View Full Version : Requesting input on a central plot

The Great Skenardo
2007-03-17, 11:12 AM
This is a thread wherein I request some input for the central plot (as I envision it occuring) of a RL campaign I'm running soon.

The Grand Idea:
A continent with mountains to the north and plains to the south in which elves and fey are mere legend, and two kingdoms stand in an uneasy standoff. This world has had a long and bloody history, now largely forgotten as the result of some near cataclysm. But now natural disasters are on the rise, as earthquakes, tornadoes and blizzards ravage the land seemingly at random. The old gods, once only a memory and a nightmare, begin to stir again as mortals would call on their power to end the world.

The PCs
Starting at 2nd level, the PCs are helped out of a sticky outset situation (i.e. jailed, dragon'ed, etc.) and are assisted out of their predicament by a quite powerful personage. (It's a little cliche, but the mysterious masked man with awesome powers is a good way to garner PC respect) This man's larger motives are opaque, but it's made quite clear that he rescued the PCs so they could temporarily act as flunkies in his stead. The end result of this is that the PCs end up investigating a subterranian temple only recently revealed by an earthquake.
The temple is a disturbing site, and extremely inhospitable. Sharp obsibian spikes line the walls, ceilings and floors of the strangely-rounded purple stone tunnels that lead through the temple, and observant PCs might note that despite being buried underground, the temple always has a weak breeze blowing through it. And that the breeze reverses direction every couple of minutes. After some hazards, the PCs find a hatch that leads to a secondary set of tunnels down below, these ones deathly quiet, and carpeted with a thick layer of corrosive purple sand that stings bare skin.
The PCs end up finding a set of thirteen stone teeth marked with golden runes set into a mosaic of a set of gaping jaws, which they then take (triggering a trap, of course).

They make it out (presumably) and meet with the masked man again. He insists on taking most of (if not all) the teeth, and pays them.

You can probably guess that these teeth are mighty, and indeed they are relics of a church of ancient amorphous beings not unlike sentient oozes that worshipped an ancient god of teeth and devouring (now gone). They can confer great power to the right kinds of creatures.

These teeth being out in the world will attract the attention of a group of BBEG (or rather, the leader of a sect of something like entropomancers). This causes them to seek out the ancient temples of the defunct nightmare gods and begin gathering relics that together might give the impetus to end the world.

Obviously, the PCs are kept away from this world-ending stuff for a while with smaller quests and sideplots, (and some relics will change hands (or claws)) but the natural disasters in the world will grow more and more frequent, and eventually I envision the PCs having a faceoff with the avatar of a newly-made gargantuan conglomerate avatar with more than a few striking resemblances to Shiva of Hindu fame. The difference being that each arm will wield powerful relics gathered by the BBEG (less those that the PCs manage to keep out of their hands) which cap out into the Staff of Nightmares and the Staff of Storms.

the staff of nightmares is a twisted, black rod made from polished black bone and studded with the black teeth of the devouring god that pulses with unsentient evil and mindless savagery. Exact powers TBD.

the staff of storms is unique in that it doesn't store spells; rather, on command , and actual tornado forms at both ends of the staff, whipping up twin cones of spiraling gray air that may be directed as the staff moves.

Dramatis Personae
I'm also putting together an ancient and largely unpleasant pantheon of gods that are now defunct. Names are not so important as what they represent. Examples so far:
God of Teeth and Devouring
God of Nightmares and Insanity
God of Decay and Entropy
God of Shadows and Fear
The Baleful God

So now, gentle readers, I'm looking for input, ideas and criticisms.

2007-03-17, 11:36 AM
A few questions:

Why won't the Mysterious God-Person do it himself? Does he know the BBEGs will come after the teeth now that they're out? Why does he want them? Who is he?

I can't help but think Allanon. "It is imperative you do this dangerous task for reasons best left quite vague. Sorry, I can't be there helping you, got, err, important meeting to catch. Bye!"

Will the creature the heroes enter ever wake up? What is it, anyway?

Does anyone know about the BBEGs? If yes, why won't anyone do anything about them?

The Great Skenardo
2007-03-17, 11:52 AM
A few answers.

the Mysterious Masked figure is mostly mercenary. Although he and his immediate flunkies are powerful shadowdancers, he doesn't have a grand plan; he's something like an adventurer for hire, except that his customers would be shady cartels or governments, rather than merchants. That said, he takes interest in any free wealth he can find for himself, and he knows that ancient temples are a good source of this. From his point of view, it makes sense to send a few mcguffins he doesn't care much about into the dungeon first to see if it kills them. If it doesn't, he knows the PCs are somewhat capable, and might make decent flunkies. He doesn't know much about the teeth themselves, but he does know "valuable-looking relic" when he sees it.

2. It's not actually a creature, although it would be correct to say that it had something like life at one point. the whole structure is an elaborate temple to the god of teeth and devouring, and the structure reflects that, down to the strange an unnerving sensation of breathing and the spikes an corrosive sand.

3. The BBEG at the outset are something of a small cult. They have few resources out side of their immediate membership, but between themselves, they have the magical, religious and historical knowledge to piece together the scheme outlined above. It of course takes some time for them to put together a plan, but their immediate goal becomes obtaining these and other such relics.

Another subset of the plot is that these relics are attractive to other creatures as well; for example, there's a homebrewed type of creatures that exist primarily in the plane of Shadow. They take an interest in the teeth in particular because they know that their natural abilities can be augmented greatly by obtaining some of these teeth. (these creatures are limited in their range in that they are tied closely to a strange variety of purple tree, and can only enter the Prime Material Plane during the night, and must start at the base of one of these trees. They're working on expanding their forests southward, however.). At the outset, the BBEG will be just another crazy secret cult with grandoise plans. Now, later on, as they garner more influence and relics, the powers that be will sit up and take notice, but a war might be engineered between the two nations to provide a marvelous distraction.