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Story ideas for a D&D game


Gor of the North
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For a one-off session I chose a published adventure but I selected just a small section of it and ran that for an afternoon of gaming.

 

There was one which had a tumbled down little castle that needed clearing out. Party plus some men-at-arms vs hobgoblins and such.

 

There was another which had a tomb out in the middle of a Sahara-Like desert. Party conducting a tomb raid, simple.

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Little castle... that reminds me of that time I wound up killing a character because the player just couldn't be move to say he doesn't actually believe there could be a cavern with a great wyrm red dragon inside the broom closet of a floating rock. Naturally, he also failed the still-fairly-easy will save...

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See, ok, there's all these rings right? But then there's this one ring that controls all the other rings. Halflings have seized the master ring and must take it on a long journey to a pawn shop located in a faraway volcano... Of course, Orcs and worse are looking to mug the halflings and take the ring (and any biscuits the halflings have) for themselves. You could certainly add subplots with a party member being of noble birth or some such, but it really isn't necessary as long as the halflings know they must get to the pawn shop. Returning isn't a big part of the story and can be explained away by being given a lift home by giant frogs, or birds if you are in to that kind of thing. Party size should be about 9, not all must be halflings, but they must be capable of fellowship so mixing dwarves and elves in the party may be a stretch. Oh, and you'll probably need a wizard. If the wizard dies I'd recommend bumping him up a few levels and bringing him back via miraculous plot device. May sound silly, but you'll need the wizard to prod the halflings or the story will be one long meal with no real adventuring to speak of. 

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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, ....

 

I created a one shot that started exactly the same way - but the PC descendants had a lot of RP to work through - a CE army deserter, the unacknowledged bastard son(a butler) ,the orphan left at a church- actually an heir, two characters that were in love....   The Nobles body is kept in a church on the edge of the ocean, while the manor castle is at the highest hill.  In the middle of the game the ocean disappeared.  It turns out the noble was feigning death trying to choose the best heir.  His intelligent sword "Justice" was supposed to watch and pick - but he didn't anticipate the Tsunami.  Ran it twice, once the butler inherited, in the other the CE guy - he role-played Lawful, and everyone thought he was great, and several other claimants stepped aside for him. His true alignment was protected from direct detection by a temporary spell. 

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One thing I have learned is that "there is nothing new under the sun." That is not to say new things can not be created or found, but it reminds me that the human brain is pretty darn similar in every person. We will come up with similar ideas, shoot, even exactly the same. So i dont get surprise when I see an idea I or a friend have had done by someone else. My job (next time) is to be the first to get it made. A good example is the Thomas Edison Light bulb... (look it up).

 

Paranoid... no reason to be. I understand paranoia better than most. Also, if i may add this to the realm of a person recovering from paranoia, this helps me on a regular bases. I have this quote on my computer and read it when i need to.

 

"My best bet is to sit down and picture a more realistic future, one based on the fact that almost 99 percent of what I’ve been paranoid about in the past never comes true."

 

It came from a post on Lifehack.com

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I personally like to set my campaigns around prophecies for major events.  But I don't give out the entire prophecy at once. 

This way I can play in a sand box mode, but with a known end goal or goals.

For example, in my Disciples of the Ascension campaign, the PCs came together when they all found out they had a unique coin that had a strange saying on it.  They learned that the coins were part of an ancient and largely dismissed prophecy that told of the ascension of a mortal to godhood, and a contest between good and evil for who that mortal would be.   As time went on in the game, they kept running across more and more of these coins, and it became apparent that the prophecies were coming true, who the two mortals were (NPCs), and that they were somehow involved, and had a direct influence on who the Ascended would be. 

The prophecies themselves were very vague and symbolic, which meant that the players could decipher the meanings and how they linked in many different ways, allowing me to add things on the fly that I never would have thought of.  

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I've been working on one for a while that would ideally run from level 1-20.  I'm one of those guys who loves a good story, so there's plenty of narrative in what I affectionately refer to as "The Four Winds" campaign.

 

Humans have united and established a lasting empire that has ensured peace on the known world for almost 1,000 years.  Dragons have been chased from the world, necromancy is a banned magic and undead are all but forgotten-nothing more than myth to frighten children.

