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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Godskook's Avatar

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    Oct 2008

    Default Ok, starting a campaign, need help. [3.5]

    So, I got tired of knowing guys who play D&D, but not knowing any games set in a basic 3.5 splat setting, so I opted to start run one myself, complete with a cross-dimensional start-up, so my players are power-ranger(short version) versions of themselves walking into a D&D universe that has the following qualities, as far as they know:

    Cult of Oblivion, a group capable of sending a small squad of trolls through a planar gateway for the purpose of gathering random guinea pigs for experiments.

    A wizard named Dominic Alheera, a wizard renown for his expertise in planar magic, who was somehow black-mailed into creating the ritual that allowed for the above.

    What I haven't told the players, but I'm thinking about.

    Using this variant, combined with backlashes that make it dangerous(negative levels maybe?), and required sites of magical import, most of which(especially the ones that are convenient) are guarded.

    A giant scarred desert, in which little lives, but at the center of, a prosperous city of high-ish magic exists which sustains itself on the tarresque, whose capture founded the town of Kintarra. The previously mentioned magic sites of import are there as an outer wall of sorts, which kept the great beast's destruction relatively contained, in order to make its trapping far more feasible. (The setting does not currently have access to wish).

    Since most of the world's greatest humanoid powers were among those sent to battle the beast, the world outside the scar was set backwards magically, currently holding at best in the 2-6 HD range for most humanoids, while the city of beast, Kintarra, has prospered, combined with long lives, somewhere around 8-12 HD. Kintarra itself is essentially the lead-front of magical revolution akin to what happened in England/America during the late 1800s and early 1900s while the outside the scar prosper on a more colonial-era level, stuck in low-magic tech(fireballs are new and scary!).

    -------

    My main problem is that all my plotting keeps going into stories that require ECL 8+(Mind flayers, trolls, powerful wizards and Kintarra itself), while I *REALLY* want to have the party grow through the early levels, albeit at an accelerated pace, to give them the feel that the new world they're in is changing them, somewhat akin, but on a larger scale, to what happens in Chronicles of Narnia where the heroes enter Narnia as normal people, but grow into things they almost couldn't have been in the real world. To that end, I want to start them at level 1, but knowing that level 1 is so deadly, I gave them 3 temp-HD for HP/BAB/Save purposes, so that hopefully, they'd stay long enough to mature into the heroic figures they dream of becoming.

    So, questions, ideas, or criticisms?
    Avatar by Assassin89
    I started my first campaign around a campfire, having pancakes. They were blueberry.
    My homebrew(updated 6/17):

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Ok, starting a campaign, need help. [3.5]

    First off, where are your characters going to start? The desert? The city? Are they going to be a group that wants to uphold the status quo or bring it crashing down around them?

    Answers to all of these need to be known before I invest more time in giving you a good answer.

    Now that I am done haranguing you let me say this. Wow, that campaign sounds incredibly awesome! Here are a few ideas I have to keep your characters alive.

    If they start in the desert, let them encounter something big and scary, such as a group of those trolls you mentioned or maybe a mutant sand creature. If they start in the city they should end up in a fight with a gang or sewer monster. In each case they should be in huge danger of dying until someone comes to their aid. In the case of the desert, a hunting group from tribe of nomads or a powerful hermit who lives in the rocky dunes. In the city, it could be some officers of the law (although they might put everybody including the PCs in jail) or a rival gang.

    You have a ton of options, the scope of your campaign seems like it is huge! I can see a lot of great things for the lower level characters to do so that they level up quickly.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Godskook's Avatar

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    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Ok, starting a campaign, need help. [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by RanWilde View Post
    First off, where are your characters going to start? The desert? The city?
    Well, there's 3 options for starting area:

    1.Outside the scar, which would be stock low-level D&D areas. Forests, plains, etc, etc, likely to have a variety of humanoids in the surface area.

    2.In the scar, aka desert, where life is desolate with the exception of monsters capable of surviving for long periods on low sustenance(such as trolls) or deep burrowing, in order to get below the destruction(such as mind flayers, kinda an underdark type place).

    3.Kintarra, the city near the center of the scar, which is mostly elves/dwarves/gnomes/halfings. Some of whom were the survivors of the gruesome fight, their children, and some amount of post-fight immigrants and traders.

