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Author Topic: Morhuaniel Campaign  (Read 1499 times)

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Offline DungeonMaster

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Morhuaniel Campaign
« on: August 25, 2004, 06:40:02 PM »
Hey, Morhuaniel here.  I recently have been DMing a D&D game, and my plot really needs some help.  Basically, the party left their tiny continent (roughly the size of New Jersey, and fondly called NJ) searching for a substance called Midium.  They want it because acid rain worms have been plaguing their continent for the past 10 generations.  Acid rain worms are exactly what they sound like; they rain down, but they're worms, and they're like acid because they eat through everything they touch (except they can't eat through Midium).  So, the party is searching for this stuff.  They leave NJ and encounter these water creatures that they decide to attack.  They kill several before reaching a tiny island where the only thing on it is the apparent mother of the sea creatures and a locked portal to another dimension.  The woman almost kills the party, so they get back on their ship & leave.  Soon, they reach the next continent that is much larger than NJ.  They enter a town named Evslin and meet a woman named Rine.  She has never heard of this Midium or the acid rain worms.  The party rests and goes to sleep, but the next morning they awake to find that the city is in rubbles, ruins, heaps; it's obliterated & deserted.  Rine is gone too.  They leave the city & head for the mountains to the northwest.  Lots more things happen to them, but basically the story is that (unknown to the PCs) they are on a cursed continent.  The curse entails that no one can leave, the birth rate of every race has diminished by at least 50%, there is no divine magic (only arcane), and the land randomly switches the inhabitants to different timelines.  Therefore, every time that they go to sleep, the timeline shifts either forward or backwards in time.  So whole civilizations and forests can randomly appear & disappear.  Now the reason for all this (also unkown to the PCs) is that the gods of the realm had a treasured amulet.  The amulet allowed when a couple was going to conceive the child would become a god.  So, obviously the gods didn't want the mortals getting their hands on it cause they didn't want anymore gods around.  But someone stole the amulet 10 generations before the story takes place.  They left the continent right before the gods cursed it with all this crap I just listed above.  However, the timeline shifting stopped once the amulet left.  So, NJ was only cursed with acid rain worms.  The other continent, just no one could leave, the birth rate decreases, and there was no divine magic.  So, this amulet was passed down through the generations until it lands in the hands of one of the PCs.  She hides it from the rest of the party because they are almsot all chaotic evil while she's neutral good.  Now that the amulet has arrived on the cursed continent, the gods can sense that it's back and the random timeline shifting starts again.  Basically, whole cultures or groups will move through it together unless their number excedes 100,000.  So, the party is stuck on this cursed continent, searching for Midium which they find but then can't do anything about and they really have no drive and nothing to complete.  The only way to remove the curse (which they don't even know about yet) is to collect the three stones that fit into the portal's lock (the portal on the tiny island).  The portal leads to the god's realm and if they return the amulet to the gods, they will remove the curse.  But now what do I have the party do?  Obviously they have to find out about the curse and all that, but then what?  They need a main evil bad guy and a drive and stuff.  I don't have any of that!  I'm really stuck and I would appreciate any help y'all could give me.  Just reply to this post, IM me, or e-mail me.  Thanks a lot!!!

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~Morhuaniel~

"Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo.  Namarië, mellonin!" - A bit of J. R. R. Tolkien's Elvish.

Translation: A star shines on the hour of our meeting.  Farewell, my friend!

Offline Ria Hawk

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Morhuaniel Campaign
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2004, 06:47:23 PM »
Go check the plots, NPCs, and stuff on the main page.  Just click on the top banner.  If you can't find something in all that mess, this is the right place to get it figured out.
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Offline MoonHunter

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So give them what they need
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2004, 03:34:06 AM »
Main bad guys.  Every campaign needs more than one.

