Campaigns in a nutshell. Adventures in a sentence.

Let us gather a mighty hoard of adventure and campaign ideas, compressed to what was most important about them.

From me:

Tides of Homeland: Four heroes with no place to call home come together to stop a mind flayer's attempt to save his people by destroying all other races. The mind flayer seeks an ancient magic to drive all the world mad with rage, and after his first defeat he secrets himself into the mind of one of the heroes, Harley, a lost and emotionally vulnerable woman whom he uses to further his plots. Only the friendship formed within the group can free her soul and save the world.

The Fall: The son of a demon summoner discovers that his mother's dying bargain was to trade his soul for the death of a paladin order that had wronged her. The problem is, the demon never fulfilled its bargain, and the son finds himself in the middle of an infernal game. Temptations abound -- power, fame, and vengeance -- but even the corrupted can still fight a greater evil.

Winds of Change: A group of adventurers hire on as bodyguards for Vidania, an air mage apprentice on a pilgrimage to find places of great aeromantic power. In their journeys they discover an ancient air mage who was thwarted many times in the past is attempting to dissolve the world into the elemental plane of air. Will the winds blow in the party's favor, or has this villain's luck changed?

Scourge of the Burning Sky: As a world-spanning empire falls, generals and archmages scramble for power, threatening to destroy the world amid their warfare. Refugees from the empire assemble in a resistance and one by one take down these new emperors, walking the line between saving the world, and becoming its next tyrants. All the 'ancient artifacts' that might exist in a fantasy setting are created and used in this war, but the most powerful force is held by a would-be ally, hidden in ever-reflecting secrets.

The Graveyard of Steel: Three creators of a steamtech doomsday device flee to keep their masterpiece from destroying the world. Heroes could have discovered the true conspiracy and saved the world, but the best hope for salvation is a group of criminals, murderers, and madmen. The world (not to mention the GM's sanity) is doomed.
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Original campaigns/adventures, right? Then...

Return to Kastle Kojark: The party, finding themselves in possession of an ancient evil book, attempt to return it to Kojark, its mighty kobold owner. Kojark won't let them in without a fight, and the adventurers must navigate his chamber-of-horrors castle, er, kastle in order to get him off of their backs.

Fulfillers of the Prophecy: In accordance with an ancient Crab clan prophecy, a band of strangers will arrive from the sky, led by two elves, one light, one dark to stop the monstrous Fu Leng from rising from the Festering Pit. When these elves show up, the party finds themselves roped into Destiny's plan for stopping a cult, a ghost, and even the Dread Kappa Roberts.

Death! Doom! Despair!: Epic meets eldritch in the Forgotten Realms, as a sinister psychologist, an illithid assassin and an oozemaster of Nyarlathotep try to bring Cthulhu into the Waterdhavian harbor. Chaos ensues, as does a not-so-quick detour in infernal politics as a darkening influence in the party tries to play both sides of the Blood War for chumps.

Kobolds Got My Campaign!: A globetrotting expidition of kobold elite try to either destroy the entire trog race, or save it. They're not quite sure themselves, but a kobold spy, the Seven-Eyed Sorcerer, a dragon and the Order of the Black Flame all have something to say about it. A reptilian campaign.

The City Of Life/ The Sea of Death: The party is hired by both the legitimate ruler of a city and his underworld counterpart to help cure a plague, then dispatch of the vengeful necromancer who is responsible for it. Unfortunately, the "plague" was just an excuse for the necromancer to collect his victim's organs and make them into his greatest achievement yet...

It Came From the Deep!: An ancient robe is stolen from a magical museum by a posse of kuo-toa led monsters, and the party has to race to prevent the kuo-toa from literally turning the plane inside out, depositing it into the Dreamlands.

Demiurge out.
 

Mystery Man

Visitor
I'm doing my very first original campaign/adventure just now actually.

Untitled (its more avant garde that way): The party finds themselve in between a rock and a hard place when their neighbor the duke Sulzier seemingly has gone mad, his village is destroyed and there is patch of ground in the town square that smells, bubbles and steams, and looks like decaying death, spits out crimson deaths and seems to be expanding.

That's all I have. Until recently I really only used modules modified for my campaign.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Here's a few that aren't straight fantasy:

Invaders from space!: Beholders (though any Aberration will do, I felt Beholders were ideal for this role) invade from outer space- think War of the Worlds. The initial invasion is swift and nigh unstoppable. Can be played during the invasion or any number of years later. I designed this for Urban Arcana, CoC D20, D&D with a Spelljammer feel or Mutants & Masterminds. If used for UA or M&M, setting works best from 1900 on, especially in a post-war period of peace (mainly because you'll be able to find LOTS of campaign info)- 1920's, 1950s and 1990's are nearly ideal.

