D&D 5E Brain Storming a campaign (school of chaos)

SO maybe some of you remember my style is to while running one game work on 1 or 2 new world/story ideas to pitch to my players... we run about year long campaigns (longest not with standing 2e/in school was 2 1/2 year campaign shortest was 4 months but we average about a year or so per campaign) SO with this new book about a school of wizards coming out I had an idea that is slowly turning in my head.

Would you like to help me flesh it out?

if so here is what I am thinking

Mage school, in a centralish part of a world with doors connected to parts of the 'campus' in the feywild.
World at War, there are 2 countries at war both have connections to the school so even though some wizards from the school go on to fight for one side or the other the school has remained neutral
Always a Bigger Fish, something else is coming, something that the PCs are going to find out about. SOmething that COULD if PCs decide end the war as a bigger threat...

Mage school
So I don't know stixheaven, although I have the book on preorder... My first thoughts when I think of schools is Xavier. (X stuff also influenced my world at war idea so remember that) Having a school have a paramilitary organization could be a great way to get PCs together... My second thought is Harry Potter, yeah I don't think my players will want to be young students, so maybe just some of the background fluff. However thinking of the houses of hogwarts reminded me of a more D&D take on it, Dragonlance and the 3 Towers of High Sorcery.

So most likely teachers or alumni, separated into houses of some sort, maybe with some bonuses to house related things. Coming together to help the school and/or defend it.

World at War
a few hundred years ago a (mostly) elven kingdom ruled 3/4 of the main continent. However the Dwarven king tricked the Humans into going to war with them. in doing so the humans took ALOT of elven land... and about 50 years into the war everyone pretty much called it as inevitable the humans would win (the elves where stronger and had better magic, but had less numbers and were too afraid to commit large numbers to a battle).

Today though the war is far from won... only the oldest elves alive even remember the start of it... and there are elves with kids who where not alive when it started, and that is even worse for the shorter lived races.

However it is not a two front war, and neither is it a race thing anymore. There are a dozen kingdoms, most of them pretty intermixed and 3/4 of them still on the side of the 'human/dwarf' thing that started it... but some are ruled by hobgoblins or orcs and are just spreading to spread... the 'elven' nation isn't even just elves anymore they have humans, half elves and teiflings (although it is still like 70% elven). There is even a splinter group of elves that a few hundred years ago left and fled to the shadowfell to escape the war(now drow).

However something has changed... about 3 years ago the elves sent mystic envoys to everyone including the school offering peace. However since they are the odds on worst chance of winning that went no where... last year the push started. The elves had some sort of baby boom. they are commiting more forces to some battles then the other nations thought they had soldiers. Having 5 bladesinger, 5 eldritch knights 3 rangers and a wizard was a fair fight for 20 fighter/rogues and a low level wizard... all of a sudden having even (or sometimes the elves even have more) numbers is making the elven kingdom able to retake there lands... However the Druids have almost all forsaken there elven friends and are worried somthing has upset the balance of the world.

Always a Bigger Fish
So a school, a war, seems like this world already has alot going on, but it is about to get worse. and there are 2 steps here.

1st) a mad warlock is messing around with mechanis and forces beyond his kin. He wants to make the world more ordly and in doing so he is making slaves. he is doing it in the most weird way possible though. Awaken an animal or True Polymorph an object... either way creating a soul he is nice to and works with and teaches his own 'cult/religion' of order... then magic jar there soul into the body of person he wants to control... now a bench or a dog is in Carl the Blacksmith and "carl" is a devote. pod people

2nd) yeah so said warlock of mechanis is answering to crazy lawful neutral inevitables that want to make the whole multiverse run like a clock... and they literally are using the mad warlock (and others) to spread the 1st stage, but they also are trying to breed telepaths to make a commune mind... so all souls will be 1 mind.

Okay so theme

MY theme is that individualism is good and group think patriotism and shared minds bad. This comes out in a war that no living person was there for the start, and ends up with a phalanx/borg/technorganic virus threat.

SO this is all rough ideas. I took the idea of the modern Xmen being able to ress there own to a new hight (not so hard in D&D we have spells to do it) and have my Elves being given power from there god to mass res... that is where the numbers are coming from. Every fight win lose or draw they ress all the elven causalities, but they have already brought back some of there most legendary heroes, and hundreds of lesser dead over the last few hundred years.

PC INVOVLMENT: this would start low level at the school, and slowly they would uncover a cult/coven of animal/object souled indviduals in or around it... from there the idea would grow depending on what way they went.

SO tell me what you all think, what I should work on, what other solutions or insperations should I look at?

I think I might buff the "wizard" classes inorder to use a carrot to entice more scholorly' characters.

give wizards at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th there choice of an artificer infusion or warlock invocation. let them learn spells not on there list but needs to be done in game, and give them 2 bonus cantrips on top of there normal

give Arcane Trickster and Eldritch Knight an overhaul by replaceing there 1/3 casting with artificers 1/2 casting. give them a spell book that starts with 3 spells of the two schools they can know, and every level they gain 1 more spell also of those two schools. they can in game learn any spell from wizard list and add it to book as per PHB wizard spell book.

give Warlocks sorcery points equal to half there level (as per sorcerer, including updated stuff from tasha's) and they can 'learn' up to there inteligence mod additional spells known in game being taught to them as per wizard and AT EK above limited to wizard spell list.

Sorcerer gets to use spell pts instead of spell slots (DMG variant) and they gain the Monk/Barbarian unarmored defense (there choice wisdom or constitution) They too like warlocks can 'learn' up to there intelligence mod additional spells known in game being taught to them as per wizard and AT EK above. except with no limit (like bard) they can learn any spell in the game.

I don't know how or if I would modify bard, druid or cleric. I also played with the idea of just bakeing the EK into fighter and the AT into rogue and let them take a seperat subclass as well.

If you play a non modified class you do get 1 free cantrip at character creation, and can learn spells from the wizard list each 1x per day but up to a max of your int modifire, and only of a level equal to your prof.

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OKay RIGHT after posting this I thought if I DID give the eldritch knight and arcane trickster as defualt fighter/rogue I would have to give something like that to the wizard as well... what if all wizards are warmages + a subclass... or maybe just classes other then fighter and rouge get 2 subclasses they can pick...

in my current game I had everyone do double subclasses and that worked well.


It sounds like a very interesting campaign. LOTS of potential.

Character suggestions
1. The PCs are basically the reconnaissance unit that the school sends when they want to try and understand the situation. All of them should have combat, or spy, or "wilderness survival"abilities.

worldbuilding suggestions:
1. The Drow have found a diamond mine (the source of spell components for Ressurection). They supply these diamonds to their "cousins" in exchange for.... human slaves? sacrifices to the drow gods? It's something that the elves really don't want to do - but they have no choice while the war continues.

2. There are human rebellions in the areas retaken by the elves. These rebels are asking for help from the mage school.

3. The school is on an island. This is a very good defensive position because the elves are notoriously bad sailors. It comes as an unwelcome surprise when the Aquatic Elves appear...

4. The "pod people" idea seems a little over-complicated. Why not just have a human cult that worships ORDER? Or a military unit that uses is known to use psionics ? You could call it something like "The Silver Band": a mercenary unit made up of telepaths that are linked into a group mind. This unit is highly respected and many think that it's the only thing that has a chance to defeat the elves and SAVE HUMANITY! Of course, there's a secret dark side to all this alleged heroics....

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