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Input & Thoughts Needed for Upcomig Campaign!

ShadowDenizen

Explorer
Hey, guys.

So, I'm planning for an uncoming 3.5/Pathfinder game, and could use some input from people.

The premise of the game is essentially a "Post-Apocalyptic" campaign; the assumption is that in this campaign, Kyuss was not stopped, and the Age of Worms has truly begun. (For those familair with the "Age of Worms" adventure path put out by Paizo, this will take place after the failed finale of that path.)

Some other influences for this game are the "Midnight" campaign setting from Fantasy Flight, and the "Rod of 7 Parts".

SO, I guess my questions to everyone is: While I have the basics of the game laid out, I'm looking to "flesh things out" a bit more. SO, what elements should be covered in a campaign of this nature? If you're familiar with the ifluences listed, what do you consider the "iconic" points of each?

Just looking for peoples' perspectives and thoughts, and possible plot points for the campaign.

Thanks in advance for the input!
 

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DrunkonDuty

Adventurer
I'm actually playing Age of Worms now. About 2/3 of the way through so I can't refer to anything from near the end.

If the game were to go this way I'd like to see some of the the themes from the adventure path get expanded on. F'rinstance:

You've mentioned the Rod of Seven Parts so I guess you're already considering the heroes trying to put it back together. And if it doesn't occur to the heroes there's a devil* that might want to suggest it to them. And then help/use the heroes as catspaws and collect the rest of the parts before betraying them.

The actual quest should be a massive, plane hopping epic.

And maybe involve the Wind Dukes as well, although I see them as a largely spent force in the universe. A dying race living in a past full of glories and a present full of ruins. They would be useful for any info about the Rod though. They've had eons to try and find where all the parts of the Rod went, they should have tracked one or two locations. And of course they'd know what it's powers are when it's reformed.

Undead, obviously. Possibly Undead worms. Giant zombie purple worms spewing forth hordes of Kyuss spawn.

You should play up the actual apocalypse at the start. Maybe put the heroes on the battlements trying to defend Greyhawk City against Kyuss' endless hordes. Show the tragedy of it, the inevitable loss. (At about this point maybe a devil could show up and suggest the Rod of Seven Parts would turn the tide...)

Hopefully some/most of the original characters survive the end of the adventure path. I think it would be better for the story and drama if there were characters who were really invested in fighting Kyuss. They should have a sense of responsibility/failure that they need to make right.

Maybe even involve Mishka the Wolf Spider, playing it up as the broken, pathetic thing that it has become since it's ancient days of glory. Possibly it even works as a minion for Kyuss. And maybe it has something invested in the quest for the Rod of Seven Parts too. Urm, like maybe a part of it's essence has been caught up in the Rod and it cannot retrieve it until the Rod is brought back together and used. :erm: Not happy with that example particularly, but Mishka should care about the quest for the Rod for some reason.

What I would NOT want to see is an expansion of the Ebon Triad. Me and my group hated that bit of the adventure path. You and yours may differ of course.

*Vicianix, if I recall the name correctly.

Cheers. Hope some of these ideas help.
 

Psychotic Jim

First Post
I'm not familiar with either Midnight or the Rod of Seven Parts, but the heavy undead component of Kyuss seems to suggest to me a strong zombie apocalypse component. If i were to run an Age of Worms campaign, I'd make elements of traditional zombie apocalypse movies a key component of lower level adventures. Van Richten's Guide to the Walking Dead (a 3e Ravenloft supplement) has some suggestions for this and ways to customize your undead to prevent them from getting too predictable. "Night of the Walking Dead" is a Ravenloft module that might be good for mining for source material, though I've never played it myself. It's available for free download on WotC's classic download page (do a search for it)


On another note, I'd imagine spawns of Kyuss could serve as your more powerful cannibal zombie equivalent.
 

ShadowDenizen

Explorer
You've mentioned the Rod of Seven Parts so I guess you're already considering the heroes trying to put it back together. And if it doesn't occur to the heroes there's a devil* that might want to suggest it to them. And then help/use the heroes as catspaws and collect the rest of the parts before betraying them. The actual quest should be a massive, plane hopping epic.

That’s the general idea. The problem is trying to keep the “Doomed World/Apocalyptic” feel, and the focus on the struggle against Kyuss while still allowing the PC’s to shine. The threat is somewhat mitigated if the PC’s are able to plane-hop…..

Actually, I had intended to use Allustan as the catspaw (actually, it would be someone/something masquerading as Allustan, since [in my world] he died early on, well before Kyuss awakening.)

