View Full Version : Rad Ideas for Campaigns

Claudius Maximus
2011-09-04, 12:24 AM
So my college's gaming club has asked me to DM something for them, and it's going to be a whole new campaign with a bunch of people I basically don't know at all. With my normal group of friends I could probably concoct something that suits their interests, but here, I figure it could be advantageous to have several diverse ideas, so I can pick one or two that seem to be suitable for the people I'll be dealing with later on, once I get a feel for them.

To that end, I'd like to hear any interesting or engaging ideas you folks might have for a short campaign. The system will most likely be D&D 3.5, but I'm asking here because I just want ideas more than anything else, and I'll worry about execution later, so fire away anything you think is interesting. So it doesn't have to involve established 3.5 things like beholders or shadowcasters or whatever, but those are of course acceptable elements.

The most important guideline I'll establish is that the plot should be something that can be explored satisfactorily in maybe 12 sessions, which is a generous guess for how many I can run this semester. If it can be continued after that, neat, but some kind of climax by that point would be nice.

Otherwise I guess meta-concepts and in-jokes and high-op stuff might not work well, since I expect I'll be dealing with a lot of newer players, and a lot of that might go over their heads. I guess you can still propose them though, and we'll see if that will be a problem.

2011-09-04, 12:31 AM
Red hand of doom, maybe?

Alternatively, a campaign set in a war torn world, where a lone warlord attempts to obtain an ancient superweapon (the device that made the large desert that's slowly enroaching upon the civilized lands) and forced the remaining major factions to stand down.

Nathan The Lame
2011-09-04, 12:32 AM
Flying piranha swarms!

2011-09-04, 12:44 AM
12 sessions with new players? Don't use D&D, this is exactly the sort of situation Dogs in the Vineyard was created for. Throw in some Fiasco at the end if DitV takes less than 12 sessions for a campaign.

2011-09-04, 07:10 AM
Well with 12sessions it depends on how long each session is.
If its 1-2hours I suggest Mutants & Masterminds with hero's just emerging across the world gives some plot hooks and can have a storyline over those 12sessions.
3-4 area D&D a short campaign probably not. Look at either extending the M&M or doing something else like 'Eclipse Phase' or 'Dresden Files RPG'
4+ Hours per session, here is the best place for a D&D game at this range you can get things moving and in those twelve sessions you can be justified in giving the party getting 1level every 1-2sessions

Claudius Maximus
2011-09-04, 10:42 AM
If they were likely to play other, more obscure games, I'd be trying to push Legend. As it is though, the majority of the established club members are going to want to play some form of D&D, and that happens to be the most well-known system, and thus the easiest to rope new people into.

Good point about the time thing though. I don't know how long these sessions will be, but most likely no more than 4 hours. I think I can get 3.5 running in that relatively short timeframe, if I do things like institute a combat round time limit.

Red hand of doom, maybe?

Alternatively, a campaign set in a war torn world, where a lone warlord attempts to obtain an ancient superweapon (the device that made the large desert that's slowly enroaching upon the civilized lands) and forced the remaining major factions to stand down.

I might consider RHoD, but only if I'm confident the player's won't get their mitts on it. The other thing is very broad, though it's a start.

2011-09-04, 11:12 AM
Flying piranha swarms!I used that once. Damn Warlock used his weakening aura thingy on them and they dropped like... well, like really weak flying piranha. They gathered 'em up and ate like kings for a week.

My Kobold Run thingy could last about 12 sessions. Almost all the information about it that exists is here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168929) (and the rest was pretty much just vague ideas and concepts anyway).

2011-09-04, 01:14 PM

A group of pioneers are bound for the new world, unfortunately there is a great storm and their ship is wrecked on a seemingly uninhabited island in the middle of the great ocean.
there are lots of survivors, but the PC's are the only ones with any combat ability, they must take care of the other colonists, explore the island looking for resources, at first anything they can use to survive, later anything they can use to repair the ship and get off the island.

but it turns out that the island isn't as uninhabited as it first appeared...

You can run this in any genera from fantasy, through pseudo-history to Science Fiction (by replacing island with planet) or even the modern day.
It could be a straight forward "hack and slash" as the players explore the island's different locations, defeating the wild monsters and winning access to the resources they need. Or a more indepth sandbox where the story is defined by the conflicts between different factions within the stranded colonists and the looming threat of the enigmatic Islanders (who could be orcs, lizardmen, other humans or just about anything really)

The game could be player driven, with the party given a map and allowed to explore or more DM driven, (some colonists are kidnapped, they have to track the islanders back to their sprawling dungeon base and rescue them, (the colonists not the Islanders, although...) )

and you can work out how long the campaign will be by how large an island you design.
your climax could be escaping from the island, rescuing the captured colonists or defeating the evil sorceress who has ruled the island for thousands of years.

you can continue the game by giving them the ability to reach other nearby islands or continue their journey to whereever their destination was in the first place. of maintain the status quo, by not giving them the resources they need to escape, so that they can have more adventures as castaways.