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Author Topic: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters  (Read 2998 times)

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Offline WyzardWhatelyTopic starter

[Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« on: March 14, 2008, 04:12:07 PM »
This sounds ridiculous, but stay with me, please.  Many of you have probably played that old staple, D&D, or its many cousins and descendants.  Under the skin of the earth, a short distance from the town, there is a great stone-walled complex full of monsters, who have hoarded treasure.  An entire ecosystem of adventurers, pawn-shops, and specialized magical creatures has grown up around this common niche.  And, of course, there are the monsters.  These are their stories.

You throw in some shapeshifters, succubi, a vampire, werewolves, and the wildly varying other creatures of the FRPG genre into this big windowless mansion.  They apparently manage to get along and live together.  Who's to say they might not be friends?  They have to get up to *something* between periodic raids by the sword & sorcery set.  Who knows what could happen with that amount of free time?  Let alone what they might do with any hapless treasure-hunters who might fall into their clutches. 

I picture this as a sort of ensemble-cast erotic dramedy, played as straight as possible within the limits of the premise and the tropes.  There should be strong elements of fantasy, dark fantasy, sexuality, human drama, and horror.  The players just oftentimes happen to possess winges, tentacles, scales, and inhuman lusts.  I think what we make of it would depend greatly on the GM and the other players, and who chooses to play what.  I think there's even room for the innocent barmaid from town, the dashing rogue swordsman, and various other less 'monstrous' characters.

If someone feels up to running such a thing, I think we should riff on it and see where it goes.  I would prefer that there be some kind of game system underpinning the whole undertaking, even if we keep it fairly loose and roll dice only with the greatest irregularity.  I'm not terribly particular about what that might be, I just like having numbers attached to characters in this sort of deal.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 04:37:45 PM by WyzardWhately »

Offline VandalSavage

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008, 04:16:32 PM »
The Surreal Life set in an "ad absurdum" D&D dungeon. 

I love it. 

That having been said, I could not run it.  I only have inclination and opportunity to write in it.

I will watch this thread expectantly.

Offline Jefepato

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2008, 04:18:49 PM »
The actual Reverse Dungeon module was a total mess, but this could be a lot of fun.  I'm not sure if I could manage the GMing, though...

Offline Jeramiahh

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2008, 03:02:35 AM »
*sticks fingers in ears* Lalalalala I can't hear you...

This is actually akin to a system I've been working on, on and off, for the past three years or so, a 'turn based' dungeon building competition, with some interesting roleplaying elements tossed in. I could SO run this... though I'm mighty discouraged from group games; my last five or so have died horrible, painful deaths, which irritates me to no end.

However, I would love to play something like this.

Offline kongming

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2008, 03:09:04 AM »
To be fair, Jere, I'd be happy to continue the game I was in, should you ever get it going again. I actually liked taking a simple core-book deity for a basic cleric, no real frills, the kind who has the jobs of "Heal" and "Kill", then making that interesting and fun.

Anyway, I'd also be interested in playing, but not running. (Although currently, feeling a bit run down and all, there aren't many games of mine I have the energy to post in at all, so would possibly slow things down a little. That being said, one of those games I do have the energy/mood for is Maiden of Pain, Jere *cracks whip, makes the basic assumption no-one has anything to do to keep me entertained*

Offline DreadD

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2008, 04:43:40 AM »
Hrmm...  Yeah, I think I could have some fun running this.  Pardon the earlier message, I do believe I missed the point a bit on my first try...

Hrm, so would you want it more like a Monster "Big Brother" where no one could leave, and conflict stems from there, or will they have to balance their social lives and driving out various heroes?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 06:58:36 AM by DreadD »

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Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2008, 06:55:10 AM »
Reminds me a bit of Dungeon Keeper. That was a fun game.

Offline Stattick

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2008, 07:17:18 AM »
Oh, if I wasn't already in the stages of starting a multi-player game, I'd volunteer to run it w/ Cinematic Unisystem. It's the simplist point buy system that I've liked and is very GM friendly. Plus, I've found that players like having Drama Points to spend (automatic successes, temporary plot or NPC control, etc), plus as the GM, you get to hand them out everytime you need to screw over the party for some reason, or someone does something particularly cool.

