View Full Version : Sharing Some Campaign Ideas

2016-01-05, 07:55 PM
Since I'm confident that none of my players read Giant ITP posts and I wanted to share, I'm going to leave behind a campaign hook idea dump for whoever and whatever.

Some of them I elaborate more on than others. Some of them I had already planned sequels to. But I'll try to not write a novel for each one.

I also omitted some that were specific to a game I'm writing. If someone asks I may add those later.

Feel free to reply and share your own as well. And if you run one of mine, let me know how it goes for you.

Attack on the Drowned God
(Based on the book Towing Jehovah)
A god is dead, found floating in the ocean. He must have angered his pantheon because all records of his existence have been erased from the mortal realm. No one knows his name, and the only indication that he was once a god, are all the fallen angels found floundering in the ocean near his corpse.

The angels don't remember the god or the transgression either. They've had their memories altered, their wings and powers removed, they're now not much different than humans.

They managed to find a kind trader who would tow the body to the arctic where it can be preserved in the ice and studied to find out who it was and what happened.

Churches who still support the pantheon are divided on the subject. One half thinks the god should be revered despite his transgressions, he was still a god. The others assume his fall from grace is justified and the annals of history being wiped means the study and uncovering of his past is blasphemous and should be stopped.

The splinter group who deigns it blasphemy has sent paladins and clerics as well as mercenaries to destroy the corpse and slay the angels. The Angels are seeking refuge and protection from the splinter group until they can set up in the arctic and fortify their own defenses.

Players will find themselves asked to support both sides (or whichever one seems most interesting / fitting for your group)

Birth of Trolls
There is a large wasteland with a massive pool of deep dark mud.

The mud has been revered by a clan of feral (orks / bugbears / goblins / humans / donkeys / whatever) for over hundreds of years. But only recently have a race of Trolls started crawling out of it.

The trolls are ferocious, even more deadly than their "normal" cousins, and just as insanely feral as the [race] worshiping them.

The PCs are brought in to see why this happened and how to stop it.

[The answer I was going to go with was the reverence of the Feral tribe had become so powerful the mud achieved holy significance and eventually even deity status. A massive face would form in the mud and battle with the PCs extending arms made of mud and throwing rocks while spawning trolls (Mud Angels) to fight for it.]

Corrupted Blood
Vampires are registered with the city. They are law abiding citizens, and get a daily [nightly] intake of blood from a sanctioned clinic. Vampires who don't show for their dosage are hunted by bounty hunters.

Recently the clinics have received tainted blood which is driving the law abiding vampires into a frenzied state.

The PCs must investigate the source of the taineted blood.

[turns all sherlock-y if you want it to. A Lich may be the source of the taint, causing them to become "loyal followers" however the mixture is not working and instead driving them insane.

A potential sequel to this may be that people have decided if the vampires are so easily corruptable, they should not be lawful citizens.]

Cerebral Fugue
A psion has set up a stall in the city and is selling "experiences."

Patrons sit in a comfortable chair while the psion stands behind them and infuses memories he purchases off of other adventurers for the patrons to enjoy without risking their lives.

There are a number of directions to take this hook. Either the PCs are asked to go to dangerous places for "the best memories" for the Psion.

Or perhaps people are becoming addicted and the reigning authorities have deemed psionics "dangerous drugs."

Maybe the Psion himself is getting the memories through less than reputable means. (Stealing them from dying adventurers or killing them and absorbing their memories) or the PCs find their Experience drains whenever they're in his presence as he cannot turn his powers off.

A nobles son requires a champion to fight in a duel for him.

He begs the PCs, assuming or knowing of their past strengths until they agree (he also promises a LOT of money.)

The opponent is a capable fighter, though he is no match for the PC who accepts the role. Sparing his life would be dishonorable. Killing him would be brutal.

Only after making this duel, winning, and accepting the money will the PCs learn that the Noble's son was the one who initiated the duel with a minor peasant over an insignificant transgression.

If the PCs killed the fighter, it was the young peasants brother and he is not easily forgiving.

If the PCs spared him, the fighter and his younger brother are exiled in shame.

Either way, the PCs must now go about trying to set things right.

Courtesy of Mr. Black
Some dwarves have been exiled from their homelands in the mountains and embargoed by their previous government.

They're begging for supplies and assistance. The PCs may end up protecting a caravan or being asked to smuggle it past the Dwarven city to aid the exiled dwarves.

Upon delivery however, the PCs will learn that they've handed over not only food and supplies for shelter, but weapons and arms for the Dwarves to mount a rebellion...

This is all in line with the plan set forth by a Mr. Black, a codename used by a ringleader of the Black Market who hopes the Rebel dwarves will be more cooperative than the authoritative ones in power.

Day Zero
(Kind of inspired by Groundhog Day)
A small village is experiencing a curse in which they keep reliving the same day over and over again.

There is a massive golden idol nearby that is believed to be the cause of the curse, however it is guarded by powerful monsters the PCs cannot face.

They must use each "day" gaining experience or trying to kill the creations (although the days reset, memories do not. Just injuries, lives, hunger, items, placement of people, no aging effects, etc) So they can become more powerful, but cannot escape the curse until they can destroy the monster.

It would be fun to run this and play all the NPCs. Some may be insane from the unsettling experience. Some may be depressed trying to kill themselves each day. Some may have moved here hearing about the lack of aging and seeking immortality.

