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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Hey there, beleaguered Dungeon Masters!

    Have you ever DM'd yourself into a corner and your PCs refuse to hop on the railroad?
    Have your PCs taken a Vow of Purity and refuse to meet in a bar?
    Did your wife ask you to let your sister-in-law play a one-off in the middle of your two-year old campaign?
    Did your just buy Libris Mortis and really want to get some necrotic cysts involved?

    Or conversely did all your really awesome Dragon magazine queries get returned unopened?
    Then this is the thread for you.
    My idea is to leave this thread here for you to post your campaign, plothook and encounter ideas, for DMs in need to borrow or adapt.

    Be as broad or specific as you want. Cite splat books. Integrate intriguing 3rd-party materials. Post NPC stat blocks. Or just post "Two words: Owlbear rodeo".

    I hope this proves successful, therefore making my work as a DM easier.

    For ease of access, format it like so:

    Post Type in Bold: Encounter? Plothook? Adventure Idea? Vague Dungeon Theme? The Entire Dragon Warrior Zenithian Cycle Converted to 3.5?

    Brief Description, Synopsis, or Abstract, if needed

    The actual stuff here.

    If you are borrowing others peoples' ideas, it is considered polite to give any due credit.
    Here are related links, courtesy of Bohandas:

    With thanks.
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2017-07-04 at 06:54 PM.
    Merrick O' Fey sketch by Craysion

    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. Please contribute!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Plot Hooks

    An expansive LN (with evil-leanings and deep pockets) is building massive canal to link its eastern and western colonial outposts, but all manner of factors are interrupting construction:

    Monstrous attacks- someone or thing is using the labour camps as a private buffet, and the workers refuse to leave their tents until the creature is slain.

    Graft aplenty- the colonial governor is skimming funds directed towards the construction, and is blaming the indigenous humanoids for delays to explain losses. An ambitious bureaucrat hires you to expose him (in the process leaving a vacancy said bureaucrat would fill), but you risk making powerful enemies either way.

    NIMBY- a bronze dragon who lays claim to this region objects to the public works springing up on his land. As Imperial representatives, you are required to find a solution amenable to everyone (and by "everyone," the Empire means "us. Or else.")
    Merrick O' Fey sketch by Craysion

    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. Please contribute!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    The party goes back to the capital, but when they arrive, all they find are awakened cats walking around with their humanoid 'pets'. Godcat has finally ascended to divinity and is wreaking havoc.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Vague Dungeon Theme/Encounter idea:

    Chaotic/Wild magic dungeon:

    A town or city has been complaining about aberrant weather patterns causing problems and has offered a reward for anyone who can eliminate the the source of the issue.

    The issue is caused by a rift that has opened nearby. The rift leads to an extra-planar dungeon which was created by unknown entities for unknown purpose. Inside the dungeon things aren't necessarily what they seem. You may see water, but it may burn like fire. Gravity may reverse upon entering certain areas (but not exiting). This is a good chance for DMs to throw conventions on their heads, thwart meta-gamers who know stat blocks without invalidating Knowledge skills (you may be able to determine this dungeon exists on a demi-plane, but the creatures within may fool the knowledge skill as you may see an owlbear, but it has the stats and abilities of a gorgon or similar).

    You can prop up a minor artefact or some other such as the dungeon's fuel, whether it has some way to destroy it, causing the dungeon to collapse or can be recovered would of course be up to the DM.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Plothook/Encounter/Campaign (it kind of does all three to varying degrees; I'm going into some detail here; this is the plot of my current campaign)

    An evil, magically potent race across the sees in a continent only rumored to exist prepares to launch an invasion (in my campaign they're elves with a 16th century vietnamese vibe) to the players content.

