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Story ideas for a D&D game


Gor of the North
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Sounds kinda paranoid.

 

I'd post my latest, but I ended up turning it into my NaNoWriMo novel last year. ...oops?

 

As far as D&D adventures go, I like the classic: there's a hole in the ground. It might be filled with treasure. You, however, are definitely filled with poverty and debts. Get rich or die tryin'.

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I'm in the middle of writing two mega dungeons. One is an ancient step pyramid that turns out to have been the prison of an ancient eldritch deity of corruption and decay. It has been extended deep into the earth by the cult of said reawakened deity. The second is an ancient magical dwarven city powered by a demon named The Father of Ravens who eventually figured out how to manipulate things outside of his prison though he can't break out. 

 

Which reminds me, I need to post the next room of my serial on here. We finally made it to the spider riding Kobold cavalier. 

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 There's a frontier town along the ancient trade road. It's a common stopping point for adventurers because it sits between the mountains (insert plot hooks here) and a large lowland swamp (containing some minor "lost" flooded ruins that every swamp folk knows about) and is one of the last towns before the road runs off into the wilderness.

 

  The town, not particularly special in any way, is however mildly notable for it's clearly dwarven-influenced architecture, although there are no dwarves nearby. There are, however, two dwarves (who've long since settled into a comfortable existence as a blacksmith and tinsmith) who originally came to town a generation ago chasing wild rumors of a lost dwarven kingdom, and an archeologist (bigtime scholar, minor noble, 1st lvl wiz) studying the architecture.

 

While the party are in town on their way to somewhere else there's a small earthquake, which is not particularly uncommon as the area is known to be seismically active and the mountains are known for rock falls and the occasional avalanche. Common lore has it that a previous earthquake created the swamp eons ago, erasing a previous human settlement.

 

However, one of the people living out by the swamp comes into town several days later to report that the water level of the swamp has dropped severely, in one area drained almost twenty feet...

 

The adventurers either head out on their own to see what's happening or the authorities in the town ask the adventurers to investigate. Complications include the reclusive and unhelpful swamp folks and a somewhat territorial tribe of lizard folks that the swamp folks occasionally interact with.

 

Low-level adventurers:

 

Beginning parties can explore the ruins of the previous settlement built by settlers from whatever empire existed before the present day, which are no longer mostly ten feet underwater. And deal with the lizard folk who are upset about losing a good chunk of their territory, including a massive rocky outcropping they consider sacred.

 

Mid-level adventurers:

 

 Will discover that the part of the swamp that was drained nearly dry sits in the heart of the lizardfolk territory.

And that when the water drained, it revealed the massive hill to be the above-ground entrance to a small still-partially-flooded underground dwarven settlement...

 

 High-level adventurers:

 

 May eventually return to the area seeking an artifact they require for their current adventure, only to discover another earthquake has drained the swamp completely, and revealed the "dwarven settlement" is actually the legendary lost dwarven city - an entire mountain that somehow just sank into the ground...

They discover the true cause of the "earthquake" and face the repercussions of that event.

 

 Plot points, largely by level:

 

 Are the previous human settlers the ancestors of the swamp folk?

The human ruins are even more heavily dwarven-influenced in their building style, were they somehow connected to some lost forgotten settlement of dwarves in the area?

What does the presence of several yuan-ti exploring the dwarven settlement forbode?

Are the two dwarves in town really looking for evidence of their long-lost kin, or are they after something more sinister?

Is the wizard really just a minor noble pursuing a career as an archaeologist?

Was the original "earthquake" that sunk an entire mountain below the ground really just an earthquake?

Did something or someone cause the mountain to sink?

Did the dwarves do it themselves? What could possibly be so threatening to cause them to bring low an entire mountain?

What if whatever they faced is still down there, caged/trapped/sealed away, and patiently or not so patiently waiting for it's freedom?

 

 Also - assuming the party eventually manages to resolve everything successfully - what happens when the nearby dwarven kingdom (that the two dwarves claim to have come from) hears about the discovery of the lost kingdom and decides they have a rightful claim to the enitre territory?

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Escape

 

Adventure begins on a size-able island. There are lots of treasure hunting possibilities. But leaving costs a lot. Like 5,000 gp per character.