    Of these, I'd want to start them outside the scar, since that's where more level-appropriate stuff would be.

    What has been locked in is that they're 30 seconds to 5 minutes behind the group of trolls who kidnapped their friends as they step through the portal.

    Quote Originally Posted by RanWilde View Post
    Are they going to be a group that wants to uphold the status quo or bring it crashing down around them?
    Err, I don't know. Since they're starting as themselves, its kinda hard to predict how they'll interpret and decide to act after taking the red pill, so to speak.

    Quote Originally Posted by RanWilde View Post
    Answers to all of these need to be known before I invest more time in giving you a good answer.
    Can't win them all, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by RanWilde View Post
    Now that I am done haranguing you let me say this. Wow, that campaign sounds incredibly awesome! Here are a few ideas I have to keep your characters alive.
    Glad you liked it. The basic "City of tarrasque" wasn't my idea, though, so I don't want to take to much personal credit.

    Quote Originally Posted by RanWilde View Post
    If they start in the desert, let them encounter something big and scary, such as a group of those trolls you mentioned or maybe a mutant sand creature. If they start in the city they should end up in a fight with a gang or sewer monster. In each case they should be in huge danger of dying until someone comes to their aid. In the case of the desert, a hunting group from tribe of nomads or a powerful hermit who lives in the rocky dunes. In the city, it could be some officers of the law (although they might put everybody including the PCs in jail) or a rival gang.
    See, at present, the scar is mostly unpopulated, since its an area that was decimated by the Tarrasque less than 100 years ago. The destruction was fairly thorough, and recultivation is a long process. So nomads or hermits who live in the scar aren't likely, while I suppose a few trade routes between Kintarra and the outside world might be evolving into existence....

    Other than that......hm. Starting by chasing trolls into the scar sounds like a promising way to go. Get them in above their heads, maybe just on a resource level(hey PCs, you've got no food or water in your packs yet), and have them rescued by a trader's caravan heading to/from Kintarra.

    Quote Originally Posted by RanWilde View Post
    You have a ton of options, the scope of your campaign seems like it is huge! I can see a lot of great things for the lower level characters to do so that they level up quickly.
    I really do have a problem thinking small, I guess.
    Avatar by Assassin89
    I started my first campaign around a campfire, having pancakes. They were blueberry.
    My homebrew(updated 6/17):

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Ok, starting a campaign, need help. [3.5]

    Well, nomads are always an option. You could make them fight desert creatures I guess..
    A really good idea is you could create your own race of desert-dwelling monsters. That may take a while, but you could just create a template, or even just take the stats of something like a goblin
    EDITSkeletons can always make sense in a desert
    Last edited by Frenchy147; 2010-10-31 at 05:43 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Ok, starting a campaign, need help. [3.5]

    Well, there's 3 options for starting area:

    1.Outside the scar, which would be stock low-level D&D areas. Forests, plains, etc, etc, likely to have a variety of humanoids in the surface area.

    2.In the scar, aka desert, where life is desolate with the exception of monsters capable of surviving for long periods on low sustenance(such as trolls) or deep burrowing, in order to get below the destruction(such as mind flayers, kinda an underdark type place).

    3.Kintarra, the city near the center of the scar, which is mostly elves/dwarves/gnomes/halfings. Some of whom were the survivors of the gruesome fight, their children, and some amount of post-fight immigrants and traders.

    Of these, I'd want to start them outside the scar, since that's where more level-appropriate stuff would be.

    What has been locked in is that they're 30 seconds to 5 minutes behind the group of trolls who kidnapped their friends as they step through the portal.
    Well I wish I had known that! I would start them out of the Scar in one of the "normal" areas. They can get into a lot of fights and level up quickly while chasing the trolls to the Scar. Hopefully by the time they catch up to the troll raiding party, they are strong enough to be able to defeat them. The PCs are naturally going to see the trolls and there masters as villains because they stole away their friends!

    They end up fighting the trolls in the desert, possibly close enough to the city for the battle to be seen and a group of NPC soldiers comes to investigate. This can lead them into the city to learn more about the campaign in general. Now you have characters that are somewhere around 5th or 6th and they have a much better chance at surviving any new plots you set against them.

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