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Blowing up my campaign

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
The rumblings of dissatisfaction have gotten stronger and I'm getting bored too of my high level reboot of OotA. It's just too samey and the grand finale is basically more of the same with knobs on.

The wizard in the party has access to wish (and as he was involved - in my version of events - in enabling the demonic incursion) he's contemplating using it to wish the whole thing never happened! Talk about a plot point!

Anyway, we're discussing options and the wizard most likely will become an NPC and the player will roll up a new level 19 character. The new finale will connect to an alternate timeline and the objective for the players will be to find and rescue said wizard who has recently gone missing. Planning to have his wizard's tower send out a pre-recorded message to the other PCs because the wizard has been absent too long and this is probably a bad thing :)

My question for the forum. What/who would be a good foe for a mini-campaign at this level? Note - I don't want it to be some massive dungeon delve, we've spent too long in the Underdark and we're looking for some fresh air and fantastic scenery :)

My first thoughts are some plane hopping jaunts to crazy places as they try to track him down. Perhaps he was abducted while visiting Sigil and taken some place else - but for what purpose and by whom?
 

Mort

Community Supporter
My first thoughts are some plane hopping jaunts to crazy places as they try to track him down. Perhaps he was abducted while visiting Sigil and taken some place else - but for what purpose and by whom?
Plane hopping is a good choice.

My first thought would be the City of Brass in the elemental plane of fire: powerful Djinn, weird politics, fantastic and evocative scenery. Maybe the effeet imprisoned him in one of their bottles and the group has to bargain him out?

Or prisoner of the lich queen on the Astral plane - that could be an interesting and very difficult challenge.
 

Draegn

Explorer
Charmed and enamored by Iggwilv who wants the wizard to break/limit the power of some demon lords and increase the power of others.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
The rumblings of dissatisfaction have gotten stronger and I'm getting bored too of my high level reboot of OotA. It's just too samey and the grand finale is basically more of the same with knobs on.
Why not start with new characters at lower level - and play through some of the fallout from the uber-PC's past actions?

The wizard in the party has access to wish (and as he was involved - in my version of events - in enabling the demonic incursion) he's contemplating using it to wish the whole thing never happened! Talk about a plot point!
Oops, wished us all back to 1st level...
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Charmed and enamored by Iggwilv who wants the wizard to break/limit the power of some demon lords and increase the power of others.
Really wanting to wish those Demon Lords away :) so this is reboot.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Why not start with new characters at lower level - and play through some of the fallout from the uber-PC's past actions?
Players want to get all the way to 20 - first time ever for all of them. Just weren't loving the Underdark (and the somewhat repetitive plot - my doing, but I also thought we'd be done by now but we've switching to every other week so things have dragged on...) so going back a few levels is not going to fly.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Or prisoner of the lich queen on the Astral plane - that could be an interesting and very difficult challenge.
I see there's a Lich Queen adventure on DMs Guild by M T Black. That might be a good resource (as well as Mordenkainan's of course). But I don't want things to get too dark and dreary :)
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Players want to get all the way to 20 - first time ever for all of them.
Really wanting to wish those Demon Lords away ....
You could move the action to the Abyss. Lots to do there.

Maybe they can make/acquire an artifact with the power to kill Demon Lords and take the apocalypse to them? Give it an attribute that a given mortal can only use it once. After killing a Lord or few, they discover a side effect: that they take on the portfolio, and start hearing the calls of the worshippers, of the one they destroyed.
 
Wish does interesting things if worded incorrectly. Maybe, in the new time-line, he’s just a regular Joe and that’s why no one has heard from him. He’s a farmer in Kansas.

I also like the idea of him having his own demesne (a super huge and elaborate pocket dimension)on some plane and it’s been taken over by another entity and he’s been imprisonned (by the spell imprison). His demesne can be as wildly scenic and as large or small as you want. It can have fantastic properties like reverse gravity or be innately magical which makes all spells empowered. Which would make it inherently more dangerous if it’s been taken over by a devil or some other entity. And maybe that’s how the wish made things ‘never happen’: In this reality, he gave himself to a demon prince to prevent the demon incursion.
 
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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
I also like the idea of him having his own demesne (a super huge and elaborate pocket dimension)on some plane and it’s been taken over by another entity and he’s been imprisonned (by the spell imprison). His demesne can be as wildly scenic and as large or small as you want. It can have fantastic properties like reverse gravity or be innately magical which makes all spells empowered. Which would make it inherently more dangerous if it’s been taken over by a devil or some other entity. And maybe that’s how the wish made things ‘never happen’: In this reality, he gave himself to a demon prince to prevent the demon incursion.
Yeah - a similar thought came to mind too. That would be very cool - trying to avoid demons being the big bad though :)

My current thought is that in the new time-line he "borrowed" the "tome of all knowledge" from Ioun and thence had it stolen. He's now been imprisoned by Ioun in Carceri and will be released only when the "tome" has been returned to its proper home. So some arch-lich is the big bad in this story - and perhaps they have the pocket dimension? - and perhaps that pocket dimension is in some magic artifact back in the original wizards study - (the arch-lich snuck out, took the book and is now plotting some big return?) Oooh - perhaps it's in some crystal ball/snowglobe type of thing?
 

Mort

Community Supporter
Yeah - a similar thought came to mind too. That would be very cool - trying to avoid demons being the big bad though :)

My current thought is that in the new time-line he "borrowed" the "tome of all knowledge" from Ioun and thence had it stolen. He's now been imprisoned by Ioun in Carceri and will be released only when the "tome" has been returned to its proper home. So some arch-lich is the big bad in this story - and perhaps they have the pocket dimension? - and perhaps that pocket dimension is in some magic artifact back in the original wizards study - (the arch-lich snuck out, took the book and is now plotting some big return?) Oooh - perhaps it's in some crystal ball/snowglobe type of thing?
You could also do a bit of a twist:

The wizard is imprisoned via imprisonment spell, wherever you seem appropriate. The PCs work to free him (find out the exit condition and get him out). When they do, they find out the wizard actually imprisoned himself to avoid enemies (if you're a loner, the hedged prison version of the spell can be pretty nice, and you can set your own exit condition).

When they free him, that's when the bad guys try to grab him for his TRUE punishment.

Just a thought.
 
Yeah - a similar thought came to mind too. That would be very cool - trying to avoid demons being the big bad though :)

My current thought is that in the new time-line he "borrowed" the "tome of all knowledge" from Ioun and thence had it stolen. He's now been imprisoned by Ioun in Carceri and will be released only when the "tome" has been returned to its proper home. So some arch-lich is the big bad in this story - and perhaps they have the pocket dimension? - and perhaps that pocket dimension is in some magic artifact back in the original wizards study - (the arch-lich snuck out, took the book and is now plotting some big return?) Oooh - perhaps it's in some crystal ball/snowglobe type of thing?
Yeah, the demon was just a suggestion. Liches are cool.

Snowglobe? or an Ioun stone? The players don't even realize they are wearing the demesne...
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Folks that own Dungeon of the Mad Mage: what is Halaster's Home like as a mini-dungeon? Wondering if I can scavenge it for parts for this new direction? (I guess I'll take a leaf through this weekend...)
 

Ovinomancer

Explorer
As a twist, the Marut have mobilized to stop the mucking around with the planned order by the multi-wishing wizard, but cannot enter Ioun's demense. So long as the wizard friend is imprisoned, the forces of order cannot "correct" them. Freeing the wizard without dealing with the Marut probem would be... challenging.

Possible reason the Marut are engaged could be an ancient contract between demon lords and other planes to remain uninvolved if a mortal invites them to the material. The wizard is viewed in breach due to a technicality allowing him to be categorized as a planar power (and therefore subject to the contract) because he can alter reality (wish), a point being pressed by a powerful devil who sees advantage in the blood war by having these demon princes distracted by the events in a prime plane.

