D&D 5E Campaign Idea: Very Rare Magic Items at Lv. 1


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Which is precisely why I don't run them.

I mean, if you want to distill the worst excesses of '80s-90s GM-plotted trad RPGs into one scenario, and ignore the last 25 years or so of RPG design, more power to you. But I prefer my games to be oriented around either the players or the setting, not a metaplot. Whenever I see a game starting with "invulnerable NPC delivering exposition to force the PCs into a non-choice", my alarm bells go off.
The last part has been stated by previous posters already, but having a campaign arc and planned twists is not "the worst excesses of '80s-90's GM-plotted trad RPGs". One of the top selling D&D adventurers is the Curse of Strahd. Are there planned twists there? Is Balder's Gate: Ascent into Avernus a radical open world plot? What about Out of the Abyss? Call of the Netherdeep? Empires of Stone Saga? The Commonwealth of New Bethera? The Painful Death of Thraxxia? Princes of the Apocalypse? An epic adventure for characters levels 1 – 15? The Elemental Evil™ story arc? Princes of the Apocalypse providing everything a Dungeon Master needs to create an exciting and memorable play experience?
 

TwoSix

Uncomfortably diegetic
The last part has been stated by previous posters already, but having a campaign arc and planned twists is not "the worst excesses of '80s-90's GM-plotted trad RPGs". One of the top selling D&D adventurers is the Curse of Strahd. Are there planned twists there? Is Balder's Gate: Ascent into Avernus a radical open world plot? What about Out of the Abyss? Call of the Netherdeep? Empires of Stone Saga? The Commonwealth of New Bethera? The Painful Death of Thraxxia? Princes of the Apocalypse? An epic adventure for characters levels 1 – 15? The Elemental Evil™ story arc? Princes of the Apocalypse providing everything a Dungeon Master needs to create an exciting and memorable play experience?
I understand that storypath/directed play is still popular among many groups. Even with the caveat that storypath play is opposed to my play preferences, too much of the scenario presented seems to go from "campaign arc" to pure railroad.
 

One of the top selling D&D adventurers is the Curse of Strahd. Are there planned twists there?
I'm not sure I would call anything about that a twist... and for sure none of it screws with the players like destroying the concept of the items they picked out...

not just destroying some items... but making the Players pick out the ones they want most...
 

I'm not sure I would call anything about that a twist... and for sure none of it screws with the players like destroying the concept of the items they picked out...

not just destroying some items... but making the Players pick out the ones they want most...
It's not just destroying the items, its also destroying the formulas that make the items possible. The concept behind the item is wholly destroyed leaving no ability of making anything similar again.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It's not just destroying the items, its also destroying the formulas that make the items possible. The concept behind the item is wholly destroyed leaving no ability of making anything similar again.
At this point pretty much everyone in this thread, long time DMs, have all said that as you put it forward, it's a bad idea. We've all made these(or similar) mistakes in the past and have given you advice on how to do it in a way that doesn't piss off the players and make them not want to play with you again. The saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." seems very appropriate right now.
 

It's not just destroying the items, its also destroying the formulas that make the items possible. The concept behind the item is wholly destroyed leaving no ability of making anything similar again.
think about that... somone took time, and care to pick out an item they want... and your TWIST is "Never gonna get it"

why have them waste the time picking it out?
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I'm not sure I would call anything about that a twist... and for sure none of it screws with the players like destroying the concept of the items they picked out...

not just destroying some items... but making the Players pick out the ones they want most...
Even there,

I can see players getting annoyed if the DM advertised a standard say Greyhawk or FR campaign and boom ravenloft.

Again, generally, bait and switch scenarios don't go over well.
 

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Grantypants

Explorer
Been workshopping an idea for a new campaign. All characters start at 1st level, standard rules except for one important addition: every player may choose one (1) Very Rare magic item. It can be from any book, and the DM has no say in the matter. They can incorporate that item into their history and begin play with it.
What is the reason behind specifying that the magic items be Very Rare? If you're just going to take them away, game balance isn't a problem. And if you want to let the PCs eventually get even better Legendary or Artifact items as replacement later on in the campaign, doesn't that negate your whole idea? I mean, why would I care about having lost a belt of frost giant strength or a wand of the war mage if I can get a belt of storm giant strength or a wand of Orcus?
 

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