D&D General I need help with my d&d storyline

So I'm trying to DM for the first time and I'm creating the story. I didn't want it to be the boring typical 'meet in the tavern' story line. So I have some of the story line worked out but I need help connecting some dots. Basically, everyone starts in this kingdom during a celebration. The PCs see a hooded figure on a building and watch him fall until Turing into a stack of flyers, drifting down to the ground. To the NPCs it's just a flyer for the celebration. To the the PCs it says to meet at some place. (Not sure where yet😅) anyways they go and this women is asking them for help to find these Artifacts. She tells them that she tried collecting them all before but failed. And i know that I want her to be the BBEG in the end, but I can't think of what her tie is to the artifacts and how they will effect everything. I thought maybe of having the artifacts be the what to bringing down the gods and goddesses that live on a floating island in the sky. But at the end the old lady only wanted to bring them down to kill them. Maybe she's a genasi and wants to be the only goddess? Idk let me know if this sounds good or if you have any suggestions I'm happy to receive them
Thank you!
 

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Brainwatch

Explorer
Quick thinking on this. It seems you need to answer 2 questions. The answers to one will influence the other and vice-versa.

1: Why is she the BBEG? What is it about her goals and/or methods that make her the BBEG?

2: What are these artifacts? What do they do? If someone possesses all of them what happens?

Now, there can be variations on these themes. Perhaps she’s not the BBEG at the beginning of the campaign, but something happens, perhaps the artifacts corrupt her and that turns her into the BBEG. Also, perhaps it’s safer for the artifacts to be separate. Bringing them together will cause or will allow to cause something bad to happen.

One example of these ideas is this: Her family was the protector of a magic vault that held the artifacts. When she was a child, her family was betrayed and murdered, and the artifacts stolen. She has spent her life seeking revenge and reacquiring the artifacts. But she has so far failed. She enlists the PCs to carry on her mission in her place as she is now too old to do it herself.

First part of campaign is various adventures to acquire all the artifacts.

Plot Twist: The artifacts are part of a key that opens a portal to the Far Realms (or other nasty place). If anyone possess all of the artifacts, they can open that portal (probably at some specified place). However, once the key is reassembled, something from the other side can affect that person, driving them mad etc. Anyone procession all the artifacts outside of the vault will be influenced/controlled by this entity.

Second part of campaign, stop their former employer (friend) from opening portal to bad place.

Just a quick thought. Hope it springs some ideas.
 

Quick thinking on this. It seems you need to answer 2 questions. The answers to one will influence the other and vice-versa.

1: Why is she the BBEG? What is it about her goals and/or methods that make her the BBEG?

2: What are these artifacts? What do they do? If someone possesses all of them what happens?

Now, there can be variations on these themes. Perhaps she’s not the BBEG at the beginning of the campaign, but something happens, perhaps the artifacts corrupt her and that turns her into the BBEG. Also, perhaps it’s safer for the artifacts to be separate. Bringing them together will cause or will allow to cause something bad to happen.

One example of these ideas is this: Her family was the protector of a magic vault that held the artifacts. When she was a child, her family was betrayed and murdered, and the artifacts stolen. She has spent her life seeking revenge and reacquiring the artifacts. But she has so far failed. She enlists the PCs to carry on her mission in her place as she is now too old to do it herself.

First part of campaign is various adventures to acquire all the artifacts.

Plot Twist: The artifacts are part of a key that opens a portal to the Far Realms (or other nasty place). If anyone possess all of the artifacts, they can open that portal (probably at some specified place). However, once the key is reassembled, something from the other side can affect that person, driving them mad etc. Anyone procession all the artifacts outside of the vault will be influenced/controlled by this entity.

Second part of campaign, stop their former employer (friend) from opening portal to bad place.

Just a quick thought. Hope it springs some ideas.
Thank you! Definitely helped get my brain running, much appreciated!
 

