View Full Version : Creating my first homemade campaign [3.5 or 4th edition, not sure yet]

2009-03-22, 11:26 AM
I've been playing with the same group of people for some time now running little one-shot campaigns from some cheap adventure books I found, but now I'm getting used to playing I figure I can make my own adventure now but I still need some help.

First off, the party I'm DMing for is unquestionably evil; they steal they indiscriminatly murder, one character tried to start sacrificing people in his name to start pushing himself up to deityhood (he died as a result of that, it's a funny story but not relevant.) so the campaign I'm creating is an evil one.

My plan is to have them get in contact with high level lich from another plane who is a collector of evil artifacts. He offers the party a bunch of gold to go and get the Eye of Vecna from a nearby cave and bring it to him. He would go get it himself but he has caused too much trouble in the party's realm that people are starting to take notice and he would rather lay it low. So the party agrees, lich gives them a map to the cave and the party is off.

They get there and they discover that the lich's information is a little bit off the mark, the cave is there but an order of paladins have constructed a fortress on top of it to protect the eye from falling into the wrong hands. The party will have to fight their way through the fortress, the cave and the Vault of Vecna to get to the eye and once the obtain it they have a choice: either they give the eye to the lich and get the money and more adventures working for the lich, or they keep the eye for themselves and gain a nice antagonist for the party.

Now my problem lies in dungeon creation, how do I create a fortress that is both realistic and interesting to play? It's not like they are going to have traps just laying about or doors that you have to solve a riddle to open. Any tips for me?

Pie Guy
2009-03-22, 11:40 AM
Edit: Sorry, I misread the post.

2009-03-22, 12:01 PM
If your paladins are a more "find enlightenmenty" group they may have important rooms sealed off by passwords/riddles. Stuff that the paladins can easily get around but that would slow the unenlightened down. Also if the paladins are guarding something, while the main building may be trap free it is likely they would have the vault the eye is in trapped with a maze that has one route (used by the paladins) that is trap free again not inconveniencing the paladins on guard duty, but harming your pcs.

2009-03-22, 01:40 PM
There are a couple of phases of development to think about.
Phase 1: The cult of Vecna decides to use a cave to store the Eye of Vecna. They clear out any previous inhabitants of the cave (various creatures) or seal off access to the parts they care about, leaving the other creatures around as a cheap security system. They then build their vault, protecting it with a series of traps, puzzles, etc.

Phase 2: The paladins arrive, kill or chase off any members of the Vecna cult, find their way into the vault, clearing one path of traps and solving the puzzles along that path, just so they can confirm that the eye is actually there. If there are other ways to get to the eye, they leave them alone. They add their own security to resecure the path they took and then probably cordon off the whole vault area, establishing a perimeter close enough to be of reasonable size but far enough away that their protection won't trigger the remaining Vecna protection.

So, approaching from the cliff face the paladins have set up camp at, you'll have guard stations and standard protections, followed by their main complex, most of which is unprotected, except for being full of combat-trained paladins of course. But there are a few rooms (the armory, for instance) that will have decent security. On the other side of the main paladin camp, you'll have another series of guard posts between the camp and the area before the Vault. This immediate area will likely be devoid of traps but there may be some the paladins didn't trigger the first time though. Then there's the vault itself which will be protected (depending on the entrance you pick) by some combination of paladin and Vecna cult traps.

2009-03-23, 08:57 AM
Thanks for the help so far, got a good looking fortress going but I still need some help spicing up combat situations, right now I've got 8 rooms full of 2 or 3 paladins hanging around protecting stuff. I've placed props like bookcases and tables for the PCs to use to their advantage but I'm running out of creative ideas. Maybe I could have some asleep to provide an ethical choice? Or have them sneak up on a guard near an alarm bell so they need to find a way to quickly take him out?

Maybe I have more ideas after all, :smalltongue: