View Full Version : Need Alternate Universe Ideas

2011-01-18, 02:31 PM
In this VERY light-hearted Evil Pathfinder campaign I'm running, my players found a device that, once powered up with a specific MacGuffin, can create a portal to a hundred different universes, each unique. My players intend to eventually conquer all of them over the course of the campaign. However, I need to decide what each will contain. Some I intend to be rather funny, like the Mushroom Kingdom, and some I intend to be hilariously difficult. (Imagine if your party suddenly appeared in the middle of an episode of Dragonball Z.) However, I can't do all the idea generation myself, so I'll need some help.

Some rough Parameters:
1. Balance has been thrown out the window. If my players decide to take a tank back to D&D land, they can fight those who would want to take it and use it against them. Basically, I intend to scale up the challenge for every new power or technogoodie they obtain.

2. Minimal Research if preferable. I don't want to spend 20 hours watching a DVD box set just to understand one of my settings.

3. Something with room for creative sandboxing.

Thanks in advance, guys! (And Eldritch Horrors!)

Grelna the Blue
2011-01-18, 03:14 PM
The world of Girl Genius (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php) could be lots of fun, but also could require plenty of research if you aren't already familiar with it. But everyone reads Girl Genius, of course, so that's not an issue.

2011-01-18, 10:46 PM
I'll take a look. Thanks!

2011-01-18, 10:47 PM
Remember to have a universe where everyone's alignment is reversed and they all have goatees.

2011-01-18, 10:55 PM
...And here I was going to suggest a cowboy hat universe...

2011-01-18, 10:56 PM
Keep it coming!

2011-01-18, 11:51 PM
How about a universe where power is based on color? The basic setting could be gray, and it normally takes magic specific to that universe to produce colors. Different colors have different effects, and the PCs have to figure all this out. Maybe they and their gear could start out in their normal colors, and have the magic that those colors represent, but not know how color magic works. And of course they'll fade to gray along with most everything else because they're clueless to avoid using up their color magic.

2011-01-18, 11:55 PM
Dropping them into the middle of a zerg hive cluster would just be plain amusing. I remember seeing some homebrew somewhere for the various broodwar zerg critters somewhere, which would probably be helpful as well.

2011-01-19, 12:28 AM
I had to make a couple for a campaign of mine. Here they are:

1. A universe that exists as the fractured mind of a schizophrenic, where their multiple personalities are each sub-universes, and the aspects of those personalities the divine beings of the sub-universes.

2. The universe of Dungeons & Discourse, where all of the classes/etc are replaced with philosophies, and convincing others changes the local physics.

3. A universe that contains a set of heroes (alternate PCs) that are the focus of the watchers above, and who thereby gain explicit plot armor, dramatic editing abilities, etc. However, they are stereotypical PCs and are thus vulnerable to appropriate dramatic reversals or stage stealing by the real PCs (who would thereby loot the plot armor and abscond with it).

4. A universe which is biased towards tragic endings. The beauty of tradgedy is a cosmic force there - noble sacrifice grants power over events, but you aren't alive to appreciate it afterwards.

5. A universe where the dead govern the living from beyond the veil. The dead have control of all of the forces of nature and the like, and use them to exert their will. However, they are careful not to kill profligately as that would dilute their control by creating more dead.

2011-01-19, 01:05 PM
I had to make a couple for a campaign of mine. Here they are:

3. A universe that contains a set of heroes (alternate PCs) that are the focus of the watchers above, and who thereby gain explicit plot armor, dramatic editing abilities, etc. However, they are stereotypical PCs and are thus vulnerable to appropriate dramatic reversals or stage stealing by the real PCs (who would thereby loot the plot armor and abscond with it).

I love it! I have something for you:

2011-01-19, 01:18 PM
consider using SG-1 episodes (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118480/episodes) for ideas, also sliders. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112167/episodes)

2011-01-19, 01:22 PM
Remember that one episode of Futurama with the boxes?

Off the top of my head, "Coin flips result in opposite results" universe, pirate universe, leprechaun universe, universe with no eyes, bobblyhead universe, and hippy universe.

2011-01-19, 01:23 PM
A world where an evil overlord followed the Evil Overlord List and now Evil has Won and the Evil Overlord List is holy writ.

2011-01-19, 01:36 PM
...And here I was going to suggest a cowboy hat universe...


my suggestion: a tidally locked world. the world doesn't turn and thus the same side is always facing the sun and the other isnt

There were a couple threads on here and the homebrew board not to long back dealing with making a world of this type

2011-01-19, 03:26 PM
Universe where the moon is made of Swiss cheese and the Sun is made of Cheddar. The population of the Sun and the Moon is far higher then that of Earth, and the Earthilings with their none-edible planet are planing to invade.

Operation: Eat some Cheese commences.

