Why leave the PC's earthbound with a modern interpretation of a comet? Let it be Zrgnax' Chariot of Doom or whatever, and let the mayhem begin. Then send the PC's off to deal with it as the first part of the plot - good transitory change of venue, wierd physical distortions, bizarre magical effects, etc, for a few sessions.
Ah, and so They Save The World! Or do they?
The threat in the sky may be gone, but it will be a long time before it's forgotten, and now the PC's must deal with a new social order. How did their fief, friends and fortunes fare? Some did well (or made out well by doing ill?), some did ill (or suffered ill for doing right?)? Surprising alliances, and unexplained enmities? Some gone missing, and none will say where? Let them discover the rippling after-effects of the social upheaval, which happened despite (because of?) their Grand Adventure. How different the world they return to is, of course, enough to drive a whole campaign.
Could they ever "return it to normal", if they wanted to? Go to Comment
A special kind of flavour would it get, if one of the families would die out.
The respective ring would be unusable then, but serve as a memory of better times, kept in honour. Until perhaps, someone tries the ring, and it fits! It could be truly the illegitimate child, and thus rock the new order, asking for titles and all. Or it is an impostor, and the ring is a fake. Choose one. Go to Comment
A couple of things
"Okay, this is not a super powerful item." Delete this. Do we care? Must all items rock the world to its foundation? Small magics in the right place at the right time, like these rings, can do more to shape the world than a doomsday magic item.
What happens if someone else wears the ring? The ring should do something bad of course, but what? Perhaps trapping the wearing in a nightmare world of their own making... all in their mind. Or controlling their mind so they have to give the ring over to the rightful heir. (This could be used by the locals as part of the settling of who is the heir disputes). So what does it do?
Given the boundry tie of the ring, if they visit their neighbor, they become a bit more feeble?
Might I suggest powers wax and wane depending on the distance one is from the homeland?
You could also add wisdom and longevity (increase those active years) to the magical abilities. Even a geas to serve the Land would be good. This would make for better rulers on the peninsula.
These items have the great potential to anchor a campaign setting. If they exist, they define the world. What happens if a ring finds its way into a player's hand. Go to Comment
The Arch-Dukes were the 7 most powerful nobles in the peninsula, and each of the Arch-Dukes was given one of these rings, while their appearances may vary, their powers are the same. They created a ruling council to protect their lands and subjects from the violence and indifference that had come from the hand of a distant and inhuman king. Go to Comment
A signet ring is a metal band, generally of a precious metal. Where a normal ring would perhaps have a mounted stone, a signet ring has a reverse image of the owner's family crest. The crest is done in reverse relief so that when the ring is placed against a drop of hot wax, it creates a likeness of the family crest. This is done in sealing important documents, secret messages, and the like. Two aspects of medieval larceny included lifting wax seals off of sealed documents to read their contents without breaking the seal, and the creation of fake signets or forgery crests.
Each of the seven rings of the Peninsulari is unique in appearance, as each bears the crest of an old royal blooded family. Each is known as the Ring of insert 1 of the 7 provinces or as Lord Last name's Ring. Thus, if Robert the Wise was one of the seven, which he was not, and he lived in the Baldur duchy, his ring would be The Ring of Baldur, or the Ring of Robert the Wise. All names given are fictitious, you can come up with your own first lords and their arch-dukedomes. Go to Comment
When I read the title my first thought was - oh no, not another "One Ring To Rule Them All" - but I must admit to being pleasantly surprised
I much prefer small magical items to all-powerful world-altering artefacts, and this is the bill nicely
This is much more subtle than it first appears - its' enchantment is limited and well defined, even minor, but that isn't its' true power - it is really the mark of kingdom, much like a flag, more important for its' symbolism than anything else
Also the back-story is great - nicely explains what these rings are and why they were made
This is a nice basic plot. It is also very "real", for there is no world to be saved, no dragons or demons to slay, and there is still enough conflict to jump into. While sympathy seems to prefer one side, there is no clear "good" or "bad" side, the characters can freely join anyone, gain some allies as enemies.
I start to like it even more now. It is not even bound to fantasy, it can be pushed in anywhere. And should need arise, the church can be converted into an inn, or a harbour, or even a magical university, easily scaled up to towns and entire kingdoms. The problem stands. Go to Comment
This can even work in a polytheistic area with very little adapting.
This poor village could become the center of a small "holy war" as the two bigger places escalate. If one side gets the wrong intelligence that the other side is assisting the village (all in an attempt to interfere with them of course), things could get violent even, as holy warriors (or thugs under the employee of a less than perfect church higher up) could be brought in.
All it takes is a little misunderstanding and a touch of greed/desperation. We all know that could never happen in a church organization. Right. So, the situation can get more complicated. And the PCs are in the middle of it. Go to Comment