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July 9, 2008 / jadettman

Running from the Demon

Running from the Demon is a game idea that has been floating around my brain for a while now. Here’s the concept:

You’re a normal human being in the modern world until, one day, something happens. You are mugged, get into a traffic accident, something unpleasant but seemingly accidental occurs that could quite possibly have killed you. Remarkably, you survive your incident unscathed. There isn’t even a scratch on you. You are, clearly, incredibly lucky.

Then, more accidents happen. More accidents, accidents that seem to grow more implausible with each incident, and they don’t necessarily happen when your alone. Your friends and family could get hurt but you are never hurt. Never.

You probably start to avoid your friends and family so that they don’t get hurt. What is going on? Why is this happening?

One day, someone you’ve never met before, maybe someone you just meet on the street, tells you that you’re special, tells you that these accidents aren’t accidents, tells you that someone is testing you and they don’t have your best interests at heart. You probably don’t believe them at first. You take the card they give you with the phone number on it, but clearly they are just a kook. What can they know?

The accidents? Those keep happening. You start recognizing people, people that have been at the scenes of some of your other “accidents.” Maybe you’re being paranoid but maybe you aren’t. At some point, you find the card with the phone number on and call the number looking for an explanation, any explanation.

The person on the phone tells you crazy things: you are the reincarnation of an ancient sorcerer, magic is real, and a powerful demon wants to eat your soul. Crazy.

Whether you believe them or not, they also tell you that the only way to protect your friends and family is to run. You have to run from the demon and its lackeys because they will chase you. The demon won’t use your family against you because it’s forbidden. Forbidden by what or who? Run and maybe you’ll find out.


So, that’s the setup. Think The Incredible Hulk television show crossed with magical powers. You play a character on the run from The Demon. Who or what is the Demon? That remains to be seen.

What do you do as a player? Well, strange things happen to you. Your character’s magical nature makes him a weirdness magnet. When you aren’t dealing with weirdness, you are coming to grips with your character’s magical nature and their own personal demons.

Is the whole thing still a little vague? Yep, I’m still playing with the idea to see where it goes.

Let me know what you think.



Leave a Comment
  1. dani / Jul 22 2008 1:28 pm


    i’ve occasionally wondered how a “guy on the road” show would work for a campaign plot. questions that pop up first, how many players would make sense, and how would you hook in the people not actively being hunted by the demon?


  2. J.A. Dettman / Jul 22 2008 4:42 pm

    All good questions, Dani.

    My basic thought was that this would work very well for a one-on-one game (one player, one GM), or for an ensemble group in which several folks would take on the role of local NPCs in the town the main character is visiting and the GM would run with the situation presented.

    So, in the ensemble setup, Bob comes to town trying to stay one step ahead of the demon. He still on the run but he needs to make a little money to keep his belly full so he takes a job as a dishwasher at the local diner where he starts to get to know people and become a part of their lives. Then, weird stuff or just regular stuff starts to edge into his awareness and he has to decide whether or not to become more involved in these people’s lives.

    The townspeople that Bob gets to know would be played by other players.

    Of course, at some point along the line the demon or the demon’s minions come to town looking for Bob and things go down hill for our hero from there.

    Seriously, though, that’s like every episode of the The Incredible Hulk. I’m not sure it would be fun for a lot of long term play but for a couple episodes it might be interesting.

  3. Britt / Jul 23 2008 4:16 pm

    Hmmm… Once again, as frequently happens, my thoughts turn to Prime Time Adventures. It would be really cool to run the “guy on the road” scenario, with or without doing the PTA thing where each player has a specific character. Or maybe each player could be responsible for developing a new character in every town, with everyone “looking out for” the main guy, working on reoccurring characters.

    As always, I want desperately for Prime Time Adventures to be a totally different game. 🙂 I just freakin’ love the idea (I think I was sold on the line from the book that says something along the lines of “What if you and your friends could get together every week and write The West Wing?”) but I find the actual, y’know, system such a tragic letdown. 🙂

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