A 100-word religion
A (fairly sketchy) outline of a one-off adventure I ran based around the (time-honoured/hackneyed) Tunguska Event of 1908. As such it is quite specific (hopefully not hackneyed) and will probably best serve as a specimen for dissection to get those parts you can use in your own adventures. But then this is an Ideas Guild after all...
Stand out in the wind on a hilltop where the grass is stirred by a starry sky and gaze into the black vault for long enough to witness Helda sow her seed.
The genesis of Gurgustius and Gorboduc and the curse upon their father Brutus is a terrible legend. Who knows if it is true? But it is the only way to account for the hideous sutured spawn of the King who is hidden.
The River Dragons are a beautiful, sleek race. Their irridescent scales are soft and almost invisible under a fast-racing current. As long as a long riverboat, they propel themselves upstream with occasional flaps of their powerful wings.
When wizards go mad, what curious ruins do they leave behind?
A mysterious quarry. Feel free to suggest explanations - it’s just an eerie thought that struck me that I intend to play with.
I don’t know if I posted about it before, but I have always wanted to run an adventure set in a library. The following is a sketch of an unusual premise and a possible plot-hook.
The addition of “irrelevant” details adds local colour to a campaign world, giving the impression that the DM has thought very deeply about the history of even the smallest architectural feature.
I’m trying to think of alternatives for game-openings, to replace the standard “meet up in a tavern” or “adventuring group applying for a job” techniques. I know these can be easy ways to get people playing, but I’m certain there are more interesting ways…
With first-time players, learning the rules may seem like a burden and rolling up characters can be glossed over. We used a new method for explaining the rules and creating characters which the Harry Potter-setting made possible and which I would recommend using in other adventures.
In a good LARP it is desirable to separate the players out individually at some stage, because they are more suggestible and afraid when they are alone. Some form of individual challenge is probably the best way of doing this. One possible setting for this is a cave system, and it is probably one of the easiest to recreate realistically, and one of the most perfect for playing on fears of claustrophobia and darkness.
Although it can be a distraction, it can also add atmosphere to an adventure to have music playing in the background. Here are some pieces I’d recommend for different situations.
To give a world a feeling of otherworldliness, it is best to replace some standard, everyday objects by imaginitive replacements. I thought I’d turn to musical instruments as music often defines (or embodies) a culture.
This is just a first idea, feel free to post some more, because I will…
Archaeologists have long wondered about the origins of “cup and ring-marked stones”, the mysterious rocks found on deserted tracts of moorland bearing markings resembling small shallow pits with concentric rings and dating to the Bronze-age.
Hathalfar holds the writhing troll down with his gloved fist and sword. The beast squirms at the touch of metal. “How far is Kolm?” he demands for the third time. “I said! A long way away,” replies the troll.
The Carycian calendar has been adopted by many countries since its invention by the Blue Monk, Frezzi Alberto, in the year 1. It evolved from the wonderment Alberto felt for the natural cycles and his attempts to understand and predict them.
The mystery of fyre is one which has much occupyed my studies and the studies of men before me. ... I have concluded that fyre is the product of Fyre Antes.
Professor J Klewlise, "On the nature and origin of fyre" (1542)
Creepy, Crawley, Buzzing, Digging, Biting, Building, Sticking, Jumping, Clicking, and all the other things these small things do.
Bag on a Stick
Very simple gag but a great one, since it can be used multiple times over, even in the same adventure. Great for tribal natives gone restless and humanoids, but anyone can have set this up. Just what the header says, a simple bag over a stick stuck in the ground or floor.
As GM you can place the bag on a stick anywhere, in a floor crack the heroes have passed before, outdoors in a clearing or path, or at the edge of the PCs' encampment the following morning, what have you. Place anything on the stick - a coiled yellow viper angered by the bag removal, mini crossbow w/poison, transdermal hallucinatory drug dusted on the bag, yellow mold colony, an NPC ally's head, a weapon, scroll tube or satchel, what have you.
The idea is to build tension and/or stall for time/distract the party. Provided it's used properly, you'll be amazed at how paranoid players will get from this simple gag.