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Grimwell's Campaign Crucilble
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Thread: Grimwell's Campaign Crucilble

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    Grimwell's Campaign Crucilble

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    Your feedback and ideas welcome!

    Mission:
    To run a D&D 3.5 game for a group of people I have never DM'ed for and cover the distance between now and next summer in a bi-weekly format that is fun!

    The Big Idea:
    The players must prove their heroism and become the next leaders in a new land.

    Background:
    The adventure begins in a colony off the main land. Back on the mainland the world is about half settled and stable. Each player race has a 'home nation' that fits their generic identity and role in standard D&D. These nations have relations with each other, but there is a political distance between them all. The races may get along, but they don't mix much.

    The colony is north of this mainland -- across a Mediterranean Sea like distance, and has only been settled for the last century or so. For years it was an untamed wild land with a climate much like that of northern Europe. It snows in the winter, and people hole up to tough it out. There are no real nations in this new land, but there is order provided by former adventurers who helped tame the land to a degree.

    These former adventurers were a new blood and formed a mixed-race party (unique in it's time) and they adventured and fought to make the colony safe for the people who have come to settle it. In their time these adventurers carved out four 'provinces' that they now rule over in terms of authority (they are not legitimized by any mainland power and do not claim titles that offend the mainland -- they are simply the people who get the job of ruling done for the colonial folk).

    They have created a unique culture that is a blend of the mainland races. Yes, the races still tend to cluster together, but there is considerable mixing due to the need for cooperation. As an example of how radical this is, on the mainland there are almost no half-elves; in the colonial settlements half-elves are not thought of as anything unique.

    The Problem/Impetus for Adventure:
    These original adventurers are ready to retire. Normally one passes his/her power to their children at this phase of life, but the original adventurers have no (living) children. They have either never produced a sire, or their children all died young depending on individual circumstances. Still, the humans of the group are in their 50's (pretty old for the setting) and the non-humans with extended lives are ready to 'retire to the mainland' and move on from this phase of life.

    Leaving without putting someone in power would create a vacuum and cause chaos in these lands that the adventurers have carved from the wilds, and they have no natural heirs, so after some consideration they have put forth the call for a new generation of adventurers to prove themselves, solve some of the current day's problems, and take on the mantle of leadership in the colonies.

    The Real Challenge:
    The crowning achievement of the original adventurers was the defeat of a powerful dragon that claimed this land as her own domain. With the influx of mortals, conflict was a natural result and these adventurers were drawn into a final battle with the dragon in which they emerged victorious (and were crowned by status to lead).

    Unknown to the original adventurers at the time was the existence of the dragons child. She survived this time and quietly replaced her mother when things settled down. In the last few decades this dragon has quietly grown in power and influence over the lands, and is actually the reason the current generation of leaders has no children. She is the secret hand of evil in the land.

    The Adventures Unfold:
    The natural assumption is that the PC party steps up to meet their leaders challenge and claim the right to rule in this land through heroism and deed. They need to prove themselves to each of the four provincial powers and gain the approval of these elders to become the new rulers.

    At each step of the process the players will take on the largest threat to the safety of a province and (if successful) gain the fame, clout, and authority to become the next generation of leaders. Initially it will seem that the four provinces have four different problems, but the reality of this is that the dragon spawn has been silently backing the threats and causing them.

    Her master plan is to groom the 'heroes' as a challenge and then to come forth and slay them proving her dominance over the land. Each of the four provincial threats will have a draconic link to tie them back to the hidden master, and while the players don't have to figure this out, it will give them a bit of a clue if they do.

    The Climax:
    The final battle of the campaign is between the dragon and the new heroes. They have (hopefully) proven themselves in four provincial challenges and are ready to face the dragon in a showdown that will decide the fate of the colony. If the players succeed, the defeat of the dragon is the final feather in their cap that proves their legitimacy as the next generation of leaders. If they fail the dragon takes over the land and rules over the mortals in a campaign of terror demanding constant tribute in exchange for survival.

    That's the whole concept of the micro-campaign. My goals are to get comfortable in the DM's chair again (it's been over a year) and give the new players a chance to get to know each other (they have not played as a group before) as well as have a short story filled with adventure points that take them through the levels. The game will be a 'beer and pretzels' game where there is combat every week (something they have indicated a desire for) and roleplay, but not obsessive roleplay (one of them is a first time D&D'er).

    What do y'all think? Interesting? Enough to run a half year or so? I figure I can continue with things if we like the setting, or I can shift gears as 4th edition comes out and we have something new and shiny to like. More than anything, I want an encapsulated story that has room for high adventure and fun within that defined ending.
    --
    Grimwell

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    Seems nice and pleasant.

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    LOL! He rips me up in the chat room and then gives that here? :P
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    Grimwell

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    Its because there is no evidence left behind in the chatroom...its just his word against yours.

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    I ripped you up?

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    yeah...don't you remember? he left after you called him that bad word!!!

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    I was making a joke
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    Grimwell

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    It seems like a very playable and interesting story. As I read it, I seem to get stuck on a few minor points. Maybe they could be explained away easily, maybe it's just me...
    The old adventurers don't seem the type to just pass power on to their children, even if they had them. They are not nobles with titles and are more likely men who believe that action speaks louder than words or a bloodline. I am not sure how important it plays in your story. For some reason, I don't feel it.
    A few decades doesn't seem enough time for the dragon to mature and become much of a power. Chromatic dragons seem more solitary without much familial bond. Either way, why wouldn't the dragon try to pick off these over the hill adventures maybe with guile and create the power vacuum right away?
    The established nations to the south seem rather unconcerned about the colony. One would expect a lot of greedy eyes and attempts to gain power from the established people of the south.
    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.


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    And I'm trying to get rid of the #3 poster on the site so that I can take his place!!!! Why are you ruining it?

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    Now why would you do that? I'm pretty comfortable where I am, thanks.

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    I may have an answer to Rabkala's insights.

    Perhaps the original dragon never died but was mortally wounded but somehow survived. Decades later the dragon has finally healed and is ready to wreak havoc again.

    Just a thought!

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    One of the original points that I brought up to Grimwell was that I felt the legacy element was too heavy. The fact that all those provinces' leaders were retiring at the same time and the dragon coming of age again at the same time seemed too much to me.

    I would suggest altering the dragon and varying the reason that the leadership of the provinces is under question (assassins' poisons for example?) would help. Or perhaps not even have the legacy element be the impetus for all the characters at all.

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    A magical disease or poison could be the reason the old guard are dying. Perhaps it could be revenge from beyond the grave and now the new adventurers have to find the cure to save their beloved leaders.

    While doing so they find the dragon, stop him, and save their leaders. All the while proving their worth to be the new leaders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Arcanist View Post
    A magical disease or poison could be the reason the old guard are dying. Perhaps it could be revenge from beyond the grave and now the new adventurers have to find the cure to save their beloved leaders.

    While doing so they find the dragon, stop him, and save their leaders. All the while proving their worth to be the new leaders.
    How do they save the old leaders and become the new leaders at the same time?

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    At exactly the same time!!!!

    I was thinking that this near-death experience causes the old guard to step down and of course there are these new adventurers standing right there....

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