And maybe involve the Wind Dukes as well, although I see them as a largely spent force in the universe. A dying race living in a past full of glories and a present full of ruins. They would be useful for any info about the Rod though. They've had eons to try and find where all the parts of the Rod went, they should have tracked one or two locations. And of course they'd know what it's powers are when it's reformed.

Yeah, I’d like the PC’s to research the Wind Dukes, maybe even visit the Vale of Aaqa. There’s been a reasonable amount written about them, and I can extrapolate the rest.

One of the PC’s wants to play a Celestial bloodline; I was thinking of working that into the backstory, that she’s of the Wind Dukes lineage.

Hopefully some/most of the original characters survive the end of the adventure path. I think it would be better for the story and drama if there were characters who were really invested in fighting Kyuss. They should have a sense of responsibility/failure that they need to make right.

Another of the PC’s wants to be a (illegitimate) child of a member of the original party. I’m really trying to instill a sense of unity right from the start. And I’m starting the PC’s in Diamond Lake, to istill the cylical feel that this small hamlet will continue producing heroes until the scales are evened.

What I would NOT want to see is an expansion of the Ebon Triad. Me and my group hated that bit of the adventure path. You and yours may differ of course.

Yeah, that bit is getting scrapped. That “3 Faces of Evil” module is (IMO) pretty terrible, ad way too grindy.

On another note, I'd imagine spawns of Kyuss could serve as your more powerful cannibal zombie equivalent.

Yup, I’m envisioning them as the “Shock Troopers” for the enemy.
 

DrunkonDuty

Adventurer
That’s the general idea. The problem is trying to keep the “Doomed World/Apocalyptic” feel, and the focus on the struggle against Kyuss while still allowing the PC’s to shine. The threat is somewhat mitigated if the PC’s are able to plane-hop…..

Actually, I had intended to use Allustan as the catspaw (actually, it would be someone/something masquerading as Allustan, since [in my world] he died early on, well before Kyuss awakening.)

Mmm. I see your problem. Maybe you can control their planar jaunts. Possibly "Allustan " could provide the necessary plane hopping magic when you want to take the adventure off world. But make it something that leaves the PCs linked to the home plane so that they want to go back. (something that sends the spirit out but leaves the body behind perhaps.)Or something with a limited duration and they will be dragged back to the world after X time. This gives the advantage of putting time limits on the jaunts. You could vary the time depending on how difficult it is reach a particular plane. And maybe some planes cannot be reached directly from the material, making the heores go in side adventures.

The more I think about this the more I'm leaning towards a Michael Moorcock style of multiverse/ story.

One of the PC’s wants to play a Celestial bloodline; I was thinking of working that into the backstory, that she’s of the Wind Dukes lineage.

Very cool. Raises a lot of interesting questions. How do the remaining Wind Dukes view her? How does she view them? Does her lineage give her any special insights into the Rod? Does it call to her in her dreams?

And the child of one of the deceased heroes is always a great idea.

Sounds like a good campaign shaping up. I'd be happy to act as a sounding board for anything that you come up with.

cheers mate.
 

ShadowDenizen

Explorer
Sounds like a good campaign shaping up. I'd be happy to act as a sounding board for anything that you come up with.

Sure; could definitely use the thoughts and input! And anyone else who wants to chime in, please feel free!

Very cool. Raises a lot of interesting questions. How do the remaining Wind Dukes view her? How does she view them? Does her lineage give her any special insights into the Rod? Does it call to her in her dreams?

I intend to run "Whisperig Cairn"; it's too excellent a dugeon to pass up, and the background material for the Wind Dukes is quite compelling. (Though I'll probably have the party tackle it at 2nd level, since it seemed quite deadly to my eyes, particularly the face-trap.) I want to write up some "Dream-Sheets" for the Celestial when she visits, maybe showing the Battle of Pesh, and perhaps the Vale of Aaqa (which I envision similar to the Air Temples in "Avatar: THe Last Airbender.")

After that, I intend to illustrate the evil of Kyuss by having a servant of Kyuss come to Diamond Lake to hunt for "rogue elemets". And this is where the ifluence of the Midight setting comes in; in this game, Kyuss has take an active role in the pantheon of Gods, and has quickly risen to prominece because of that. His minions zealously persecute any Arcane and Divine casters that don't worship Kyuss.

So, in this sceario, Kyuss has finally begun to exert his reach out towards Diamond Lake; the PC's stumble upon his arrival just as they exit the Whispering Lake... The intent is to have the minion take a tithe of able-bodied people as slaves for Kyuss, and then install the LEgate as the new ruler of Diamond Lake. (I have loose plans for the aftermath of that, but it will depend largely on how the PC's react.

