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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    I've had an interest in these things since I was a little kid, everything from bigfoot to ghosts to the easter island statues and ufos, and I am still interested in this stuff today though I admit I'm alot more skeptical than I once was (I used to fervently believe that bigfoot, ghosts, and ufos did exist).

    I still watch tv shows about this stuff (still upset that monsterquest was cancelled), and I got to thinking: how about an rpg where bigfoot and aliens and whatnot did exist?

    Now, I wasn't thinking something like the secret saturdays (which in all honesty I think was rather stupid), but more like our world just as it is, except that stories involving encounters with unknown creatures and entities are infact true and infact happen to the players.

    The biggest thing I like about these things is the sense of adventure and mystery and sometimes horror. I think the setting should definitely capture that.

    You could create a custom system for this, though in all honesty I think d20 modern would do just fine. Despite how its often advertised the system is clearly designed for a contemporary-fantasy setting, hell the SRD for d20 modern (which i looked at earlier today) included things like dragons and oozes and aberrations.

    The only issue here is, what would the players be doing? Why do they regularly encounter these things? The biggest issue is that in the real world, most people only ever see bigfoot or meet aliens once, not repeatedly. I dont like the idea of 'crypto-zoological game wardens' that the secret saturdays was. I was more thinking of stories like in the show lost tapes and these various investigation shows (mostly the more recent semi-reality show ones like destination truth), minus the fact that their quest isnt completely futile like it seems to be on television.

    My best guess would be that the players are researchers who go out and study these things despite the fact that most people don't believe in what they're studying. They go out and try to study bigfoot, they investigate haunted locations, they try to learn as much as they can about encounters with aliens to gain a better understanding as to the alien's motives or maybe their technology. It could easily have a sort-of lovecraftian feel to it, minus the whole 'you're gonna go insane because of all this' theme.

    What do you think of it? Is it a type of game that you would play? It would certainly be a sharp departure from the typical DnD-like games the dominate the market. And the game could have some action too just like most RPGs, since afterall the players will be chasing down dangerous monsters that they may have to protect themselves from. I imagine high-gauge guns would be standard equipment for them along with night-vision goggles and the standard camping equipment.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    I love that setting. I remember reading about the Abonimable Snowman in second grade and just freaking out.

    Well-equipped heroes vs. inhuman or semi-human monsters seems more like traditional DnD in playstyle, but with Modern equipment and rules. Totally thrilling, adventurous, and awesome!

    I love it.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    CarpeGuitarrem's Avatar

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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    This is actually a sort of game that's been done a few times.

    Hunter: the Vigil is one of the best-known iterations of it (Hunter: the Reckoning was far more high-powered and less "monster hunters/paranormal investigators"). Monster of the Week is a much-lauded smaller game, which I've heard a lot about but never played. I'm familiar with the core engine, however, which is pretty dynamic and awesome.

    Call of Cthulhu handles this, but in Lovecraft's mythos, and I think that the Laundry RPG does this, likewise.

    You could also run a game of this with the Dresden Files RPG, although that works better if you know the books (the main books have spoilers in them), and you'd have to focus on a pure mortals game.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    I love that setting. I remember reading about the Abonimable Snowman in second grade and just freaking out.

    Well-equipped heroes vs. inhuman or semi-human monsters seems more like traditional DnD in playstyle, but with Modern equipment and rules. Totally thrilling, adventurous, and awesome!

    I love it.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Kid Jake's Avatar

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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    I think it'd have to be more low-key. You don't travel all the way around the world to shoot a ropen in the skull, you go to prove its existence. If the characters did something so concrete so easily it wouldn't really be fringe stuff anymore and the mystery would get sucked out of the world overnight.

    I think most adventures should remain unresolved, with the players getting glimpses and glances of creatures after following clues and suriving more mundane threats. I could even see the existence of these creatures debatable at the table.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    Well they wouldn't have to discover new creatures all the time. You could have scenarios where there's actually nothing abnormal going on, the sightings are just mistaken identity or hoaxes. Though I would prefer that they do meet with success every now and then, bc i find it rather lame that you can watch shows on tv and know full well that they aren't going to find anything (bc even if they do, it'll appear in the news first, and then they might do a special on it rather than another run-of-the-mill episode).

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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    For the "how you'd do it" part, why not something along the lines of Supernatural or X-Files? And maybe in combination with Blackwolf's idea - somewhere between Supernatural/X-Files and Scooby Doo: the party's a bunch of people whose job it is (officially or unofficially) to follow these stories, verify whether they're true or not, and deal with them - manage the threat if it is true, and manage potentially dangerous rumours if it's not.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    For the "how you'd do it" part, why not something along the lines of Supernatural or X-Files? And maybe in combination with Blackwolf's idea - somewhere between Supernatural/X-Files and Scooby Doo: the party's a bunch of people whose job it is (officially or unofficially) to follow these stories, verify whether they're true or not, and deal with them - manage the threat if it is true, and manage potentially dangerous rumours if it's not.
    i've never seen supernatural.

    and who're you talking about? you know that I'm the OP right?

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Serpentine's Avatar

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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    Whoops. Well, I think your "sometimes real, sometimes not" idea is a good one, anyway.
    And in that case, you might like to check out a few episodes. In fact, if there's a Supernatural RPG (is that a thing, or just something I wish was a thing?), that could be well worth having a look at too.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Darth Stabber's Avatar

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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    Fringe is another good show to include if you want more examples of paranormal investigation.

    You might consider tying some or all of the non-hoax events into some sinister conspiracy, so you can have a story arc to tie everything together. Maybe even include some of the hoaxes into the conspiracy, the conspirators fabricated the event to hide a bigger move.

    I am working on setting something like this up at the moment using d20 modern (d20 modern has lots of stuff ready to go, plus it's very easy to pull stuff in from D&D).
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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    If you're going to emphasize any horror aspects, I'd take a look at the SPC Foundation for ideas. Some of their mission logs have given me nightmares.
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    Default Re: Paranormal/cryptozoology rpg?

    My favorite game for paranormal/cryptozoology games was Dark Conspiracy. It was updated last year (I think). Here's the website: http://www.darkconspiracytherpg.info/

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