View Full Version : Campaign storyline suggestions and feedback wanted

12-04-2011, 10:25 AM
Anyone ever play in a campaign:

1. Where there was a plague that had to be stopped or cured?

2. Where a natural disaster set up the storyline for what was to come? Mega earthquake, volcano eruption, dust bowl, rising sea level, or new ice age.

3. Where a meteor or alien vessel crashed into the planet?

4. Where the majority of the world was enslaved or controlled?

5. Where your characters are one of the few people left on the planet?

6. Where the humans are the orcs/drow of the world?

Any of those campaigns or games any good?

Looking for something interesting other than defeating dragons, demons/devils, drow plots and orc armies.


kid America

12-04-2011, 09:12 PM
Haven't played any of those specifically, but all can be good. Whether or not they are good will depend on how the DM handles it and how the players respond. They all are interesting starting points, though!

12-05-2011, 01:53 AM
no, no, yes, i advise for one, no, yes, yes. ^^

with your third, that is part of the old blackmoor / greyhawk settings from the get-go. i've also thrown in such stuff... in fact, two of my current campaigns deal with that sort of thing.

with your fourth, the dm is a friend of mine, and since i am not in the game, he calls me up every week or so for twists and brainstorming ideas. his players seem to enjoy the campaign a lot. of course, if they ever found out i was behind so much of the suffering their characters have gone through... i'd probably be pelted with dice and books on sight.

with your sixth, takes work to come across right. otherwise it feels like cut and paste.

12-05-2011, 06:51 AM
1. Absolutely I would.
2. Probably I would, since I'd be really curious about what the natural disaster released onto the world.
3. I probably would not. For reasons I can't explain I really dislike mixing aliens with fantasy world.
4. Like one of the last few humans? Or last few sentient creatures? I suppose either might be interesting, but if there's no NPC's to talk to the game might start to feel like some massive dungeon crawl, and that's less interesting to me than having some sort of story to follow.
5. Aren't there settings that already do this? The world is totally dominated by evil creatures and the few 'good' civilizations have been forced to hide otherwise they'll be wiped out? I can't think of any names, but I'm sure I've seen that before. Regardless, this would be an interesting setting for a game, I'd be in.

12-06-2011, 11:58 AM
If I may, Kid A, the typical plots you mentioned at the end of your post have a theme to them: fight big/lots-o stuff. It's an easy mind-rut to get into, since some RPGs can get combat-centric. The easy way to get out of the rut is to look to movies. (I'd say books, but I suspect that more books than not fall into the same rut).

LOTR: Frodo didn't lay eyes on Sauron, much less have to fight him.
Princess Bride: Prince Humperdink was outwitted, not out-fought.
Conan: um...nevermind...

12-06-2011, 10:50 PM
#1. No, but I played one where we were survivors of The Plage. It became very difficult to buy better armour or heal potions with the cities devoid of life.
#2 No, but I ran one where the finale battle depend on the party releasing (or preferably NOT releasing) a demon horde on the world.
#3 Yeah, I played the old Greyhawk stuff. Keep it in MUTANTS AND MASTERMINDS, please.
#4 Depends on your point of view.
#5 No.
#6 Are you talking as in Evil? Or as in minority hatred? Yes, and No. On the yes side, Evil campaigns usually are short term refresher games.

12-07-2011, 04:59 AM
Seen, done or run most of those:

1) Yep, the Falcons Hollow adventures from Paizoand several in Dungeon IIRC

2) Lots in terms of backstory – heck Greyhawk andFR have done this several times, on a smaller level volcanoes happen in A1-4,Shackled City, Savage Tide to name just a few

3) That’d be S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks...

4) That’s the backstory plot hook for Night Belowor any of a number of Underdark centred campaigns

5) Not so much in D&D but for Twilight 2000 orGamma World well yeah sure, it’s the basic premise!

6) Heard of but not done – seems essentially thesame as playing orc PCs and that never appealed

I’m sure any and/or all of them can be good,however rarely can I say that whether a campaign has been good, fun, exciting,enthralling, etc has been purely down to the backstory. Sure it can help but it’sthe playing that proves the pudding (or something).

12-09-2011, 12:01 AM
1. Plague? Yup, several times.
2. Natural disaster? Actually, my present campaign world is just coming out of a long ice age.
3. Meteor or alien vessel? No, and yes. The alien invasion was based on the "Mechanoid Invasion" campaign books (like Traveler and Starship Troopers mashed up). It didn't go well. Another alien invasion campaign arc I designed went over very well.
4. Slaves? Yes, and nobody really enjoyed it.
5. Few People Left? That's basically my campaign world - humanity (and demi-humanity) is an EXTREME minority in the world - and have to battle their way up to just survive.
6. Humans are the orcs/drow of the world? Once - it didn't work well.

It depends on how they are run - AND on the group. I've usually played in groups that were of a generally good alignment - the PLAYERS, not the PC's - and some just don't go over well. Other times, it just falls flat (like Cowboys and Aliens).

12-09-2011, 06:24 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies, and keep them coming.

If anyone has links to any materials, websites, or campaign journals on the subjects mentioned in my post it would be much appreciated.

kid America

---------- Post added at 07:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:11 PM ----------

I've run a couple fun campaigns based on the background stories of the player's characters.

I'm looking to try something different by having a major event be the backdrop for the campaign. Then ask players to create characters effected by the event.

How would your character and their village handle the plague ravaging the rest of the world?

How would your character and their village interrupt a meteor crash and live with the subsequent fallout from it?

Just something left of center of the typical fantasy campaign, where characters are looking to stop the evil lich, sorcerer, wizard, warlord, cult, drow priestess, or demon lord.

Something where the environment is as much a threat and enemy as humanoids and monsters.

12-12-2011, 05:41 AM
How would your character and their village handle the plague ravaging the rest of the world?

Depends on the type of village I suppose. If it was a nomadic tribe they'd keep on the move, trying to keep ahead of the spread of the plague. Hoping that they can avoid whatever sins brought this calamity to the outsiders. My character, being the hero, would keep watch of anyone he found that shows the symptoms. Trying to figure out what brought this on, using that knowledge to help keep his people from falling victim to it.

In a farming settlement the village would be terrified of the plague, driving out outsiders to keep their diseases away. They might be zealous enough to put their own to death if they were found to have the disease. It would bring paranoia levels up really high, and likely cause people to hide their relatives that showed any symptoms to keep them from being killed. This likely would cause the disease to spread faster since it would be allowed to fester in hiding. My character would know that this disease is no natural thing, brought about by some evil wizard. By tracking down the ritual that is its source and putting an end to it, he won't end the plague but it would be a major step in putting an end to it.

How would your character and their village interrupt a meteor crash and live with the subsequent fallout from it?

Lets do the two types of villages thing again. The nomads would again quickly run away from the impact site. As the move around they would spread stories of the great sky-stone that decimated their herd. My character would see it as some important sign, though he wouldn't understand its purpose. The tribal elders also wouldn't know what such an event would mean, so if he wants any real answers he'll need to discover them on his own.

In the farming settlement most would be glad that it avoided their houses, while those who were hit by it would be pitied. As they sold their crops they'd tell stories of the great stone falling to earth, but likely spin it in odd ways. "Aye, that big stone landed in Jenkins fields. Its spreadin poison into the lands, which no doubt is in his crops" "I'd be wary 'round the Mcreary folk, that stone in their lands is leechin inta the air. Makin em all touched in the head". My character would see vast potential in the stone. His neighbors would be too simpleminded to see it, but wizards would pay huge sums for bits of this rock. No doubt they could make tons of reagents and spells from it. He'd quickly put chunks of it into a wagon and set off to the nearest wizard tower to get his fortune before anyone else gets the idea.

12-13-2011, 01:44 AM
would totally depend on which character. of my recent / current characters, only one of them hails from a village.

12-13-2011, 08:08 AM
I ran a Gamma World campaign where the players were part of an isolated group that started loosing their crops from a plague and had to be sent out into the world to find a cure. I made sure there were several different ways to overcome the plague, from curing it to finding other sources of food for the community.

We had a lot of fun with the campaign and it ran for quite a long time.