View Full Version : Bowling for Story Arcs (3.5 Evil / War Campaign)

2009-10-06, 11:00 AM
Exactly What It Says On The Tin (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin).

The PCs, through mishap after mishap, have started an international war. In a single session. Oops. Their actions attracted the attention of an underground group of necromancers (who, for obvious reasons, like war) that I came up with on the fly (they were SUPPOSED TO GO TO A DUNGEON, but... you know PCs). The Necromancers are a cult of Nerull, with some stylistic things making them easily recognizable to anyone who knows of their existence. They're mostly dread necromancers, from HoH, but there are some specialist wizards and even several evil clerics in there. None of which have stats yet, but that's beside the point.

Needless to say, they wiped out MY plot points. I need some help. What can I do to keep continuity without turning this into a really boring war campaign? I've read HoB, and it seems to be helpful, but can anyone think of a good broad plot arc that the PCs could start on, with war as a background, necromancers as tenuous allies, and evil as an objective? Also, anyone who can help me flesh out the secret cult of Nerull that focuses on raising those who have been slain in order to satisfy their god's thirst for blood? Anyone who can think of some particularly awesome ideas for enemies (Big bad good guys, OR big bad evil guys? Theoretically, either side of the conflict could find the necromancers distasteful and try to wipe them out)?

I just need a bit to jump-start me writing plot.

Thanks, GITP forum.

2009-10-06, 12:37 PM
Hmm. Well, are the PCs working for anyone? If they're just roaming the countryside, it's going to be a lot tougher. But if they can be... persuaded... to work for/with someone, that gives you some options. The PCs might need to get some Ancient Ritual MacGuffin for the raising of an undead war machine, or gather intelligence on the enemy, or basically carry out specialized tactical missions for the war.

Maybe if you provide some more details on the setting, character level, etc, people can help you out with more specific ideas. >.>

2009-10-06, 01:14 PM
Perhaps since the necromancers like the war (for the obvious... resources that it provides) they would do anything to ensure its continuation? So send the party to assassinate peace-seekers, break up diplomatic parties, impersonate diplomats, and even fight in battles to ensure that one side doesn't lose/surrender. They may also go on legitimate diplomatic missions (after gaining the confidence of people of either side) to convince neutral nations to join in the war, and perhaps create 'incidents' on the side that might help in that task.

Of course, all this warmongering will likely draw the attention of the peace-loving organizations of clerics, paladins, and Apostles of Peace. If it gets big enough, it might even lead to good outsiders getting involved, trying to stop them. That peace deity's organization may be the only ones who realize that the PCs are inciting the war, and nobody else believes them so they are the only ones who can stop the PCs.

Meanwhile, the necromancers are using the bodies left by the war to animate an army of darkness while the fighting weakens the various sides. By the time those nations realize the true threat, it'll be far too late to prevent total conquest.

Storm Bringer
2009-10-06, 01:41 PM
a few ideas:

the necromancers have learnt of a way of making 'smart' zombies i.e. ones with a magical intelligence simmilar to that of human, allowing them to fight intelligently, but this requires a rare, hard to get catalyst. guess who has to go get it...............

part of the cult has split off, taking a significant number of the undead troops with it, holding to a more extreme worldview. they have a methord of making themselves into some form of intelligent undead, and plan to release a virus worthy of Papa Nurgle himself: a zombie virus, that reanimates those that die of it into zombies. the players must stop these fools form killing the whole world and spoiling the fun of conquoring it!

One of the cultists is a double agent working for the Good Guys. the players must find and remove him before he can expose too many, including themsleves

their is a site nearby that acts as a focus of nercomatic energy, allowing much more complex and powerful necromancy to be attmpted. However, a Temple to Wee Jas, the netural god of death and magic, has been built on the site. the players must remove the current occupents

2009-10-06, 01:53 PM
Fantastic! Thanks, all.

2009-10-06, 03:25 PM
OP I've been stuck in TVtropes for like 30 minutes now. I hate you.

2009-10-06, 03:56 PM
OP I've been stuck in TVtropes for like 30 minutes now. I hate you.

You'll have that. Of course you're familiar with the comic discussing the phenomemon (http://xkcd.com/609/).