GuyBoy

Hero
If you’re keen on the Gods being on a floating island, perhaps the woman is one of the gods, who committed a terrible crime and was cast out of the island, denied her powers and fell to earth. The artefacts are her powers, broken apart, but if she collects them together she will be able to gain revenge.
It’s a bit Rod of Seven Parts, but that’s no bad thing.

Welcome to the forums btw.
 

That is definitely a cool opening!

My first though is to make the old woman a former god. Maybe she was kicked out by the other gods and stripped of most of her power, but she still knows where these artifacts are that are the sources of the god's power, and can be used to destroy them. (Maybe she was the goddess of prophecy or something, and she has had visions that the PCs are the ones who can possibly collect all of the artifacts).

I think I would lean more toward making the old woman a neutral figure. Over the course of the campaign, the PCs see that the gods are a source of harm as well as good for mortals. In the end they get to choose to help the old woman kill the gods or defeat her to preserve the status quo. Having the group patron be the ultimate bad guy is a trope that works well in fiction, but in RPGs it can leave the players feeling like their actions did not matter (i.e., they could have thwarted the old woman's plan just by staying home and not collecting the artifacts for her). With this approach they get to make a choice that has vast consequences for the future of the game world.
 
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That is definitely a cool opening!

My first though is to make the old woman a former god. Maybe she was kicked out by the other gods and stripped of most of her power, but she still knows where these artifacts are that are the sources of the god's power, and can be used to destroy them. (Maybe she was the goddess of prophecy or something, and she has had visions that the PCs are the ones who can possibly collect all of the artifacts).

I think I would lean more toward making the old woman a neutral figure. Over the course of the campaign, the PCs see that the gods are a source of harm as well as good for mortals. In the end they get to choose to help the old woman kill the gods or defeat her to preserve the status quo. Having the group patron be the ultimate bad guy is a trope that works well in fiction, but in RPGs it can leave the players feeling like their actions did not matter (i.e., they could have thwarted the old woman's plan just by staying home and not collecting the artifacts for her). With this approach they get to make a choice that has vast consequences for the future of the game world.
Wow thank you! Taking notes 📝 love this idea!
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
I'd suggest taking some time to consider how you might proceed if the players figure out that the BBEG is evil before you intended it to be revealed.

Additionally, I suggest including multiple helpful NPCs who are simply that (helpful). While the quest-giver who turns out to be the BBEG is a classic, as they say, once bitten, twice shy. It's probably not a good idea to teach your players that they should expect most major NPCs to betray them. So include multiple NPCs that are significantly helpful and legitimately their friend. That will teach them that while not every NPC can be trusted, trustworthy NPCs do exist.
 

I'd suggest taking some time to consider how you might proceed if the players figure out that the BBEG is evil before you intended it to be revealed.

Additionally, I suggest including multiple helpful NPCs who are simply that (helpful). While the quest-giver who turns out to be the BBEG is a classic, as they say, once bitten, twice shy. It's probably not a good idea to teach your players that they should expect most major NPCs to betray them. So include multiple NPCs that are significantly helpful and legitimately their friend. That will teach them that while not every NPC can be trusted, trustworthy NPCs do exist.
Thank you I didn't think about that
 


nevin

Hero
One I'd have the game start out like a "normal" game. then let the pc's find a magic item or two that they may not realize are artifacts. At that point they'd gain the BBEG's interest because they've found two maybe they can find the others. The Bbeg can "befriend" them and teach them what their artifacts do.

From that point you should be leaving very faint breadcrumb hints to give the players a chance to figure it out. If they figure it out early then it's them vs the BBEG to find the last artifacts. If they don't then at the end surprise. In my experience not giving them at least a few hints will really upset players who'll think you railroaded them.

But if I were really having fun with the Plot the BBEG would be a God, the plot would have nothing to do with the world or the heavens , other than Divine politics and power plays. Maybe the Goddess of Death wants a new position in the heavens and is trying to take someone else's portfolio and needs the artifacts to force the head of the pantheon to make it so. Imagine your sun cleric's horror as their god suddenly became the god of death because he helped her. (evil cackle)
 

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