Each main bad guy should have a distinctive look, abilities, and potential minions. So all snake people are part of bad guy a, all mechanical things are b, all elementals are c, or so on.  That way the PCs can easily tell who is who without the score card.  Make sure that some of the powerful monsterous minions are succeptable to the miracle metal.  

Minion of a God-A, trying to suck up to his boss by collecting the amulet.

Minion of a Gob-B, trying to get the amulet to blackmail the dieties into doing something.

Old Wise Wizard Type.  he knows of the amulet and has been searching for it. He was a wizard experimenting with a time spell when the first set of shifts occurs.  To his eyes, he has been shifting back and forth in time for the last few hundred years, just like the PCs have been. (In reality, the spell is mucked up and he has been zipping around in time).  He has the lore, he knows what to do to resolve the curse, he is a total sociopath and possibly a psychotic because of the all the time tripping.  He may help. He may hinder them. He may get angry because the PCs are screwing with the time line,  

These are examples, but you get the idea.  Each "side" will have its own agenda, that will be fairly exclusive to the other sides.  

You will have three "forces" are in play.  They know what is going on, and approximately where the amulet is. They will fight the PCs and each other.  They start out thowing small minions at the PCs, but eventually throw more or larger things at them.  Then some of them will try traps/ or tricky manuvers rather than minions. The campaign progresses in steps.  
The PCs are in the classic "Stuck in the Middle" plot.  They can strike a deal, find a way to unclock things, or die, or find some other comfortable solution for them.  Eventually the game comes to a resolution for them.

Every campaign needs subplots.

For something else to do, introduce "Walker".  He looks like a well dressed religious pilgrim from a few centuries ago.  It is his job to "walk the way of existance".  He can give them subplots. For example, the PCs can be stuck in a hellish place for a day.  Walker helps them out of trouble and tells them how this hellish place came into existance (The King thought his wife was having an affair with the king of city state B. If only the machinations of the Evil Cleric Richeleu had been stopped, the King would never of unleashed the "Artifact of Doom"). Cute story, but the next day they slide back to the days before the war... finding themselves in the royal court, and able to stop said devastation (if they want to).  After they know him, he can appear every now to give them "hints".
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2004, 06:12:49 PM »
Whoa...
You got a real convoluted set-up there, buddy.
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Offline m0s0g

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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2004, 05:20:27 PM »
Need an npc that is time related.  The Character section has an npc that is a "Chronomage" which may be good for an enemy, ally or both.

What I do:

Create a story timeline with start, midpoint and endpoint.  Decide if the climax is at the midpoint or at the end of the story and build towards it.  Fill in some details with places and npcs.  Then break this down into 3 - 5 mini adventure ideas and fill them in as needed.  This also makes XP easier to track over the course of a Campaign.

Definitely good to check out content elsewhere on this sites various forums as suggested by others because many people have posted some really cool stuff.  Also try using the search feature on this site to find content that is relative to your interests.

Hope this is somewhat helpful

Offline Agar

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Morhuaniel Campaign
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2004, 08:43:16 PM »
This working with timeline things is nice if you want a reoccoring timeline, since the wizard will be alive at some point and dead at other points, but it leads to nasty paradoxes where a younger old wizard is deaded by the PCs who already deaded an older old wizard a few adventures back, so if he was already dead then, how could they kill him then and blah blah blah, ~Head Explodes~

So, I would leave the whole time traveling stuff to the gods and thier curse, so that if anything gets squirlly, the gods can just look at the PCs and say "Deal with it.  :P " and the PCs got to.

Moving on ...

What are they supposed to do with the Midium? Make shelters out of it? Trap the Acid Rain Worms that sound increadibly familiar to Thread from Anne McAffrey's Pern? What?

Also, What have you been doing in between games? Obviously all the events didn't happen in one session. Use the down time to plan out what to do in the next couple of games. Gives you a chance to stay a step or two ahead of the players, useful when you're making things up on the fly, which it kind of sounds like you're doing.


Moving on ... Some more ...  :roll:

Making the bad guys vunerable to this metal sounds like a bad idea, cause no one knows where to find it. What you need is a direction to give your players and a bad guy to whoop on. Easiest way to do that is a couple of bad trips.  :twisted:

1st bad trip - Rip off Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom

Remember those stones they don't know they need? Time to clue them in. Have a group of canibalistic savages timeshift into thier way. The Pcs or someone they care about (hireling or attractive NPC maiden kinda thing) get captured by the cannibals and dragged off to thier Temple-in-the-Caves. Give them some gruesome scenery, gory skulls and human leather drums, cannibals gnawing the flesh off a BBQ'ed hand, that kind of thing. Now, give them some foreshadowing. Let them see some other captives, not  the one they're rescuing, get lead to the cannibals idol

Remember Fish Mother? Ya, guess who the idol is carved like. But, add three hollows carved into her chest or somewhere convinient. In one of these hollows is one of the stones they need to open the portal.

Start stetting up the PCs escape. They get to see the stone in use. The cannibals have drawn a line in the stone floor. They prod a captive across the line and if he gets incinerated by a lance of fire, his people are deemed food and the cannibals eat the rest. While the PCs watch the cannibals prod a guy with a stone spear, the guy spins around and tries to drag the cannibal in, but the cannibal merely shoves the guy and his spear across the line and fwhoosh, all that left is a some smoke and a stone spearhead on the other side of the line. Remember that, it'll be important later. Have them check to see if they notice it, and the one that does gets to be the sucker.

Time to give the PCs a distraction so they can escape with a clue. Have the stone act funny. When they start prodding the lucky PC (the sucker)across, the stone DOESN'T fry him. Instead, it glows and a ring of fire springs up on the line where the cannibals drew in the line. The cannibals don't have a clue what to do, mill around and the priest tries to tell them he's still in charge but no one listens, and all this chaos gives the PCs a chance to cut thier bonds with the stone spearhead and then pick up discarded weapons and such, and make thier getaway, but not before the person(s) thier rescuing makes them go after the stone to bring with them.

Bad Trip 2 - Enter the Dragon.

You need a bad guy. What bad guy is better than a Dragon? Ok, a demon, but we'll get to that.

They go through another Quantum Leap-esque time shift and they're Back to the Future. (No, I will NOT run out of bad cliches to rip off) Let them be in some post-apocolyptic urban wasteland. So they're waiting for Neo, but sorry, Neo is busy right now. They get to see a human riding some massive beast be chased down by robots and deaded. But while watching the show, they notice the robots are made out or MIDIUM!

Woot, as they say.

While the machines are busy hacking and sawing, some refugees spot the PCs and lead them to saftey from obvious slaughter into the underground. There they learn some info. EVERYONE here knows about Midium. The reason no one knows where any Midium is is because these machines have been gobbling it all up as time shifts around them. They're all run by one machine, called Big Blue. (Yes, I am horrible) Big Blue is a machine that has styled itself into a dragon. It's all made from Midium, like the other machines, but rather than running off electricity or steam or what you decided to have them run on, Big Blue runs on magic. Specifically, Magic coming from the blue stone in it's chest. (Hint hint, its a second stone)

The refugees haven't had any weapons in ages, all the technology to make chemicals or anything else has been destroyed. They're stuck at the same level as the PCs, but fighting robots. The guy that got deaded was a scout, and they managed to get something off him before he died. They think they can get the stone off the dragon, and end the rule of machines, if they can blind the dragon. They need the PCs to take care of that and then they will pry out the stone and the source of Big Blue's power. Pc's need to come up with a plan and do it, then they'll have two stones and alot of Midium. Yay them.

Bad Trip 3 - Hellboy anyone?

