A cool setting: fallen moon.
Check this out:
The Dungeon Dozen provides many awesome d12 lists that are system neutral. I think this one is stand-out as something that an enterprising Old School Hack DM could take and prep; a moon has crashed into the planet, and now it is an adventuring environment. Bizarre, clever, alien, good time. Take a look!
If you want prep-lite go-to Gothic fantasy, here's a great little setting by Jack Shear with a map and a blurb for each settlement or area.
Here is a really clever idea for starting off a game of Old School Hack. The players could basically put a lot of hooks into the background as a collaborative exercise, and you could do this before hand or at the table.
You know what would be awesome? A dungeon with two warring factions.
On the one side, Clan MacDonalds, led by Ronald (who looks like David Bowie in clown shoes tarted up in a yellow jumpsuit with red hair and a clown nose) and his henchmen, Hamburglar and Mayor McCheeze, with their monster enforcer Grimace, their hoards of Fry Guys, their scout Birdie, etc.
On the other side, Sesame Street. The leader, a hardened fighter named Gordon, commanding a mastadon Snuff, a giant kicking emu suffering from retardation (the Big Bird) and a bunch of furry goblins; Oscar, Elmo, Grover, Chloe, etc. The hit man duo, Bert and Ernie. Beware the lurking menace of that mathematically calculating killer, the Count, who may well be playing both sides.
It might scar their characters AND their childhoods, but that would be one hell of a knock-down drag-out dungeon crawl. And some twisted players might just enjoy tickling Elmo. With a very heavy weapon.
Dungeon Dozen continues to be awesome. Need a basic inspiration for a quick night of gaming? Pick any 2!
fictive --- I actually ran a campaign like that, albeit with a less funny premise. It started out as a one-shot and then became a pick-up game. It was basically a fantasy version of Necromunda using 3.5 rules. Imagine a cross between 'The Prisoner' and the HBO series 'Oz' with a smidgen of 'Gangs of New York'. The characters woke up in an island fortress and became aligned with existing factions --- there were three major gangs, each with different resources. Some started on different sides, and one defected. Weird crap was occasionally hidden in the ruins, new resources would be revealed for the groups to control, shifting walls changed certain areas after a period of time, etc. People would die and be replaced by new arrivals. Two of the characters kind of removed themselves from the action and started running a bookie joint; they later became recurring NPCs in the island's only neutral ground.
Sadly, no muppets.
Best description of bugbears ever!
"Please welcome to the dungeon these sneaky, furry, porkypigginit, face-stabbing, dick-punching hooligans. They don't play well with the other kids (and tend to eat them), smell like wet yak and their ubiquitous dandruff harbors some fierce alergens, but they cook a mean gumbo, never shirk patrol duty and their A1-class jokes do wonders for monster morale."
And, later, "In key areas like pants-or-no-pants (no self-respecting bugbear submits to the tyranny of pants!), armor and weapons, size/bulk and attidude they are spot-on."
I think I need to use bugbears soon.
Looking for a way to freak out your hardened veteran players? Stop at a village for the night.
I just found this, and I think people who check out the forums would be interested. Kirin posted some background on his home OSH game.
Okay, here is quite possibly the best way to start an adventure ever.
The characters hear screaming. What is it?
So the 2011 "Secret Santicore" project is incredible. I used an adventure from it for an Old School Hack game, and it has lots of random generators and off-the-wall inspirations. A little bit of everything, and a lot of things you'd never expect.
Now is the time to sign up for something you want in 2012, if you're willing to help out and be someone else's Secret Santicore. Take a look!
Here is a great plot generator for horror in Old School Hack!
Kirin didn't like hobbit/halflings, so he brought in goblins. Here are some other great options!
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