Tag: Campaign Ideas

Friday Night D&D – Zombie Apocalypse

Friday Night D&D – Zombie Apocalypse

The name says it all really, we’re going to be doing a zombie apocalypse. However, we aren’t going to be playing the game where the players are trying to stop it. Instead, we’re going to pull from things like The Walking Dead, Dead of Winter, […]

Friday Night D&D – The Dark of the City

Friday Night D&D – The Dark of the City

Welcome back for another Friday Night D&D, where I try and come up with different campaign ideas for myself to run sometime, or for you to run in your game. Today’s idea borrows from Hell to Pay, the 1.5 book of the Ascend Online series […]

Friday Night D&D – Secret Invasion

Friday Night D&D – Secret Invasion

Yes, I am stealing this from Marvel and what I think we’re likely to get in Marvel Phase 4 and forward.

In the Marvel comics, the Secret Invasion happens as super heroes are replaced slowly by the Skrull in a secret plan to take over the world. In Dungeons and Dragons, we have different monsters who can shape shift. These monsters are going to be the focal point of the story as they try and take over the world. This even includes some ancient dragons who might be leading the charge, if you want to go big at the end.

Image Source: Wizards

So, how do you make this work as a game?

For me, this campaign opens at some royal event that the players are at. I’d say start the players at third level, so that they have already been doing a little adventuring and might be a folk hero or something like that. I’d then go one of two ways, and maybe even both of the ways. But I’d have some sort of attack happen at this royal event, some sort of assassination attempt or something like that, and someone dies and is revealed as a shifter. Along with that, I’d have, in the panic, someone find a dead noble, who looks like they’ve been dead for a while, but someone the players will know was at the party.

Now, this could go one of several ways, but the the big focus of the adventuring party should be finding out who are the shifters and taking them out. It might turn into the players just killing everyone to see if they are a shifter. If that happens, throw the characters in prison, it’s pretty simple, to show that you can’t just kill a noble or someone because you think that they might be a shifter or a prove that they aren’t a shifter.

When and if that happens, I’d have the players be recruited by a secret organization within the kingdom. Some sort of SHIELD type agency, but that is way more hush hush than SHIELD actually is. The characters would have to sign something, most likely in blood with the characters knowing that just randomly murdering people will end up with them dying in their sleep.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

From there, investigating would take place as the characters need to trace the money and figure out who might be a shifter as well. I think it should come out at some point in time that not even all the shifters know who the other shifters are, and that there might besome infighting or at least different factions in there. But I’d have it come out that there are a lot more shifters in the government than they might have guessed.

Now, the players might have the characters just start killing randomly again, but I’d do some sort of subtle reminder, have a contact in SHIELD come to them to see what they have, something like that, and I’d have some sort of arranged meetings with SHIELD so the players are used to it. SHIELD shouldn’t trust the players themselves, we’re going a bit Suicide Squad here (also was done to Venom) with the do what we want or you die.

Eventually, the players should have to fight there way through a bunch of shifters, following the money trail back up high enough to find that there are people in SHIELD who have been compromised and replaced and that someone who is a regular contact also has been taken out. While they’ve been tracking down information, that information has been going into the hands of a shifter who is trying to tie up loose ends after what happened with the noble at the beginning.

Just after this, I’d have the players find out information that shows where the shifters are keeping the people whom they have swapped with. Most of those people should still be alive including a surprise. This will be for you to judge as the DM, but if you think there is a player you can get on your side, reveal them as a shifter with them having been replaced some time in the adventure. Again, showing that the shifters aren’t the most organized. But this will require some buy-in from that player. So figure out who in your group might be up for that, and let them know when the swap takes place, but skills shouldn’t change, personality shouldn’t change much. Or do it as a surprise, to show how good the shifters are and give the player a chance to fight themselves.

Now the players should have a force from the camp of people who have been swapped out. Once they are freed, they can generally arm themselves, and I’d have some sort of confrontation. I’d probably do this as the ancient dragon who is pulling the strings, players should have figured this out by now, if they haven’t, a NPC from the camp can tell them, is walking up to the castle or wherever the noble lived to face off with him and tell him that there are now more shifters in his court than people and that the ancient dragon will now to be ruling. The players will have to take on the ancient dragon, while the other people who were freed are going to take out the copies of themselves.

