Games I Want To Run

Action Force
Action Force

Over the years I have had ideas for games that I don’t think I’ll ever get around to actually running. I used to post them up as quick notes on my LiveJournal, under the tag “game i want to run.” Now I’m compiled them all on this page, which I’ll update as I get more ideas for crazy-ass games.

Nextwave: The Next Wave

Nextwave, the Next Wave: H.A.T.E. tries to create a new anti-terrorist group to beat up people and make America a safer place. The current idea is a group of reject heroes who have to deal with a bunch of retired supervillains and prove that they’re threats to justify H.A.T.E.’s bailout application.

Since Nextwave is a modern “remix” of 80s characters and ideas, I’d probably use the original TSR Marvel Super Heroes system (or maybe the Four Color System, since it’s also a remix of an 80s superhero game).

Robot City

Robot City is a world almost completely covered by one metropolis, run by a caste system of robotic tribes. The society is a bit like late-Communist Russia, with a little bit of the Hindu caste system. One tribe of outcasts, a collection of robots found to be unsuitable or too broken to function in their caste, start to organize a revolt about the powers that be. (I had much more extensive notes, but I have no idea where they disappeared off to.)

There’s actually a lot of vectors to come at this game at, but it would likely be a short-run or one-shot game, since the idea of playing in an all-robot society would probably not sustain itself too long for regular play. I would probably pick a light-weight system for this, such as FUDGE or Savage Worlds, something that’s easy to hack at and tweak.

Action Force 1948

The year is 1948. World War II is over. However, a group of radical fascists have banded together in secret to attempt to undo the victory of the Allies. James McCullen Destro, Baroness Anastasia DeCobray, and a masked man known only as the Commander have secretly acquired Nazi, Italian and Japanese technology in an attempt to create their own terrorist force independant of national boundries. Rather than reveal to the world that the defeat of fascism in Europe was not complete, the League of Nations create a secret military force called “Action Force.” Commanded by General Lawrence J. Flagg and his First Sergeant Conrad “Duke” Hauser, Action Force attempts to defeat the dangerous Cobra Command.

Yes, it’s noir G.I. Joe, with a dash of the British Action Force for flavor. Depending on the mood I wanted to go for, I could use anything from Top Secret/SI with theAgent 13 sourcebook to Two Fisted Tales to Savage Worlds to Spycraft. (Cartoon Action Hour would appear to be a logical choice, but I think it would be too campy for this setup, and CAH doesn’t quite do “just humans” as well as I’d like.)

League of Heroes

David and I once talked about doing a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-style game that would use pulp heroes from the 1930s. Original pulp characters such as The Shadow, The Phantom, and Doc Savage could be teamed with “modern pulp” characters like The Sandman and The Rocketeer, or even with less “superheroic” characters from that time-period such as The Saint.

David recommended Cartoon Action Hour (which I would be inclined to use if I ever decided to run this), but Adventure! and Two-Fisted Tales would also work quite well.

… dark mirror …

This is a campaign that I almost ran in 2001 but ended up scrapping (mainly due to the insane patchwork of systems I created to try to pull it off). Basically, a former “black book” government agency has gone rogue, what with the US government collapsing, and has started working with professional mercenaries (so-called “Edgerunners”) towards their original secret goals of dealing with the supernatural and aliens, while working against another former government agency that has been acquired by Militech. Gritty futuristic military conspiracy under a layer of cyberpunk flash and style.

When I first tried to run this, I used the original Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. system. I had an old article on converting Call of Cthulhu to the CP2020 system, which I used to port Delta Green over. Then I tossed in the old Night’s Edge sourcebooks that added supernatural creatures and powers to CP2020. The result, while technically workable, was really a complete mess, and the game never got off the ground as a result. If I were to do it all over again, I would probably use the CP2020 books with Delta Green as inspiration, and port the entire thing over to one cohesive system. Assuming I didn’t lose my mind and try to develop a whole new system to use, the top four contenders (in no particular order) would be:

Call of Cthulhu D20 – With the upcoming revised Delta Green sourcebook for CoC D20, I could probably use something like Digital Burn to cover the cyberpunk elements, and CoC D20 is sufficiently action-adventure oriented. Plus, most people have played some sort of D20 variation in my potential gaming pool.

GURPS – I have GURPS Cyberpunk, GURPS Cthulhupunk, GURPS Horror, and GURPS Illuminati. If I picked up Special Ops and maybe Ultra-Tech, I should have everything I would need for the series. The only real drawback is that I’m not that familiar with GURPS, but at least the system components would play well with each other (probably more so than trying to mix D20 suppliments).

FUDGE – The next option is to go minimalist and just port the whole thing over to FUDGE, making design decisions as I needed to. While this would offer the maximum flexability, my inexperience with FUDGE means that I would end up tweaking the game system as we played, which is not the best solution for the players (“Wait, we could do that before, why not now?”).

Savage Worlds – I’ve been looking for a reason to try this out, and the Savage Worlds system seems to be a good, solid, lightweight system. However, it might be a little TOO lightweight, but if I wanted to make the game more miniatures-oriented, this would be the only way to go.

War of Houses

Part Dune, part Shakespeare, part Mechwarrior, and part Robotech. In a distant future, the Earth has expanded into a huge galactic empire, and the various worlds are all ruled and controlled by vast noble houses. These houses are constantly on the verge of civil war, as intersteller politics and arranged marriages dictate from week to week what allegiance a certain world holds. The passion and fury of select nobles can shake the galaxy apart, and frequently does in this galactic soap opera.

War of Houses can be run with Big Eyes, Small Mouth, BESM d20 with the d20 Mecha book, the d20 mini-game Mecha Crusade in Polyhedron 154 (which requires d20 Modern), Mekton Z, the upcoming 1PG from Deep7 called Exosuit A-OK, or maybe even Cartoon Action Hour. I might write up a more “cartoony” version of this idea forAfter These Messages…, but the original idea as presented is intended to be high melodrama with lots of giant robot military action.

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