Greetings! This week I wanted to throw out a few campaign ideas that I have been planning to DM at some point. However, it is unlikely that I will have the chance to act on these ideas for at least six to 12 months so I figured that I should at least put them out there for your consideration. If these campaign ideas “inspire” your next campaign, please do let me know in the comments section. Enjoy!
All Monsters Campaign
The idea for this campaign is that everyone would play as a monster (as the title implies) of their choosing so long as the challenge ratings were 7 or below (and no dragons). Everyone would also have to be either evil or neutral for the purposes of the story.
|An epic Mindflayer courtesy of HELMUTT.|
It would start off with all of the players just doing their own thing individually when they would all coincidentally meet in the (roughly) same area of a particular forest that is adjacent to a moderately sized town. However, just as they all meet, the players notice that smoke is filling the air to the [insert direction] and they all go to investigate. Soon after they discover that a large group of humans are burning the forest and slaying the players’ monster counterparts. The players should not be able to kill such a large group of enemies and be forced to flee the scene.
From here, the players should be able to do just about whatever they want in terms of either exacting revenge or just generally causing trouble, but in their trouble making they soon find out that humans [or whatever race] are now working to destroy all monsters, good or bad.
It is then up to the players to decide how they want to handle the threat. Perhaps they want to raise an army of monsters to fight back. Perhaps they want to be stealthy and assassinate the “leader” of the movement. This is where the DM gets to decide the plot twist. Perhaps the scourge on monsters is actually being led by a group of dragons who want to rid the world of lesser monsters and reign supreme over it themselves. Maybe it’s just a crazy king who wants to end all monsters. Maybe this is part of a “Holy Vision” that the world will only be saved once it is rid of evil and the Paladins of this order interpret this to mean evil = monsters. Take it however you want, but this campaign is meant to be more on the silly side and to just have fun pillaging and blowing stuff up.
For those of you who don’t know what “Steampunk” means, basically think of a futuristic world that is based solely on steam power instead of modern forms of energy. Think the movie Wild Wild West, Steamboy, or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I’ll admit, I did borrow a bit from these movies as far as the central plot device is concerned, but the story for the campaign is considerably different.
I actually have an extremely long document on the particulars of this campaign, but to condense it here’s the back story of the world and how the campaign would start.
The world is in a craze for new technology and especially steam powered utilities. Although steam and gas power have only been around for about 30 years, its effects on society have been astounding. Jobs that once took hundreds of men to accomplish now only took a mere dozen or two. Life for everyone from the average citizen to the richest noble has benefited from the dawn of steam power.
However, with these great advances in technology, there has been an increasing demand by governments and other militant groups for more and more weaponry. Rifles, while ineffective just 30 years prior, have become weapons of unmatched strength. Armies once armed with bows and arrows are upgrading to newer more efficient killing tools. Inventors and weapon designers are now perhaps the most desirable people out there with their talents to create. It is an era where there is much potential. Potential for peace to reign supreme, or war to tear it all apart.
The adventure would start with each player being summoned to meet a mysterious scientist who is on a quest to find a certain form of water that has the ability to boil indefinitely, thus creating an unlimited amount of steam power. After giving his somewhat crazed speech about the substance, the other NPCs will leave the meeting in disgust, but the players (presumably) will stay and hear his terms. The idea for this campaign is to think like an engineer in that the scientist will give you two suspected locations of the substance, but they are in two very difficult to reach places without the aid of technology. For instance, I had thought up the places of ice covered mountain caverns and underwater air pockets that are on the ocean floor (the places are totally up to the DM so long as the players have to “invent” something to get there). So, to get into the mountains, perhaps a climbing machine with internal heat and a submarine for the underwater grottos; it’s totally up to the players.
This campaign could go however you wanted from here whether the mythic water is found or not. There is plenty to go wrong in a Steampunk world. You just gotta invent it.
If you want more details on this campaign, equipment, weapons, etc. I have a good bit of notes that I would be happy to share. You just gotta ask.
Hope you enjoyed these two campaign ideas. If you want two more story lines that I thought apt for a D&D campaign, play the games Dark Cloud 2 and Final Fantasy 10. Even if you don’t want to use the stories, they are still excellent games.
Until next week.