View Full Version : [D&D] Advise on a New Campaign

2008-10-03, 08:54 AM
I'll start by saying this is pretty text heavy. So, I spoilered things...but now it's very spoiler heavy. Please don't disregard this because it's long. I promise: It's interesting... to me.

Here's the story I've got so far. I know it's kinda generic, but:
One Thousand-Thousand years ago, during a time of great beauty in the world, an evil entity rose up and threatened all of existance.
To thwart it, a group of warriors took up the mantle of Hero to destroy the entity. Armed with their skill and mettle, what knowledge they could gain, and the weapons the chaos had learned to fear, they travelled to the lands the entity had taken as his realm. Through the chaos of the entity's warped mind, the Heroes battled. Hoardes of nightmarish beasts, the warped souls that once inhabited the ordered lands, were striken down by the mournful Heroes.
Finally, they cornered the entity at the top of great mountain. The epic battle raged on, and the Heroes chanted all the while. They chanted their hopes for a better world and their sorrow for those who had fallen at their hand. Then, their souls purged of all chaos and darkness, they chanted an incantation to defeat the entity once and for all. An incantation which would sacrifice the physical existance of the heroes to erase any trace of the entity that ever was, is, or would be.
As the entity faded before them, the heroes themselves faded.

Now, as though shaken from a beautiful sleep, the heroes jolt upright. Looking around, they see complete strangers, wearing clothes of rags and holding the epic weapons they had used. They realize that the heroes are once again on the mount they had done battle on, but they are not the great heroes they once were. Drained of their power, they speak, acknowledging each other's presense in new form.
The newborn heroes make their way down the side of the mountain, uneasy like newborn lambs. As they descend through the clouds, they spell the scent of chaos. When they can finally see the land around them, they see a broken land and a great spire rising up, bearing the insignia of the entity.

So, that's the set up. The actual adventure will be trying to regain their former glory and finally setting the world right. Eventually, the players will learn that:
The great battle weakened the entity, and robbed it of it's ability to corrupt order, but the incantation was not strong enough to destroy it. Since they entity wasn't destroyed, the heroes could not be wholly sacrificed, though the magics and the battle had drained their bodies of the strength to hold itself together. Their essenses took residence in the only vessels that could contain such spiritual magic: Their Weapons.
So! The PCs are actually the great Heroes, trapped inside their own weapons. The PCs possessed the bodies of the first things that picked up the weapons, which happened to be a group of slaves escaping from the entity's forces.
While the PCs level, the weapons will automatically get enhancement bonuses. I'm thinking of 2nd level, and every 4 levels after, to make their weapons enhance by +1. 3rd level and every odd level after, they gain the morphing ability for one other weapon. The warping of the world causes small fissures in existance, which can enchant weapons further, but attract chaos beasts.

I completely expect my players to eventually take up a body-snatcher role, so, I'll have to incorporate certain saves and checks and such. It'll probably be a gestalt campaign. The point is to get the players to, instead of discarding weapons when a new one with a higher bonus appears, to discard bodies when a better one comes along. This could mean that players will be swapping races every once in a while, for recon and the like.

So, what does the Playground think? Would you play in it? (I'm thinking 3.5e, but 4e could work.) Any suggestions?

2008-10-03, 09:13 AM
I personally wouldn't play in it. It's interesting enough to be the weapon, I suppose, but I prefer playing a character, growing and exploring my personality instead of starting at the top, being smacked down and swinging from tree to tree to finish the job, which will likely involve my death.

2008-10-03, 10:40 AM
Well, I can understand your sentiments. But, the epic prologue is very vague on purpose. I want the the players to have rich backstories for their characters, and I want them to want to create their own quests and goals.

However, my gaming group didn't do this so much last time I ran a campaign. Some had good backstories, yes. But, they came to the table saying "We walk east towards the nearest tavern with a quest in it."

But, what would you add to the plot? Maybe instead of a Thousand-thousand years, it's only been a hundred years? 50? Enough for some of their families to still be around?

2008-10-03, 11:13 AM
Sounds interesting. It does have rather a narrow focus, though, with regards to what you have already established. Players need something to work with, and the best way to provide that is to develop the world around them. Maybe the slaves they have possessed have goals and dreams in life? Perhaps their personalities are not entirely subsumed.

2008-10-03, 11:20 AM
It depends on how much you want them to know at the outset. You could have them make the characters of the heroes, telling them that their characters will experience some radical changes but not exactly what those are, and then have the surprises start from the point where they wake up. So long as you can make sure they'll be okay with their points of view being turned sideways, that lets them create strong personalities who they will be able to play.

As far as motivation etc. goes, I suggest making them BIG Damn Heroes. As in, the biggest heroes of each of their individual parts of the world. God-kings and warrior prophets of religions dedicated to how awesome they were. Make it so that even after millennia of the entity's rule they still have a stake in the world. Make the things they have ties to big enough to have survived. One wants to liberate the western continent. One wants to reestablish his race from a diaspora. One wants to seal the Seventeen Deplorable Spirits who destroyed his temples and now serve the entity. Huge goals, ones giving them something to work towards besides just defeating the BBEG. In other words, give them legacies.

2008-10-03, 03:13 PM
will the pcs get to choose what weapon they are?

2008-10-03, 04:03 PM
Oh, yes, definately. I've actually been dropping hints that I want to run a gladitor style thing, where they have weapon of choice.
It's gestalt definately, and I'll be using a high-point buy, at least for their initial characters. Maybe the weapons had been dormant so long, the first host bodies got beefed up by merely touching the weapon. It'll suck, however, when they try to take an NPCs body, and get stuck with their crazy ability scores.

I've been thinking about something else. Maybe when they leave one host in favor of another, the host they left ceases to exist. Not just dies, but...never was. And, maybe, eventually, they'll be confronted by some sort of Goddess of Fate that is pissed about them messing with the tapestry of existance, by wiping things out completely. Pulling out entire threads is causing things to unravel.

Oh... That's a good idea, Burley.[/self-validation]

2008-10-03, 04:29 PM
The ritual actually ate most of them. As they reenter the world, the details of their past come back to them (every period of time, have the players write more backstory).

They are bonded to the beings who possess them, and also gain their memories over time (more inserted backstory). Separated from their host, they feel intense pain (insert mechanical effects that can vary). When their host dies, the soul of the host joins the weapon (no resurrection!)

As they sleep, they dream of the past age. Write up the 'old characters', and have a dream-adventure or two, that opens up information for their 'current' characters. This could even generate XP for the current characters, as their attachment to the world increases with the Dream.

Are you doing this 3e or 4e?

I'd do away, for now, with the reality-editing parts of it. Defeating the BBEG by sacrifice of the lives of the heroes is probably enough. It failed, and the BBEG came back, but so did the heroes.

If there is no reality-editing, then maybe the remnants of the heroes where buried. Their weapons, part of the ritual, came back into existence on the mountain. One of the things they will want to do is to find their tombs and loot them.

The tombs -- no, shrines(!) to the great heroes -- each possess a relic of the ancient past, one from each hero. And each is defended...

2008-10-03, 04:57 PM
The tombs -- no, shrines(!) to the great heroes -- each possess a relic of the ancient past, one from each hero. And each is defended...

I can see it now... at least one forms the centrepiece for an order of good clerics, who are none too pleased that you're trying to steal their holy relic. "But it's actually mine!" doesn't cut it with them... :smalltongue: