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View Full Version : (Dark) Campaign Hatchery: The Spawning



fmitchell
10-09-2006, 10:40 PM
As campaigns hatch in the bright realms of Fantasy, so do deformed mockeries of campaigns crack their black shells, and emerge in moonless nights to draw first breath and croak their challenge to the unsuspecting world ...

OK, I'll tone down on the bad gothic prose. The point is that there are plenty of ideas for horror campaigns that we'd like to run, but can't because we lack time, sufficent interest, or spare SAN points.

Here's my initial contribution. Inspired by Lords of the Night: Liches, I call it Lich: The Scheming ... or not.


Long ago, you traded your humanity for eternity. Like vain kings of old, you commissioned a grand but secret tomb, filled with traps for would-be robbers, and killed the builders -- the mortal builders, at any rate -- so they would not reveal its location. In the center you placed your prized possessions, and in the center of them you lay down, said the final incantation, took the last potion you would ever taste, and closed your eyes. Soon, you thought, your undead form would rise again, and you would have untold centuries to plumb the depths of magic.

You thought wrong.

You awakened in the Twilight, a realm between what you used to call The World and the endless Void. As you learned from others who went before, Things came from the Void sometimes, Things that ate not souls, not matter, but Reality itself. You had to slay these things, keep them away from the greener fields of The World. Yes, it was your duty, for if even one slipped past The World would become a worse Hell than any fool priest could dream of. The few people you ever cared for were dead, and the rest could die in eternal suffering as far as you were concerned ... but if the World fell, magic would die, Twilight would fall into Night, and your adventure beyond death would come to a horrific end.

So you fought. For enlightened self-interest, mainly, but in a way you protected the poor ignorant Living from a fate worse then their worst nightmares.

And then, with mundane senses you forgot you had, you heard noises. Human speech, scraping sounds. You told the Eldest, and they admonished you to return to the World immediately, for if your remains were destroyed, you would suffer True Death.

Down, down, you descended, through layers of what seemed like dreamstuff but in your mortal days you would have called waking. Your eyes and ears have long since rotted away, but through supernatural means you sense the trinkets you once thought invaluable, the once unbroken walls now with one tiny hole, filled with torchlight and then a human eye.

A sudden rage overwhelms you. They dare disturb me? They who would not exist but for my constant vigilance?

You sense other minds ... the astral forms of your compatriots, on guard, determined not to lose one of their number so absurdly. And you reflect on the years, centuries, aeons perhaps, when you have mastered powers that make the magic you learned as a mortal look like jugglers' tricks.

Your dead remains stir; your bones rearticulate themselves, the remaining scraps of your skin cleave once more to your skull and limbs. You stand, dessicated and ragged but fearsome. With preternatural senses you regard your immaterial comrades, willing to fight this war as well as the other. Yes. Today we will teach these ignorant mortals the depths of their folly ...

So ... in plain English, the players are former mortals, ascended to a "higher" plane to defend the Universe, dragged back down to Earth to guard their mortal remains. Each Lich has an Anchor that lets it survive death, which unfortunately lies in the Mortal Realm/Prime Material Plane/whatever. If someone destroys that Anchor -- perhaps your earthly remains, perhaps an enchanted "soul jar" -- you lose your unlife, and perhaps Existence loses its war with Nonexistence. The campaign might start in the Twilight, but move to the waking world as unwary mortals disturb one or more players' Anchor.

What the players do then is up to them. Maybe they deal with the threat, repair the damage, and return to the Twilight; maybe they stay in the Mortal Realm to make sure nobody threatens them ever again ...

fmitchell
10-10-2006, 01:37 PM
For some context on "Campaign Hatchery", see http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showpost.php?p=797&postcount=4

Deathworm22
04-28-2007, 10:44 PM
That is a really good idea. Do you have any more ideas or can I share my ideas with you?

Digital Arcanist
04-29-2007, 12:06 PM
Just play Cthulu....nothing beats a highly literate, tentacled, elder god with a cult bent on devouring the world.

Octopus beings unite!!!!

spotlight
04-29-2007, 01:30 PM
Hey, I like that story idea. It is neat. I have a character that I play in another online game who is a d&d type skeleton. Except that he is not a majical reanimation. He is a human character who was promised immortality by a dark 'god'. So, now, after other troubles, he finds himself still NOT dead, but with only his bones left after being buried for several centuries. The other players treat him with a certain disdain, and count themselves lucky he no longer can use the majic he once had.

Xionicist
12-28-2008, 04:05 AM
I love this "Lich: The Scheming" idea! It sounds like it could be a great campaign. A bit like Wraith, but far more ego-maniacal... ;) Definitely cool!