    The invading race stirs up rebellion in their chosen landing area and staging areas. They do this via doppelganger spies, and begin teleporting in monsters to terrorize the countryside and soften up the resistance. Then, with no warning, they use a souped up Locate City Nuke (the wight creating method) to demolish a huge area (strategically chosen), resulting a blasted hellscape inhabited only by wights and a lucky few survivors. This plunges, at the very least, one nation into utter chaos and economic ruin, and local leaders begin capitulating to the invaders. They use teleportation circles to transport their army across the sea (in my campaign, greater teleportation has a reduced range, so the elves use strategically positioned ships with teleportation circles to form a chain in order to get their army across the ocean.). The PC's then are faced with a choice - resist the obviously evil invaders, or join them, or just try to escape. My PC's were within the deadzone when it went off, and survived the blast only to be caught in a wasteland filled with hostile undead. They managed to escape, but were hired by a knightly order to scout out the wasteland to prepare for a strike force to rescue survivors.

    This makes for a Fallout type campaign, and what you can do is basically restricted to your imagination. My PC's just barely survived a hellfire wyrm leveling the ruined city they were in. Even just the locate city bomb with the wight reanimation makes for a much different experience for the PCs, let alone the concurrent invasion and political strife.

    EDIT: This also gives players the option to leave and do something else, so if they don't like it just adjust and do something else. Or have it happen far away, and have an NPC pay them to retrieve something from the deadzone. Or whatever, use your imagination.
    Last edited by Bobby Baratheon; 2016-03-24 at 05:00 PM.
    “Stupid entropy ruins everything.”
    -Jennifer Ouellette

    My divine portfolio (cred goes to Jormengand):
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    Bobby, the Twist in Time
    Divine Rank: 4
    Deity of: Twisted Truth, Time
    Symbol: A pair of wings made of fossils
    Alignment: True Neutral
    Worshipers: Archaeologists, forgers
    Cleric Alignments: Any neutral
    Domains: Artifice, Creation, Knowledge, Time
    Favoured Weapon: Longsword

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Campaign: A God Am I (Only kind of stolen from Final Fantasy IV) Part 1

    Level: 1-2
    Synopsis: Using artifacts and Ancient magic, a mad king will attempt to attain godhood. A megalomaniac ruler of a notably powerful nation has dispatched his forces to gather the 10 legendary Orbs of Dragonkind. From there he will use them to compel the most powerful dragons in the world to renounce their dragon deities and worship him instead. Then he will hold this worship ransom to the draconic pantheon (*see Draconomicon). If they elevate him to demigodhood, he shall release their dragon worshipers back to the dragon deities. Once this is achieved, his human subjects' (who already venerate him as a god-king) worship will feed his divine rank. The world shall be trod under his immortal boot.

    And you want to stop this.


    The campaign begins with the level-1 PCs in a little backwater province which has an ancient treasure in the form of the White Orb of Dragonkind. Dread knights demolish the shrine holding this treasure and make off, but we soon discover this orb was the only thing preventing a marauding tribe of Whitespawn Hordelings (Monster Manual IV, page 155) from destroying the village. After staving off the attack, you must find and destroy the dragonkind and save your village.

    After this, you are tasked to get your village's orb back, sending the party out into the big wild world.

    *To avoid the obvious problem of low-level PCs possessing artifacts, I elected a homebrew rule wherein the orbs cannot be activated until they are all brought together.They only act as a mild dragon repellent that offers some minor buffs that grow with the PCs level.
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2016-11-05 at 01:33 AM.
    Merrick O' Fey sketch by Craysion

    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. Please contribute!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Campaign: A God Am I (Inspired by Final Fantasy IV... and maybe Hostel) Part 2: The Hunt Begins

    Level: 2-4
    Synopsis: A group of adventurers sets out from their hometown to recover a stolen artifact, and along the way discover others are being taken by the same villain.


    The campaign continues. The PCs leave their little backwater village to get the White Orb of Dragonkind back. After a rough encounter-rich journey, they take refuge in what appears to be a ranger outpost.

    After a brief respite, the party awakens the next day, stripped of their gear and trussed up to prevent spellcasting. Their "hosts" inform the party that they have the great privilege to be this year's prey in the Solstice Hunt, the annual Erythnul-sponsored slaughter of some hapless locals.

    The PCs must evade the hunters, survive the hunt and if possible, turn the tables on their pursuers. If the PCs survive and vanquish the Hunters, they will find the mortal remains of a scout from the Kingdom that stole the Orb.

