What once existed is now shards of reality, floating in the sea of conflict...
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...
Dragons are truly awesome creatures. Too awesome in a lot of ways, really. Because of their power, their magnificence and their near-immortal lifespans, a GM might hesitate to include one in a campaign as anything other than an end boss. Here are 30 non-traditional ways to bring these wonderful beasts into your own campaign.
This is a study of the effectiveness of not the individual but a group of individuals. This is an Open Ended Plot which will not be fleshed out by a single person but by who ever chooses to add content.
The King has an issue about the ale that is extremely popular in his nation...
The story of a castle where time and the sound of piano intertwines
The PCs are sent to rescue the Lady Helen from the pyramid she has been trapped in...but it will not be easy.
The hacker had breached the final firewall and was typing code into the command prompt: code/7777SOHAT. Images flashed up on screen and he gazed in terror at what he saw.
Zig, zig, zig, Death in a cadence,
Striking with his heel a tomb,
Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,
Zig, zig, zig, on his violin.
"I never want to hear another fiddle for as long as I live!" -Corwin Silvernail
A mighty Kraken, the beloved of Big Red, has been infected by a horrible polar parasite, and the PCs have to find a way to cure her before it is too late...
On a planet with no name, a group of lawmen must protect a colony nobody has heard of from the universe’s most effective killers. All the while preserving the safety of both the guilty and the innocent in an effort to make society more about dignity and freedom than profit and force.
Due to the nature of tabletop RPGs, a campaign will often start with a random group of strangers. Here are some ways to get them adventuring together, without resorting to the old Tavern trope.
From beyond through veils sublime
Pass ghostly, o umbral shine
Illuminate in shadow, fade colors, so fallow
Dark dreaming does bidding thine
In a bar not too far off the road, a man walks in. his boots clattering on the wooden floor. The bar is noticeably empty with only a few guys still around either drinking or chatting. Not too surprising since it is already the evening and they probably went home. The smell of smoke and liquor still hangs in the air like a fly caught in a web. The man in the trench coat pulls himself on a stool near the counter. His face covered by a bandanna and the brim of his hat obscuring the view of his eyes. The bartender, who had been cleaning a beer glass, looks up.
"So what'll it be, stranger?"
The man responds in a gruff and tired voice. "Dark and Stormy."
"A demonic plant? Don't be daft, go research something useful to society."
"But-but the p-plant! It's evil! It must be destroyed!"
"Now the flowers bloom all year round thanks to the most holy Spirit of Urban flora. It just takes a little blood."
Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.
Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.
Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.
The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.
Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.
In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.
Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.