2011-01-19, 05:04 PM
I would suggest, that instead of "100 non-D&D universes", you have "100 different D&D universes"

1.Lycanthrope-central, where almost everyone has it, and it isn't a curse anymore.

2.Magi-Punk, AKA Eberron in a can. Lay heavy on the Artificers on this one.

3.Undead Apocalypse, AKA daybreakers pre-catastrophe

4.Incarna, the land where magic is shaped, not cast(Read Magic of Incarnum)

5.Land of the 9 swords, plus some homebrew disciplines.

6.High arcana, where spellcasting is particularly easy, and thus a ton of people are doing it. You've got enough caster classes for it.

7.Divine central, where the gods walk among the living. Same as #6, but divine.

8+.Take two of the above and combine, and then extend them to a logical 'balance' between the two ability types.

2011-01-19, 05:19 PM
How about a universe where the PCs are one or more size category/categories different from everyone else, even those of the same race. A gnome would appear large in relation to human PCs, or a giant only medium. Of course, more than one category shifted would be the most amusing.

Or a universe with an undecypherable language. The PCs will have to find some method of communication other than speech (even though the language itself is spoken, no amount of studying can unravel it). Suggestings include communicating through colors/drawings, charades, etc.

Or a world of islands where control of the boat industry equals control of the world. A powerful governmental organization controls all boat travel. I hope they put ranks in swim...(or just flight. Maybe that's the bonus that the PCs have over the natives, assuming one or more has that capability)

2011-01-19, 05:24 PM
if it havnt been mentioned allready: a universe identical to yours only with alignments (and goatees) flipped around

2011-01-19, 10:40 PM
Remember that alternate universes also exist in different times as well, if quantum physics is correct. Here are just a couple from a brainstorm I just had.

1: A universe that exists far in the past, in a stone age setting where magic never happened.

2: A universe in the near future where the race of machines (warforged, sentient golems, you get the picture) rule the planet. Every race lives in poverty and works like slaves.

3: A post apocalyptic version of your universe, where magical nukes and epic spells have left the world as nothing but a black wastes crawling with undead.

4: A universe past the point of Alien invasion, where alien life has wiped out all of the existing races and magic is no more.

5: A universe where apes didn't evolve to populate the planet and create the known races. Instead, reptile versions of dwarves, elves, humans, gnomes, etc walk the face of the world.

6: A universe beyond the invention of space travel, where magic has made technological leaps beyond the imagination of the known universe, and magical flying ships scout the stars. Of course, an armada of alien life forms will be attempting to conquer the universe.

7: The modern (real life) universe, 20 seconds into the future.

8: A world where slavery runs rampant. Elves have established dominance over all other races, and thus, the planet has been overgrown with forests. All of the races work like dogs to maintain these forests.

9: A universe where the sun has died. The planet is nothing but a dark, endless frozen wasteland. Tiny warring colonies fight over the few remaining resources.

10: Venture into the universes of other existing campaigns.

11: A universe where animal life never happened. The planet is covered in sentient forests and moving plants such as treants and giant Venus flytraps.

12: A world where the planet has been transformed into a single city. The sense of justice is corrupt, and machines are automated to do everything. All creatures have been outfitted with magical cybernetic upgrades.

13: A universe where a necromancer's virus has run rampant and the world is overran with the zombie apocalypse.

14: Simmilarily, a universe where lycanthropy exists in every living creature. It's identical to back home, but when the full moon falls, the entire planet breaks into a bloody were-creature frenzy and puts the entire party in danger.

2011-01-19, 11:20 PM
The universe I am working on right now has a different set of laws of physics then normal D&D:

1. The sun rotates on its axis; the sun has a dark side the emits no light and a bright side that emits light. Its rotation is what causes day and night and looks more like a constantly shifting solar eclipse.

2. The planets all have a flat side and a projecting side; the flat side points towards the sun and are basically analogous to continents, the pointed sides are stone and point away from the sun. The flat side has life, the pointed side has some life but are mostly barren rock.

3. The planets do not turn or rotate, they stay in a fixed position from the sun with the flat side facing the sun. The tip of the pointed side is "down" and the sun is "up." Thus walking off the edge will cause you to fall to the point, but you can "climb" back to the flat sides.

4. The atmosphere is shared by all of the planets, and you can (with effort) fly to other planets. Each planet has an objective "up" and its own subjective "down." The bubble for the planets "down" is a bubble around 10,000 miles in diameter around each planet.

5. There are about 100 planets, with 10 major planets (Asia sized) and 20 medium planets (Europe sized). The other 70 are small, with the largest minor planet having a flat side the size of the British Isles.

6. Planets within the shadow of a larger planet are colder, and are called "dark planets." These are the origins of Aberrations.

7. The further from the sun the planet is the colder it is, and the furthest are essentially frozen plates. The furthest planet is so cold that survival there by humans is effectively impossible, but you can just barely make out another sun from its backside.

It's an idea that I have been working on for a flat planet system, feel free to use it if you like!