    The scout's notes explain the general plan to steal all ten orbs, but unfortunately, the notes only have the location of one other orb: the Brass Orb of Dragonkind.
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2016-03-25 at 09:41 PM.
    Merrick O' Fey sketch by Craysion

    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. Please contribute!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Campaign: A God Am I (No qualifications or disclaimers for you) Part 3: Dead Leads and Dead Ends

    Level: 4-6
    Synopsis: With nothing but a vague hint from a dead scout's notes, the PCs must pick up the trail of the soldiers who stole the White Orb of Dragonkind. A town and a name are found, along with another orb's location.


    The scout's notes lead the PCs to a port town, and asking about will find the scout's contact left over a year prior on an inland expedition to parts unknown.

    Local guides hired by the expedition have been missing since, and search parties have proven fruitless. However, knowing the path the guides took combined with the notes helps locate an ancient shrine to Astilabor, Dragon Deity of the Hoard (Draconomicon). The scout's contact and her guides were killed by traps in the temple.

    If the PCs can evade the traps, temple guardians and the restless spirits of the would-orb hunters, they will be rewarded with the Brass Orb of Dragonkind.

    What to actually do with it is another question altogether.
    Merrick O' Fey sketch by Craysion

    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. Please contribute!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    If one person benefits from this thread, then I will be pleased.

    Plot Hook

    A series of killings has left a city in the grip of terror.

    The killer is revealed to be a reknowned paladin, who slowly into madness.

    The madness turns out to be due to having a stuffed and mounted trophy of an aboleth the paladin's father killed decades earlier. The monster's psionic echo remains and slowly eroded the paladin's mind.
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2016-03-27 at 01:33 PM.
    Merrick O' Fey sketch by Craysion

    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. Please contribute!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by redzimmer View Post
    If one person benefits from this thread, then I will be pleased.

    Plot Hook

    A series of killings has left a city in the grip of terror.

    The killer is revealed to be a renowned paladin, who slowly into madness.

    The madness turns out to be due to having a stuffed and mounted trophy of an aboleth the paladin's father killed decades earlier. The monster's psionic echo remains and slowly eroded the paladin's mind.
    That could be part of a pretty successful/awesome Call of Cthulhu type campaign. Come to think of it, psionics in general seem to be a pretty natural fit for Cthulhu type shenanigans.

    Adding on to that plot hook, his madness was hastened along by finding the written copy of a certain play, which the subconscious suggestions of the aboleth drove him to seek out. Upon confessing to his crimes and entering into custody, he is murdered by cultists in the night. If the PC's murderized him instead, find some way to get the play into their possession (it has that creepy ability of just turning up in places it shouldn't be), and have cultists try to recruit them or murder them as well.

    EDIT: Bonus points if you get the reference.
    Last edited by Bobby Baratheon; 2016-03-27 at 01:45 PM.
    “Stupid entropy ruins everything.”
    -Jennifer Ouellette

    My divine portfolio (cred goes to Jormengand):
    Spoiler
    Show
    Bobby, the Twist in Time
    Divine Rank: 4
    Deity of: Twisted Truth, Time
    Symbol: A pair of wings made of fossils
    Alignment: True Neutral
    Worshipers: Archaeologists, forgers
    Cleric Alignments: Any neutral
    Domains: Artifice, Creation, Knowledge, Time
    Favoured Weapon: Longsword

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    I regret that one went over my head. I'll probably kick myself when it comes to me.

    Encounter

    A Marut Inevitable has refused to submit itself to a mindwipe and in the process is now being hunted by both a Kolyarut and another Marut.

    A green slaad is attracted by such a chaotic act, and the three-way melee that ensues will destroy a small town if you don't intervene.
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2016-03-28 at 06:15 PM.
    Merrick O' Fey sketch by Craysion

    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. Please contribute!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Plot Hook

    A city to which the PCs travel frequently is famous for a large, rocky outcrop upon which the city's citadel is built. Out of nowhere (while they're out shopping, preferably), a seemingly insane spell caster
    Spoiler
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    She's a stone giant elder disguised as a normal humanoid, and she uses a mysterious artifact to awaken the elemental
    awakens the outcrop, which is revealed to actually be a massive Earth Elemental (or a titan, or a god or whatever you prefer). The Elemental stands up, dislodging that irritating little castle from its back, and wipes out the top level of the city's hierarchy, plunging the city into near anarchy as the remaining civil and religious leaders try to keep order. The elemental breaks through the city wall, and settles down to take a nap outside the city limits.

