When you have been into role playing and fantasy books as long as I have there are always lots of ideas swirling around in your head. Not all of them make sense for what you are doing, campaign ideas that just don’t fit. Then others are waiting, in the back of your head like a cat, to pounce when the time is right.
In my Denver game the DM introduced an NPC pulled straight from the Malazan books. And that is cool, because those are great books, great characters, and I think I was the only one in the room who had read them. And honestly, whatever you can use for inspiration is fair game. I know I have used ideas from Thirteenth Warrior, Big Trouble in Little China and other sources so far for my game.
But something has been gradually building up in my head and is just begging for development. In the Pathfinder game in Denver our main opponent, the big bad that is everywhere, is Undead. So much so that my Ranger has taken them as a double Hated Enemy. But the thing is that in the Pathfinder rules the Undead have no weaknesses as monsters. They are just really tough to deal with. And so I have been racking my brain how to defeat them.
And then I thought of something. It harkens back to a different role playing system that I haven’t so much as touched in years. There is a role playing universe called the World of Darkness. The primary characters are Vampires, of the gothic, Ann Rice variety. And that was followed up by the game introducing Werewolves as their opponents. This idea was stretched to it’s logical outcome in the Underworld movies, and to some extent in the Twilight series. The basic concept is that Vampires are an abomination against Nature, and the Werewolves (and other Lycanthropes) are the Champions of Nature, opposing the Abominations.
I don’t think my Denver DM will allow my character to become a Werewolf, which is okay, but I have taken up the idea that he is a Champion of Nature, who wants all Undead destroyed because they are an Abomination. And I think that is a good way to utilize the idea.
And then it struck me how to use this same principle in the Boys Campaign. I am going to introduce an Apocalyptic event, which results in massive deaths everywhere. That means there will be lots of dead bodies, some percentage of which will rise as zombies, and other Undead. Which means the group will be fighting lots of Undead.
But then this idea came across my mind. In this Post Apocalyptic wolrd the Empire is being invaded by numerous groups, some of which are just immigrating while others are there to loot and pillage. But, what if. while I am introducing lots of different groups of invading (migrating) barbarians into the world the group is in, why not make some of them Wolf tribes? Wolf tribes who have come at an opportune time, arriving to counter all of these Undead. Of course the boys won’t realize that of course, I may have them learn this the hard way.
I think the idea of running a game in a wild, post-apocalyptic world is fun. And adding in this element of an epic battle of Nature versus Undeath should make it even more interesting. Especially since one of them is playing a Paladin of Nature and Life, and he needs an Enemy. And it should be easier to get the boys into a game when they have a consistent enemy. The trick will be making the Undead tough enough to scare them, because so far they have easily sliced through any Undead they have faced. But that is on me, to make the Undead tougher and fiercer.