That’s how I’d run a secret Invasion. I am not sure how you’d want to level this, and I feel like you’d need to flesh out some lower and mid level encounters to bring the players up to a level where they can fight an ancient dragon. I’d maybe even start them at level five so that they can get higher faster. This is also a game that is fairly light on combat, so I’d probably have some distraction missions that the shifters send the adventuring party on. Deal with some orcs, search for clues in some spot where they are going to have to fight.

What do you think of this idea? Does it sound like a game that you’d want to run or play in?

Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter at @NerdologistCast
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.

Friday Night D&D – Burn it Down

Friday Night D&D – Burn it Down

Welcome back to another installment of Friday Night Dungeons and Dragons. The idea for this game came from my writing about Tieflings yesterday. I kind of did a light version of the story with the firefighter backstory that I created, however, I think that can […]

Friday Night D&D – The War of Realms

Friday Night D&D – The War of Realms

Time to make a huge game. I think that there are a lot of interesting things that you could do with this idea, including something a long ways out there, which is have it played with multiple groups. In this game the different planes, fire, […]

Friday Night D&D – The “Heroes” Journey

Friday Night D&D – The “Heroes” Journey

This is another idea that I started formulating while watching a GM 9-1-1 video from Nerdarchy. The question that was asked there was how the GM could create a game where someone else was the hero of the game.

Normally this isn’t something that I would want to do, the players are clearly going to be the hero of the game or if it’s an evil campaign the villains of the game. But they had one idea that I want to run with more, and that I think could be an interesting game that would allow the players to still be the heroes of the game, while dealing with a chosen one hero who is going to save the day in the end.

Image Source: Encounter Roleplay

Long ago in this game world, there was a prophecy of a chosen one who would defeat the mighty Zorlack, an evil deity from another realm. The hero would be born under a blood moon when the faeries sang their mid summer song and they would be born with the sign of the lioness on their right shoulder.

A couple of thousands of years have passed, and you are not that hero, but you know who the hero is. They are a big pain in everyone’s arse, because while they might be the way to defeat Zorlack, they’ve almost died ten times in the year from silly little problems like getting shot by a single arrow from a goblin, stepping off the edge of a cliff and falling 10 feet, because they wanted to get a better view, swallowing some bird poop from a bird flying overhead that they wanted to look at. They are not the hero that everyone was expecting.

Image Source: Wizards of the Coast

Now, the signs for Zorlack’s return are starting to be fulfilled and you, a scrappy band of adventurers have your hands full dealing with this impending doom. But your life has become more complicated than just the monsters that you’re starting to deal with. There was more to the prophecy, and you’ve been tasked to help deal with the rest of the prophecy.

This is where the game really begins. I don’t see this is a massively long campaign, but it’s going to be a goofy campaign. To start, I think I’d have the players do a few fetch quests to get a few items that the hero is going to need to defeat Zorlack. I think that it makes sense that they are all pieces of an epic weapon that only the hero will be able to wield, somehow. With that, you can introduce Zorlack’s minions, some sort of small monster who are going to be a bother in numbers, but pretty easy to kill.

From there, I’d make the players have to fight their way to the remote monastery where the hero is being kept to keep them protected. This should be a pain in the butt for the adventuring party, dealing with wild creatures, fighting more minions of Zorlack, and probably dealing with some crazy weather. And when the players meet the hero, they are going to find that the hero is whiny, self-entitled, and basically a level 0 character that the players are now going to have to protect on the next fetch quest. But they need the hero to be able to get the weapon together. All the time they are doing this, I would have the hero almost die over and over again, if you have a cleric with revivify, definitely actually have the hero die a few times and have the party have to save them. But do it in absurd goofy ways so that the players don’t feel like you’ve added a complication to them, because it’s so absurd.

Eventually once they’ve collected all the pieces, there’s probably going to be a last part of the prophecy, where only a certain dwarf will be able to forge the weapon by heating it from the lava flows of a volcano. Again, making the players lives more annoying, but probably drop off the hero in one of the large cities at that point to keep him safe. Once the weapon is back together and delivered to the hero, now it’s time to ride into the massive storm that is the battle of the human, dwarf, and elf armies that are holding back the now massive hordes of minions to get to where Zorlack is so that the hero can destroy or banish Zorlack. Don’t have the players really take much part in the battle as the armies will clear a path for them, they’ll just have to deal with a few bands of minions, which should be easy.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Eventually they’ll finally face off against Zorlack who should be either tiny or the most over the top villain of all time, like those from 80’s cartoons. And I don’t think I’d even have the final battle be a normal battle. Borrow from something like The Devil Went Down to Georgia or Guardian’s of the Galaxy. Have it be a competition of some sort, and something that the players can help with, probably by either performing with the hero, rigging it so that Zorlack does worse, and the hero does better, whatever the rules are for the actual final battle.

