I would not likely get around to with too many higher-priority items on my plate. Maybe one day...
 

Orban Sirgen

Villager
Here are two more campaign ideas a friend and I came up with but never got to play...

A party of pirate bards who only plunder other ships of rum... Character names: Captain Morgan, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, and Jose Cuervo...

A group of gnome monk/artificers in colorful costumes with giant combining mecha... They spend just as much time outside the mecha fixing it because, you know, gnomes...
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Here are two more campaign ideas a friend and I came up with but never got to play...

A party of pirate bards who only plunder other ships of rum... Character names: Captain Morgan, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, and Jose Cuervo...

A group of gnome monk/artificers in colorful costumes with giant combining mecha... They spend just as much time outside the mecha fixing it because, you know, gnomes...
Both of these ideas are GOLD. I can't stand pirates, but wow, now I want to play Jack or Jose. And then a group of Gnome Super Robot artificers? Done.
 

Bohandas

Explorer
Adventure set between the events of Temple of Elemental Evil and Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. All the characters are aspects of Iuz searching for Zuggtmoy. It runs through most of the old Tharizdun-centric modules and the entire campaign is played as an evil parody of Super Mario Brothers (Iuz is Mario, Zuggtmoy is Peach Toadstool, the Vathugu are the Mushroom Retainers, and Tharizdun is Bowser Koopa etc.)
 

GnomeWorks

Adventurer
This reminded me of a campaign that I always wanted to run based on Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles. ... Myrrh is produced by special trees that mysteriously only grow in dangerous places that monsters flock to.
I stole the myrrh trees from CC and inserted them into my own setting, as the source of the primary component needed to make magic items.

More importantly, however: I inverted the relationship between monsters and the trees. Myrrh trees sprout under certain conditions, and their presence draws monsters and/or causes local animals and such to mutate into monsters. The older the tree, the more powerful the monsters it draws/produces. Some get bold and drink of the myrrh from the tree, turning into crazy-powerful unique variations on their type.

This way, I can use monsters of all sorts without relying on the tired "mad wizard experiment gone wrong" nonsense, satisfactorily explain why weird unique monsters exist, and give adventurers a solid reason to exist in the setting, all simultaneously.
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
I work in a private membership library by day, and I teach library science as adjunct faculty at a state university by night.
:cool:
Ah, very different! Interesting how it all comes down to the same skillset, though. I hope this horrible virus scare is not disrupting your library too much. We're closed for at least two weeks, though we staff are all still going in.
 

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