RPG ideas

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thoreau
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RPG ideas

Post by thoreau »

I'm toying with running a game that's a cyberpunk version of the Epic of Gilgamesh: Kings like Gilgamesh are basically street-level gang bosses or chiefs of local fiefdoms (to whatever extent there's a difference) while the gods are corporate overlords living high up in skyscrapers and commanding fantastical tech. Humbaba was a mutant/cyborg created by the gods for unknown purposes. The players will be a biker gang raiding the Cedar Forest for treasure now that Humbaba is dead.

Thinking of saying that a terrorist group named Tiamat plans to blow up dams to create a second Great Flood, but the dams are guarded by mutant beasts similar to Humbaba. Tiamat thinks that the Cedar Forest might have clues that will enable them to defeat the guardians of the dams. So the characters have to fight terrorists while running from corporate mercenaries who will kill anyone found in the Cedar Forest without permission.

I've played with this rule set once before, thinking of using it again: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/27 ... pstart-Kit

Any suggestions for where to take this story?
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
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thoreau
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by thoreau »

My other idea is a Princess Bride spinoff using D&D rules: The characters wake up soaked in salt-water, half-drowned, on a boat. A man comes up and identifies himself as the Dread Pirate Robert. He needs their help finding Inigo Montoya, who was the previous Dread Pirate Robert. They may have to look for clues in the Fire Swamp and Thieves' Forest.

Not sure which one to run.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
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Number 6
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by Number 6 »

I think you’d find more people who are familiar with Princess Bride than Gilgamesh. I regret that I am among that group of sub-literates.
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lunchstealer
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by lunchstealer »

I'm familiar enough to know that Enkidu is a thing associated with Gilgamesh, but I don't know the story itself well at all. Tiamat I know first from the Saturday morning cartoon Dungeons and Dragons.
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by Warren »

The beast at Tanagra. Uzani, his army. Shaka when the walls fell.
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thoreau
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by thoreau »

The players won't actually need to know the original story. I just like the premise and plan to mine it for material. Gilgamesh and Enkidu won't even show up in person. The characters are cyberpunk adventurers who learn that King Gilgamesh has just killed the mutant monster Humbaba and there are tech treasures to be found in the now unguarded forest. They encounter corporate overlords whose names and tech powers resemble deities from the story. They have to prevent terrorists from destroying dams and starting a flood. None of this requires reading the story.

Also, I listened to Gods and Monsters by Lana Del Rey one too many times. I have to tell this story.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
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Eric the .5b
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by Eric the .5b »

It sounds cool to me.
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thoreau
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by thoreau »

So, I think that Humbaba will be an old Corporate project run amok. Unbeknownst to his creators, he was more sophisticated than anyone appreciated, and figured out how to control the other mutants running around in his forest. There's stuff in some recent finds about how Humbaba maintained harmony among the forest creatures. Now they're running crazy. Tiamat cultists figure this out and realize that they could scavenge stuff from his corpse to maybe control mutants themselves, and use that to override the defenses at a dam.

One mid-level corporate (a demi-god) suspects some of this and gives them tech that is compatible with some of the older protocols used by the discarded cyborg mutants of the forest. If they use this they can effectively use cyborg mutants as their eyes and ears. They don't have control protocols, but they do at least have monitoring protocols.
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Jake
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by Jake »

thoreau wrote: 26 Aug 2020, 17:52 My other idea is a Princess Bride spinoff using D&D rules: The characters wake up soaked in salt-water, half-drowned, on a boat. A man comes up and identifies himself as the Dread Pirate Robert. He needs their help finding Inigo Montoya, who was the previous Dread Pirate Robert. They may have to look for clues in the Fire Swamp and Thieves' Forest.

Not sure which one to run.
If you do run the Princess Bride one, I feel I should inform you that it's the Dread Pirate Roberts, rather than Robert.
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thoreau
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by thoreau »

Me, making a mistake about the Princess Bride?

INCONCEIVABLE!!!
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
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lunchstealer
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by lunchstealer »

I think either would be fun. I've always personally had trouble getting into the cyberpunk mindset for some reason, but at some point I'll manage it.
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lunchstealer
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by lunchstealer »

thoreau wrote: 27 Aug 2020, 16:39 Me, making a mistake about the Princess Bride?