In this game, I’d also be adding is something heralding with Zorlack actually shows up. Like a light in the sky that is getting closer, or something that is incredibly stupid, 80’s, and metal.

I’m definitely thinking that this game gets some of it’s styling for making everything over the top from 80’s hair metal bands, He-Man, Heavy Metal/Heavy Metal 2000. Really taking those 80’s sci-fi/future things and twisting them for a fantasy setting. Maybe Zorlack doesn’t end up being a deity, but a super powerful alien that this more primitive world would see as being almost god like powers.

Compared to some of my other ideas, this one is clearly the most silly. But sometime you want silly games with geysers of flame going off as Zorlack’s Minions are chanting the lyrics to We Will Rock You by Queen.

What do you think of this idea? Do you like to prefer in a more serious game or a sillier game?

Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter at @NerdologistCast
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.

Friday Night D&D – The Towers of the Gods

Friday Night D&D – The Towers of the Gods

This one comes from a handful of places for my newest campaign idea that you can steal, pick apart, etc. The first spot is Nerdarchy which really got me thinking about it on one of their videos where they were talking about a dungeon/tower that […]

Friday Night D&D – Insane in the Membrane

Friday Night D&D – Insane in the Membrane

Alright, it’s Friday again, that means it is time to come up with your (or my) next Dungeons and Dragons campaign. This one is again pulled using information from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. So let’s get into some backstory. Out there between the planes there […]

D&D Campaign Building

D&D Campaign Building

I decided it was time to jump back into some D&D topics, and I wanted to try something a little bit different, instead of just dispensing advice, I wanted to go through the process of building out a campaign that I may (or may not) use in the future.

If I do use it, for potential players who might read it, things will be tweaked, so you can’t count on everything.

Image Source: Wizards

The First Question?

Do I build this as an epic adventure game or a smaller more focused game?
I wrote an article on this recently, and the basic idea, just to recap fast, is that some games take place over a whole continent or planet or even planets and planes. Think Lord of the Rings which was spread out over so much area. Other games focus on a much smaller area, think Dresden Files, sure there is a whole world, but it takes place in the Fae realms and Chicago, with minor excursions elsewhere, but that’s in the later books.

For this game, I want to try a smaller focused game that’s going to primarily take place in a trade port, I think. Or some trading hub. I don’t want it to be the biggest trading hub though, so probably something that is set off in a further province of a kingdom that sends something important out, versus bringing a ton into the town.

The advantage of having it be a town that size is that it’s still manageable and there are still going to be interesting characters and shops around. I think I want it to be that they are one of the spots that granite or some other type of fancy stone is sent out from in this world. Gold or any type of metal would draw too much attention, but something like granite would be something that the rich want, but wars aren’t always being fought over. But it’s still a good money making opportunity for people, because the granite will sell for a pretty penny.

Image Source: Wizards of the Coast

There’s another advantage to having it be something like a stone or a metal, and that is that you can have a wide variety of races around. Dwarves would be around to help mine. It’s a remote area so you’d likely have elves around. Gnomes often have an artisan sort of background, so they could be making trinkets and what not from the granite. But it most certainly gives you options. You’d have just background wise, sailors who would be transporting the granite on the river who might retire there. Soldiers and mercenaries who guard the granite. Artisans who sculpt but also artisans who write up the contracts and things like that. A town like this would have a heavy religious influence of probably a couple of gods. You’re remote enough that an outlander character could easily come wandering into town.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Next question I’m going to ask, which is going to be the next article, is what about magic in this town. You can see how deciding on the scope of your game really allows you to decide on what is important to the story. And you can see some of my thought process to end up with a town that can basically be described as the following:

A remote trade town that provides most of the granite for the Kingdom of the Sevens.

I could certainly say more about it than that, which I did, but that gives me a starting place for my game. You could also see people starting with the big plot idea, but I have a few floating around in my head that I’ll come to eventually.

Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter at @NerdologistCast
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.

Monster Factory: Freddy Krueger

Monster Factory: Freddy Krueger

It’s Halloween time, and that means we need to create some D&D monster fun and build one of the most iconic horror movie characters of all time. Freddy Krueger This classic monster from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies has long razors on his hands […]