    Meanwhile, an army of stone giants marches on and encircles the city. If the PC's (or anyone else) managed to capture the spell caster, they demand her return in addition to demanding that all inhabitants of the city leave. If not, she's at the head of the army. They claim that eons ago, this city belonged to them, and they worshipped the elemental as a manifestation of their gods' power, until some crafty adventurers drove them out through trickery by banishing them to a demiplane with slowed time. They have only just returned, and they want their home back and are willing to crush the city to get it.

    The fun thing here is that the PC's path is entirely up to them. They can skip town, side with either faction, take over the city in their own name, bring in a third party, or do whatever they want in reaction to these events. If you want to make things even more interesting, throw in something else to add to the chaos. Maybe the kingdom sends a relief force or diplomats after hearing about the siege? Really, your imagination's the limit here.
    “Stupid entropy ruins everything.”
    -Jennifer Ouellette

    My divine portfolio (cred goes to Jormengand):
    Spoiler
    Show
    Bobby, the Twist in Time
    Divine Rank: 4
    Deity of: Twisted Truth, Time
    Symbol: A pair of wings made of fossils
    Alignment: True Neutral
    Worshipers: Archaeologists, forgers
    Cleric Alignments: Any neutral
    Domains: Artifice, Creation, Knowledge, Time
    Favoured Weapon: Longsword

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    In a Kingdom where the loyalty of the subjects to the Crown has crunch effects. ("King" as an acquired template, royal guards get continual bless, nationwide plant growth, areas within city walls have a consecrate effect, whatever.)

    The King has no legitimate children.
    The closest legitimate male-line heir, his cousin, is known to be a nasty piece of work--cruel, lazy and inconsistent.
    The closest legitimate female-line heir, his nephew, is the crown prince of the neighboring kingdom, a historic rival.
    The most popular choice to succeed the king is his illegitimate son, a Marty Stu paladin of goodness and light. And a bastard cannot be a lawful king.

    (Look up the origins of the Hundred Years' War, plus a bastard paladin prince who everyone would love to put on the throne, but he won't go for it because LAWFUL.)

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    That. . . would be an awesome campaign. Especially since it lets the PCs as morally upright/dubious as they want, and if they amass enough power they can even be kingmakers. Or alternatively, spawn a Game of Thrones style campaign of endless intrigue and intermittent warfare as pretenders rise and fall.
    “Stupid entropy ruins everything.”
    -Jennifer Ouellette

    My divine portfolio (cred goes to Jormengand):
    Spoiler
    Show
    Bobby, the Twist in Time
    Divine Rank: 4
    Deity of: Twisted Truth, Time
    Symbol: A pair of wings made of fossils
    Alignment: True Neutral
    Worshipers: Archaeologists, forgers
    Cleric Alignments: Any neutral
    Domains: Artifice, Creation, Knowledge, Time
    Favoured Weapon: Longsword

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    In a Kingdom where the loyalty of the subjects to the Crown has crunch effects. ("King" as an acquired template, royal guards get continual bless, nationwide plant growth, areas within city walls have a consecrate effect, whatever.)

    The King has no legitimate children.
    The closest legitimate male-line heir, his cousin, is known to be a nasty piece of work--cruel, lazy and inconsistent.
    The closest legitimate female-line heir, his nephew, is the crown prince of the neighboring kingdom, a historic rival.
    The most popular choice to succeed the king is his illegitimate son, a Marty Stu paladin of goodness and light. And a bastard cannot be a lawful king.

    (Look up the origins of the Hundred Years' War, plus a bastard paladin prince who everyone would love to put on the throne, but he won't go for it because LAWFUL.)
    Or the War of the Roses(and don't be surprised when it feels awfully familiar to Game of Thrones).

    History is rife with amazing little "plot hooks" like that.

    Another historical conflict providing a blessedly fertile ground to pull from is the Punic Wars.