Superheroes 1900: Run a traditional (low to mid-level) supers campaign in the 1900's as envisioned by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and the writers of Space: 1899. Players will get off on the setting. The American West is still somewhat wild, as are South America and Africa, not to mention the Moon, Venus, and Mars. I first ran this in HERO, and I'm currently reworking this for UA and M&M.

Reconciliation of OtherWorld: PCs in an utterly mundane universe are connected to a College Abroad at Sea (as students, faculty, or crew). Over time, odd things start to happen as the Supernatural world slowly reveals itself to the PCs. A plot is revealed- rejoining the Fallen Plane of Earth to the Greater Universe. PCs and other forces are trying to recover great artifacts, like Excalibur, the Holy Grail, and the Spear of Destiny, which are instrumental to the Ceremony of Reconciliation. Each artifact is disguised as a "mundane" item (the Grail, for instance, is disguised as the Stanley Cup). Based on parts of the Bible, Clive Barker's Imajica and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and American Gods, written for UA and M&M
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Another 2:

Mercenaries: The world is at war- epic scale worldwide war. The PCs play the roles of members of a mercenary army or people in the region in which the army is stationed. Unfortunately for them, they were hired by the BBEG of the campaign. Thus, regardless of alignment, their duties require them to fight some actual good guys. Instead of being adventurers, the adventurers will be coming to them...

I suspect that the players will really enjoy the changeup until they start drawing progressively more distasteful duties. Hopefully, they'll rebel and take down the BBEG.

Due to the structure of the campaign, no player will be able to run a LG PC of any kind-initially. However, if/when they rebel, that stricture will be lifted.

Cross-Plane Crusaders PCs go to a kingdom to join in the celebration of a marriage that will end a 100 year long war. On their way back, they are attacked by a ship that emerges from a planar rift. After a long battle with the felinoid pirates, the ship's crew, passengers and the PCs are overwhelmed, shackled and brought belowdeck, and the ship re-enters the planar rift. The PCs don't see the sky again until they are put ashore (naked unarmed) on an island after being told they are to be the subject of the Emperor's next hunt...and that the senior huntsman expects them to put up a better challenge than the 2 cabinboys roasting on the spit.

The plane the PCs now find themselve in is an alternative PMP, in which the sentients are all animal-men of some kind, revealed later to be genetically engineered sentients from a fallen magi-technological race some 1000 or more years ago who wiped themselves out.

Currently, the plane is in turmoil because the felioids and ape-men have allied themselves with Demons to take over the plane. The Dark, actual sentient darkness who embody nightmare, seek to take over the plane and devour everything (not that they've revealed THAT to their allies). The Dark are harmed by light in all forms (lightning, fire, etc.), and as such, drain Wis to decrease the chance of that being used against them.

The PCs must win free of the island, discover the truth about the Dark, make allies, and eventually defeat the Dark. After THAT, they must try to find their way home, a task similar to what was depicted in such T.V. shows as Lost in Space or Sliders.
 
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BiggusGeekus

That's Latin for "cool"
Defeat the Dawn of the World - The god Azalak has discovered what went wrong during Creation to cause all the evil in the world, he seeks to correct the error and create a utopia, but that would destroy all who currently live. The party must stop Azalak (combat solution) or convince him that his is misguided (roleplay solution). They will fight and ally with Celestials and Fiends alike, all have various motives surrounding the birth of a new and perfect world.
 

JimAde

Visitor
Heirs of Empire - An unlikely group of young nobles seeks to restore one of their number (who is Chosen of the god of Death) to his usurped fiefdom, while opposing the usurper's insidious necromantic cult whose tentacles reach into all levels of power.
 
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Beale Knight

Visitor
Next Age Heroes

Stage one: The characters discover what's beyond their very limited known world.
Stage two: The characters discover what who's really in charge of the world.
Stage two point 5: The characters start thinking about what, if anything, to do about that.
Stage three: The characters discover how the world got this way.
Stage four: The characters, by now some of the most powerful heroes in the world, decide what to do about the world situation and act on their decision. The world now reacts to them.

We've now just gotten going good on stage two and I the DM am getting anxious to see how the players in my group react and what they plan.
 

Chaldfont

Visitor
Cool thread! Here's a few I've had in mind for years but never done anything with.

