Taking Back the City - I got a Campaign idea, need help with the rules

edited January 2012 in The Sandbox
Hey everyone,

I'm looking to start a game in a post-something city where the players are going to become a major force in a city wracked by gangs and factions fighting over turf. I'd like the actual play to still resemble d&d, not necessarily in ruleset, but rather in style: players have a goal, control one PC and seek to accomplish that goal in a play session. However, I would like to have a "meta-game" on top of this game where the players are rewarded for control of certain areas. I see an important part of this game being a map of the city, showing what areas are under their control and what areas are under rival factions control.

Some of my inspirations for this include:

Batman: No Man's Land - Batman fights to regain Gotham after an earthquake causes the US government to give up on Gotham.
Paizo's Kingmaker - Players are slowly building up a feudal territory, and get bonuses for how they build up their city.
Escape from New York - A ruined city with a power vacuum, cut off from the outside.

Right now, I'm not too concerned about the time period. I could see this set in the stone age to the transhuman age, as its the tale of a group of people taking power and control of those around them, but I do have have to ask you, oh story gamers, two questions:

What rulesets do you think would work well for this sort of gaming? I already see Apocalypse World being great for this, but would love some other suggestions.
Let's assume that my players will only play some form of D&D. How would you adapt/add to the ruleset of D&D to play this kind of game? Is the Kingmaker rules robust enough to work for a long term campaign?

Thanks everyone!


  • What about John Wick's Blood & Honor? You could use it's domain system (expandable, upgradable) for the PCs turf. Instead of the honor (sort of a shared dice pool that you all want to protect but any can use up), call it 'respect'. Instead of a katana (largely one-shot kills), make it a handgun.
  • Thanks Marshall, I haven't had a chance to check that one out yet.
  • You know, Levi Kornelsen's game The Cog Wars might be helpful here. It's about battling for control of a city partially controlled by evil masterminds, and it has a very interesting tool set. In particular, the home base and mission generators could be of use no matter what system you use.
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