Roleplaying In A

Crossover Games: What’s Your Poison?

In Setting on March 18, 2010 at 9:00 am

Cities are covered in a million eyes – and they all watch each other. – IO9

I love crossover games. They offer so much more room for originality and creativity than an out-of-the-box setting of any kind. I once had a Cyberpunk/Vampire campaign that ran for close to a decade and was easily my most successful game.

Choosing Your Genre(s)

There is no such thing as a bad cross-over although some are going to last longer than others. Cyberpunk and the World of Darkness were tailor-made for each other. Cyberpunk and Star Wars would be harder to pull off with any real suspension of disbelief – but I’m sure it could be done.

Here are some interesting ideas for dark, modern cross-overs I’ve had recently.

Conspiracies

Everyone has secrets in a world full of corruption. The only real question is, what’s the scope? Bob might be sleeping around on his wife but who cares? If Bob is sleeping around with a player’s girlfriend, it becomes interesting. If Bob is sleeping with a player’s girlfriend and plans to use her to test experimental drugs, you have a game. If Bob is planning to use her to test experimental drugs than turn people into zombies, you’ve got a campaign.

Conspiracies rely heavily on knowing your Big Bad Guys and what their long term plans are. This type of game means really fleshing out the villains and their backgrounds.

Secret Societies

This one is very, very similar to conspiracies but in this case you’ve got an entire group of NPCs plotting in the background. In this case, instead of knowing one or two NPCs really well, you need that and the group they are part of. You might even have conflicting plans, depending on how complicated you feel like being.

It strikes me that this would be terrific for a superhero cross-over. Not my thing, but it could be fun.

The City of Doors

The Matrix is a good example of this type of campaign, where reality is overlain with some surreal, darkly horrific alternate but evil twin. It would take alot of work to pull off though and I know it’s beyond my scope right now. you’d need to make what amounts to two worlds, both with similar but eerily different locations, people and things.

How ambitious are you, choomba?

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  1. Not that it’s a crossover, really, but your mention of “City of Doors” reminded me that I’ve always wanted to run a zelda-style “World of Light”/”World of Darkness” campaign where players frequently jaunt between two mirrored planes in order to re-unify the “split personality” of the world.

  2. Sounds like alot of fun!

  3. I’ve wanted to run a campaign that crosses a standard zombie apocalypse with White Wolf’s “Promethean: the Created”. I’ve taken to calling it “The Promethean Corps”, because the Created operate in an extremely uneasy alliance with the human survivors. The Disquiet means that the Prometheans can only operate with humans under controlled conditions, but the Promethean Condition also includes a total immunity to zombie infection.
    The campaign would allow every player to control a human and a Promethean character, and even allows for each type to become one of the other. Toss in the Mockeries (twisted, failed version of Prometheans) and plain ol’ human cussedness for plot complications, on top of locating resources, recovering knowledge and generally riding in to save the day.

  4. So what’s keeping you from running it? Sounds pretty amazing!

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