 

Elves, still nursing old wounds to pride, have retreated far to the east and are rarely seen in human lands.  Dwarves have a reluctant existence in the mountains that border the western sea, still with a proud city-state, but a shadow of their once magnificent kingdom.  They essentially live within the human kingdom.

 

Yet rumors spread that all is not golden.  Unrest grows and an uneasy presence gathers just out of the corners of men's eyes.

 

The PCs can be brought together in any number of classic, cliché, or unusual ways, and are recruited by the human empire to investigate a vandalism that has occurred at the ancient temple of the south wind.

 

The towers of the winds are mysterious structures that have stood since the dawn of time; their origins unknown.  Occasionally, pilgrims travel to the towers for purposes few understand.  All that is known of the towers is their ancient nature, their perfect construction-even master dwarven masons cannot understand how the stones were made so smooth or how they do not deteriorate-and that they are observed with great reverence by all.

 

Upon investigating the tower, the PCs find themselves magically admitted higher into the tower than the ground floor.  After clearing the dungeon-like tower, filled with defensive traps and lingering vandals, the PCs ascend to the highest room of the tower to find the South Wind: a personified being of power, charged with governing the south wind via the use of a magical instrument called the Wind Flute.

 

The "vandals" turn out to be thieves, and have stolen the power of the south wind.  The PCs must track it down.  As the adventure continues, the PCs will discover that the thieves are a group of undead vampires who are attempting to steal the powers of the wind in order to block out the sun, ending the reign of man and bringing in a new era of undead dominance of the earth.

 

Attempts are made to steal the north, east, and west winds throughout the campaign as the PCs try to keep up and the human government begins to be overwhelmed by strange occurrences, rumors of elven armies gathering, and dwarven unrest.

 

Can the PCs unravel the mystery?  Can they stop the vampires in time?  Can they stop a war that may be just the distraction the vampires need to take the power they crave?

 

As a follow-up campaign, the four horsemen of the apocalypse-lovers of the four winds-are so enraged by the desecration of the temples of the winds that they come to take the winds away from the earth for their protection in the celestial realm, destroying the earth in the process.

 

Can the PCs stop the apocalypse?  If the PCs kill any of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, they must take up their responsibilities and become them.  If they can stop them without killing them, the PCs may be considered for godhood or demi-godhood because they were able to restore the winds to the earth and overcome the apocalypse.

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I'm currently writing one about an incestuous dragon couple being raided by a half dragon sex cult.

 

 

Yes. The Mr is teaching me how to DM. The look he gave me is probably the same look you had when you read that first sentence twice.

Edited by MissMelons
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Pahfinder game I am running.

 

First, mites try and destroy a town. This gets the PC's involved. Then a mysterious meteor shower happens and a meteorite lands in the swamp north of town. PC's race to the meteorite competeing with goblins, lizard folk, other towns folk and an alliance between the mites and the kobolds to grab the meteor. Turns out the meteor grants power to those who come in contact with it if they have a big destiny and the mites wanted to destroy the town to prevent the most likely destined group from getting the rock, unfortunatley the explosions went off early, now they have allied with the kobolds to recover the stone. Both groups want the stone so that their people can achieve what they feel is their destined place in the world (kobolds being powerful dragonlike rulers and the mites gaining forceful reentry and acceptance back into the Firstworld. Big fiasco and the party ends up with a stone but it turns out they don't have a big destiny either.

 

Later a powerful creature that did have a big destiny shows up and starts tearing the town up because he can detect the stone and wants more of it's power. PC's flee to the underground and get embroiled in the politics of a heretofore unknown, underground town of underdark refugees not far from the town the PC's lived in. Here they learn more of what the defeated mights were planning and how to possibly force the stone to grant them power as well as a potential location for another stone.

 

That's where my Players sit right now. Eventually they will have to save the town from a dark plot to destroy it and decide if they wish to embrace the stones power or just try to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. They will face the stone hunting monster again and later foil some more terrible plots before facing the source of the terrible power itself. (If they embrace the power then I will be trying out the Mythic rules for Pathfinder)

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