This is an idea inspired by Michael Crichton’s novel, Airframe.
It involves the characters playing a team of air-crash investigators, who find something strange during their investigations. It would be best suited to a modern or near future setting, although it could work in space opera as well… Even Fantasy, in a setting that features air-travel.
For a system, I would use on that focuses on investigation, Gumshoe would be ideal, although really any system could work.
The are several ways to make the investigations more interesting, or perhaps use them to lead into a deeper story.
In a campaign focusing on air-crash investigators, you could start of with a “simple” crash, with no strange elements, but there are several ways you can take this.
- A body of somebody not on the passenger manifest is found on the crash site
- Several crashes have something in common, perhaps they all have a passenger with the same name, or happen at the same time of the day.
- The crashes are due to a manufacturing defect in the plane model, and the company is trying to cover it up.
- A crash is actually somebody’s attempt at covering up a murder
- A plane crashes, but there are no records of it anywhere, no flight log, and none of the passengers seem to have any records, and the markings are in an unknown language… Where did it come from?
This is an outgrowth of a thread a read a long time ago on RPG.net (which I will not link to, since I cannot find it). It discussed what would happen if a bunch of High-level Player Characters from a typical fantasy setting somehow came to our world.
In my opinion, I think the result would be complete chaos, involving loss of life and property destruction on a massive scale (i.e. standard PC behavior)
So, we can use this in a game. This time the characters would be the people investigating these events, and trying to figure out how to deal with the superpowered troublemakers that have suddenly appeared.
For a more interesting game, you can do this with two groups, one playing the fantasy characters, and the other one the modern ones.
This was an idea I had years ago, originally intended for the Buffy system, since I think it would fit in well with the Buffyverse… It could work just as well in other systems (I think Dresden Files might actually be a better fit)
The idea is simple, all the characters are friends at university, living together, and sharing a house. The only problem is, one of them is the antichrist, prophesied to doom the world, raise hell, that kind of thing. IF it was up to him, he would really prefer to just stay at home and play video games, since he is basically a good person at heart.
So, most of the game will be taken up with the character and his friends dealing with the forces of evil trying to recruit him, with the occasional do-gooder that has decided to kill him, since he is Eviiil. I think this could make a fun darkly comic game.
This was an idea I originally thought of for a World War One setting, but it can be used in any setting or era, you just need to have a war of some sort. Whether it is against Martians, Orks, Germans or Local Rebels, it does not really matter.
The game is split into two, in the first session, the characters are playing the generals and politicians making strategic decisions. In the next, they get to play the soldiers actually affected by those decisions. They keep swapping between the two. I see the general and politician group staying static, while the soldiers keep changing.
For another variation of this idea, the second session is not always the soldiers on their side… The players might play the enemy, or even the innocent civilains caught in the fighting, or a journalist team.
For something like this, I would use a fairly “realistic” and lethal system, perhaps something like GURPs?