Humans and dot dot dot

Here’s a quick challenge for you. If you were to create a campaign where (aside from humans) there was just one other monster, what would it be? Here’s a few examples to get the ball rollin’.

Humans and Zombies

The archetypal zombie-horror campaign where it’s just Zombies ‘n’ us, and we’re losing. Add shotguns and weapons with the word “chain” in their name, and add salt to taste. Zombies come in all shapes and sizes from evil Zombie Rat Swarms (being chased by Zombie Cats) all the way up to that Zombie T-Rex that makes no sense whatsoever. But, dude, zombie, y’know.

Humans and Dragons

Postulate a world where man and dragon co-exist and you’re into Pern territory. Perhaps the dragons are our allies who help us in our daily life then Bad Things Happen to turn them from being our gentle benefactors into raging firey beasts of terror and the world goes from one of draconic nirvana to sounding like a song by Nirvana in a heartbeat. It’s post-draconic apocalypse – survival horror on a whole new scale of nasty.

Humans and Demons

Welcome to the world of the Supernatural TV series where our heroes’ purpose in life is to Smite. Demons keep popping into our world and it’s the PC’s task to find ’em and send them back to Hell using that special effect where they turn to ash first. This is a great setting for that Dogs in the Vineyard game you’ve been meaning to play. No, seriously.

Humans and Kruthiks

I love Kruthiks. Originally appearing inthe 3e Miniatures Handbook and now in 4e’s Monster Manual, they’re spindly scuttling things that evolve from being tiny hatchlings to bigass muthers, and are completely alien to our way of thinking. “Alien” being the operative word – if you want to recreate that particular series of movies there’s no better critter to use (unless you’ve got the Book of Vile Darkness – the Kython is a total Alien clone!). Drop a Kruthik (or Kython) nest into a peaceful mining town, add the adventurers and you’re in instant isolation/horror territory. Nice!

Humans and…… Humans

Running a human-only campaign can be immense fun. Perhaps the characters are able to see some humans as “different”, possibly clones or mind-controlled slaves who unknowingly work for their unnamed evil Overlords. Or perhaps you’re going for a more historical vibe with all-human warring city states battle for control over a territory. Bar none, humans make the most despicable villains, after all.

So, over to you.

If you could just pick one creature from the Monster Manual (or elsewhere) around which to build a campaign, what would it be, and why?

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15 Responses

  1. Dead Orcs says:

    I’d have to choose Humans and Githyanki. Except that the setting is interstellar space, and the Githyanki are a power-hungry world-conquering empire. Oh…and the silver swords are now mono-filament blades.

    Dead Orcss last blog post..Symbolizing 4E D&D Classes with Runes, Cont.

  2. Joshua says:

    Humans and Robots. You get the same sort of variety within a single type of monster as with demons, but you get to run it as SF. You also get to have both ally and enemy “monsters”…

    Humans and Godzilla. Though for more than a one-shot, I’d probably feel compelled to expand it to other giant monsters as well.

    Joshuas last blog post..Procession of the Psychopomp

  3. HermitDave says:

    Kinda cliche but I have always wanted to do Humans and Orcs. Really build on the racism and make Orcs an analogy for our own prejudices but where the badguys are actually Evil… for the most part.

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    HermitDaves last blog post..disposable call centres

  4. Stuart says:

    Humans and Ghosts.

    Some ghosts are human in their motives, others have had their minds shattered by death. You don’t always know which is which.

    Sometimes you need to help them achieve peace so their soul can rest, other times you need to stop them before wreak destruction upon the living. You don’t always know which is which.

    Stuarts last blog post..Boredom and Undeath

  5. Greywulf says:

    Lovin’ these! Keep them coming, folks :D

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  6. Viriatha says:

    Aliens. Man, those movies rocked and they make GREAT enemies for Cyberpunk games :P

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  7. Tommi says:

    I would have said humans and humans. Damn.

