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5E New Campaign Help

Zardnaar

Adventurer
I'm starting a new campaign in about a week with session 0.

I gave you the players several choices and they chose the world of Midgard and an Egyptian themed game, starting at level 3 and they want to start in a tavern.

My plan is to run an ad entire of my own design incorporating the maps of The Mummy's Mask AP pt 1 from Paizo for Pathfinder before transitioning to adventures from the Quests of Doom.

They are starting near the city of Per Bastet, run by a god Queen sacred to cats. The plan is to continue exploring a nearby Necropolis Annu Asir.


Anyway if people would like to suggest away the follow things are blank.

Name of Starting Inn.

Some factions. Another 3

I have the following.

Golden Falcon Antiquities
Scorched Hand, rival adventurers

NPC names will be lifted from the Mummy's Mask and Egyptian names from Xanathars.

I have a vague metaplot outline of ancients from 5000 years ago returning to the modern era or the old God's (Ra, ISIS etc) coming back or an ancient race posing as them returning.

Of course mummies and skelitins in the sand are major themes.
 

Istbor

Explorer
Well since it is Bastet's city... The Cat's Meow, for an Inn name?

Though if you want something less, tongue in cheek, I like to mash together a verb and then a noun as my Inn names. Usually works.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
I normally have something like The Happy or Hungry Halfling.

They won't be straying to far from home base except for one adventure and that might be via magical walkways.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I'm going to be vague because I don't know enough about your setting, but when I hear Egypt, I think religion.

So a few factions would be the "main/official/dominant" cult, and a rival/suppressed/upstart faction. If the main religion is so dominant that there is no oppositions, well then there is infighting :)

This has nothing to do with "war between the gods" - it's strictly human rivalry.

Third example.

The Cult of the Purple Beetle. This cult favors the servants, the laborers and the slaves. The head priest passed away, and the new one is a bit of a hothead. Whispers of labor revolutions are spreading.

Fourth example: If this is not a secret murderous cult, what is?!? Medjed (god) - Wikipedia
 

Yaarel

Explorer
When I think of Ancient Egypt (in addition to religion), I think of advanced technology, everything from chemistry (such as pigments, artificial gems), math (engineering, astronomy), medicine (honey as an antibacterial, opium to ease pain), zoology (knowing how to raise bees, artificially inseminate elephants), and so on. In their day, Egyptians were probably the most technologically advanced culture on earth. Much of what we credit the Greeks for, they got from Egypt.

I also think of magic, when I think of Ancient Egypt. The culture immersed in the concept of magic in just about every aspect of life. Virtually every piece of jewelry was an amulet that was worn strictly for a magical purpose. The color coding was central for its magical power. Most of what is written or drawn is for a magical purpose (blessing oneself, cursing adversaries, securing afterlife, and so on). They are somewhat like vision boards, describing the way the world ought to be.

In D&D terms, it might work as a place where much of the population are Clerics with knowledge and arcana domains. Also Artificers.

The Nile River and its black soil are life. The desert wilderness is death.

The sky is female. The earth is masculine.

Egyptians are beer drinkers.
 
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cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
A faction could be named the Eye of Ra. A group of holy assassins or at least assassins who think their work is holy. Perhaps they have been waiting for the return of the old gods and now that they are back have been targeting members of organisations that oppose their return.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Ra doesn't exist as such but I am thinking of borrowing the old gods idea from Stargate SG1/Pathfinder and having them be in the back ground.

Haven't decided if they are an ancient race, the actual old gods (Egyptian pantheon IRL), or maybe something like Dracoliches. Ra was an adult blue Dragon last time I used "Ra". I like the idea and will steal it though what "Ra" is can wait.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Shorthand notes so far independent of the printed stuff.

Nation Nuria Natal

Ruler
God King Thutmoses


Inns

The Oasis of the White Palm

Marteks

Factions

Golden Falcon Antiquities
Scorched Hand, rival adventurers

The Guardians

The Seekers

Eye of Ra

Titanic Leyline along the Nuria

City- Per Bastet


Ruler


Reborn Queen Goddess Meskhenit

Catslide allys

Army of Summer

Sky Guard Horus Re

Slaves- mostly scalykind, Kobolds and Dragonborn

The Dead- intelligent zombies that serve the living.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
Nuria Natal is a theocratic magocracy with a Titanic leyline running down the Nuria (Nile).
Sounds Egypt-esque to me. I would also play up the technology flavor.