 

Reason it costs so much can be it takes a high level wizard to get anyone off the island. Or it takes a trip in a sky galleon. Because the island is surrounded by storms or massive cliffs.

 

Or the local ruler just has things totally locked down.

 

Gives your players a long-term, see the rest of the world, goal. Lets you focus on just the island initially.

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Sounds kinda paranoid.

 

I'd post my latest, but I ended up turning it into my NaNoWriMo novel last year. ...oops?

 

As far as D&D adventures go, I like the classic: there's a hole in the ground. It might be filled with treasure. You, however, are definitely filled with poverty and debts. Get rich or die tryin'.

This sounds very familiar.  I'd take a Chance on that adventure.

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I've always had a thing for sandbox, with easily available areas fairly low level, but the PCs have to try really hard to get to an area that's out of their level of skill initially. Death happens, but who wants to die all the time?

 

Like when I started playing WoW, where one of the highest level zones butts up against the Forsaken starting area. It's always a horrifying feeling to know you are so far out of your depth that if you ever stop running you're instadead. Luckily I found a really nice high level guy who helped me get back to the starting area. 

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I know what you mean -

 

I once came up with a great idea about an evil bard who was creating a symphony that would open a vortex to conusme the world.

then I went to the movies and the same plot was a in <2-min animated short  created by a major motion picture studio, and used as an intro to other movies.

I would bet many of you have seen it.  

 

I am pretty sure they stole the idea from me. 

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Sounds kinda paranoid.

 

I'd post my latest, but I ended up turning it into my NaNoWriMo novel last year. ...oops?

 

As far as D&D adventures go, I like the classic: there's a hole in the ground. It might be filled with treasure. You, however, are definitely filled with poverty and debts. Get rich or die tryin'.

Sounds suspiciously familiar...

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I am not a fan of super serious games. Here are some ideas I have had or used before.

 

First up is Rejects. I ran this campaign years ago and it was non human character who all took stat packages and classes not bumped by their race. Goliath Bard, Gnome Barbarian, Dwarf Wizard. Highlights included going to a fair kingdom reminiscent of the fairy tale world. The characters were perused by pixy assassins, fought a troll on a bridge, an so on.

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I prefer sandboxy games rather than building a big narrative. My current fantasy setting I use for my players is just based around six human citystates that conspire and politic against each other. At the same time they're stuck between two warring non human empires that consider them little more than pesky savages. 

 

The only real deviation from classic fantasy (besides humans not ruling the world) is that orcs are more civilized and once had a large empire that fell into ruin millenia ago. 

 

Most of my story material just revolves around fleshing out the cities and filling them with plot hooks for the players. I find players are more interested in a skyrim like sandbox and don't really care for watching me flex my narrative chops :P 

 

If I have a story idea I'll usually just design a one-off GURPS game and play that since it does cinematic stuff much better. 

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Ohh, one off can be fun!

 

My favorite one-off was where all of the players (and several of the NPCs) were all part of a noble family.  The family Patriarch (Grandfather) called a number of the family to the ancestral home/castle to determine who he would pick as a successor as all of his children had expired before him.  The descendents arrive, the interpersonal starts, and people start dying.  There is mass suspicion that one of the grand kids are eliminating the competition, but each time the party thinks they have it figured out, the main suspect ends up dead.  When they attempt to leave the castle, a man-bat type monster attacks.

 

Turns out that the Grandfather made a pact with a demonic power for immortality.  He is only able to stay young by killing those of his bloodline.  He has been killing the grandchildren (as he killed his own children).  Epic show down commences.

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Sounds kinda paranoid.

 

I'd post my latest, but I ended up turning it into my NaNoWriMo novel last year. ...oops?

 

As far as D&D adventures go, I like the classic: there's a hole in the ground. It might be filled with treasure. You, however, are definitely filled with poverty and debts. Get rich or die tryin'.

This sounds very familiar.  I'd take a Chance on that adventure.

 

I see what you did there.

 

 

Sounds kinda paranoid.

 

I'd post my latest, but I ended up turning it into my NaNoWriMo novel last year. ...oops?

 

As far as D&D adventures go, I like the classic: there's a hole in the ground. It might be filled with treasure. You, however, are definitely filled with poverty and debts. Get rich or die tryin'.

Sounds suspiciously familiar...

 

It does, doesn't it?

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