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Campaign Idea

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
This isn't the premise for a whole campaign as much as an element, but in another thread there was some discussion about "why don't the high level adventurers that surely exist in this world come and save the day?"

So I'm picturing a 1st session in which there's some huge threat, and the PCs are thinking, "How the heck are we supposed to kill that?" (Because, you know, when the DM throws a monster at you, you're supposed to kill it.) Just when things are looking like a certain TPK, a band of really high (EDIT: high level, not high*) adventurers show up. They swagger, they strut, they flash their Legendary magic items.

And then they get eaten.

The PCs now have a chance to escape, but for the rest of the campaign the BBEG is the thing that killed off the last group of heroes.

Anybody ever done that?

*Although, wow, that first version has all kinds of narrative potential.
 
I've certainly done "PCs are the only heroes" campaigns (they work great, BTW) - but never set it up by having the last batch of heroes eaten right in front of them, right at the start.
I like it.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I heard of a convention module (back in AD&D days) where the party was super powerful - and immediately killed in narrative ant the bottom of a dungeon. What was left was an NPC halfling henchman who collected all the most powerful items they could carry. All of which happened to be intelligent items played by the players. With their own agendas. Back then, intelligent items could take over the host, but in this they were balanced such that it took more than one to control the halfling, who just wanted to get out of there.

Not useful for a campaign, but the only time I've heard of everything starting with a high-level TPK.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Sounds a bit like the plot of "The Other Guys". I can imagine various NPCs, along the campaign, lamenting the loss of the major heroes each time the, likely hapless, PCs show up. :)

 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I can imagine various NPCs, along the campaign, lamenting the loss of the major heroes each time the, likely hapless, PCs show up. :)
Ooooh...I like that.

"Flexor the Mighty would have killed the monster, saved my daughter AND brought back the treasure. But, yeah, thanks for killing the monster. I guess."
 

Krachek

Explorer
I know that is hard to make the pc assist a story you write down.
They are always mess things up, either convincing your “true hero” to fall back, or either get kill try to help them.
If your story is crucial for the setup, tell it has a recent past event, then tell the players their actual situation.
But I like the idea of being the last heroes.
 

Istbor

Explorer
This isn't the premise for a whole campaign as much as an element, but in another thread there was some discussion about "why don't the high level adventurers that surely exist in this world come and save the day?"

So I'm picturing a 1st session in which there's some huge threat, and the PCs are thinking, "How the heck are we supposed to kill that?" (Because, you know, when the DM throws a monster at you, you're supposed to kill it.) Just when things are looking like a certain TPK, a band of really high (EDIT: high level, not high*) adventurers show up. They swagger, they strut, they flash their Legendary magic items.

And then they get eaten.

The PCs now have a chance to escape, but for the rest of the campaign the BBEG is the thing that killed off the last group of heroes.

Anybody ever done that?

*Although, wow, that first version has all kinds of narrative potential.
Done something like this. It is very Mystery Men, where I got the initial idea from.

Works out well. I think it was an extra big hit for us, as the previous DM had the party running around doing tasks for an epic level Good-aligned Lich who ruled over the last bastion of civilization.

If that doesn't spark questions of, why the heck are we being called in on this, I am not sure what else will.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I'm not getting this reference...
Madoka Magica. It’s a dark magical girl anime, and, uh... I guess in retrospect that’s a pretty big spoiler.

The experienced magical girl who’s showing the main characters the ropes gets her head unceremoniously bitten off pretty early on, it comes seemingly out of nowhere and marks the first major turning point for the series, when it goes from simply dark in asthetics and tone to dark in theme.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
Madoka Magica. It’s a dark magical girl anime, and, uh... I guess in retrospect that’s a pretty big spoiler.

The experienced magical girl who’s showing the main characters the ropes gets her head unceremoniously bitten off pretty early on, it comes seemingly out of nowhere and marks the first major turning point for the series, when it goes from simply dark in asthetics and tone to dark in theme.
Ah, I thought it was the image of somebody ascending to the heavens. Now I get it. :)
 

aco175

Explorer
I might having the PCs run out of the tavern to witness the epic battle between the BBEG and the legends. You could also have the epic magic items fall into the PCs hands to start the fight back. You would need the monster to be more a tarrasque over a person that would collect the items.

If you start the campaign with the BBEG fighting level 1 PCs half may die before the legends bip in to save them and players may be put off with the strongarming at the start.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I might having the PCs run out of the tavern to witness the epic battle between the BBEG and the legends. You could also have the epic magic items fall into the PCs hands to start the fight back. You would need the monster to be more a tarrasque over a person that would collect the items.

If you start the campaign with the BBEG fighting level 1 PCs half may die before the legends bip in to save them and players may be put off with the strongarming at the start.
I was imagining hordes of minions to keep the heroes busy and make the escape exciting.
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
I started a campaign with first level characters tasked with delivering a rare book to an ancient blue dragon in its lair. The save DC for the dragon's fear aura was way too high for any character to succeed. So they all ran.

I made a second, lower DC for them to save against losing control of their bladders.

It made for an interesting beginning in that it united the characters in their hatred of that dragon, the campaign's ultimate BBEG. 😈
 

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