Now you have a multilayered plotline where the immediate problem (imprisoned friend) is hideously complicated. Maybe the players decide to ally with the devils to disrupt the very demon princes they were trying to avoid? Or, there's a cool planar courtroom argument (what does that look like?) Or, they recover the book of all knowledge for Ioun, but use it first to learn how to access and alter the contract while it's kept safe deep in Mechanus? Dunno, would love to hear how it goes!
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
That's easy, I mean how many times do you get to use Kafka's The Trial as inspiration for a gaming session!
That does sound cool, but sadly that's not the type of play experience my group enjoys. They're more driven by exploration and adventure (which is why the Underdark has become a drag - despite my best efforts to make areas feel fresh and different).
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
@Ovinomancer - I do love the idea that as soon as they liberate the wizard for this one infraction, he's immediately arrested by the Marut for meddling with the timeline. It has taken all this time for them to track down who caused the schism. :) A nice twist to lead into a level 20 adventure.

Edit: Though I've no idea what that entails... a court case as you say is the most logical outcome, but that would go down like a ton of bricks. So I think it would have to be a prison break/heist thing (and perhaps the wizard wishes himself a duplicate that can do the time... :) ) Or perhaps the group would just wash their hands of him and say he deserves it!
 
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Ovinomancer

Explorer
@Ovinomancer - I do love the idea that as soon as they liberate the wizard for this one infraction, he's immediately arrested by the Marut for meddling with the timeline. It has taken all this time for them to track down who caused the schism. :) A nice twist to lead into a level 20 adventure.

Edit: Though I've no idea what that entails... a court case as you say is the most logical outcome, but that would go down like a ton of bricks. So I think it would have to be a prison break/heist thing (and perhaps the wizard wishes himself a duplicate that can do the time... :) ) Or perhaps the group would just wash their hands of him and say he deserves it!
Well, the "case" presented rests on a devil signatory putting forth a technicality because it serves its interests. That would be the lynchpin. You could go to court to argue it, but would need a good argument and support, so that's the adventure. Or, you could offer to get the claimant to withdraw by either intimidation or by giving it another way towards its goals. Or, you break into the secure vault in Mechanus and destroy/alter/steal the contract (which could then have really "interesting" consequences). Or, maybe the party thriws you for a loop and figures they have a better chance in the chaos if they free Tharizdun to start the unmaking of the cosmos.

My general rule of [-]plot[/-] probkem creation is have a powerful interest use a fixed nechanic to achieve a goal. Demon cult uses ritual to free demon patron. Then complicate with another line that ties into the first by at least one point. Say, powerful wizard wants to use the cultist ritual to bind demon instead of free it. Add more if needed. Here, I have two "evil" plots, so let's add a third. A good church knows that there's a similarly powerful angel that's bound up with the demon (they were fighting). So, freeing the demon releases the angel. They're willing to deal with the demon and its cult afterwards with tge aud of the angel.

So, now the party has to stop the ritual, but naybe they don't know that their wizard ally is really feeding them not how to stop it, but how to alter it, and they have to figure out why good church isn't helping them at all.

Layers. ;)
 

Mort

Community Supporter
@Ovinomancer - I do love the idea that as soon as they liberate the wizard for this one infraction, he's immediately arrested by the Marut for meddling with the timeline. It has taken all this time for them to track down who caused the schism. :) A nice twist to lead into a level 20 adventure.

Edit: Though I've no idea what that entails... a court case as you say is the most logical outcome, but that would go down like a ton of bricks. So I think it would have to be a prison break/heist thing (and perhaps the wizard wishes himself a duplicate that can do the time... :) ) Or perhaps the group would just wash their hands of him and say he deserves it!
If you want to be a bit of a rat-bastard:

The wizard is apprehended in front of the PCs (by Maruts sounds pretty cool). Just when the situation seems to be resolved (either by negotiation, combat etc.) he then melts into a mound of snow (Simulacrum).

The Maruts then attempt to press the PCs to hunt down the real wizard. Kind of a sharp reminder that their dealing with powerful individuals on every side - with access to way too many resources.
 

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