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Campaign Idea

Doug McCrae

Adventurer
It's the opening scene of the 2e module, Vecna Lives.

Getting the high power NPCs out of the way to give the PCs room is a pretty standard trope in rpg-ing imo. It would be a lot more interesting to take the opposite approach - have the PCs constantly overshadowed by uberpowerful NPCs. Those NPCs are the real bad guys. The game is about whether the PCs can escape from their shadow.
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
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.
Did a superhero game with the Mighty Avengers expies have exactly that happen. And good times were had by all.*


*Good times not guaranteed.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
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. 😈
I think I would have described the magnitude of the fear and then asked each player to narrate their own response to it, but otherwise, yeah.
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
Something like this was the setup of a superhero RPG (I don't remember which one). Basically the superheroes and supervillains have the final, epic battle to determine the fate of good vs. evil, but instead everyone dies... except for the sidekicks and lesser henchmen who weren't invited to the battle. Now, the world has no heroes, so the sidekicks (PCs) need to step up, while the henchmen are doing the same thing for the side of evil...
 

5ekyu

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 ran a supers-apocalypse mash-up where the premisexwas that Magneto in X2 won - his reverse Cerebro killed all non-mutants, "activated" all latent mutants and left a world with a minute fraction of its people left - the vast majority now with brsnd new fledgling powers.

Problem in addition to the obvious were all those other supers like Strange, Richard's, Doom, Stark, most Avengers plus sll those mad scientists etc etc etc who were like guarding gateways were now gone and stuff was gonna get lose. Of course, also, all those robots survived and aliens and others who came calling after the whammy.

So, kinda same thing - most big boys gone, new kids gotta step up. Etc.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
I dreamed a plot in which the PCs chase a monster through a portal and find themselves in a strange land as the portal closes. The monster has disappeared but they do find the skeletal remains of an old adventure party which seems to have been killed in battle. On closer inspection they notice that the skeletons a dressed and equipped in identical items to their own - and should realise that theyve discovered their own corpses killed by the monster they were chasing.

The mystery now is how can they be looking at their own corpses? (time shift?), where has the monster gone (time shift and now its the BBEG) and how do they get home?,
 

Coroc

Explorer
Well I love the start of one of the hyskosa hexads ravenloft adventures.
It is imho one of the best adventure starts ever, also the resolution of the scenery is done quite smooth.




Attention Spoilers:









The party gets attacked by the headless horseman and some undead beholders and a skull mob just to be killed (railroading there) because the encounter is much to difficult for them, and end up as being heads in jars in Azalins Laboratory.
 

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