Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Yeah, Cowboy World!"

Last night my players reached the bottom of the dungeons beneath the sunken tower they have been exploring. They found the crazy wizard-brain-in-a-jar. I had ideas of how the encounter would play out...instead, we ended with a dead wizard brain, a disintegrating tower, and a desparate jump through a portal to a post-apocalyptic-western type world.

Dang. I was sort of unprepared for that. Nevertheless, the show will go on. Choices are meaningless if the DM does not allow players to explore them.

So now I have a world with only the briefest of explanations from an NPC native who the PCs had rescued from imprisonment at the hands of the WBiAJ.

I have a whole new world, with rules that I can play around with. I've already established the existence of plasma weapons, but I've got a little bit of a catch to them. (Which I shan't post as one or two of my players read this) I am prepared to depart heavily from molds of my prior games and my understanding of D&D. Hey, if I don't like it, I can always send them back or make them convert to Gamma World, right?

Now, a few interesting complications:

1. The druid is cut off from the Nature that he knew... what might it be like to develop a bond with the nature of this planet? I can change the way druidic magic works. For instance, I see druids of this world being able to throw fire spells at 1 level higher. (The caster is treated as being one level higher)
2. Monsters imported from Gamma World. Holler.
3. The cleric, in light of all the planar weirdness, has abandoned his god. (Though his magic wouldn't have worked here anyway) Now the cleric wants to advance in another class, maybe one "native" to this world. That fills my mind with possibilities. It also makes me want to advance him, for now, as something similar to Mazilewski's "Stranger" class he posted recently.
4. Magic from their world might work like 2nd edition Wild Magic in this world...
5. Robots, bitches!

The players have taking to calling their new enviornment Cowboy World, though it is certainly more than that... I'm a little giddy in that we have thrown the map away and are blazing new trails. Sometimes the best parts of a campaign are the ones you don't expect.

Now I'm glad they didn't talk much with the brain in a jar. :)


  1. Nice. I, of course, love Western cross-overs and have in the past sent PCs to Boot Hill (the game) from AD&D land. Yours sounds a bit more like the Wasted West, or perhaps Steven King's Dark Tower series...either of which are cool by me.

    One interesting thing about "cross-overs;" they're an interesting way to get players to actually try a new or unfamiliar game system. It adds to the "weirdness factor" to have players convert their characters to a new game system and then figure out that system (the old rules no longer applying). Imagine a fighter's surprise when he gets leveled by a shotgun (or hand plasma) mid-charge with his magic blade. Ha!

    That's the kind of thing you can do with long running campaigns (this is month five, right?) that you can't do as readily with one-off games ("hey, I signed up to play D&D, NOT Gamma World!").

    Good luck! Have fun!

  2. Cool. :D
    --I'm looking forward to reading more.

  3. my only worry is elfiness being confused for being a fancy lad