View Full Version : Gamer Tales What's the best storyline for a campaign that you've been in/DM'ed?

2015-05-14, 10:12 AM
So, I just happened to see a pretty cool storyline on these forums, and I've been tinkering a bit with different ideas for my next big project as a DM, so I kinda got interested in what wacky/funny/interesting/fantastic stories that people have played through in here.

2015-05-14, 12:43 PM
I don't take credit for this one; the idea belongs to the people of "Alderac Entertainment" and a short story (that can easily be expanded to a whole large campaign) for high-level characters called "The Last Gods". I'll just add some little brushstrokes of my own:

One day the PC's are contacted by a whole new deity who asks them for help. It’s not actually a new deity, it’s far older than any that the PC’s might know, but this deity used to delve in unimaginable far away dimensions.

It used to be an evil deity who grew so strong that no one could put a stop to it, until this deity devoured entire words and dimensions and one day, suddenly and without any explanation it felt remorse and mourn in the void for innumerable years.

This deity now wants to undo all the wrong that it did and then go to where deities go when they no longer want to exist. Also, the evilness of this deity was so strong, that when it decided to repent, its evil side broke off him as an independent force or being. This evil being is very weak still, but the deity thinks that part of its duty is to find and destroy this being before it turns into a real menace. Until then, the deity has promised not to rest.

2015-05-14, 01:50 PM
A campaign I ran for the Earthdawn system was pretty involved but worked out quite well. There's some terminology I'll break down too.

Passions- The "gods" in the system. Known to take form and walk among the people to this day. Warriors facing overwhelming odds have been joined by the passion of valor and glory, their last battle won with Thystonius at their back, often dying of the wounds received within a matter of days.

Questors- Dedicated followers of an individual passion.

The Scourge- A period of several hundred years where monsters known as horrors attacked and ravaged the land.
During this time three of the passions were driven mad. The passion of Order (Euridis) became a passion of bureaucracy and subjugation(Dis). The passion of Leadership and wisdom (Roshamon) became a passion of pain and death (Raggok). The prankster passion (Vestrial) turned from individuality and lessons of wisdom to one of lies and death.

There is a tale in Barsaive of the once proud country of Thamos, from long before the Scourge. The king demanded all bow to him, but a questor of Vestrial refused. Faced with prostrating himself before the king or death, he chose death. The king sought all the questors of the land and made them face the same choice, and many were killed. Then one day the passions themselves appeared before him and bowed, but "Vestrial clown, Vestrial he smiled." The kingdom prospered for a time, but the passions powers soon drove the kingdom to bankruptcy, its people killed, and the king and queen lost forever in a fortress designed by Euridis (Order, and law) and built by Upandal (Passion of Construction and creation). The passion Vestrial smiling over the affairs it is believed he arranged to teach the king and all others that the passions are not ruled by men.

Thamos itself existed in the heart of what is now a tremendous jungle, protected by a warping of space and time originally created by Euridis. To reach it they must take an airship built by Upandal(Passion of Construction and creation) and captained by Florannus(Passion of Speed, excitement, and foolhardy ventures). Once their the fortress is guarded by Harbingers of all of the passions who will destroy any who have not gained that favor of that specific passion.

The players began to investigate the legend but were regularly side-tracked by other goals. In accomplishing those goals managed to commit what for questors would have been zealous acts for more than half of the 12 passions, and in cleansing a spreading taint from a grassland earned not only the blessing of Jaspree (Passion of nature and growing), but a boon from the Loremaster of the great dragons, who provided them with the requirements to enter Thamos.

The players then sought a legendary airship said to be built by upandal himself in the twilight peaks where troll sky raiders lived and fought. And went in search of an airship they had once flown up crewed by questors of Florannus. In doing so they worked to commit acts for the remaining passions.

Upon reaching Thamos the harbingers knelt before them, except for that of Thystonius, and one unecpect harbiger, greater even than the others in black armor. Before them was a comrade, believed lost, but corrupted by a powerful horror. Challenging him single combat the groups swordmaster was able to defeat him, and the curse of the horror began to fade. His eyes cleared and the harbinger of valor knelt to before the party.

