Living Forgotten Realms, the current ongoing public play campaign for Dungeons & Dragons 4E, is a heck of a lot of fun, but the Living aspect is a complete farce. Every week you get together with a random cast of other people that you've probably seen before, but you don't have any particular reason for getting together with. You then condense the vivid, exciting backstory and detailed appearance you have made up for your character down to a single-sentence introduction. You will be lucky if the other players remember your name, class, and race. (Even if you tell them otherwise, they will assume your character is the same gender as you unless you give them a name like Ovaria Birthgiver or Mansong Crotchgrabber.)
D&D has a fine tradition of bizarre, useless magical items. Here's a collection bizarre, slightly useful ones with non-obvious applications:
- Sling Bulettes
- These smooth stone spheres look like normal ammunition for throwing from a sling. Once launched, they transmute in mid-air into a landshark. It is fully alive, and rather angry about having been freeze-dried and stored in your backpack. It is advisable to leave the area before it is done taking out part of its anger on the target of your sling, as it still has more anger left.
A while back, I ran The Secret of Poison Gulch, a one-shot adventure using Six-Guns & Succubi, in which the PCs are government troubleshooters sent to investigate the disappearance of an agent that been investigating illegal activities at the silver mine in the titular town and stumbled into something far darker. I don't have any real notes on the whole thing, as I mostly just made it up as I went along, but here's the pregen characters I passed out, in case you find them useful.
Let's consider how dwarves are portrayed in D&D 4E: Stereotypically short and strong with a penchant for building and craftwork, yet they live above-ground, without any sort of ability to see in the dark, and were once enslaved by the giants. Let's riff off that. Modern dwarves are, in fact, a slave-race bred by giants for manual labor, selecting them for strength, hardiness, and ability to do tedious work (and losing darkvision in the process). They eventually revolted and won their freedom, spreading out into the world.
One common complaint about Exalted is that it lacks any sort of mechanical incentive to "power up" and use increasingly powerful charm techniques over the course of a fight, unlike much of the martial arts fiction to which it hearkens. (Well, there's putting up your scene-length charms, but that's not quite the same.) Thus, here's an idea for replacing the current mote economy with a system that encourages ramping up usage while still retaining an element of long-term resource conservation.
Weapons of the Gods is an RPG based on a wu-xia comic. Its basic resolution mechanic is very similar to ORE: Roll a variable number of d10s and look for matches. A set of matching dice is converted to a numerical result equal to width*10 + height. Thus, for example, a 3x1 is read as 31. (Sets of only one die are allowed and 10s are read as 0s, so the worst possible result is a 1x0, which is read as 10.)
My first take on a quick-and-dirty Magic: the Gathering RPG aimed at playing Planeswalkers would be a Nobilis conversion with the five colors as your ability scores. If I deemed the "land generates mana" mechanic of the card game something that should be reflected in the reality of the world, then I'd introduce some kind of mechanics where you need to ritually bind locations to achieve regeneration of miracle points (which would be renamed to Mana).
It is the nature of The Broken-Winged Crane that it never will be written. It is always going to be written. Creation is simply not big enough to contain its blasphemy in the same way that death was insufficient to contain the Primordials. Only the barest glimmers and fractions of it can exist at once, and even then, far apart and away from each other, never to be read in combination—to bring too many of them together would begin the act of its formation, which cannot happen, so it will not happen.