I agree with your sources of inspiration - I'd also like to add a few reflections:
The best campaigns seem to be self-perpetuating. I don't know what the recipe is - but things go best when events seem to precipitate other events and you feel you are on a 'roll'.
Another thought I have is that it helps to not always think in terms of 'adventures'. I more often find myself thinking - what interesting event will break up this journey, what kind of person might cause some laughter if the group met them, what interesting things might happen as a result of a occupation, relationship, ancestory or location - that are not necessarily 'adventures' but provide other RP opportunities. All of which helps to deliver a varied and stimulating session.
'Buffy' was mentioned and of course the success of that is not all about wide apocalyptic story arcs, but relationships, humour and coping with 'everyday' issues as well. Go to Comment
The Bear affinity is associated with strength and endurance. Many with this affinity are notably larger than ordinary humans and their posture implies a relaxed sense of their own might. Generaly warm and jolly people unless irrated in which case they become wildly volitile. Bear affinity people are often able to continue acting after sustaining injuries which would make others pass into unconciousness and their constitution bonus can be added to -10 death limit to make them even harder to kill. However once hit-points sink beneath a certain level they fall into a bloodthirsty rage and can be quite implacable. Go to Comment
An excellent concept. I am always keen on systems which require attention to the 'mechanics' of spell casting. The process can be far more interesting than the result.
In terms of adding something to the idea - the first thing that springs to mind is rumours that some kind of malevolent Bey is in circulation - with dire effects for anyone who finds and uses it. Perhaps the mantra allows the spirit to possess the body of the user. Go to Comment
I once had the PC's investigate a ruined ship that was held within a plateux of frozen ice. The best thing about it was a set piece battle which took place on the ice itself, which was somewhat uncertain and the risk of 'falling in' added an extra dynamic to the battle. Go to Comment
Interesting and inspiring article MoonHunter. I particularly like the idea of the 'trailer' approach.
One thing that works well for me when starting a new campaign is to invest an hour in role-playing with each PC one on one. Naturally this is not done on the night the main game begins - but at convenient times between game design and game commencement.
The gives them a chance to really get in to character before the group game begins - and allows me to introduce hooks and background specially relative to that PC. Go to Comment
1. Keep the players interested in a reasonably restricted area for the first six or seven levels of experience (can be as big as an entire kingdom), so that venturing beyond it's borders can be plausably more dangerous and more diverse.
2. Introduce NPC's (even if just for cameo roles) who are considerably higher level than the PC's are likely to quickly achieve (9th level in 2nd Ed, maybe 15th or 20th in 3ED). It's important that the PC's won't feel the most powerful people in the world once they reach high level (by edition) and that you can plausibly introduce new high level villians.
3. Major bad guys always have henchmen. Invest in these people. These will be mid-term villians and should be landmark achievements for the PC's to defeat.
4. Don't neglect the softer emotions. Romance can add many dimensions to a game, variety in roleplay and hooks to adventure.
5. Consider the variety of activity within any single game session. If you have an idea for the centre of the nights play, always ask yourself; "but what happens before then, that is totally different". Send your players home having had a number off experiences each session.
6. Battles have far more impact when the terrain itself is hostile. A sinking ship, treacherous mountain peak, thin ice or crumbling ruin will up the excitement.
7. Populate your world with real people. Who cares about saving a world full of "NPC" cyphers? Give people personality from the integrity of the town guard to the zany antics of the trader. Make sure there are people worth saving.
8. Give your campaign world a theme. Whether it's a dying world, a magicless kingdom or a surreal elemental plane - define it in the mind of your players and reinforce this with descriptions of 'what's different from what they'd expect' whenever appropriate.
9. Be versatile. Change pace or activity in a flash if the scene becomes weary. Have the tavern explode, an angel appear, an enemy arrive or the sun go out. Dullness is the enemy.
10. Be versatile number two. Whatever the PC's decide to go - go with it. Make it up if need be or take a break but never force a particular activity or direction. Go to Comment
When a falling meteor strikes a superstitious world...
A remnant of a lost world or dying moon has traversed space and crashed into the surface of your campaign world...
The players will likely first encounter the effect of this disaster when they meet those who have been contaminated by exposure to the cosmic debris.
Contamination make take many forms. Typically the victims may be suffering from intense rashes, skin pigment trauma and severe sickness - followed by death.
However some have in fact benefitted from exposure to the huge crater and it's strange remnants. Developing incredible intelligence, superior constitution and even pyrotechnic ability...
Having been endowed with such gifts - these superstitious folk believed they had been chosen as the apostles of some heavenly power, or the new bearers of some fallen divinity.
Who knows what strange things were spoken and heard in that impressive miles-wide basin where monolithic stones from the stars now leered over the scene? And what strange reasoning would have taken hold when exposed weapons and armour began to glow with seemingly magical ambience?
As the PCs enter even the most remote parts of this region they will soon discover that a strange new crusade is on the rise... Go to Comment
I'm impressed by that imagery ephemeralstability! I particularly like 'Great leviathans are washed up dead on the shore having died in the polluted waves' - that's powerful stuff!
Sounds like you'd probably have handled the concept with more power than I did. When I ran this idea I placed the PC's at the very fringe of things - which on retrospect meant they missed some of the potentially more dramatic sites/sights.
However it did allow for some interesting and subtle forebodings; strange prophets would filter into the cities carrying the bizarre message of purification by fire and showing disturbing signs of having been touched by some higher power. Weapons began to circulate which glowed eerily of their own accord. People were found dead or dying from a grotesque sickness, often vomiting out their own insides. Estates on the fringe of society were found mysteriously deserted. Charred corpses were discovered in the backroads. Go to Comment
This World Pack concept is fascinating and I'm kicking myself for not employing it before now... I'm working on a new setting now and I'll be certain to provide the players with this kind of information. Go to Comment
The Artist NPCs (Scenario Based)
It's not easy to articulate in a mere plot how exciting something was when you delivered it. Nonetheless as stands this is well below average. But the City itself did sound interesting - maybe you could expand on it in the Settings thread.
Remember not every plot has to be city/world shaking. When you can understand the drama of 'small' events you'll be better able to tackle larger themes. Go to Comment
Coming up with an unusual, interesting and useful power for an item is quite a feat - and it's done here with all the trimmings. I'll be using this concept for sure - and be looking to develop a sentient personality with the wit to match the concept! Go to Comment
Patterns in surnames: There are many ways a surname could have evolved over centuries. One possibility is migration. A Roman name may have traveled to France and hence to England where it was later Anglicized. Case in point - the surname Lawrence went from Laurentius (Roman) to Laurent (French) to Lawrence (English) and then to Lowry (Scottish). There is also natural etymological evolution. For example, a Middle English spelling may have evolved to a modern English spelling (e.g. Stiward to Stewart). Where did your character's Surname come from?