Monday, May 21, 2012

Campaign Elevator Pitch Amalgamator

Roll once on each table and forcefully mash results together to establish campaign vibe.

Table A: Appendix N
1. Robert E. Howard's Kull stories: serpent men intrigue, campaign-ending catastrophe imminent
2. Tolkien's LOTR: sprawling epic, dark lord, orcs everywhere, spontaneous recitations of poetry/musical numbers
3. Poul Anderson's The High Crusade: knights & UFOs
4. Abraham Merritt's The Ship of Ishtar: active deities, genders at odds, swashbucklery
5. Leigh Brackett's The Sword of Rhiannon: Mars, science & sorcery, demi-god possession, exit future for adventure in the past
6. E.R. Burroughs' Pellucidar series: recently discovered underworld filled w/cavemen and their dino-rulers
7. H. P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Out of Time: Mind-projecting aliens, flying polyps, time-hopping
8. Jack Vance's Planet of Adventure series: powerful aliens in charge, humans reduced to pathetic state, must find or create means to get off planet ASAP
9. Michael Moorcock's Elric saga: doomy as hell, chaos horror, pain in the ass gods, bitter ends for one and all
10. Lord Dunsany's Time and the Gods: King James-style language, pervasive mythological underpinnings
11. Fritz Leiber's Newhon series: sorcerous masters, Lords of Quarmal, lusty
12. L. Sprague de Camp & Fletcher Pratt's Harold Shea series: magic is mathematics, dweebs from 20th century earth kick ass in realms of fantasy

Table B: Pop Culture X Factor
1. William Burroughs Naked Lunch: Interzone, disturbing creatures spewing hallucinogenic ichor
2. Christopher Hitchens: anti-crusade vs. theocracy, plenty of super-heated rhetoric
3. The Smurfs: towering evil sorcerers and their terrifying familiars, mushroom town HQ
4. Phillip K. Dick: does the dungeon exist outside of your minds? = sanity house rules required
5. Dr. Seuss: cutesy-pie nomenclature, capricious entities w/powers beyond mortal ken
6. Friedrich Nietzsche: gods are dead, class/level system ideal for tracking progress towards super-man status
7. John Carpenter's They Live: must wrassle henchmen/hirelings into submission, aliens among us
8. Herman Melville's Moby Dick: giant white monster object of obsession, but 'tis the thing behind the mask PCs chiefly hate
9. Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: original gonzo
10. Tim Burton's oeuvre: simultaneously creepy and goofy, Johnny Depp portrays most NPCs
11. King Kong (1933): Giant apes lord it over the dinosaurs/terrified human population, huge walls everywhere
12. DC Comics' The Legion of Super-Heroes: everybody gets at least one super-power, but it might be absurd

Examples of use:
1. Rolls: 2, 11  
Results: King Kong is dark lord of middle earth, climbs to the top of Barad Dur if seriously demoralized, armies of dino-riding orcs, hobbits = cavemen

2. Rolls: 1, 6
Results: Oops, you've just created the John Milius Conan the Barbarian movie, outrageous Austrian accents, nihilism, raise dead spells work but friends of the deceased must battle wind demons


  1. 144 campaigns and I 'd play any of them.

  2. Nice, althugh I'm trying to get my head around Elric done with Smurfs

  3. Thanks, people!
    "Gee, Doomy Smurf sure is looking a bit smurfy..."
    "Blood and souls for my lord Gargamel!"

  4. The fun thing is that because of how our university role-playing-society is organized, most campaigns I GM actually DO get pitched on an elevator-ride...

    I think I might just end up using this, actually. *rolls dice* The Shadow Out of Time plus Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?! This is going to get SO F*ed up...

  5. "Getting around on a psuedopod had it's upsides, but I was still only half-way across the Plateau of Leng when the drugs kicked in..."