    And the classical era in general.
    (Don't let anybody tell you D&D is a medieval europe setting, they're wrong. It's the classical, heroic era that it emulates most closely - you know, the one with Heracles, Achilles, Jason, the Trojan War, etc.)
    My attempt at non-awful fumble rules
    Arcane Archer minimal fix (maybe not so minimal anymore)
    Expanding the Pathfinder Called Shots system
    ͼͽ

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    One of my favorite resources is Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World.

    Goblins in most of my games are total nonmagical amoral inventors, devising these and other things like barbed-wire and primitive flamethrowers.

    As for history, early-20th Century minus such things as gunpowder and powered locomotion makes for rich D&D plots as well.

    My longest-running campaign was a fantasy-expy of inter-Wars Europe circa-1920.
    Merrick O' Fey sketch by Craysion

    Plot Hooks. Campaigns and Encounters - an aid for DMs in a hurry. Please contribute!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    These first few are crossposted from another thread I've responded to:

    Plot Hooks etc

    -Mind-flayer settlement was destroyed several years ago by demonic incursion and/or zombie apocalypse. Remains almost as dangerous to surrounding area now as it was when it was populated by mind-flayers.

    -CE demon wields NG intelligent sword powered by the bound soul of an innocent child who fears blood and hates violence. Won't somebody put him to rest?

    -The stagnation of technology at the medieval level and the inability of magic to overcome limitations such as seeing through lead or conjuring gold are both he work of an ancient conspiracy dating back to the Battle of Pesh, which the conspiracy whishes to prevent a repeat of as it was fought with gratituitous use of atomic weapons and twin-cataclysms level attack spells.

    -Something with a barbaric tribe of cultureless feral people originating from a collapsed/destroyed illithid settlement

    -Love interest of one of the PCs is kidnapped by the henchmen of a ghostly spellcaster who needs her as a sacrifice to his god (bonus points of any of you can guess what movie that's from)

    -Three oppressive Lawfwul Evil demihuman, goblinoid, and kobold kingdoms are stuck in a 1984 style politically useful eternally stalemated war. This state of affairs was engineered by baatezu soul harvesters. The resistance, at least in the human kingdom and to a lesser extent the goblin kingdom, is led by chaotic evil demons whose plan for freeing the kingdom basically involves destroying it with arson, murder, mass destruction, and Kingsmen-style riot incitement; they call themselves "terminationaries" because they are only interested in destroying the government, without providing any sort of a replacement for it.

    -People are smuggling tomes of black magic

    -PCs, if they are in the Abyss, are teleported before the Lords of Woe, who then teleport them out to some other more actively hostile territory because, as the Lords explain, they think it will be funny.

    -Sectarian war between the Cult of the Ebon Triad (a cult worshipping a being combining the features of Erythnull, Hextor, and Vecna, in hopes of forcing said deities together into a single entity due to belief equaling power on the outer planes) and an advanced Sibriex demon (Fleshwarping primordial demons. see Fiendish Codex 1) who claims that they not only stole his idea but also ruined it (further investigation will reveal that the Sibriex's version involved capturing aspects of the three deities and physically joining them together into a human centipede)

    -Servants of a god of misery and misfortune have begun a campaign of arbitrary curses (just putting curses on whoever they come across) and random untargeted sabotage (that is to say they'll, for example, rig a ceiling to collapse without care or regard to who specifically it will collapse on) [Homebrew misery domain you can use: lv1- Black Bag (bovd) (conjures bag of torture implements), lv2- Blindness/Deafness, lv3- Bestow Curse, lv4- Crushing Despair, lv5- Nightmare, lv6- Cloak of Hate (Heroes of Horror) (all initial reactions to victim are one level more hostile and victim takes -10 to diplomacy), lv7- Bestow Greater Curse (BOVD, Spell Compendium), lv8- Polymorph Any Object, lv9- Imprison Soul (Heroes of Horror) (Sucks creature's soul into small totem; creature's body gradually dies); Granted Power- Add Intimidate and Disable Device to cleric class skills and Black Bag spell also conjures holy symbol and thieves tools in bag in addition to the normal knives and scalpels]

    -Illegal trade in the fur of celestial animals is on the increase

    -A sadistic punk has been going around in the dead of night mutilating domestic animals; sawing the legs off of horses, stuff like that.

