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Stront
2013-02-03, 03:34 PM
I am thinking about designing a campaign where the PCs are the monsters in a dungeon. They will all start with an ECL 4; whether a combination of Racial Hit Die, Level Adjustment and/or Class Levels.

The concept is Mr. BBEG got created the dungeon to get away from those who wanted to keep bugging him about his Necrotic Meandering. The problem Mr. BBEG didn't anticipate, adventurers are pesky and eventually found his new home.

These annoying, bloodthirsty, trespassers kept showing up and Mr. BBEG got really annoyed so he came up with an idea. Mr. BBEG found a deepspawn and brokered a deal. They would make a dungeon to end all dungeons; he created a multi-level dungeon with a special trigger or key to move to the next lower level. These transition areas were also hidden by spells and such that scaled by party level. They were also located at the beginning of the each level so if the party was resourceful enough to find it and bypass it; they could skip the level they were currently on.

Mr. BBEG figured parties of adventurers would always go deeper if they could, because obviously the best treasure and toughest monsters are always in the deepest levels right? The goal was to make the transition areas tougher and tougher to bypass and level appropriate for that level.

For example:

A 1st through 2nd level party would not have See Invisibility so they could not normally see the invisible door leading to from Level 1 to Level 2.


A 3rd through 4th level party would probably see the door and could enter it. The transition to Level 3 would have a winding tunnel of metal that would constantly do 10 electricity damage a round. This would be easily bypassed by a Resist Energy spell cast at that level.


A 5th through 6 level party would get to the transition area to Level 4; and would see a long tunnel (greased) with no floor and a deep chasm to nowhere. This group would easily be able to use fly to get across, bringing them to Level 5.


This is just an example of how transition areas would be scaled for appropriate party levels to bypass.

Now the PCs will start out as monsters created by the Deepspawn and will start with ECL 4 as I mentioned earlier. The Deepspawn is a special breed known as a Spawn Mother, it creates paragons of all creatures she creates; meaning in game terms - they will have max starting stats for their race. They will be placed on Level 1 as a buffer to weed out the annoying and "green" intruders (adventurers) - or to be cannon fodder. They will have access to a few other creatures that are just placed in rooms and given basic orders to attack intruders, such as: skeletons, zombies, and other mindless or other low intelligent creatures that just want to eat fresh meat.

Now why do they stay? Well, for one the Deepspawn will tell them to - but beyond that; the BBEG has cast Geas on all of them. They are told to defend their home from intruders and that is what they do. They get fed by the BBEG and are given treasure to hide in the dungeon and sometimes to use themselves. They don't have to commit suicide against intruders but are required to give it their best shot. They are instructed to use guerilla tactics to harass and weaken the intruders as much as possible but to survive anyway they can.

As they get stronger they get promoted to lower levels in the dungeon and replaced by other weaker creatures. This process will continue until they either die or are promoted to the point they are working directly with Mr. BBEG. If we ever reach this part of the campaign; they will probably be freed from the dungeon and sent out to do Mr. BBEG's bidding.

I'm looking for any thoughts or feedback on this style of campaign. Have any of your run such a campaign and what pitfalls do you see? This will be a filler campaign when the current DM wants a night off, everyone can't make it to game, or we just want to try something different for a bit.

Stront
2013-02-03, 05:00 PM
Oh I forgot a big part of the concept. Mr. BBEG picked this location because the rocks of the structure native to this area are resistant to magic like effects. You can't teleport through them, scry, etc.

The reason he built muti-levels is to assess the strength of the party before it reaches him. If he feels they are possibly his match; he will retreat to an area he made that is cut off from the rest of the structure.

Basically, he dug out a tunnel into a new area and replaced it with rock that he painted to appear like the indigenous rock. He can teleport through this area into his safe haven - this is where he keeps the magical items he does not want to part with and the minions that he feels are irreplaceable.

If by some chance a resourceful party finds this safe haven, he has contingencies in place to retreat to a location miles away and wait out the adventuring party.

Frathe
2013-02-03, 09:46 PM
I'm afraid this campaign would feel like one big railroad. Most players I know would, from the beginning, assume that they were mean to rebel against, take on and ultimately defeat the BBEG. The increasingly difficult levels and antimagic rock would then come to seem like barriers put up against them. If they're okay with working their way up the levels until they finally earn the prize of... getting to take orders from some evil guy, I guess that could work, but they wouldn't be much like players I know.

I realize that you could explain the situation to them—that they're simply evil monsters working a job—but some players might not be happy at what they perceived as a lack of choice.

Stront
2013-02-03, 10:19 PM
I'm afraid this campaign would feel like one big railroad. Most players I know would, from the beginning, assume that they were mean to rebel against, take on and ultimately defeat the BBEG. The increasingly difficult levels and antimagic rock would then come to seem like barriers put up against them. If they're okay with working their way up the levels until they finally earn the prize of... getting to take orders from some evil guy, I guess that could work, but they wouldn't be much like players I know.

I realize that you could explain the situation to them—that they're simply evil monsters working a job—but some players might not be happy at what they perceived as a lack of choice.

If this was a standard, once a week, six hour at a time, game session - I would tend to agree with you. That being said previously, this is just an alternate filler campaign. We will only play it when we don't have enough people to play the main campaign, or the DM doesn't have time to make something.

Frathe
2013-02-03, 11:53 PM
If this was a standard, once a week, six hour at a time, game session - I would tend to agree with you. That being said previously, this is just an alternate filler campaign. We will only play it when we don't have enough people to play the main campaign, or the DM doesn't have time to make something.

That does help with the issues I brought up, but I still have some concerns about rebellious players. As long as this is clearly a side game, though, maybe the players will have fun with the role reversal—being the evil monsters for once, instead of killing them.