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Campaigns in a nutshell. Adventures in a sentence.

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I posted this elsewhere, but it works here as well.

The plot for Paint Your Wagon involves a gold rush. After the mines start to play out, some of the craftier gold miners find an alternative source of wealth, specifically:

...Ben and a group of miners discover that gold dust is dropping through the floor boards of many of the saloons. They hatch a plan to tunnel under all the businesses to get at the gold ("The Best Things in Life are Dirty"). This brings the story to its climax when, during a bull and bear fight, the streets collapse into the tunnels dug by Ben and the others and the town is destroyed. A reprise of "The Ballad of No Name City" plays as the town is literally swallowed by the earth.
Switch the human diggers for a group of urbanized dwarves, cut off from their normal society but retaining the same drives & skills, and you have a fairly unusual situation...
 
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Orius

Adventurer
Gnomes could work too, some of the crazy schemes of No Name City seem to suit them better than dwarves for sure. Maybe you could have a dwarf as the preacher that arrives in town instead. Or really a combination of dissolute dwarves, gnomes, humans, and half-orcs for the town. The French hookers become elves. Not sure what how to do the Mormon.
 


Psychotic Jim

First Post
To serve a hag
Alternatively titled: How much will ya give me for this larva, Guvner?

HEROISM! The stuff that legends are made of! Fighting the good fight against the greatest depravity the world has ever faced! Impossible odds turned into epic story! Larger than life heroes take on the most earth-shattering villains! ...in this campaign, you'll have none o' that!

To Serve a Hag is a grimy Planescape (or outer planes) campaign for low-level evil (or at best darkly neutral) characters in the gutter. Congratulations, you've just entered lifetime employment working for a grand old lady, a Night Hag. Whether you've been bribed, blackmailed, cajoled, coerced, or even dragged along for the booze, you realize you've gotten more than you bargained for. No, you are not kill-everything mercenaries, no, something far... juicer

Your employer's business is so successful; she needs help hawking her wares. Yes, the lot of you are peddlers of the weird and forbidden, specifically, souls! Not just any souls- EVIL souls! Your chief commodity is larvae- the lifeblood of the lower planes, fiendish evil in its most basic form, sin made flesh.

All new soul peddlers begin in the most humble of beginnings, in a few safehouses within the worst dregs of the Hive Ward in the town of Sigil. There, you'll set up your business. And your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not, will be to claw your way out of the world of muck by making a proper business of your lemonade stand operations. Go boldly forth into more lucrative (but also more dangerous) territory, and you might even have a date with a lich or two!

But don't get any ideas about betraying your benevolent* contractor, for she's a canny one. At least not until you’re ready,that will be WAAAY down the line. For now, just worry about placating that disgruntled barbazu over there.

*Hey, she hasn’t killed you yet, has she?
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I'd have loved to do a Spelljammer-esque campaign set in a gas torus like in Larry Niven's Integral Trees novels or a similarly populated nebula...a FRPG set in a habitable, gaseous Dyson Sphere.*


*No, not the ones on the vacuum cleaners- that's a Dyson Ball. Spheres are like this.
 


Celebrim

Legend
The Black Tulip: Local heroes fight the boogey man, run errands for godlings, restore trade routes, save their community from the devestation of a goblin invasion and uncover some awful secrets, but are unable to save the community from itself - until they discover that an infamous bandit lord might be their best ally and that a trial whose outcome may remake an entire nation can be won with a flower.

The Goblin Prince: When a goblin half-breed unites the clans in a great crusade against humanity, a group of goblin outcasts and their henchmen set off to restore their honor, and along the way discover the greatest secret of the goblin people and that honorable action can be a very subjective thing when your masters are lying to you and cheating each other.

The Esoteric Order of the Golden Globe: When an uncanny tsunami destroys most of a port city, it unites an unlikely band of heroes who find themselves on the trail of an engimatic necromancer and a nihilistic cult dedicated to destroying the gods themselves. As evils long buried rise to the surface, the heroes must journey deep into the lair of a vanquished dracolich, deal with an invasion of deep ones, explore the crypt of a demi-lich, fight pirates, make their way into the heart of a legendary south sea island, and chase the cult to the deadly glaciers of the north to stop the cult from assembling their doomsday device.

Memories of Ice and Pain: An aging founding king is preparing for his death, but finds the unfinished business of his past haunts him and threatens to undo all the good work he has accomplished. A King's son gathers his friends to investigate a minor matter that soon spirals out of control. Now, with everything to lose and society collapsing around them, a new generation of heroes must dodge goblin assassins, fight an army of gnolls, defeat a society of scheming hags, and make a bargain with a deadly dragon in order finish what their grandparents begun.
 



