View Full Version : Gameworld events that change the world!

2014-04-23, 06:12 PM
Hey all, so I am currently making a homebrew gameworld called the Half-Moon Archipeligo for my RPing group's future campaign with 5th ed. This gameworld is connected to FR (specifically a portal out in the ocean near Waterdeep) just so you know what lore I am using, what gods, spells, etc.

I intend to run this game as a sandbox, and as such I am coming up with some major events that will be happening behind the scenes in the game world until the PCs come across it, if they do at all! My plan is to have these events occur unhindered if the PCs never run across them directly, or the NPCs involved in bringing them about. Some example ideas I have so far are. . .

1. Very influencial Dragon Cult will attempt to overthrow the established government in Half-Moon, they will succeed unless the PCs stop them, or they will also succeed if the PCs HELP them :) I figure this will happen around level 6-8.

2. Powerful Necromancer is building an undead army because he/she has prior knowledge of an impending invasion from another plane (demon armies, or something of the like) and thinks only hordes of undead will have a chance of winning. The PCs will likely either try to stop said Necro, or maybe will believe them and try to help. This will happen around level 11-13

3. The impending demonic invasion itself! Probably happening around level 15-16

Basically, I am asking if these events sound interesting? The game world will endure no matter what happens. If anyone else has ideas for big, world changing events like these, I would love to hear them. Better yet, if any of the fine folk here can think of smaller events that might not change EVERYTHING, but could still influence Half-Moon, I would love to hear those too, as I am having a hell of a time thinking of small fries. Sorry this was so long, and thanks in advance for any and all responses!

2014-04-23, 08:35 PM
Well, if you want an example from a previous campaign I played, in a persistent homebrew world we're still playing in, there's what the inhabitants of the world call 'the Rising'.

Long story short, the general plot of the campaign was the rise of Orcus and the PCs trying quite hard to prevent said rise. Eventually, after the usual rigamarole of macguffins, secrets, artifacts, civil wars, cults, and what have you, the party found an ancient magical super-battery/artifact thing, or, well, more to the point, seven of them. I was playing the party wizard/pyromaniac, and so the DM and I had discussed what to do for some time previously- basically, the artifact functioned like a one-shot casting of Wish, with the added promise that the DM wouldn't screw us over (providing I didn't do something utterly asinine, anyhow)- offered examples were disrupting Orcus' avatar so that he couldn't come back for X number of centuries, mass-killing the entire cultist/undead army that was overrunning the land, or creating a huge wall to block the hostile armies. It was understood that this would be the end of the campaign, and then we would take a time jump of several centuries, with the option of keeping our current character in a kind of Arthur-in-Avalon/Barbarossa-under-the-hill sort of deal if we wanted to.

In short, I was given a plot trinket of enormous power by the DM, a pressing reason to use it (Orcus and his armies on the incoming), and the promise of seeing the far-reaching effects of what I did after the time skip. All the other players were also setting things up- one re-founded the Dragonborn empire, another revived the Warforged as a race, another re-united the Dwarven clans, and one player created a secret society that wound up heavily influencing the world for generations.

I wound up rather startling the DM when I decided to uproot the pretty much the whole of the 'known world' and turn it into a stable flying continent, pulling the good lands out of harms way and drowning/crushing Orcus and his troops wholesale when the ocean decided to replace the landscape that had just been removed.

TL;DR- let your players play with the landscape if you really want to shake things up. Other ideas; one or more races simply vanish/leave, creating a void in the political structure, a new portal to another dimension/cavern to the Underdark/whatever pops open, possibly bringing new allies/trade routes, definitely bringing new nasties, or even the old fun one, 'follow the money' (e.g. an old mine dries up, leaving a once-prosperous nation abruptly penniless and with debts about to come due, a dragon hoard is found and everyone wants a piece of the pie, a new mine opens up and suddenly a minor baron is rich beyond his wildest dreams and getting ideas above his station... that kind of idea).

2014-04-23, 08:57 PM
In terms of small stuff:
Make or break a merchant by helping or refusing to help him with pirates.
End up helping or hurting the necromancer some time before they even learn of him by supporting different churches with different burial practices.
Save a village from locathah, sahuagin, or the like.
Alter prices of a particular good by an adventure in the source of that good which ends up increasing or decreasing its supply.

Big stuff:
Reveal the area's location to an imperialistic power such as Amn, or a mighty dragon of some sort.
Overthrow the area's government on their own, setting the PCs up as a ruling council.
Convincing different islands to revolt and become independent.
Introducing or eradicating certain forms of worship within the island.

2014-04-23, 11:53 PM

Oh yeah. I'd almost forgotten, but apparently over the course of the first campaign, my (noble-born) wizard inadvertently invented the franchise restaurant. Fast-forward 450 years, and he is now very, very, very rich. If you have players you can trust to not immediately run to the expensive end of the rack in the equipment guide, having one or more of them suddenly become stunningly wealthy could produce all kinds of interesting effects on the gameworld overall.

... assuming you feel up to hashing out an economic model for the area, or at least kludge up one that would pass casual inspection, anyhow.