Possibly "Allustan " could provide the necessary plane hopping magic when you want to take the adventure off world.

That was my thought. I want Allustan to appear only sporadically, ad always when the PC's least expect it. This can control their PLane-Hopping, at least until higher levels.
 

DrunkonDuty

Adventurer
I like Whispering Cairn, a good dungeon. I agree with you on making it for 2nd level. Mostly for that fight at the end, which would have been a TPK if the GM hadn't been nice to us. The face trap is a killer too. Actually a lot of ity is killer but most of that can be handled by players who think first, act second. (If only I were that sort of player. I like to charge. :cool:)

Dream Sheets? I assume you mean "boxed text" for the specific player. I think that's a great idea. That way she can read it at her leisure, other players don't have to wait while you deal with a single character and she can let slip what she knows to the other heroes in her own way and time. Heck you can even email it to her ahead of the game.

With Kyuss setting up Legates across his empire my first thought is the heroes are going to wind up leading the Resistance against them. It's where I'd go as a player. Freeing the captives, hitting the patrols, assassinating Legates/officers. To GM this it would be handy to plot out in advance times/routes/numbers for regular patrols and the regular habits of some of the more important bad guys. A tithe of sacrifices/slaves/undead fodder makes me think regular tithing times too. And then, when the heroes become too successful, a new more cunning Legate comes in and starts changing things up, calling in bigger badder forces to hunt the heroes, offering rewards and making hostages of the heroes loved ones.

Another thing that occurs to me: re. Spawn of Kyuss and their Fear effect. We discovered that, even at 7th-8th level it's far too easy for people to fail the saves vs. the fear if there's a large number of Spawn. Here's an example: someone with a +14 Will save faces 20 Spawn each with DC14 Fear effect will, on average, fail a save. And most people don't have that good a will save. We found in most istuations almost everyone failed at least one save. So instead we're running it so that the heroes only have to make 1 save per encounter, but with the DC increasing +1 for each doubling of the number of Spawn. Thus: 1 Spawn, DC14; 2 Spawn DC15; 3-4 Spawn DC16; etc etc. That's one save for each type of monster though, so a mix of Spawn and Liches requires 2 saves. One vs. the Spawn, 1 vs. the Liches.

I keep thinking about the Plane Touched Character. The more I think about it the more it seems like she should be the linch pin character. But that depends very much on how your group works. Would the group, including the Plane Touched's player, be happy with this? Not everyone wants to play a sidekick. It could lead to jealousy, too much pressure on the player, etc etc. Also what happens if she gets killed off? Despite this I still like the idea.


cheers.
 

ssampier

First Post
Interesting idea. Midnight is taken to the far extreme, of course.

I am assuming that you are running Age of Worms in Greyhawk not another world?

My 2 cents

Alliances: who wants to work with Kyuss? I would imagine necromancers and other powerful undead would be having a field day.

If this is Greyhawk, I would guess that some neutrals would be willing to work for Kyuss.

Start small, Rome wasn't built in a day. In our own history, it took some time to conquer the world. A few liches probably took over a few weak kingdom at Kyuss' behest. I don't know GH very well to tell you which ones. Those-who-care are trying to fight back. Clerics and paladins of Pelor would care a lot.

Trade, Tax, and Politics: Trade networks would be (at least temporarily) disrupted, meaning less food and goods for any countries not directly affected by Kyuss. Famine and disease would begin, meaning clerics would be overwhelmed trying to create food/water. Riots could potentially breakout.

Taxes would likely rise for countries currently fighting Kyuss. With any war, people choose sides. Sure Kyuss is an evil undead god, but some may not think he's so bad.

Others would be quite willing to die for the cause, reducing the populations of those countries.

The adventuring party could be fore-front on the war party or a small strike team sent to scout out key locations. Or the PCs could be tasked with finding hidden magic items, spells or other paraphernalia to change the tides of war.
 

Thornir Alekeg

Albatross!
I am not at all familiar with Age of Worms, but I ran a Midnight campaign and played in a couple. The iconic elements of the Midnight setting are fear, mistrust and tiny flickers of hope. The setting is one of oppression. The general populace has been cowed into submission. Most people would welcome a Resistance, but are too scared to lift a finger to help, unless they are certain nobody would know. Others see turning in anybody talking or actively rebelling as a path to an easier and better life.

From a mechanics point, the iconic elements of Midnight to me are:
- The Astirax - the magic-sensing, animal-possessing spirit hunters of the Legates
- The idea that the PCs are truly special heroes as reflected in the Heroic Paths of the rules.
- Magic is very rare and precious
 

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