So, it gives you the ability to start off play with... "Everyone slowly comes too and discovers much to their chagrin that they're in a large dungeon cell without their equipment and can't remember how they got there. On the good side, everyone gets a drama point!"  ;D

Offline DreadD

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2008, 07:23:35 AM »
Is that a public system?  For if people wanted to run system for this game that sounds like it could be pretty nifty >_>  Assuming they let me run it, anywho >_>  And I could find uses for it otherwise, too, I suspect.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 07:37:00 AM by DreadD »

Offline WyzardWhatelyTopic starter

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 10:57:42 AM »
Hrm, so would you want it more like a Monster "Big Brother" where no one could leave, and conflict stems from there, or will they have to balance their social lives and driving out various heroes?

The way I picture it, it's not so much that anyone is somehow prevented from leaving, as that this is their home.

Offline Stattick

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2008, 11:18:09 AM »
Is that a public system?  For if people wanted to run system for this game that sounds like it could be pretty nifty >_>  Assuming they let me run it, anywho >_>  And I could find uses for it otherwise, too, I suspect.

http://www.edenstudios.net/

They're the ones that publish unisystem. The Witchcraft basebook is free for download, but it uses classic unisystem which is more complicated and clunky then ceni-uni. For ceni-uni, I believe the only basebook currently in publication is Army of Darkness, as sadly, Eden lost the license to continue publishing Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Angel.

The core mechanic for both systems is the same. Stat + Skill + any modifiers + 1d10 vs fixed target number. Most of the time there's no modifiers. It damn close the system I'd have designed if I'd had time. It's a lot like oWoD system without the buckets o dice problem that makes me twitch when someone says "dice pool".

Offline Jefepato

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2008, 11:31:30 AM »
I like Cinematic Unisystem.  It seems a little odd to use it for a mostly-monster game, but it could work pretty well.

Offline WyzardWhatelyTopic starter

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2008, 11:51:17 AM »
I've got Buffy sitting around somewhere.  Not Angel, though.

Offline Jefepato

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2008, 12:03:02 PM »
I have both, which is very helpful for this sort of game, since Angel is a lot more clear on how racial templates and demon powers work.

Offline Stattick

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2008, 12:07:19 PM »
dungeons an zombies would be useful for this setting too from AFMBE (which i have), as would the free 'net expansion for it (which i have on my hd somewhere if you can't find it)........

*taps foot impatiently and looks at Eden, wanting Beyond Human months ago*

Offline DreadD

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2008, 12:17:18 PM »
Okay, after some discussing with Wyzard, I have a general idea where this is going.  The cast will live in a dungeon that is their home, there's no powerful NPC boss or anything, but if they want to have a bit of a pecking order that's up to them.  They're generally getting settled, they know each other, but real meeting and relationship developement shall be handled in character.  Theirs is the only truly habited part of the dungeon, but ther are other things below, ancient powers, tools, etc. in the deeper levels.

As for a system...  It seems he wants to just have it to be referanced occasionally, because of that I'd like to use as simple a system as posisble (if I end up running it, and I have yet to see anyone else chomping at the bit to do so >_>)

Now, honestly, I don't know Unisystem, and perhaps I am not quite understanding, but it looks a touch complex for something that's just going to be referanced once in a while.  I propose, as such, an alternative:

http://futaformation.pbwiki.com/

It's very simple, though I would not have the players starting out at first level.  Maybe more like third or so, with as many "special attacks" and abilities as seem logical for your race.  Of course, that's if people like the look of it >_>

Offline Jefepato

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2008, 12:19:05 PM »
AFMBE isn't the same Cinematic style, but it could still be a good source.  Armageddon and Witchcraft might also be useful for this, I haven't read them in detail yet.