Saving Grace
An old hero in the battle of God vs. Evil will be honored for his deeds by being sainted. The greatest heroes of the current generation are to be his honor guard as he travels from the remote mountain-top monastery where the ancient priest has meditated for decades. But how will they deal with a cleric of almost limitless power who suffers from the dementia of old age? And will his ancient nemesis, whose lich-ritual he foiled, take this opportunity for revenge?

Fools' Gold
The Old Man has died. His three lieutenants compete for mastery of the greatest criminal organization The City has ever known. But gang war has taken it's toll on the Great Guild. The three agree that the faction who can bring the most loot to a neutral location in 30 days will become the new master. PCs play members of the guild, trying to heist as much gold as they can while watching out for spies and hindering the other two factions.

Nowhere to Go but Down
The most powerful heroes of the age are cursed by their evil archenemy. They must defeat him and break the curse before their powers, skills and memories are lost to the insidious curse. In this one, players make high-level PCs. As the campaign progresses, they steadily lose levels until they can defeat their enemy and undo the curse.

Siege, my Liege!
The PCs are mercenaries employed by the greatest War Wizard in the land who travels the world, selling his services to the highest bidder. Need a castle destroyed? No problem.

What if You Could...
This one's for D20 Modern for a group of PCs who are just normal people. A group of friends discover a time machine that can travel to any place or time in the past. The device grants them the ability to speak and understand any language and can produce period clothing as if by magic. What do they do with it?
 
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Evilhalfling

Adventurer
The players start out as apprentices or indentured servants to the court magi of a backwater province. He sends them on errands to gather items belonging to a vanished archmage. Each item is dangerous to the wielders sanity. Other mysterious wizards compeate for some of the items. Assuming the PCs are sucessfull their mentor slips further from sanity. Eventually the old ruler is killed by a creature of chaos, and the Magi takes over. The mysterious wizards are revealed to be invaders from the far realm, the apprentices of the vanished archmage (now an Epic Psudonatural) and the court magi who was orginally against them is eventually converted. (or talked out of his quests for more of the items)

Party enters a town cut off from magic, looking for an item that is dangerous to sanity.
In many taverns they hear stories of the town fool. He is the only one who knows where it is but only the local girl with a crush on a PC can get it for them.

Army Grunts serve at a outpost that guards the realms of men from humanoids, slowly find out that true evil comes from men, either thier superiors or the people that they are trying to protect.
 
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orbitalfreak

Visitor
An Undead Extravaganza:
In the empire of Thay in the eastern Forgotten Realms, a powerful Lawful Neutral necromancer (possibly a lich) has risen to power via a pact with Devilish forces. His plan is to utilize all the dead in the world to aid the living in the form of slave labor, freeing up the populace for more skilled, less mundane tasks. The Demons are enraged at the Devils' plot (who secretly plan to kill the necromancer and use the undead hordes to Destroy The World (TM)), and cause chaos. As the plan progresses over several decades in the East, there is economic upheval due to the rising power of the peasantry. At lower levels, the party faces evil forces engaged in body-trafficking and magical experiments, higher levels involved continental-scale travels against evil religions, and finally culminates in a battle between the forces of Good, the undead army (now under control of the forces of Hell), with the Chaotic Demons trying their damndest to destroy their Infernal bretheren whilst inflicting pain and dischord upon the surface of the world.
 

Teflon Billy

Visitor
The Last City: The Gods die in a celestial war of Good vs Evil. Priests--losing their hold as masters of civilization--get panicky and ally with Wizards to attempt a massive, multi-thousand spellcaster ritual attempting to "Raise" the Dead gods. The magical principles invovled are poorly understood and the ritual unleashes what will become known as "The Arcanoclysm". The world is, for all intents and purposes, annihilated. Nations vanish, continents warp, previously unheard of monsters appear by the thousands, previously mundane people are infused with magical power...and Cros-Mogmun, sprawling, unimaginably immense capital city of the Grune Empire, lies shattered, warped, bloodied and bowed.

The PC's are the second generation after The Arcanoclysm and live in "The Gut", a vile and corrupt neighbourhood at the mouth of "The River of Filth".

Most uneducated inhabitants of Cros Mogmun believe that the entirety of existence is comprised of ruined City...they may be correct.

Dwarves now live beneath the city, and have devolved to a more feral existence. Their Favored class is Barbarian, and their Combat Bonuses vs Giants is replaced by an equal one vs Vermin.

Elves have diminished as well, their ancient Kingdoms destroyed. Elves in my campaign are stock D&D Gnomes, except that their heights are calculated as for humans.