INCONCEIVABLE!!!
Ha-ha, you fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is “Never get involved in a land war in Africa”
"Dude she's the Purdue Pharma of the black pill." - JasonL

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Warren
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by Warren »

lunchstealer wrote: 27 Aug 2020, 19:30
thoreau wrote: 27 Aug 2020, 16:39 Me, making a mistake about the Princess Bride?

INCONCEIVABLE!!!
Ha-ha, you fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is “Never get involved in a land war in Africa”
Rodents Of African Size?
I don't believe they exist.

OOMPH!
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thoreau
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Re: RPG ideas

Post by thoreau »

OK, so several students got together this evening to make characters. Next week we start the campaign. We're doing Gilgamesh. The premise is that word has just reached Uruk that Gilgamesh killed Humbaba, but that just means that the forest where all of the corporations' failed experiments were kept is now vulnerable.

When they get the word they'll be in a cafe run by Siduri (the barmaid from Gilgamesh) and their data pads will start lighting up with rumors. Three of the students are playing characters who used to do dirty deeds for Enlil Corp before getting in trouble, and now they're trying to lie low. Some corporate agents will be eyeing them. But these guys don't work for Enlil. Enlil wanted things to stay quiet in the forest. These guys are from Shamash, which wanted Gilgamesh to clean things up. Now they realize that some dirty Enlil experiments have not been completely purged.

Eventually they'll meet with a Shamash manager who offers them a bounty if they can find out what Humbaba was up to. They have data indicating that Humbaba had six other nanotech-enhanced skins (in the story he only puts on one of his "cloaks" before Gilgamesh kills him, but he has six others nearby) and Gilgamesh was too into glory to even bother with searching for loot. They need someone to go in and retrieve this, and they need people who know Enlil tech. They think this tech was not developed by Enlil Corp, but plenty of the tech surrounding the forest is.

Another student has a character who lives in Uruk's Kurdish enclave (yes, I know, the Kurds weren't in Uruk back then, but this story mixes timelines and eras) and sells black market tech. She has more than enough dirty tech already, and she just needs to get back to Aleppo ASAP so she can help her family with a corrupt Enlil middle-manager who's messing with them. If she agrees to delay her journey by a few hours for the other characters to get ready, they'll help her with this executive. If they don't, she'll undoubtedly die trying. And for them, traveling via Aleppo means most of the route passes through civilized regions with water, instead of deserts with bandits and Scorpion Demons.

Aleppo is a 15 hour drive from Uruk. They can either drive through the night (and deal with bandits), stop in a major town (and have an encounter with Enlil hackers tracking them), or stop in a small town (and meet Tiamat cultists).

In Aleppo they'll have some sort of adventure dealing with a corporate crew leader who's started a sideline in child slavery. Haven't decided on the details. But this will get them some favors and friendship for the remainder of their journey to the Cedar Forest.

The Cedar Forest will have plenty of mutant beasts running around, including cyborg lions (since Gilgamesh spoke of killing lions with Enkidu when they entered the gates). They'll also discover Tiamat cultists who killed some Enlil contractors. They discover that Humbaba was more intelligent than the corporations realized, and had been enhancing himself. They'll get some of his nano-skins as their own magic items.

Eventually they'll learn that Tiamat cultists stole a nano-enhanced exoskeleton that can be used to control other mutants. If they go into the digital afterlife (where a security contractor's brain implants have uploaded his last consciousness) they'll learn that before killing him the Tiamat cultists gave him a Villain Speech about purifying the land via a flood: They plan to blow up dams, and use Humbaba's nanoskin to bypass the mutant beasts currently guarding the dams.

That should be good for 2 sessions. Third session can be a battle to stop them from blowing up dams. Shamash mercenaries want to help them, but Enlil mercenaries want to stop them because they don't believe the Tiamat story, and Shamash mercenaries won't get paid if they cross any lines that start all-out corporate wars. So the players will have to use their magic nanoskins to fight the Tiamat cultists themselves.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
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