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Saint Jimmy
2017-05-25, 11:20 AM
I'm thinking about running a Viking style game of d&d 4e. I'm looking for a sort of feel like a d&d version of the saga of Írvar-Oddr, but with more d&d type monsters. I have an idea for an introductory adventure where the players are trying to find out what happened to an older group who tried to colonize this far-off island. (Still haven't come up with a world map). First, though, I'm thinking of a one shot with pre-gens with them as members of the first colony basicly clearing out the area of basic monsters or sometching so it can be built. It would end with the priest getting a vision of something bad happened (unspecified) and then ending it. Next session would be spent helping them make their actual characters and then playing the real campaign.
Beyond that, however, I don't know what caused it, or any other possible adventures. Basicly, I have writer's block. Do you all have any ideas on
1. Ways to integrate more d&d type monsters, so it feels like d&d but also like an epic Viking saga.
2. Adventure ideas that, like the first one, feel like d&d and a Viking saga.
3. Ideas for what happened to the colony.

Mark Hall
2017-05-25, 11:54 AM
Me, I'd lean heavily on the Vinland Sagas for this... goblins, gnomes, orcs, etc. as skraelings, various monsters as the local fauna of your Vinland.

So, I'd start by deciding which races are "vikings", and which are skraelings. Viking races are your initial PCs. Skraeling races are not (at least, not initially). They land (or crash; never underestimate the value of "Stranded without all my gear") at the site of the former colony, and start investigating what happens, which leads to them meeting the skraelings. You might have them be orcs, maybe with a few, tantalizing, half-orcs in their midst... especially if the first colony disappeared 15 years or so ago. Are you looking at a Vinland Saga situation, where angry skraelings destroyed the colony? Or a Roanoke situation, where the colony melded into the local population?

This particular set-up also allows you to include skill challenges... building your colony, getting the harvest set, etc., while also bringing in monsters and such to challenge them in combat.

Yora
2017-05-25, 11:57 AM
If you start with a one shot prolog, I would start it a bit later when the colony has just finished being built. Then the players have to respond to some kind of threat and are able to defeat it, but also get signs that much worse is yet to come. Then you switch to the actual group of PCs. Doing a one shot with simple tasks wouldn't be very interesting. If you only spend a little time with those characters, make it action packed.
Maybe even have the players only make their characters after this prolog, so they can include ideas they got during that adventure and make characters tailored to what they now can expect the campaign to be like. They might want to create friends or relatives of the doomed characters from the prolog.

For what happened, demonic cannibal-giants with frost powers are always great in a viking style campaign. Giants are always cool, but I think some kind of supernatural evil element should probably also be included.

Regarding monsters, basically anything related to cold and ice. Remorhaz, winter wolf, frost worm, if you have it. And anything with bears or that is big and swims in the sea.

This means, something to consider is at what level the characters will be starting. A lot of cool viking style monsters are pretty big and mean and probably well beyond the scope of 1st to 3rd level PCs. If the players are new you could make the prolog characters 1st level to learn the basics of the game and then make the actual characters start at 3rd. That shouldn't be too much of a jump for them but already gives them a bit of a head start to deal with bigger enemies.

I like the idea of some survivors ending up being found living with the previously suspicious seeming natives.

Saint Jimmy
2017-05-25, 12:16 PM
Wow, those are all great ideas, and thanks so much for the fast response time! I wasn't expecting anything that quickly.
Mark Hall, that is just all around good advice. I was planning it more like the Vinland Saga situation. I'm defenitely going to use about all of those ideas, they fit and flesh out what I have planned really well.
Yora:


I would start it a bit later when the colony has just finished being built. Then the players have to respond to some kind of threat and are able to defeat it, but also get signs that much worse is yet to come.

Yeah, I intended to do that, it must not have been clear.
The idea about having them make characters after the prologue is great! Also, I will probably skip them to third level for the "real" campaign, as it allows more interesting foes.
After reading these, I'm thinking to had the trail lead to the orcs originally, but the reason culprits would be a demonic group of gnolls (fluffed as orcs who were transformed through worship of some Evil Thing. This would be the big bad of the campaign, as they adventure on they would find more traces of its corrupting influence.) again, thank you for all the amazing ideas/help!

Koo Rehtorb
2017-05-25, 01:07 PM
One word. Snowbolds.

Psikerlord
2017-05-25, 10:57 PM
check out the Ice Kingdoms campaign setting book; it's got vikings all over it! Just came out a few months back.

sengmeng
2017-05-26, 09:42 AM
Tolkien made up hobbits, ents, and balrogs, and severely edited orcs, but the rest of his creatures are from Norse mythology, so dwarves, elves, goblins, trolls, giants, and dragons could all go in your campaign, as well as the kraken, lycanthropes (especially werebears) and frost giants.

Saint Jimmy
2017-05-26, 12:15 PM
Wow, thanks! I'll defenitely keep all that in mind, especially the part about the goblins, trolls, etc. I'll have to reflavor the goblins so they are more like the Norse version, but that won't be hard at all! I'll keep the snowbolds in mind as well, and I'll defenitely check out the Ice Kingdoms book. Is it for a specific edition/game or a more general thing?

2D8HP
2017-05-26, 12:30 PM
Wow, thanks! I'll defenitely keep all that in mind, especially the part about the goblins, trolls, etc...


D&D Trolls are inspired a lot by the one in the novel Three Hearts and Three Lions, so if you want a "Nordic" flavor you may want to change them to be more "folkloric", I recommend reading:


https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/518Y-3t1XdL._AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65_.jpg

Trolls: An Unnatural History (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1780235658/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1495819384&sr=8-6&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=troll+folklore&dpPl=1&dpID=518Y-3t1XdL&ref=plSrch)

Saint Jimmy
2017-05-26, 12:32 PM
I'll see if my library has it, thanks!

Mark Hall
2017-05-26, 12:34 PM
Truthfully, if you want a reasonably Nordic replacement for AD&D trolls, go with Ogres, but give them a human-range intelligence.

sengmeng
2017-05-26, 06:32 PM
Truthfully, if you want a reasonably Nordic replacement for AD&D trolls, go with Ogres, but give them a human-range intelligence.

Agreed. Regeneration is basically a feature in everybody else's trolls.

GungHo
2017-05-30, 09:35 AM
Elves (if you have them), wwould be demigods closer to Aesir (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elf#Old_Norse_texts), and exist in opposition to the giants. Dwarves would still be associated with metalworking and alcohol, but might be more akin to how gnomes are portrayed in their use of magic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_(mythology)#Norse_mythology_and_folklore).

Saint Jimmy
2017-05-30, 11:38 AM
So trolls=ogres. Got it, thanks!
GungHo, I didn't see anything about magic in that article. Could you point to the precipice part that has it?

Corsair14
2017-05-30, 12:10 PM
Once again, there is a book on this very subject. I downloaded it not too long ago from DMs guild. The old AD&D Viking campaign book which has everything you need to know about running a Norse campaign, what classes to limit and how to limit them. The rules may be outdated but I have found 2e to 5e to be a fairly easy conversion. Further you can amp up the heroes a bit by making them all Variant humans while your normal folks are standard humans.

GungHo
2017-05-31, 08:48 AM
So trolls=ogres. Got it, thanks!
GungHo, I didn't see anything about magic in that article. Could you point to the precipice part that has it?

" murderous creators who create the mead of poetry, 'reluctant donors' of important artifacts with magical qualities ... the doorways in the mountains that they guard may be regarded as doors between worlds ... In the late legendary sagas, dwarfs demonstrate skill in healing as well as in smithing."