Friday Night D&D – There Will Be Blood
Yes, this is coming out Friday morning where I’m writing from. But Friday Morning D&D sounds way different than Friday Night D&D. What I wanted to start doing on some Fridays, might not be all of them, but should be a number of them for a while is come up with D&D campaign ideas.
I’ve gone through how I build a campaign, and I just picked up Mordenkainens Tome of Foes. Reading through that, or starting to, it was giving me ideas for more campaigns, and even some games that are actually set in the the realms created by Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons and Dragons and not just my own home brew games.
The Blood War, an eternal struggle between the ordered planes of the 9 Hells and the masses of the Abyss. The Devils of the 9 Hells have different hierarchy in the levels of what each one of them does, while the Demons of the Abyss throw their giant numbers in a much more chaos filled ways at the Devils.
That’s the simple backstory of the Blood War that rages on. There are a whole lot more details, but we’re going to focus on an interesting campaign idea surrounding that.
The idea is that if the balance is broken, either the planes will be overrun by chaos as the Demons run wild or the Devils will impose their own “perfect” order onto the planes. Something is now trying to throw off the balance. The Demons have allegedly found some sort of way to infiltrate Mephistopheles ranks and are going to be taking some of his research out with them, when they figure a way back out.
The adventuring party starts to see more random incursions of Demons and Devils into the Forgotten Realms. They are in fact contacted to dispatch and deal with some situations that are going on. Most of the time the Devils are countering some idea that the Demons have had to get their spies out of Cania in the 9 Hells. The work of the adventuring party doesn’t go unnoticed and an emissary of Asmodeus. The party eventually takes on a fairly powerful Demon and wins, and the party will be approached by an emissary.
The emissary will have a contract that is sealed with Asmodeus’s seal that lays out what he wants them to do to figure out the problem. Laying out how, if the Demons are able to leave with the information it might be enough to turn the tide of the war and the Devils would turn the Forgotten realms into a smoldering world of chaos. He offers the party some money immediately and provides them with some additional information on the 9 Hells.
Unfortunately for the characters, this isn’t something that Asmodeus really wants know what is going on. As part of the deal they are sworn to secrecy. And that also means that while he can give them information about how to get to the river Styx, he can’t just take them straight into Cania, they will have to go through the other layers of hell.
This is the big crux of the adventure being created. How are the players going to get through the 9 Hells? What tricks or bribes will they have to use when they inevitably run into one of the Lords of one of the levels of hell?
You can determine how you’d want your story to end, maybe someone was trying to play a trick of Asmodeus, and there wasn’t an spy in their midst. Maybe there was a spy in their midst. Maybe it is a situation where Asmodeus is testing his own defenses, but remember that Devils are Lawful Evil in what they do and order is extremely important.
I would expect each level of hell, there would only be eight as they aren’t going to Asmodeus level, would be about three to five sessions. So this should be a pretty long campaign, unless you play longer sessions. At the end of the dungeon, players should be hitting 15-16 level. You could even then continue after that, most likely having to face off against some high Demon in the Abyss if you want to finish it off. I’d also expect the party to be around level four or five by the time they hit the river Styx.
This is going to be a grueling game for the players. I would make things such as create food and water, maybe they work, but because of the extreme heat or cold of the levels of hell, probably won’t actually be able to sustain them. So they are going to have to be resourceful. And while there will be combat, create tempting spots for the players to sneak into, give them interesting loot, devil focused loot. At the end, you should have a well geared out party because of what they are finding on other adventurers who have braved the 9 Hells, and the Devils who have collected trophies.
What do you think of this game idea?
I think this would be interesting because you can create very thematic sessions as you go through the levels of hell. It is also interesting to have an adventuring party doing a good thing for a very evil being. Technically Asmodeus is having them do it so that he doesn’t lose, but it actually ends up helping the planes of existence from being destroyed or turned. However, it probably won’t be the happiest game, and it won’t be the most murder hobo game, though you won’t feel bad about killing anything. I’m also guessing this isn’t that unique an idea, but the Blood War was something I just learned about.
Would you want to play in a game like this one? Would you want to run a game like this one?
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