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Rampant Games - Sick of Saving the World?

by Dhruin, 2008-05-19 23:08:30

It must be RPG design day.  Jay Barnson has kicked up a piece called RPG Design: Sick of Saving the World?

I'm tired of saving the world. Saving the world is for wusses.

Lessons From Pen and Paper
I remember my first attempt to run a pen-and-paper game of Vampire the Masquerade. After some really cool character origin sub-plots, we got to the meat of the campaign. I immediately reached for a generic, epic plot of earth-shattering proportions... and found that it was a total dud. It just didn't work. The players were these supernatural creatures of the night who were at the top of one food chain and the bottom of another. Their mortal lives were long gone... and the big, world-saving plots just didn't ring true.

I was stuck for a while, trying to figure out what to do with the campaign. And then, I recalled running and playing an earlier, post-apocalyptic RPG called "Twilight: 2000." It was a "realistic" game of post-nuclear holocaust. High radiation didn't turn you into a mutant - it made your hair fall out and caused you to puke and excrete blood. Your enemies were disease and power-hungry local warlords who'd gotten their hands on a functional tank or two.

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