The saved troll bleeding profusely gained his feet, and and said that he knew what he must do. Pouring every once of his Skyraider magic and very life force into a single blow he charged the black harbinger leaping high into the air and driving his sword deep into the armor, but the armor remained unmoved. His limp body fell to the ground before the huge figure as it raised it's sword, flipped it's grip and knelt, Driving the tip of of its humongous blade through the troll and deep into the ground. Thus the passion of death, trapped beneath sea of fire was pleased.

The party entered Thamos.

The whole campaign took about a year of weekly games. I lost a player due to moving (His character was the troll who showed up at the end, corrupted.) Main thing was, while the players were seeking the city the whole time, a lot of the adventures they went on that led to pleasing the passions were not with that in mind. The players would joke that they were committing zealous acts left and right but it wasn't until near the end that they knew what the payoff would potentially be.

The Thamos part showed up in the 3rd session I believe. I found the poem for it it the "Legends and Heros" supplement book and really liked the reiteration of "Vestrial, Clown Verstrial he smiled." As the players were already very wary of that passion and his questors. That was the last line of the game too, but the details for all of that would take way too long to type without knowing anyone was interested.

2015-05-14, 02:03 PM
I was in an amazing campaign. Over 100 gaming sessions. It was set in the Birthright campaign world, but we were not regents. We were thrown together by circumstance and wound up in the Vampire’s Hold. Several misty mountain passes and odd time changes occurred. It was nearly 20 sessions before we realized that the Vampire’s hold and Ravenloft’s Barovia were sharing the same geography, and we were caught up in Azelin’s attempt to escape that resulted in the creation of the necropolis. Meanwhile, politics in the Vampire’s hold centered around keeping what we uncovered a secret and keeping the queen in power against the Brecht nobles. This included a fake-snowman king.

During these events, our bard was turned into a bear, and then had a religious conversion. Our knight was transformed into a woman- which was a problem given that he was Khinasi (Arabic eqv.). He wound up using an orcish shamanistic ritual (never trust captured enemy shamans!) to split his male and female parts. Then we had to travel to Ariya to find his womanly half before he died from the backlash. Our spellcaster (pyromancer) suffered from the effects of one too many memory modification spells administered by the Vampire’s hold nobility. Our mystic theurge (half-elf) fell in love with our fighter (who had a religious conversion himself). She sacrificed herself to stop the Necropolis affect, becoming a vampire. Her plotting then nearly TPK’s the party. Oh, and the toughest and most feared melee combatant of our group turned out to be the Paladin’s warhorse.

2015-05-14, 05:36 PM
I'm rather proud of the current setting I'm DMing for right now. It's based in the Faerun setting, with a couple minor tweaks. Here's the premise I have typed up:

It is the year 1382 – Year of the Bleeding Mortals. Darkness has fallen across the lands of Faerűn. Deep in the lower planes, a war waged between law and chaos; between Devils and Demons. Since time immemorial, these two groups of fiends has vied for power, always attempting to gain ground on the other in a desire to wipe out the other and bring their visions of what the universe should be to light. This conflict has become known as the Blood War.

Recently, the Demon Lords of the Abyss have grown impatient. Using their vast cults as vessels, the Hordes of the Abyss has spilt onto the Material Plane, hoping to harvest more souls for their endless war. Horrifically, they have moved parts of the Abyss onto the Material Plane, bringing their factories and transformation compounds, making the home plane of mortals more like their own; turning the land between lands into what is commonly known as the Fiendlands. At these foul places they take mortal creatures, human, elf, dwarf, orc, it doesn’t matter, and turning them into the foul creatures known as Manes.

However, Asmodeus, Lord of the Ninth and overlord of the Nine Hells, seeing this as a threat to his plans, did the unthinkable: broke the Pact Primeval, the deal brokered between himself and the Lawful Deities of the universe, establishing what and who would be condemned to the Nine Hells of Baator. He drove his troops to the Material Plane through similar portals in an effort to bring his foundries and war facilities to the land. Here, too, the Devils have largely eschewed their typical attempts at tricking mortals into Faustian Pacts and giving up their immortal souls into mass kidnappings and harvesting.

