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Question to you all: craziest gaming thing

 
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Gregory Vrill
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Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 1021

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:27 am    Post subject: Question to you all: craziest gaming thing Reply with quote

Hi everyone, Greg Vrill here. So I was just posting on another post, stating that I was interested in making Twylos 'crazier'. Well I was wondering then, what's the craziest, weirdest moment you've had as a player? But that still worked, it wasn't too over the top or cheesy. I'm thinking more of some actual thing, an NPC, location, or item (not some random sequence of events which are always weird).

...

For me, it was the first 3rd ed game our friend Jon ran about four years ago, that featured 'the Fold'. This was another plane, basically, of 2D fabric. There were a number of instances, but here are two of the more interesting ones. You entered them through magical tapestries, and basically became part of the scene on the tapestry.

We found magical tapestries, and each one of us went to our own little 2-D village in a small medieval world. It was completely free-form... we could wander off into the wilderness and live for a month if we wanted. I think Jon had no clear, predetermined 'solution' as to how to escape, he just wanted to see what all we would try. Sadly, I forget how we got out.

The other thing was oddly similar to an item I once had in the game called The Book of Bad Dreams (now in Twylos in the Wayfarers book). It was a book, on which each page was some sort of completely abstract puzzle, scene, or word. It was very similar to the tapestries, in that I had to not 'solve' something, but just come up with something plausible, to move onto the next page. Unlike the tapestries, which were traps, this book I carried around for a month in-game, working on every night at the inn, but not stalling (at least, in-game) our progress. Also, this was much more abstract, involving casting spells at symbols, trying to force particular pages into forms... It also reminded me of this old computer game called The Fool's Errand, one of the best puzzle games ever made. (In my view, the best.)
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greyfaced
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Joined: 06 Jun 2008
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Location: Pleroma, Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The craziest stuff I have seen was stuff I pulled off. The stuff as a PC you will already know because it was in your games.

So, Herios' Lab.

Herios was the worlds foremost alchemist. He was interested in everything one should be interested in. His patron supplied him with everything he needed to do his research and he built an amazing laboratory. It was designed somewhat like a walled cross. Each section was divided into an element which manifested as a season. So Fire elementals would wander around in summer, etc. Herios locked his lab and wandered off into history when the land he was living in went to crap. Big story there, and you can fill in your reason why it got locked.

The main compound was entered at the center of the cross, and was locked with a key. The key was magical and had the ability to control elements and make the whole thing work. When the key wasn't present a time stop spell was in effect inside the lab proper.

So the PC's have a key, which they got from some werewolves looking for a cure, and a time stopped lab. The main gardens weren't time stopped but they were warded so whatever was left alive was still in each area including whatever may have moved in. It was like a zoo, and had a lot of magical plants that kind of thing.

It also had the world greatest thief trapped inside, he was trapped when Herios last locked the lab. The PC's enter the lab, and the thief is set free. Lots of stuff in the lab turns back on and the thief who can change shapes turns into a jar in a room, and then latter into a beautiful sword, that of course the PC's pick up and strap on. He follows them around and tries to get the key away from the PC's.

Inside he lab was a gate to the underworld, a locked up leprechaun with a slot for coins so you could make wishes, that everyone was afraid to use. A little mephit that the mage turned into a familiar. No real guardians, just dangerous equipment and traps. The PC's eventually figured out that the sword was a guy, and agreed to let him hang out with them and get his bearings as long as he was in an inanimate form. He then betrayed them. he took the form of the key around a players neck after he managed to steal if from them and was just hanging out because their story was interesting. The players figured it out, and lighting bolted the key as it hung around the fighters throat, knowing that the fighter would live, and it would prolly make the thief show himself. They killed him and setup shop in the lab as a nice safe base of operations.

It was a long time ago, and I can't remember if it went exactly like this, but it might help you flush out something for yourself.

There are better ones, but we can talk about them in person because they are even harder to explain... Something about a road being built through the woods, a murder of some sacred animals and a guy who gets cursed to be the forests spokesperson and treaty negotiator. Could be good for Duurans. I love it when players get choked up in game. "Why can't you hear the screaming of the trees?" that kind of thing with squirrels looking at the party and a bear standing there looking pissed as the army is knocking down the forest..."You are building a dead river to march your kind to kill more of your own kind, and you don't even eat their flesh.....can't you hear the sun singing to the flower, or the bird to the sky?" Again I can't do it justice, but it was awesome. Just an army trying to build a road through a sacred forest, because the mountains were impassible...and they wanted to expand their empire into neighboring lands.

There was the time I tricked the party into transforming a bunch of slaves into kittens and handing them over to vampires so as to convince the towns inhabitants that fleeing wasn't an option, and dominion was complete. Or delivering food to a town ruled by spectres only to see the spectres feast on the happy people they provided the banquet for....which was a separate game or they probably would have gone nuts from the bleakness.

Good times.... and I'll never forget the Bootblack Bar. Where the only secret sign of the group that worked out of there was to clean your boots on the cowboy boot cleaning thing just inside the door and wear black boots. Great place run by a washed up demon hunter assassin. It became ground zero when the town was obliterated.

I also had a group in game that consisted of people who would hunt the worst of the worst and brand them on the hand after beating them to near death and telling them they would get orders from time to time and they had better live a good life from now on and do what they are asked to do, or the next beating will be to the death. The brand was ever so slightly magical and all it did was let you know if you shook hands with someone else who had the brand.

That's all for now.
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JimmySwill
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Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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Location: Torsche

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Those are some crazy ideas, greyfaced. I also dig the tapestry worlds. I think I played in the campaign with the first incarnation of the book of bad dreams. I remember a chess world? Is that right? The non-euclidean world?

