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Nexahs
2015-11-20, 05:11 PM
Hey all, I'm toying with the idea of starting a campaign wherein all the players are some sort of monstrous humanoid, likely goblinoids. Anybody have any good stories of similar campaigns? Any specific tips or pitfalls to look out for? Looking for system-independent advice, but my campaign would be run in either D&D 3.5 or GURPS 4e.

cobaltstarfire
2015-11-20, 05:21 PM
From what I've observed around here, monstrous games in 3.5 are often gestalt (class/monster levels) to help offset the level adjustment that most monsters have.

Aotrs Commander
2015-11-20, 06:39 PM
Ask me again tomorrow, after I run our first all-Lich party...! (Which has been about fifteen-twenty years in the making...)



More immediately practially:

System-independant advice is pretty much the same: keep the PCs on a level playing field as far as mechanical character power goes (so in D&D, same ECL (though use your judgement, because D&D's ECL is notoriously whappy - if in doubt, seek advice - here is probably as good a place as any)). This Lich party (in Rolemaster by-the-by) I specified as everyone being a Lich (despite the organisaition - the Aotrs - having more than just that) because that it kept the playing field nice and even, while still giving the PCs some race choice (i.e. human/elf (of various stripes) orc, etc).

If Evil, ensure that the PCs all have a common goal to work together (almost all the Evil parties I've ever run (or played in, bar one) were where the PCs were part of some larger Evil military force of some sort; the one that wasn't was the one that fell apart).

If non-humanoid, be aware of practical problems based on size and/or gear.

Spartakus
2015-11-20, 06:44 PM
Well, we played the pathfinder setting "We be Goblins" once. It was a lot of fun. Also I think we played our roles pretty well regarding stereotypes. Our first encounter with class levels was a prettys streight forward TPK :smallbiggrin:

Nexahs
2015-11-20, 06:48 PM
Ask me again tomorrow

That actually sounds like an awesome campaign, are you intending to post a campaign journal or anything? Definitely something I'd be interested in reading!

I like the idea of the PCs being lackeys or military, it's a good way to keep them united and have a little bit of control over them.

Aotrs Commander
2015-11-20, 07:15 PM
That actually sounds like an awesome campaign, are you intending to post a campaign journal or anything? Definitely something I'd be interested in reading!

I like the idea of the PCs being lackeys or military, it's a good way to keep them united and have a little bit of control over them.

Actually. as it happens... yeah!

I've been working on this particular quest (which is a two-parter day quest, one tomorrow, one between Christmas and New Year) since about May and I've sunk an infeasible amount of time into it. The fact it's an evil Aotrs Lich party was more accidently than deliberate, since my initial idea was sort of SG-1 -ish. My firts thought was picking it being a joint project between three races out of the universe... Which I realised none of which I got any proper write-ups. I thought to myself, joikingly "well, maybe I ought to make it Aotrs, because at least I've got all the weapons and vehicles, hahahaaaaang on..." Damn glad I did actually, even with that it's taken a stupendous amount of work. (I've printed 79 pages for this two-parter (though it also includes things like the campaign rules and PC backgrounds). So, I'm just a little bit hyped up about it... and was planning to attempt a write-up for the amusement of at least ponythread; so assuming that it is turns out to be not terribly boring1 I will be posting something tomorrow night.



Our other evil parties in the past have included two Galactic Empire parties (one of which was basically "Rogue Squadron, but Evil"), one fantasy party which had us playing evil NPCs we'd encountered as good guys previously and the most recent was a fantasy party (again run by me) which has the players as the Dark Lord's secret dirty Black Ops team. Having a bent towards Lawful Evil, so to speak, makes life/unife much easier. The main thing with an Evil party is to ensure the players know that it is not an excuse to be a Chaotic Stupid jerk (in or out of character) and that the party has to work together. The general rule of thumb is you can be as Evil as you like to anyone that's not in the party (within the bounds of sensible behavior wherein the logical consequences would occur, i.e excluding random murders in the street or something).

Notably, the one party where we didn't have a unifying goal and the DM sort of wanted us at cross-purposes was the one that collapsed. Not solely because of that, but it was a significant contributing factor; partly due to the DM not really communicating what sort of game he wanted. (It wasn't until later he was diagnosed as suffering quite badly from Asperger's, which of course didn't help the issue, since with none of us (including him) knowing about it, we couldn't have made the necessary adjustments.)



1Ironically enough for a party full of Liches, it's actually a very exploratory game...!

hymer
2015-11-21, 04:45 AM
We had a short campaign where the PCs were orcs, aiming for leadership of their clan. A lot of time was spent bullying goblins and fleeing dwarves. And boots. It's hard to find a good cobbler in an orc clan, so you have to raid for that sort of thing.
Disease was a big worry, important for the strength of the clan (and particularly bullied goblins), and also an important political issue. The number of attached goblins went up and down a lot.
The players liked it, and have asked to try it again several times.

Nexahs
2015-11-21, 01:28 PM
We had a short campaign where the PCs were orcs, aiming for leadership of their clan. A lot of time was spent bullying goblins and fleeing dwarves. And boots. It's hard to find a good cobbler in an orc clan, so you have to raid for that sort of thing.
Disease was a big worry, important for the strength of the clan (and particularly bullied goblins), and also an important political issue. The number of attached goblins went up and down a lot.
The players liked it, and have asked to try it again several times.

What system did you use? And was the whole campaign so politically focused, or was that just the long-term goal?

hymer
2015-11-21, 02:15 PM
What system did you use? And was the whole campaign so politically focused, or was that just the long-term goal?

