Monday, June 3, 2013

Steal These Worlds: "Campaigns I'd Like to Run" RPG Blog Carnival Wrap-Up

Today wraps up the RPG Blog Carnival for May, “Campaigns I’d Like to Run.” That concepts represents heaven and hell for a GM. On the one hand, there’s the pleasure of coming up with campaign ideas and then hammering them out- figuring out what they need and what you need to do to get them to work. On the other, they’re a distraction when you are running a game. Yes, this campaign’s running smoothly and players are having fun…but you have an even better idea. Dangerous!

I’ve saw some great ideas posted last month, so below I present a list of those. I hope I’ve caught all of them- if not, please send me an email or leave a comment and I’ll get those added. The new RPG Blog Carnival for June has the topic “Favorite NPCs” and hosted by Arcane Game Lore. For more information on the Carnival, see hereAt risk of being a bad host, I’ll begin with a round-up of my entries. I generally ordered these as they appeared in the comment thread.

Age of Ravens offered five posts. The kick-off post for the carnival and Destroy All Monsters, a steampunk fantasy kaiju vs. mecha setting. The Years of Mithril and Lembas, a fantasy setting in the wake of a massive plague. Ocean City Interface, a reworking of a previous campaign frame which incorporates many other campaign seeds. Seven Settings, a look at publishing settings worth running in. 23 Campaign Concepts, a catch-all list of ideas crossings genres and types.

Sycarion Diversions gave us The Eye of the Needle, a riff on Spelljammer with a novel backstory and set-up. 

Games I’ll Never Play is a blog dedicated to the campaign ideas. He offered several distinct and interesting worlds to play in. Tanien, which plays around with the backstory for the races.  The Great School of Magic, a Glantri frame. Landfall, a magic/tech hybrid concept. 

Greyhawk Grognard gives us My Dream Campaign. He offers an interesting take. Rather than ideas about details, he considers how to change up the scope of the game. How might Greyhawk be used to offer a grander and more wide-ranging campaign? Great stuff here for those thinking about new ways to approach an established setting. 

The Bleeding Scroll pitches Werewolf & Vampire Academy, Now on ABC... . I love school campaigns- especially with the rising tide of strangeness presented here. 

Game Knight Reviews (or the Gassy Gnoll if you want to get specific) gives us A Summer Campaign. He works through a number of concepts- showing some of the process of wrestling with these ideas. 

Derek at Harvester gives a couple of sharp and solid campaigns. Mage: Technocracy Risen takes the Mage Ascension War to a kind of logical conclusion, creating a post-crash sci-fi heavy vibe. I like how he’s fused a number of sources and inspirations to create something striking and new. His Night's Black Agents post breaks down what he likes about the setting. He has a frighteningly detailed vision on offer here. I suspect he’s been thinking about this for a while. 

Aggregate Cognizance gives us a great spin on an often neglected sci-fi setting, Blue Planet. Last Resort Poseidon offers a narrow and compelling frame. It brings the key issues into focus while offering the players difficult decisions. 

Doctor Checkmate Returns gives The Short, Short Version, a collection of ideas and concepts- demonstrating the push and pull GMs feel about campaign seeds and systems. 

The DM from Outremer in Campaigns I’d Like to Run gives three striking campaign ideas. The first, a steampunk and supernatural game set in an alternate WW1 made my jaw drop. Brief but dense concepts which deserve an extended write-up. 

Kaijuville steals my idea preemptively and does it better than me with Fight the Future, an X-Com/STALKER mash-up. 

Exchange of Realities offers Campaigns I Want To…Err… a meditation on the ‘style’ of gaming which attracts different GMs. 

The Armchair Gamer gives us several excellent and detailed posts this month. Mystara Mash-Up considers a touring/travel campaign in the classic setting. He brings together a massive list of his previous work on the topic. A must-read for any Mystara fan.  In “Give Chance to Others” he considers several niche campaigns that deserve a shot.  A Quick Look at Kitchen Sink settings offers three campaign frames that embrace everything

Tower of the Archmage with Campaigns I'd Like to Run faces the tough choice of figuring out what to run and explicates the fate facing all GMs brainstorming “…on any given the day, the list changes.”

Arcane Game Lore (host of the June Carnival) gives us Power Play, a well-developed mini-campaign of competing teams racing to secure an alien artifact on a deadly world. 

The ever-excellent Shorty Monster tackles Campaigns I’d Like to Run and ends up wrestling with the breakdown between the kind of game he wants to run and the limits of time. 

Lunar Shadow hits three targets with Torg, Demon Hunters and Corporation. I like the way these are pitched tightly. 

The Other Side blog (from Timothy Brannan, designer of Ghosts of Albion and other excellent products) offers four campaign pitches in Campaign’s I’d Like to Run. I’ll be stealing some of these… 

Dispatches from Kickassistan puts us In the Shadow of the Black Giant. The rumblings of a volcano signal the rise of chaos in this darkly-tinged D&D setting. 

Roleplay-Geek shows off The Lands of Dual, complete with an interactive map. 

Graphs, Paper, and Games is actually running his dream game, but his Campaigns I'd Like to Run post offers two more that appeal. 

Harbinger of Doom brings us The Demon Dreams, a novel take on the idea of a dream-based campaign. I especially like the idea of building it around the Dreamblade minis. 

Age of Ruins brings together Dark Sun and Dungeon Crawl Classics in Blistered Skin Beneath a Blood-Red Sky

Kobold Enterprise traps us in a puzzle-dungeon campaign with Dear Friday night group GTFO

Uncle Bear (on Asparagus Jumpsuit) drills down and considers the problem of the rpg vs. other games- the difficulty of just sampling. As well in Campaigns I’d Like to Run he offers two campaigns along with work that needs to be done to make them work. 

Blessings of the Dice Gods offers a really interesting approach with First Time Blog Carnival Participation! Jeff looks at several dimensions of the question and addresses the individually. 

Impossible Boulder gives us a new take on the oft-forgotten Al-Qadim setting from TSR with Djinni Unchained. I love, love the hook on offer here- really excellent and worth lifting! 


  1. Great. Not just four games I'll never run but now dozens!!

    So many cool ideas, so much potential.

  2. This was a great carnival topic. Drinks all around!

  3. Thanks for a great carnival and also for the shout-out on my WWI game. And yes, I am actually developing it further and will post more as I complete usable bits of it. I've already roughed out a couple classes, weapons and equipment, and lists of encounters for the outdoor hexcrawl.