    -Ruler has been replaced by imposter but imposter is better ruler than real ruler
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2016-04-20 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Added bolded suggestion type tag requested by op

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Plot Hooks

    -There's been a lot of fake relics flooding the market lately; the pcs are tasked with finding the source

    -A dragon or something puts the PCs into a dungeon that's esse tially a glorified mouse maze intended to test demihuman reasoning and adaptability or something like that
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2016-04-20 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Added bolded suggestion type tag requested by op

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Orc in the Playground
     
    GeekGirl's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Encounter/BBEG (Stolen from a friend)

    Will the adventurers be willing to kill a child?

    I'm sure you've all seen the Psionic Sandwich
    Spoiler
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    The Psionic Sandwich was an attempt to build the most optimized useless character possible, back on 339. The nice thing about this trick is that Tleilaxu_Ghola found a way to effectively get a True Mindswitch without paying the 10,000XP cost.

    The Psionic Sandwich by Tleilaxu_Ghola

    Hmph, I think I should edit my original mind-switch thread. The most optimal way to gain a body permanently is no longer true mind switch. It's to use astral seed + mind switch + psychic chirurgery. The result is an XP expendature of 0 XP, that's right zero. You lose no levels, and you gain all the effects of true mind switch.

    Anyways, so in lieu of what I just said above, the most optimal way to create the most un-optimal character is to use the following sequence and build:

    Race: Elan
    Build: Telepath 20
    Feats: Any, must have EK(Astral Seed) and skill focus (craft [basket weaving])

    1. Acquire a loaf of bread (2cp)
    2. Turn the bread into a sandwich (craft DC 5) (probably 2 minutes)
    3. Polymorph the sandwich (preferably ham with mustard, pepperoni, salami, and jalapenos) into a fuzzy little bunny. (NPC casting 1200 gp) (1 standard action)
    4. Cast astral seed (10 minutes)
    5. Ritualistically slay yourself with favored method of suicide. Be sure to place your storage crystal next to the sandwich turned bunny. (I prefer to be killed with a dagger to the heart... :shifty: ) (Approximately 5 rounds)
    6. Use mind-switch (the 6th level power) to switch with the rabbit, while in your storage crystal. (1 std action)
    7. Metamorph into a troll and smash your storage crystal (now containing the mind of a sandwich). (2 standard actions)
    8. Use psychic chirurgery to remove your negative level gotten from committing suicide. (10 minutes)
    9. Dismiss your metamorphosis and manifest dispel psionics on yourself (to dispel the polymorph). (2 standard actions)

    Congratulations, your ascension to the sublime state of a sandwich took:
    23 minutes 6 seconds and cost you 1200.02 gold pieces.

    Any one have a more optimal method?

    Now, it occurred to me that this might not be a half bad character to play. So long as you pick up the power psionic overland flight and tweak your character levels a bit, you could seriously play a sandwich. Of course your hitpoints or AC wouldn't be much to speak of... but honestly, who is going to kill the sandwich that the fighter packs.


    Based on that idea; but in place of a sandwich, and child's toy (doll, stuffed animal, whatever), and the build is now Psion/Thrallherd. Using telepathy school, make your way to an orphanage, and dominate a child. Your thrall will follow the lead of this kid, and rain hell down on a city (or what ever the psion's goals are). The players will eventually make it to the boss fight only to meet a 6-7 year old orphan girl. As long as they don't destroy the doll, in a few months it all starts happening again.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Orc in the Playground
     
    GeekGirl's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by redzimmer View Post
    Campaign: A God Am I (Only kind of stolen from Final Fantasy IV) Part 1
    This is fantastic, I may steal borrow the idea ^_^
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  21. - Top - End - #21
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by GeekGirl View Post
    This is fantastic, I may steal borrow the idea ^_^
    I would be thrilled. Part four on its way.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Campaign: A God Am I (Any similarities to blah blah blah...) Part 4: Two Sides to Every Coin

    Level: 6-8
    Synopsis: The PCs have acquired their first Orb of Dragonkind, and forces begin to mount against them. And to make matters worse, their hometown is again under assault.