Late second edition AD&D. The idea of grabbing the leadership existed from the beginning (and they succeeded, which changed the tone from internal to external interests; but then the campaign ended), but I think about half of the action was down to finding targets and raiding them. That tended to have political ramifications, though. Success (especially against difficult or rich targets) meant prestige, which made everything politically easier. If they messed it up, they'd have to cover it up, too.

JetThomasBoat
2015-11-22, 08:18 AM
For my advice, I would say having some kind of goal in mind for the players is pretty important. Sandboxing is made even harder if the party is all evil, in my experience.

I was once in a campain where we were all some kind of evil monstrous thing. There wasn't much of a goal for us, so tension grew among the party. And in our case, when I decided that my ridiculous character (a half-dragon stone giant fang of lolth) figured he was super smart for a giant and could probably do a fair job of uniting other giants, would try to conquer the world. But the DM was super lazy and the world consisted of about five towns, two of which we burned down.

So as I said, have a goal for them. Also, I guess have lots of stuff for them to kill/burn/destroy/usurp/whatever. Average "good" murderhobos do enough colateral damage as it is, giving the players free range to be evil is going to multiply it quite a bit potentially.

The Fury
2015-11-23, 07:26 AM
Years ago our group played a one-shot about group of goblins trying to get ingredients for pie. Personally, I felt like if anything the humans in the village we chose to visit under reacted to our presence. Then again we were (poorly) disguised. We were each allowed to start with one magic item as well. Anything we chose. I chose a Rod of Wonder, thinking "Hey, this primarily does harmless pranks. Perfectly fine to use on passers by."

Then I blew up a fruit stand... Y'know, I think I get why I can never seem to shake my reputation as a bad player.

There was another player that loved to make monstrous PCs. One was a creature from an issue of Dragon, whose actual name I forget, this player called it a "Greater Goblin." Though the way this player chose to portray the character-- stealing whatever treasure he could, refusal to wear clothes, and refusal to provide an actual name earned him an in-game nickname: "The GULNT." Or Greedy, Ugly, Little, Naked, Thing.

Ralcos
2015-11-23, 07:42 AM
I once played a Thri-Kreen Paladin in a 3.5 campaign. I didn't last long, since I tried to charge-smite the apparent BBEG.
Though I made THAT stupid decision, I'd still want to play T'Chakkas again in the future. :smallbiggrin:

Draconi Redfir
2015-11-25, 11:25 AM
long long ago i attempted to start a custom D&D game with some friends where they all played as evil undead, mainly due to the fact that my real-life D&D group doesn't allow evil characters. it never got off the ground, but it was still fun making the various "races" of skeleton, lich, ghost, and ghoul.

Before all of that however, i played as a Goblin (inspired by Redcloak and Gobbotopia of OOTS) in a just-starting campaign that never lasted more then one session. my goblin died, and was re-incarnated as a Bugbear, which i was happy to hear was a taller, furryer, meaner, goblin. At some point it found an Elven Swordbow, and after reading the Goblins; Life through their eyes (http://www.goblinscomic.org/) webcomic, i decided to roll with the idea and make an entire tribe of Bugbears that underwent something similar to the Goblins in the comic.

The bugbears in question (Visible in my signature) Come from a tribe of red-furred Bugbears living in a rainforest, having lived there alongside a group of elves whom they owe a great debt for many generations. The elves actually freed them from the underdark where they had been bred and butchered to make Drow-sized red-furred coats. The raid was mainly intended to free Elve's kin, but somehow this group of bugbears managed to convince them to help them out as well. The tribe has since lived nearby to the Elven city, providing any goods and services they can in exchange for protection and aid, having becoming roughly neutral as a result. At some point an unspecified group of adventurers comes by , raids the tribe, and eight volunteers decide to take class levels to train up and defend the tribe, which while being hit hard, wasn't completely wiped out.

the story is old, almost a copy of what the Goblins comic does, and a little bit cringe-worthy in it's cheezyness, but it's still the thing that got me into D&D, making eight character sheets heleped me learn all about making pathfinder character sheets, and while Iíve naturally never gotten to play or have all eight of them together in a campaign (who would want o play as someone else's character? Seriously...) they're still a fun fallback if i need a backup character for awhile in other campaigns. Played the monk some time ago after my Dwarf had to leave the party, and while her life was short, she really kicked ass.

oh yeah, and at some point i also started writing a story about the very first red-fured bugbear that was a random mutation in his tribe but was captured, enslaved, sold to a rich drow lady, and forced to breed to pass on his genes. like with many things i do, it was never finished sadly. i got into the habit of writing it between classes at school, then summer came, i had no more classes, and when i went back to school, i had fallen out of the routine and never picked it back up again.

Tiri
2015-11-25, 12:59 PM
I'm currently playing a goblin sorcerer. It's helped a lot with negotiations with other more monstrous races (kobolds etc.). The other characters are surprisingly tolerant of his willingness to eat human (or human-like race) flesh and didn't even react when he told them he'd burned his mother to death.

sktarq
2015-11-25, 03:19 PM
Whenever breaking in a significant new rule set (psionics, monster races, whatever) I recommend a short (often one shot) with a couple trusted players to get familiar with the rules in play. Best to make mistakes there - or eat up 20 minutes figuring out a rule application than when the whole party is there and a plot has to be advanced.

Had this go very wrong with a newish DM who had just had the 2e "how to play a monster book" appear for his birthday. I ended up a fremlin. . . Things got bad in the 2nd hour and was boring by the time the gremlin had 3 attacks per round for each claw, wing, tail, and bite. Reading the rules later we were so off it was hilarious but pressures of running the game prevented things from being clearly run (okay 2e books were never wonderfully organized to help this either but the point stands)