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The gimmick game

Written by Expy - Published on December 19, 2007

Our total party height is 17 feet, 3 inches 

I read somewhere – can’t remember where – that someone was starting a game in which all the players are halflings.  I like this idea because it will probably get long time players out of their comfort zone and give a unique vibe to the game.

Other interesting ideas for your next game would be a party entirely composed of warrior type characters.  Or wizards and sorcerers only. A party of clerics only would be fun.  Bards only would be hell on earth.

Long term issues with the gimmick game

I’m not sure about the long term appeal of some of these weird parties but I’m certain it would be a lot of fun for a short campaign.  Once the players figure out how to work around the inherent flaws of the unusual party composition, the game could turn into just another game, or lose its interest altogether.

I think I’m going to give it a shot.

What do you think?

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Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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17 Responses to “The gimmick game”
  1. ScottM says:

    Another fun gimmick game is event centered. For example, Spirit of the Season has Christmas themes; reindeer code names for the PC squad, winter & blizzard opponents. It can be a lot of fun, but usually works better as a one shot than squeezed into your normal game.

  2. Granger44 says:

    I’ve always thought a thieves guild campaign would be interesting. Do some heists and other law-breaking. Add in a story. I’d love to capture the feel of the Thief PC games, but that might be tough.

  3. Micah says:

    Speaking of Christmas theme games, here’s one I saw recently: http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/the-legion-of-centicles

  4. ChattyDM says:

    How about a Bunch of Dragon PCs (CR 10-15) plotting top take over a Red Great Wyrm’s Patch of Turf?

    This would allow Expy to put it’s money where it’s mouth is and PROVE that its the badess dragon around.

  5. Bob says:

    a group of bards would be hell on earth? Heck, I ran an entire campaign around a group of 4 bards, a fighter, and a cleric. It was awesome, even the cleric and fighter had levels of bard eventually.

    If I had to pick a group of only one class, it would have to be bard, they can do everything! (albeit not very well…)

    I love these types of gimmicks, and I think people undervalue them as actual campaign ideas, everything about the plain old settings for well rounded groups is a whole new can of worms for a one-class party.

  6. Dave T. Game says:

    I’ve seen the “party of bards” concept in action. At the gaming club I used to run, DMs would put out a call for players for one shots to be run during one club meeting. A group responded to the call, then showed up all as Bards with different specialties. (This was 3.0, where Bards were even worse.) There was a Strong Bard, a Thieving Bard, a Healing Bard, etc. The DM, who wasn’t in on the plan, was quite surprised. I think they somehow survived the adventure, though not without casualties.

  7. Yax says:

    A party of bard would be hell on earth but it could be an entertaining and fun hell on earth!

    As a DM, I’d be flabergasted to see 4 players show up with bard characters!

  8. Expy says:

    @Chatty DM:

    I don’t have to prove anything – red dragons are the awesomest.

    Don’t make me convince you with my d10-based fiery breath.

  9. Scotticus says:

    For some reason when I read party of bard, the first thing I thought of was Josie and the Pussycats with swords.

  10. Pe0 says:

    That remind me of Final Fantasy one where you would try to pass the game with a party of white mage only to make the game more difficult.

    Never tried it, instead I went for a social life…

  11. Yax says:

    Social life… Overrated.

  12. rekres says:

    I’ve run a Thieves Guild campaign Basically I had the players make 4th level characters where at least one of the levels had to be rogue.

    IIRC, we had a rogue3/cleric1, rogue2/sorcerer2, a rogue2(drow LA+2), and a pure rogue4

  13. Robert says:

    I’d like to hear more about any Thieve’s guild campaign. I’ve been thinking about playing one, I think my players would really go for it.

  14. Vanir says:

    I tried to get our group to do an “all-bards” campaign last year, but sadly I was alone in thinking this was a fantastic idea. :(

    The idea was to have them be on tour, and for various hijinks to ensue at each stop. There might be a larger overarching plot, and there might not. It seems to be like that’d be a really fertile ground for some really good organic plot development and RP fodder.

    I think Dante could see the crazed gleam in my eye that meant this thing was off the rails before it even began (I think the fact that I suggested the PCs be allowed to ride motorcycles as an accepted mount was a good indicator!), so I can’t really blame him for being scared though. :)

  15. Mike says:

    We had a DM who ran a short-lived Halfling campaign. We started at 3rd level and had to all have 1 level of rogue. We (the players) came up with a halfling transport (items and information) guild and the DM provided adventures around that theme.
    Was fun except our first adventure we fought almost exclusively constructs, undead, and ended with an elemental – ALL enemies that negated our sneak attack damage!!!
    Still it was fun while it lasted – we even came up with a charter and standard contract for our group. :)

  16. el ranchero says:

    I’m currently running a game where the PCs are town guards in a city overrun by adventurers. It was especially fun at first looking at the various adventurer cliches from the other side, and also because the players had to adjust the way they handle things like combat (e.g., suddenly diplomacy/knowledge (local)/nonlethal damage becomes hugely important).

    The problem is that there still has to be a workable campaign underneath, which we’re managing by involving them in intrigues between various factions and guilds and dark orders within the city. Yes, the new concept luster has faded a little, but it’s still there, peaking up occasionally to give the players a little added amusement and, hopefully, the players are getting a chance to explore aspects of D&D that really get any thought.

  17. The_Gun_Nut says:

    I don’t know if this is a “gimmick” or not, but I have a total Psionics campaign planned.

    No magic, no Mystic Beasts from Beyond (TM), no multitude of deities making their Will Known. Just a few religions, an invasion from outer space, and some impressive mental abilities.

    It still has the staples: a few dungeon-style settings to explore (strongholds of ancient technologies), a grand adventure to save the world for those who want it, and some impressive psi tech (psionic items as opposed to magic items).

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