    After given a brief moment to recover after their ordeal at the Temple of Astilabor, the PCs return to the port town (ideally, or they might just head back to their own town or the "ranger outpost", in that case skip ahead).

    En route, bounty hunters of a suitably challengingly DC beset the PCs. Upon victory they find a bounty with very exact descriptions of themselves, with the benefactor being a representative of the Mad King Who Seeks The Orbs of Dragonkind (or just Mad King to his friends).

    Conversely the PCs are overwhelmed and trussed up for transport (the poster says "Wanted Alive"), in that case a timely rescue is required.

    So if A) PCs head to port town and repulse the bounty hunter, they are found by a messenger from their home village, pleading with them to return home.

    If B) PCs are captured by the bounty hunters are waylaided by the home village messenger, who gives the PCs an opportunity to escape, then are entreatied to head back home.

    If C) PCs head straight to the hometown, then we head straight to...

    D) the PCs home village is now under attack from a white dragon. It seems the only thing keeping the dragon at bay was the White Orb.

    After seeking out and slaying said dragon, they return home, lauded as conquering heroes. The town elders reveal (this might've been helpful seven levels ago. Maybe the elders were out of town at ElderCon?) the founder was a member of an ancient order of Knights tasked with protecting the Orbs.

    And now you have to seek out the Order so you may find out why the Orbs are All That.

    Finding out how and why there's a bounty out on them as well might be a thing to do.
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2016-03-30 at 01:45 AM.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Encounter

    A monk of indeterminate age stages a martial arts competition to determine who shall be his new pupil.

    After your party monk vanquishes all competitors, the master reveals himself to be an elder barghest, cultivating the strongest soul to devour.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Campaign: A God Am I (No, I did not play Elder Scrolls: Oblivion while making this chapter. Why do you ask?) Part 5: The Order of Io

    Level: 8-10
    Synopsis: The PCs are directed to the Citadel of Io, where the titular Order headquarters. A test of mettle and character ensues.


    A journey to a massive range of mountains is the first part of the journey, either the Citadel being the final destination. This mountaintop castle is not easily breached, so the PCs need either a lot of Clomb checks or a means of flight.

    Upon arrival the PCs are met by a pair of Drakestone Golems (Draconomicon again. It's a good book), who will relentlessly attack whomever holds the Brass Orb (even if held in an extraplanar container. Once dead or the PC surrenders it, the golems return to their dormant state (unless destroyed of course), and the Knights of Io sally forth.

    Exposition time! The Order has been tasked with keeping the Orbs out of the hands of mortal, who would use them to corrupt Io's children (fun fact, some of these Knights are in fact shapechanged dragons. Shhhh), however a traitor to the Order has absconded with a magical flute which can locate each orb, provided the song for each is known beforehand. The traitor is now ensconced in Mr. Mad King's entourage, and they are snagging all the Orbs for an horrid ritual. So far they have the White, Blue, Bronze, Silver and Black Orbs. You have the Brass Orb. Up for grabs still are the Gold, Red, Green and Copper Orbs.

    Good News: There is another magic flute.
    Bad News: The flute is deep in this mountain fortress behind a very nasty dungeon full of tests of ability, combat and character. Because of course it is.
    Worse News: The songs are unknown to all but a few bards and sages in the world.
    Worst News: The Mad King's forces know where the Brass Orb is and they are on their way. Here. Now.

    So the PCs race against time to get the flute, and when they emerge from the testing dungeon, Mad King's armada of airships and other cool Evil Empire siege equipment are attacking. One sage in the great Free City of {INSERT CAMPAIGN SPECIFIC CITY HERE} may be of help to find the Songs of the Orbs.

    The Order tasks the PCs to get the remaining Orbs and return them to Io's Celestial Temple, which happens to be in the Dragon Graveyard, a mythical location hidden from the eyes of mortals (seriously, Draconomicon is a must-have).