It occurs to me, the technocrats (physicians, pyramid builders, elephant raisers, beer makers, gem makers) built respectable tombs to secure their afterlife. On the walls of these tombs, they depicted and described what they did in life, so as to continue their prestigious skills in the afterlife. Importantly, these murals often explain how they did things, like how they made glass, or how they made beer, or how they circumcised men.

For D&D purposes, some of the advanced knowledge would often only be obtainable by visiting a tomb. It is a good hook for an adventure.

Note there were no undead mummies in Ancient Egypt. This is a modern popculture invention relating to Frankenstein and Dracula, inspired by Egyptian antiquities.

For D&D themes, maybe treat the undead tropes moreso as a visit to the afterlife, in the underworld (Duat), more like Shadowfell. The Egyptians gods are there in the underworld too, helping the deceased spirit to make the dangerous journey into the underworld. The wellbeing and the opulence of the afterlife in the underworld depends on the funerary monument and items that they prepared while alive, and the magical upkeep by the living. The tombs are thresholds between this world and the underworld, and the spirits can venture back and forth.

Because semen was understood to be a source of life, and because the earth is male, masculine virility and potency is a central symbol for surviving in the afterlife.

Essentially, the spirit leaves the physical body, journeys to the underworld, and there is given a new eternal body. The spirit actually comprises separate aspects, and only those spirits who successfully reintegrate all of their aspects, are able to influence the afterlife, and even to visit this world to help loved ones or exact vengeance.
 
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Zardnaar

Adventurer
Yeah the undead thing would probably be offensive to Anubis.

Nuria Natal gods are slighty different than IRL. It's fantasy not Egypt so going with that.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
My impression is, it is ok to use D&D ghosts as-is.

(Except these ghosts can communicate telepathically: D&D Telepathy language including mental images.)

These represent the successful powerful spirits that were able to get it together in the afterlife.

The spirits who didnt make it were less powerful, lacked influence or even "died".

The tomb is a portal between the underworld and this world, and the powerful spirits can journey back and forth as they please.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
Here are the color codes for Egyptian magic. For magical reasons, when wearing jewelry, an artificial gem that is the correct color is more valuable than a precious stone that has an incorrect color.

Red (Desher) - blood, lifeforce and victory, fire and rage: red jasper stone
Gold (Kenit) - sun, immortality, indestructibility, eternity: gold metal
White (Shesep) - moon, holiness, purity, omnipotence: alabaster calcite stone
Green (Wadj) - vegetation and new life, growth, healing: malachite stone
Cyan (Mefkat) - day, joy: turquoise stone
Indigo (Khesbedj) - heavens and waters, primordial cosmic forces of creation: lapis lazuli stone
Black (Khem) - night, underworld, rebirth in afterlife, fertile soil of Nile River: black chalcedony stone

Remember the color of the stone is always more important than the kind of stone. So a lapis lazuli that is a bright daylight sky blue can instead represent Cyan joy. A gold that is a pale electrum can represent silver thus White holiness. Tut-Ankh-Amun had a pectoral that featured an unusual meteorite glass that was a vivid canary yellow color to represent Gold indestructibility. And so on.

These stones are often worn as beads, carved into magical shapes (of animals, bodyparts, etcetera) for a pendant, or set into objects somewhat like tiles.

O yeah. Electrum is totally a thing. Much of the naturally occurring gold is electrum being alloyed with various amounts of silver, and pure silver is in some eras more precious than gold.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
Midgard Map:

Reallife Egyptians got their lapis lazuli from far away Afghanistan, in Blue Mountain. The accomplishment is somewhat mindboggling.

In the Midgard Map this seems to correspond to the easternmost mountains, probably off of the map itself.
 
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Zardnaar

Adventurer
Midgard Map:

Reallife Egyptians got their lapis lazuli from far away Afghanistan, in Blue Mountain. The accomplishment is somewhat mindboggling.

In the Midgard Map this seems to correspond to the the easternmost mountains, probably off of the map itself.
Yeah, I wonder if Lapus lazuli would have been more valuable than gold back in the day. My classics lecturer visited Afghanistan in the 70s. Greco bactrian kingdom.

I think it got used in paint in the Renaissance.
 

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