Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Extracts from my Game Idea Grimoire

Random selections from noisms' Great Book of Game Ideas Which Will Never Take Off:

Catalogue 34c, book III, chapter 87, subsection IX, no. 679: A style game based on the Harlan Ellison short story I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. Four to six players are trapped inside a planet sized Artifical Intelligence whose only motivation is its pitiless hatred of them. Over the course of the campaign they are tortured and brutalised in ever more inventive ways, the only stipulation being that AM (the AI) cannot allow them to die. There is no GM - the players each take turns 'being' AM, with the challenge being to trump the previous guy.

Catalogue 11a, book LXII, chapter 18, subsection XXV, no. 81: A Cyberpunk 2020 game set in Equatorial Guinea, where vast oil resources are the focus for clandestine warfare between megacorporations, the government, other African governments, power-crazed mercenary bosses turned warlords, and shining path style maoist rebels. Like the Wild West except on the equator. In Africa. In the Jungle. With railguns.

Catalogue 42j, book X, chapter 119, subsection I, no. 70: A hybrid of Spelljammer and Star Trek: Voyager using Risus. A spelljammer ship becomes stranded hundreds of years away from home by some vagary in the phlogiston, surrounded by weird alien races and desparate for coffee. No Janeway, though.

Catalogue 87d, book V, chapter 1, subsection IIX, no. 6: A MERP game set in the early Third Age of Middle Earth. A group of adventurers set off from Rivendell into the East, in search of the 'blue wizards'. They encounter a corrupt magocracy in the vast, sparsely populated barren wastelands and mountains, and must fight an unrecognised and thankless battle against it in tandem with greater events back West.

Catalogue 14p, book I, chapter 73, subsection XXVII, no. 33: A Risus game set in the Mesopotamia of the Book of Judges, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and ancient Sumer. The players are demigods with stats like "Donkey-Jaw-Bone-Wielding Genocidaire 4" or "Shagger of Thousands of Other Men's Wives 2", and they battle against mountain-sized giants and other legendary monsters.

Catalogue 48x, book LI, chapter 9, subsection IV, no. 189: A campaign set in a mystical version of Kofun-era Japan. The players are a group of rational and well educated Chinese diplomats who are trying to find the Queen of Yamato's court, in an archipelago full of mountains, forests, barbaric tribesmen, dragons, oni, tengu and river ghosts.


  1. Your MERP idea is very similar to an idea I once had as well, but I never pursued it because Middle-earth just feels too much like someone else's world -- which it is -- and I don't feel right messing around with it.

    Oh, and my idea tied in the mystery of the Ent-wives as well :)

  2. Oooh, good ideas. I'd definitely play in the Cyberpunk, Middle Earth and Japan games.

  3. All of those sound pretty fun except for the first one, which sounds like it would suck except for whoever's turn it was to be AM.

  4. James: I think at least with that scenario you can get away with doing things that have no effect on Tolkien 'canon', because apart from a few mentions in letters, the whole idea of the wizards in the East was completely breezed over in the books. The Entwives are a different matter maybe. ;)

    Kelvin: Yeah, those are actually the ones I'd really like to run. The others are just nifty ideas that struck me.

    Rach: That was kind of the idea! I'd have to find a way to make not being AM not suck too much.

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  6. The first sounds like "Paranoia: the Wangst Edition" (that's a good thing).

    Played something similar to your Cyberpunk idea based on an old Atlas Games Cyberpunk module. It played out something like a Tom Sharpe disaster dominoes comedy novel; 'Juntapunk 2020'. :-)

    As for all the rest - "Yes, would gladly play/pay for this" to all.

  7. Chris: You know, I've never played Paranoia. It's on my 'to play' list, right at the top.

    The problem is that I have too many ideas, too little time, no ability to prioritise, and the attention span of a mayfly. Hence none of this concepts are likely to see the light of day.

  8. None of THESE concepts. Drat my poor touch typing skills.

  9. "Against the Blue Wizards" is an idea I've had before as well.

    Also, I'd play either Risus game in a heartbeat.