Time to get to the demon. New timeshift and they wake up in the bad collision of two ages: A Nazi in King Arthurs court. Highly discipled and oranized 'Imperial' troops are wiping out midevil scirmishers. The 'Imperials' big advantage: They have a demon wizard with them. He's got the third stone around his neck and uses it's power to make the shields and weapons of the 'Imperials' unbreakable as the bones of the earth.

Notice that? First stone is fire, second is water. Now earth.

Let the PCs at least wake up on the side of the good guys, the losers, and fall back in retreat when the city walls are all simultaneously reduced to rubble as the demon uses the earth stone to crumble them. The losers can have a scryer who recognises the stones the PCs carry and maybe the PCs and helps them figure out a way to use the two stones against the one. Maybe the earth stone doesn't work in the rain and the PCs can make the Fire and Water stones act together to remove his power. The losers can beat back the 'Imperials' since they can smash thier shields now and the PCs are left to fight the demon by themselves. If they don't seek him out, he will seek them out.

3 stones in hand, time to get the portal.

They've probably been tring to make thier way back to the Fishmother by now, if not, give them some subtle kicks in the rear. Sea creature ghosts haunting them, they wake up with dead fish in thier shoes, that kinda of subtlety.

So they get back to the island, and there's Mom, and so they go ahead and react like you've conditioned them to: Attack the thing that's bigger than us!  :lol:

But, in true I'm-ripping-stuff-off fashion, they are stopped. By an army of the dead! Yup, all those sea creatures are back, glowing green and the PCs can do a thing to them or move through them. Don't they feel powerful. Ha Ha.

Let the sea creatures be gaurdians of the portal to the gods, and only ones judged worthy may enter. So now the various PCs have to do the hardest thing of thier quest. Apologise for deading all the fish guys. After they do, Mom will take the stones and use them to open the door. There, the gods can tell them about the cursed continent and tell the one with the amulet thanks and shower them with gifts, then drop them back amoung the acid rain worms and let them fix that problem.

There. I've pretty much handed you your campaign on a plate. Go.
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2004, 08:54:29 PM »
Wow, Agar. Wow.
:)
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Offline m0s0g

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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2004, 09:46:11 PM »
Agar,

Some cool suggestions.

In reply to your criticisms.

You don't like timelines, I do and have not had the issues you suggest.  Paradox is what you get when re-introducing something that already happened which is avoidable with a well maintained timeline.  A historical timeline is great for hooks to relics lost and history forgotten (which almost every RPG has) where future timeline is undecided with many possible paths.  It is these possible paths that I provide to my players and that allow me to stay ahead of the players enough to support their free will without having to scrap material.  As for groups I've run.  They have not complained yet about repeating anything nor do they appear bored.  They would rather play with many players missing then to have to wait another week.  Timeline is only a tool just like a story board.  If the tool is wrong perhaps is it your implementation or perception of it.

Offline Agar

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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2004, 12:28:49 AM »
I tend to get too deep into timelines and paradoxes when timelines present themselves. The present is merely one of the posible futures of the past, so if they do something in the past, will it affect thier future? Bah, you can run your timelines however you like.

Timelines are a fine example of how not every player or gamemaster wants to run the same kind of thing. Love 'em or hate 'em, have fun however you play.
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline DungeonMaster

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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2005, 04:55:55 PM »
I want to thank everyone that tried to help me with my first attempt at DMing a campaign.  Unfortunately, my first attempt was a failure.  But I have realized my mistakes and am ready for a second go.  Basically, I need to get over my insecurities and execute my plans.  Also, in reply to someone's post, I did get the idea of the acid rain worms from Anne McCaffrey, who is one of my favorite authors.  I wasn't plaigirizing her or anything, I just borrowed her idea for my campaign because it was a cool idea and none of the PCs have read any of her work.  Ok, well I'm off to plan my next campaign.  Talk to y'all later!
~Morhuaniel~

"Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo.  Namarië, mellonin!" - A bit of J. R. R. Tolkien's Elvish.

Translation: A star shines on the hour of our meeting.  Farewell, my friend!