Evilhalfling

Adventurer
An endless hallway, a key that opens 10 doors each day, go too far down the hallway and you travel back in time. Once in the past, you can only move forward.

The first session ended with the following:
Your lives would have been so much simpler if that had been the last time you had seen the key or hallway. History would have turned out so differently if the key had never come into your possession, or if you had been able to resist its allure. Perhaps this time will be different.

The PCs obtained the key in session 8. They entered the same day (of course). Then 1200 years earlier....
http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/277635-ten-doors-pick-one-tell-me-why.html
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I was looking at this and thought...what would the effects of a coronal mass ejection (CME) look like in a fantasy or science-fantasy setting?

SPACE.com -- The Great Storm: Solar Tempest of 1859 Revealed

I think it could be very much like the background to RIFTS- the CME could cause an incredible flare in the Ley Lines as raw energy- raw mana?- floods the world.

All kinds of effects could result:

  1. All kinds of fires could spring up, especially in a technomagical world like Eberron, and even moreso in something like Shadowrun or Urban Arcana.
  2. Magic items that have charges could be recharged...or overcharged to the point of explosion.
  3. Long-dormant relics and artifacts could be infused with energies that "awaken" them.
  4. The massive infusion of solar energy could have a negative effect on Undead...it may even destroy them all. All except the most deeply buried, that is...
  5. The effect on Living Constructs could be similar to that on Undead.
  6. All kinds of interplanar links and portals, wards and seals and so forth could be strengthened, weakened or destroyed. ([BARBARINO]Welcome back, Mr. Cthulhu![/BARBARINO])
  7. The energy release could cause physical harm to creatures with spell-like abilities or innate casters like Sorcerers.
 

Celebrim

Legend
An endless hallway, a key that opens 10 doors each day, go too far down the hallway and you travel back in time. Once in the past, you can only move forward.

The first session ended with the following:
Your lives would have been so much simpler if that had been the last time you had seen the key or hallway. History would have turned out so differently if the key had never come into your possession, or if you had been able to resist its allure. Perhaps this time will be different.
Sounds like I made the right choice.
 



Necessary Ev—er, Retirement: The corners have been explored. The tombs have been plundered. The mystic baddies are dead. Nations use diplomacy and the threat of force rather than force. Adventurers are suffering from habitat loss.
Now what?
Do you settle down quietly with skills that don't mean anything in civilian life? Do you stubbornly keep the Adventurers's Guild (with spelling mistake) open, despite it becoming a leisure club for reinactors? Or do you decide that the world was better off when adventure was needed, and become the bad guy for its own good?

......and Some Have Greatness Genre-Changed Upon Them: Your world used to be "normal", with physics and technology but not magic. And then one day it was like some great big force took up your world and decided to use its favorite pseudo-medieval fantasy RPG system to play you. Oh, sure, not all that much has changed: you wear the same clothes, walk in the same style of city, complain about the changes to your favorite RPG online. But now there are monsters and evil sorcerers who have to be killed with crossbows and fireball spells instead of guns and explosives, and combat's not as deadly as you would have thought.
It's either the best or worst thing ever.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
There is a Hungarian movie, Kontroll, that is pretty cool. Its a darkly comedic story of how a regular joe with a mysterious past gets tangled up in a multiple-murder investigation involving the Budapest Metro.

[sblock][ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJQnWCPMrII&feature=related"]YouTube- "Kontroll" Trailer[/ame]
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IdKpgwA2eo]YouTube - BEST MOVIE CHASE EVER KONTROLL[/ame][/sblock]

The plot elements and structure could be good for a tunnel-based adventure- assuming the tunnels are attached to some kind of population center: in a fantasy campaign, that would be sewers or a subterranean city, possibly an actual tunnel system in something steampunky or urban fantasy.

And the quasi-mystical nature of the killer could be well done in a traditional or modern fantasy campaign. It would also work well in a game like X-Crawl or anything remotely resembling Dream Park.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Quest for Firepower
(for medium to high level pre-4Ed D&D)

Start the party on an adventure- what kind doesn't matter- and after the party has finished a long and bothersome combat that they were never in doubt of winning, the party's Wizard discovers his spellbook has been nicked.

Thus begins the REAL adventure: recovering the source of the mage's might!

(Keep the adventure short enough that the wiz's player doesn't mug you after the session.)
 

Orius

Adventurer
Mug? As a fan of wizards, I'd have to say that dragging something like that out too long is an offense worthy of kneecapping. :]
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
There is a guy in my group who feels about his warriors' weapons as most do about their mages' spellbooks...

So when I took the super-rifle from his M&M PC for an adventure, I could see machinations going on behind his beady Sicilian eyes. Mind you, he wasn't disarmed- the locals opened up their arsenal to him- and it was a single-session adventure.

Still, I made sure he left first... ;)
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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