Eldritch Dead
A city powered by magic floats above the earth.

They are run by massive crystals. One Arcane, the Other Divine (or whatever "magic type" you want to go with here, or go with none and just have two crystals, they don't have to mean anything) but they both seem to be dying.

If the crystals were to lose all power, the city would fall from the sky. The damage would be catastrophic. However, there is hope.

There is a "Dark" crystal used by evil mages and taken far away from our floating city. The PCs must find them and the crystal and a way to bring it back to the city.

What happens here at the end is whats interesting about this. Either the dark crystal corrupts the city, or perhaps the PCs find it, but it is afflicted with the same issue the other crystals are (meaning the dark mages may have mounted an offensive against the city hoping to employ the same plan) or perhaps it works and the PCs are now tasked with finding a way to cleanse the crystal of it's darkness.

Or perhaps the unification of the crystals causes a powerful surge of energy which sinks the city anyway and causes untold destruction.

Hail and High Water
A recent series of floods have swept through a coastal town. The PCs are brought in to help extract survivors, but right as they arrive an evil mage has decided it'd be the perfect time to freeze the floodwaters and rain hail down on the heroes.

(Based on The Most Dangerous Game)
The PCs are invited (or kidnapped and forced) into a high stakes game where they are dropped off in a jungle with no equipment and just enough clothing and forced to survive being hunted by professional hunters (i.e. murderers)

There are plenty of traps everywhere, as well as wildlife to deal with. Make sure the end takes place in an opulent mansion where the last hunter has barricaded himself in a room and shouts "Now I've never lost a hunt, and I don't intend to today." or whatever lines you can come up with.

Kingdom of Mirrors
(Thought of this after fighting the Mirror Knight in Dark Souls 2)
A king obsessed with mirrors has built a massive castle coated with reflective surfaces. Even his trusted knights feature reflective armor.

Unfortunately one of the mirrors in his castle is a portal to a realm of evil spirits which have begun to pop through the reflections and attack people. The king has been taken ransom, and his trusted knights possessed by the mirror spirits.

The PCs must navigate a castle where literally every surface may be a trap which would be impossible to detect, and depth perception is completely betrayed by the rows upon rows of reflective surfaces. Not to mention the illusions cast by the spirits causing the PCs to watch their own reflections taunt, flee, or attack them.

Perhaps the worst of all is the non-lethal approach they must take to the most powerful enemies within the castle, the Kings personal guard. Their reflective armor is what controls them now, but inside the armor is a loyal, and innocent man.

Sanctioned Sacrifice
A clan deep in the jungle has recently joined a kingdom or empire, and the ruling body has declared their tradition of sacrifice to the sun gods to be a heathen practice and have outlawed it.

The people of the jungle clan are outraged. They know their sacrifice is made to appease an otherwise angry and vengeful god. The PCs must choose a side. Protect the lives that don't wish to be saved, or defend tradition from marching imperialists.

(For bonus points introduce the Sun God as a person in the game, like a powerful necromancer who uses the sacrifices to his own ends.)

(Based on Simo Häyhä (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simo_H%C3%A4yh%C3%A4))
Two soldiers were kicked out of their warband, and have since begun hunting down their ex-squadmates.

The PCs are brought in to track them down in a dangerous winter forest lined with traps and ambushes set up by the two powerful men. (One an expert sniper [or archer] the other a master strategist)

The fight together and almost always have the advantage over the PCs. However, they only kill the Warband members and leave the PCs alive or take them captive.

It turns out, the exiled soldiers used to be the leaders. However they were mutinied and stuck in the forest while their old squad would raid and burn villages (crimes which were pinned on their old leaders) The PCs are then stuck fighting back against the Warband with two extremely powerful mercenaries.

After the Warband retreats or is defeated, someone inevitably comes along and blames the PCs and their new Mercenary friends for all the crimes the old warband has committed. Now the remnants of the last warband are backed by imperial militias and law enforcement. The Mercenaries have no qualms about killing the innocent men attacking them, but the PCs might.

So this becomes a big "Clear your name in the middle of a battlefield while resisting arrest" and in between fights survival checks must be made to last in the wintry forest. Should be interesting.

The Breed
(Hunger Games inspired)
The PCs are arrested for a crime they didn't commit and stuck in an "Arena" designed to look and act like a dungeon. "Adventurers" are sent through while observers watch from behind bars and glass to see what horrible monsters or traps may kill the "criminals."

Essentially this is an excuse to introduce Hunger Games aspects to your game honestly. The idea of sponsors handing out cool equipment / potions and winners being set free is what compels this hook, but the whole "Spectator sport of Dungeon Crawling" sounds so cool to me for some reason.

A warrior tribe seeks a new warchant and designates a "bard" to follow the party and learn their story.

This is a hook that has been done before. "Bard wants to follow party to get cool stories." but this time the Bard is a feral ork / goblin / whatever and his instrument of choice is bongos made from humanoid skin.

The Feral Bard stalks the party from a distance until it is confronted, then it tells them its intention. If asked why he doesn't follow his tribal leaders, the bard says "because that's what everyone else does."

What the PCs do with him, or are wiling to put up with to keep him should create several antics. As well as his knack for getting the PCs into trouble and starting fights for them simply so he can observe. He will do this regardless of their opinion or permission, simply running to hide if they come after him.