    The next game I run is likely to be humans and fey; medieval world, except few people (mages) can move to a parallel dimension that is a twisted version of ours, wherein they can make deals with the local inhabitants, who might be called fey or demons or something else evocative, depending on who is doing the calling.

  8. faustusnotes says:

    My current campaign world is Humans vs. Demons mostly (although in reality it’s mostly other humans working with/for demons). It’s set in 18th Century Earth, with the basic idea that Cristopher Marlowe learnt magic from Mephistopheles and taught the world.

    Demons are awesome: never ending variety, always evil, and proof that God exists. Imagining Europe where humans really do believe in the divine right of Kings is fun.

    faustusnotess last blog post..My 10 favourite monsters

  9. Humans and Derro.
    I don’t know why, but I find those mad little ill-bred beasts compelling. Themes of sanity and madness, what each means, where the line is. *shrug*

    Humans and Illithids.
    Does this one really need explaining?

    I like Humans and Githyanki, but Githyanki with out Githzerai, Illithids, and of course Red Dragons? Doesn’t feel right.

    Dr. Checkmates last blog post..Space Opera

  10. Dead Orcs says:

    Oh, but Good Doctor Checkmate. I was only trying to stay within Wulf’s parameters. I forgot to mention that the humans interrupt an interstellar war, and that the illithids are pulling the strings. And what do the Githyanki’s ships look like? Well, like Red Dragons, of course. :-)

    Dead Orcss last blog post..Symbolizing 4E D&D Classes with Runes, Cont.

  11. Wyatt says:

    Humans and Avolakia

    Avolakia appeared in the monster manual II for 3e and have since apparently been forgotten (here’s hoping for 4e’s Monster Manual 2!) They’re giant horrible multi-armed slimy necromantic worm aberrations – that can polymorph, so can physically alter their whole makeup to become just another run of the mill human. They also eat undead. Dead flesh tastes bad to them, but they love eating undead.

    They’ve always been my favorite monster. They were unplayable in 3.5 – +5 LA and 10 racial hit dice – but I STILL managed to play one once. Boy did that suck (10 HD and 5 LA in a level 17 game means you’re even more useless than usual), but at least I got to have my wish of playing one just once.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for a 4e appearance. There’s no way in hell it’d be a playable character, but one can dream, and at least having it as an enemy monster would still satisfy me.

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    Wyatts last blog post..The Primus Libris: Chapter 1

  12. PrecociousApprentice says:

    I like humans and goblins, but with goblins being highly variable and more along the lines of fairytale fey. Think Labyrinth. I have actually been planning a campaign just like this, but have never gotten it off the ground.

  13. Greywulf says:

    @Viriatha Absolutely. The Aliens movies make perfect RPG fodder, don’t they?

    @Tommi Good to see someone else likes the idea of Humans and Humans too.

    @faustusnotes I’d play that. Lovely stuff.

    @Dr. Checkmate Derro eh? I’m intrigued – they wouldn’t have been my first choice. Or second. But now you mention it……

    @Dead Orcs There was me thinking you’d pick orcs (heh). Giths make a great choice though. In one of our superhero sessions I used Githyanki as Skrull-like psionic interstellar invaders. Worked well.

    @Wyatt You win the no-prize for having the most obscure creature. Never heard of it, had to look it up :D

    @PrecociousApprentice I agree. You can never have enough Goblins.

    Keep those creative juices flowing!

    follow @greywulf on twitter

  14. Elda King says:

    I’d probably make humans and humans too. It’s nice to have villains that are not terrible monsters, and even not necessarily bad – like in a war campaign.

    Human and Eladrin, or other type of Fey, would be great too.

    And why no one bottered to sugest Humans and Tarrasque?

  15. Scott says:

    Humans and Kobolds.

    I’d run it as a fantasy reskin of a Vietnam War-era historical campaign. Guerrilla warfare, with ambushes and traps abounding, and an uncertain political situation complicating matters for the outnumbered, if not outgunned, PCs.

    Plus, kobolds are awesome.

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