What Greyfaced mentioned are just cool. The events described aside, there are those concrete things that necessitate special attention, like the sacred forest, or are just cool, like the boot scrub and the brand. Brands are cool. I think the book and tapestries work because they are expansive, yet have boundaries. Don't go Hello Airport or Iron Labyrinth (massive confusing places). Those are brutal. A lack of boundaries paralyzes most player's brains.

For me, one of the oddest things that worked was when my mad priest instructed an intelligent Fungi from an outer plane to fetch him a lizardman. (Greg ran this) -The fungi return later with a metal box with some knobs and buttons. Toying with it I found the lizardman had been converted into a computer of sorts. I could turn up the volume and hear his voice. I sold this box to the Bone Trade to pay off a debt. Eventually this technology became the focus of a war.

Here's a very bizarre idea, and I have no idea if it would work: Each character has a chess game (or some other game-like thing) going that represents an aspect of them, -fate or karma. At important times, they can make a move. Other times fate moves against them. Chess might not be the best game, but you get what I am saying. Maybe it's something more abstract and they can take risks or sacrifices in one world (game) to benefit the progression of the other. Just a thought.

At any rate, I think filling a world with little oddities like magic brands, boot-cleaners, tapestries, etc. might be better than any one grand scheme.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a magic equivalent of something like this would be cool.
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Cyndre
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Posts: 189
Location: La Badlandsa - So Nice!

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the things I can remember, not sure if these qualify.

The time when Morgan injected something into his eye and became one of Cthulu's minions.

The time when we killed Dag's god-thing and sacrificed it on the altar.

The time when we were in the keep, we got captured and lost our equipment and fought our way out (not really weird I guess, just liked it).

I really liked the Avrageine (sp?) campaign. Where magic was super rare (and outlawed? I forget).

I think it would be cool to introduce a heavy drug dependancy to society. Like, people are so miserable that they regularly trade in all kinds of drugs to be happy. This could lead to really cool economy and mercantile sub-plot lines, and would really enhance Alchemist's and shipper's (slaver's guild?) importance.

I liked the time I negotiated peace between a town and a monarch or something that were at war. Maybe you could make negotiation a plot line?
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Moth
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Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 276
Location: Grito

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last summer I went to Origins and signed up for an AD&D 2nd Ed. one shot. I expected some kind of classic save the mayor's daughter from the goblins type of thing, and so did the other fellows who showed up, but what we got really amazed me.

The gist of the adventure was that our characters had banded together because we were all having the same nightmare- literally. We would appear on a plain of red earth and be besieged by a horde of freaky little proto-elves. We played out a combat with them, I used a bunch of charm magic to neutralize about half of them, the fighters killed the rest, and then before we woke up, we heard a bunch of weird technobabble about a transmission ending.

A defining element of each of our characters was that we all had psionic powers to some degree, and we all had at least the capacity to send and recieve psychic messages. The kingdom we were in hated psionics and kept Su-Monsters (anti-psychic gorillas) around to aid in the permanent witch hunt they had going. Otherwise it was your standard pseudo-european D&D setting, except I believe she metnioned the geography and climate was more like North America. It all seemed weird and cheesy to me, and kind of disjointed.

Apparently there was some kind of excavation going on north of the starting city on some red dirt plains by some sea-cliffs. The workers of this excavation were having nightmares and occasionally manifesting psychic powers. We went to check it out, I used my status as a diplomat to convince the foreman we were checking out the place in order to hunt down any potential psychics. While there, instead of our usual dreams, we found ourselves contacted by some kind of intelligence which used terms we didn't understand, talked like it knew us, and made repeated overtures for help.

The roleplaying at this point was great, since we had to figure out how to talk to something that had wildly different assumptions about the world than we did and used units of measurement of time, space and direction that were completely meaningless to us. Also, opening our minds to recieve and send these messages ran the risk of tipping of the Su-Beasts. It was totally paranoia laden and awesome.

Eventually, we made physical contact with the entity, which was trapped in the rockface of the cliffs, and I used flying and stone-to-mud to free it partially, and somehow we managed to dig enough of it out so that it could take in sunlight and recharge. It turned out that this was a living, psychic ship which had come to the planet eons ago. The crew was slaughtered by savage creatures which eventually evolved into elves. The ship continued sending out signals and eventually settled on people with psionic potential who bore some resemblance to the crew (each of the characters had some title which was commensurate with their character concept- the ship believed me to be the ship's Ambassador, though I was an elven wizard diplomat). The ship's millennia long habit of sending out these confusing and bizarre signals had resulted in the kingdom's hatred of psionic manifestations. The DM said that if this were a real campaign, the rest of it would be about us and our new organic spaceship taking on the anti-psionic inquisition. The thief in our party also turned out to be the prince of some neighboring nation, which could have been a piece to a puzzle if we'd figured out a different way of doing things.

This was the best singular session of D&D I'd ever played. It was engaging, had many possible outcomes and avenues to success, it was primarily a mystery, and nothing was what it seemed. It was also the only time I've played under a female GM. She had a lot of interesting bits of wisdom about RPGs, and I've tried to incorporate the lessons I took away from that session into my own GMing.

In conclusion, weird, wacky stuff guised as typical fantasy fare and couched as a mystery with a twist is where it's at.

I will also mention DiD, in its entirety, including what came from the players.
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Gregory Vrill
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moth, that sounds amazing. Thanks, sounds like I would have really enjoyed that too. Exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for... su-monsters? Who the hell has ever used su-monsters in a game?

And yeah Cyndre, I remember the peace negotiations. Totally threw me- I had a different, bloodier plot in mind, and I recall that all the other players were blown away too.
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