DreadD, Unisystem really isn't complex at all, especially not the cinematic version...and honestly, I wouldn't touch the Futaformation system with a standard-issue 10-foot pole.  Straight d100 rolls are way too random for me.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2008, 12:20:24 PM by Jefepato »

Offline VandalSavage

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2008, 12:26:19 PM »
I am easy going when it comes to systems, having survived the rigors of running 'Phoenix Command' and 'Middle Earth Role-Playing', but I generally shy from the puerile, unrealistic "level based" systems.

I would greatly prefer something as simple as those proposed Unisystems or RuneQuest (where most everything is percentile chance).

That all having been said, I will acquiesce to the comfort of whoever is good enough to fill the role of GameMaster.

Offline Jefepato

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2008, 01:06:56 PM »
I am easy going when it comes to systems, having survived the rigors of running 'Phoenix Command' and 'Middle Earth Role-Playing', but I generally shy from the puerile, unrealistic "level based" systems.

Honestly, just because they're not your style doesn't make them puerile...and "unrealistic" is hardly a criticism.  This game's concept is about as far from realistic as you can get.

Offline Stattick

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2008, 06:48:24 PM »
A download of Uniforge, a free chargen program that someone wrote for unisystem would help w/ character generation as well... um, again it's free, but i don't recall the URL. i can pass it along if it's desired...

No, i don't have any sort of association w/ unisystem other then being a fan. depending on who joins up and how things are set up, i might be tempted to bring in a character. I'm not a d20 fan, but if that's the system chosen (which WOULD make a degree of sense in a Gygaxian dungeon, and it already has everything needed for the individual characters.... if you can deal w/ the ultra high crunch factor and what people like me that aren't fans would call the "wiff factor") i'd need help w/ chargen as I've never successfully written up a d20 character ever and don't have the books...

hmm, i dunno what i'd play, i think it'd depend on other players, but the idea of a roper or cloaker appeals to me.  ;D

Offline kongming

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2008, 09:35:00 PM »
I will raise my head here (again) and say I've played a game of Witchcraft, and I found the system to be nearly as bad as that of oWoD - and for the sake of comparison, most fans of WoD (and the designers themselves) admit that oWoD was a shocking system.

And seriously, realism isn't a good thing in fantasy games. When we want realism, there's this game called "Real life". It's a pretty shit game, though. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Offline Jefepato

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2008, 09:40:51 PM »
I will raise my head here (again) and say I've played a game of Witchcraft, and I found the system to be nearly as bad as that of oWoD - and for the sake of comparison, most fans of WoD (and the designers themselves) admit that oWoD was a shocking system.

I'm not sure what bothered you about it, but Cinematic Unisystem is much simpler than the Unisystem used in Witchcraft.  (The same basic mechanic is still there, though...)

Offline kongming

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2008, 10:43:13 PM »
The core mechanic itself was fine - of what I remember of it. It was the Witchcraft specific aspects. For instance, in a game about spellcasters, heaven forbid you actually cast a spell. Doing so punishes you worse than Mage does.

So I doubt Unisystem inherently suffers from those flaws that were probably specific to Witchcraft.

Offline Jefepato

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2008, 10:57:21 PM »
It doesn't.  In the BtVS game (which uses the Cinematic version), for example, casting spells doesn't screw you over like that.  (Side effects do happen if you flub a spellcasting roll, but it doesn't rise anywhere near the level of Mage's Paradox, unless you're trying a really high-level spell or using it for crazy evil purposes.)  If anything, magic is broken in that game.

I should read Witchcraft again.  I didn't realize it was that harsh.

Offline kongming

Re: [Reverse Dungeon] The House of Monsters
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2008, 11:13:04 PM »
In the first session I played, no-one managed to cast a spell without backlash. So we all took injuries and fatigue. One person was effectively disabled.

I then attempted a healing spell to heal the backlash, and ended up causing an effect where, in a few hours, one of my magic types (randomly rolled, and water control was rolled. Water also includes things like blood) would activate on me, at full strength. So I had managed to give my character a death penalty count down.

The only magic system I actively think is awesome is the Ars Magica one, where either you cast the spell (no cost), you cast it and become a little fatigued (this can wear off by resting for a round) or you fail to cast the spell and become a little fatigued. After that, I accept the D&D and Rifts methods as acceptable and decent, though not completely awesome.