Suffice to say, the upper echelons of the universe were outraged. Troops from all the celestial planes, the Lawful Good Archons from the House of the Triad, the Chaotic Good Eladrin from the realms of Arvador and the Gates of the Moon, and the Neutral Good Guardinals of natural wilderness that is the House of Nature, were sent to do battle with these fiends. This clash of cosmic proportions has given rise to the name of the Soul War, named after the catalysts of the conflict.

However, unlike the Hordes and the Tyrants, the Celestials are fewer in number, and on turf foreign to them. Capable of defending the major population centers of the world, the divine forces protected those within. However, their strength is not infinite, and if something is not done soon, the rest of the world will plunge into darkness forever. However, in the town of Ordulin, several very different individuals will be set on their paths towards their destinies…

TL;DR - The blood war between devils and demons has come to the material plane, prompting the celestials to come down as well and the players are caught in the middle. I rather enjoy it myself. Currently, they are off to Myth Drannor to see if they can find some research on the Mythal there and build one over Ordulin. May not be the most entirely original plot idea, but I'm rather fond of it.

Karen Lynn
2015-05-15, 04:30 AM
I had a storyline years ago...

The party does normal little early quests that tax them but don't risk them. They go to bed one day and awaken in a chamber(NPC's used ritual summoning magic to rip the players into this new world).

The party is told that they're the heroes of legend, meant to strike down a grave terror. Everything is same tech level, divines cast at -1 caster level, arcanes at -2. Druids and sorcerers unaffected. Psionics unaffected. Magic items and potions disrupted, fail and fizzle. Caster level reduction goes away after a week of adapting.

The party is told all about this despot who has taken over the realm, conquering the lands like it was going out of style, creating a secret army to suppress uprisings and require that everyone spend two years, minimum, mining a particular mineral, Umbrite.

The NPC's that summoned the party suggest that this ban is the grave terror of legend, and real them to stop him.

The party accepts, setting up guerrilla warfare, inciting riots and rebellions, flooding and collapsing mines, you name it.

A long time later, the party finally corners the despot, attempts to reason fail, and combat begins. Two rounds later, the despot is laying in the ground, bleeding out, almost no challenge whatsoever.

"You know not what I do for the people..."

He dies. They spend a week to make sure everyone knows the despot is dead, that everyone thing is fine, and life can return to its natural state, when the quakes begin. The wizard had been thumbing through the despots journal here and there this past week. Finally, he sees a line: "... and it is said that the shadowy black stones with violet speckled veins is the only thing that can continue its slumber."

That's when a Tarrasque clambers out from under the ground, destroying a large keep that had all the Umbrite shipped to it.

The party failed. The players loved it.

Jay R
2015-05-15, 01:58 PM
We had an excellent game that started in a settled, comfortable, boring England-like kingdom, which had just discovered a continent across the ocean. We were traveling to the Roanoke colony in the New World, to help explore it.


I'm currently playing in a game set in ancient Egypt. The player characters are all princes - sons and daughters of the Pharaoh, out to prove we deserve to inherit more than any of our 99 other siblings.

2015-05-16, 09:51 PM
I was one of the DM's for a campaign which featured an Evil city, a Neutral city, and a Good city. Bland, yeah, until we get to some details.

Good city was floating in the sky because Reasons. Turns out the Reasons were mindflayers, which the party killed. Probably a good move, but it brought the city down. And the Neogi started visiting shortly after.

Neutral city was actually as boring as it sounds. We did have a PC flip out, kill a merchant, and attempt to impersonate him. It was a little unsettling and confusing.

Evil city was ruled by 9 Judges. Laws were passed by plutocracy, meaning you pay money for or against a law. It was an attempt at lawful evil which was stable but also clearly evil. I think we pulled it off ok; the PC's decided to fill a vacant Judge post and that was all sorts of fun.

I think you can describe any setting in a way that makes it boring and most that make it exciting; the real question is how much fun it is to play.