Due to the effects of the Arcanoclysm, every character may take levels in Sorceror as if it were a favored class.
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Some more that I'm running/have run/played in. Most are Eberron-y.:

Sharn - Freelance Police: The party is the Freelance Police, a crimefighting organization run by the Sharn Watch to deal with the crimes that are too dangerous or esoteric for the normal Watch to deal with. Although most of their cases are unconnected, the Freelance Police have become embroiled with the schemes of the Artisan, an extraplanar being who wants to recreate the Last War for the aesthetic challenge.

In the Halls of the Goblin King: Sent by House Orien as liasons to the Darguuni throne, the PCs find themselves tasked with labors from the Llesh Haruuc, who views them as a powerful ally in his own struggles against the warring factions of his fractious empire.

Morgrave U: The characters are students at the hallowed halls of Sharn's Morgrave University. This entails a lot more than most colleges do, however - research papers often take them through the depths of Sharn's ruins, and field trips are much more exciting...

Planespotting: A bunch of cutters team up, somewhat against their will, in the hopes of making a ridiculous amount of money. Along the way, they find themselves tasked with destroying a lost artifact that would make either side of the Blood War very happy indeed, and make enemies of just about everyone they cross paths with. No wonder the turnover rate of partners is so high.

Demiurge out.
 

JediSoth

Semi-Professional Author
The Shadow Rising - Forgotten Realms campaign in which a gnome necromancer moves into a derelict castle in Daggerdale. He sets about uncovering the three obelisks that when activated will open a portal to the Plane of Shadow and begin the process of changing Daggerdale into a shadow realm.

A math error on my part made the climatic battle a near-TPK when the necromancer snapped his Staff of the Magi. D'oh.

Child of Darkness - A half-demon man returns to Veluna to have his revenge upon the leaders of that country for their actions in banishing the demons from the world after the Greyhawk Wars. Being a child of prophecy, he can only be killed if first touched by the elemental weapons of power.

Notable because the PCs attacked the bad guy's army and then ran away, setting into motion a chain of events that caused Veluna to be totally razed to the ground. The first time I've ever seen anyone "lose" a game a D&D.

JediSoth
 

mythusmage

Community Supporter
A Distant Mirror: Wars, plagues, and intrigues. Orcs are swarming out of the north, the Huns are preparing to sail from America to invade Europe, and a plague ship sails towards Italy with a doomed crew. Alternate history with dweomercræfting.
 
Okay, here's one I am currently running:

The Road Untaken: The characters come together by seeming coincidence, but discover that they all have some unexplained connection to each other. It is revealed through traumatic flashbacks that they have all been cursed with a magical amnesia by an unknown villain, and they must find out who they were, and in doing so return to oppose and defeat a powerful madman. The catch is that the villain gave them their heart's desires as their new lives: the fighter that always envied the spellcasters is now a wizard, the secretly devout rogue is now a respected priest. Will the party want to go back to their own lives, knowing that they may lose the good lives they have now?
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Hey Mythus...are you using Northern Crown from Atlas Games? It might help you out on that one.

(Also, if you like Alt History and need some more campaign fodder, consider reading Marvel Comics' 1602, or The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson, CJ Cherryh's Sword of Knowledge trilogy as well as innumberable AH books by Harry Turtledove and S.M. Stirling.)
 

kroh

Visitor
Dead Wreckening (min adventure or weird campaign):
We all have them. That one character you really liked that either go squished, eaten, stabbed, blown up , shot or stabbed. But for some reason you didn't throw the character sheet away.

The characters are dead. They are all raised as revenant spirits to deal with the enemies of the kingdom. How long will they be under the control of he that raised them and where would they go if they rebeled?

Fahgitahboutit (adventure): The Pc's are enforceers in the Orcish Mob and are hired for what starts out to be a simple job and turns into something more...

War of Nine Rings (campaign):
There are nine moons orbiting a gas giant style planet. All have life and different cultures ( fantasy with each moon acting as the home world of certain races and beasts). There are mystical gates {world bridges} thatlink the moons to each other and each one has a particular feel to it. The campaign centers around the adventures on the different moons and the politics of such a situation.
 

Tinner

Visitor
Death of Divinity (Epic D&D Campaign)
The player characters accidentally stumle upon an artifact that they accidentally use to fundamentally alter one of their patron dieties. This creates an imbalance in the heavens, and sets in motion Tiamat's plan to devour all the other gods and destroy the universe. The players are chosen by their patron dieties to serve as their agents in the war against Tiamat. God's die and the world slowly falls apart until the characters must ally with Bahamut in a final desperate gamble to invade Tiamat's realm and undo the damage she has caused. Campaign ends with either Tiamt's victory and the end of all things, or the PC's victory, and their becoming the new gods.
 

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