    The Order are all willing to die to buy the PCs time, so down the mountain they go, tragic slow-motion deaths to a mournful strings orchestral.
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2016-03-30 at 08:05 PM.
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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Campaign: A God Am I (Shadow Dawn was a good book. Go give it s look) Part 6: Song of the Free City

    Level: 10-12
    Synopsis: The Sage the PCs seek has just recently died of old age. His nephew and apprentice is more concerned with becoming a famed musician than a stuffy old scholar. Also the PCs meet their enemy face-to-face...


    The Temple of Io is under attack, and the PCs must take the magical flute and make good their escape to the Free City. An unused tunnel from the Testing Chambers leads to an escape route. Clearing the tunnel (and the landwyrms that inhabits it) will take the PCs to the source of a river which if traveled will lead to a way station on the main road to the Free City.

    By now the PCs should have means to disguise themselves to avoid the ever-increasing number of bounty hunters seeking them. Upon reaching the Free City, they discover the sage they seek is recently deceased. He chosen apprentice and successor is found frequenting the public houses and spending his inheritance as rapidly as possible. Efforts to get him to reveal the songs are rebuffed until the next day. And the next day he goes missing.

    A scouring of the city of will turn up the apprentice in the custody of minions of the Mad King, the Io Traitor chief among them. A rescue ensues, the traitor escapes and the apprentice shares the Red Orb song before he goes into hiding. Access to the sage's research library and apartments are granted to you.

    Playing the Song of the Red Orb gives its listeners a vision of a mist-shrouded island. Now if only the PCs only could access a large research library to determine the island's location...
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2017-09-03 at 11:01 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    The PCs are hired to secure, before darker forces do, an ancient obryith artifact capable of holding the Vast Gate to the Far Realm on Firestorm Peak open permanently in the absence of the Dragon's Tear comet that usually powers it.

    EDIT:
    Remember, (IIRC), the Obryiths originally came to this multiverse from another one through the Far Realm
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2016-03-30 at 11:11 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    HalfOrcPirate

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    The King has been persuaded by one of his chief advisor-courtiers (actually a succubus in magical and mundane disguise) to commission the creation of a set of powerful magical artifacts. Spellcasters and artisans throughout the land are called in to craft and enchant them.

    The aim is to create 'items' each of which require approx 1000 spell slots "spent" on them via rituals that are directed by the succubus.
    The items are;
    A colossus, an Adamantite Golem to defend the city (I imagine it as a massive statue like the one in Bravos in game of thrones or perhaps a Jaeger from Pacific Rim)
    A mythal to power the city's magical defences (description here)
    A sceptre (to be held by the current monarch) which increases his leadership ability & wisdom considerably (while offering immunity to mind-affecting spells). The holder of the sceptre may also communicate telepathically with the mythal to control the Colossus.

    The succubus intends to engineer things so that she can steal the sceptre and control the colossus to defend her while she uses the mythal to open a portal to the abyss, unleashing hordes of demons upon the material plane.

    There are some devils who are aware of the commissioning of the artifacts and are suspicious that there is a demon involved. They want to uncover any demonic influence and thwart it. Even better, they would love to make pacts where possible to increase their influence in the material plane.

    Session 1 - The King's Call
    The King puts out a call throughout the land for spellcasters to come to the capital to contribute to the creation of these artifacts. PCs can directly contribute to the crafting, casting or recruiting if they want. The city hosts tournaments and a festival and makes a big party out of it. Players can compete in tournaments or games of chance etc.

    Session 2 - Rumours of a threat
    The PCs are recruited (by the succubus) to investigate rumours of a Devil infiltration into the city, they are suspected to be here to sabotage the artifacts or perhaps poising to steal one if they can. The devils are real but are there to sabotage the Succubus' plans (of which they are partially aware). The PCs will be pointed in the direction of the Devils with the expectation that they will seek & destroy. The leader of the Devils will, if given half a chance, tell them (cryptically) that things are not as they seem and that the artifacts must not be completed. (Alternatively, a written note or similar exposition inserted here).

    Session 3 - The Devil is in the detail
    The PCs will probably now be suspicious of the Succubus advisor but since they are well protected by their high status & favour with the King (not to mention armed guards and magical protections) they will be relatively powerless to do anything. Any accusations made can be shot down by her high diplomacy and/or charm/domination spells if she can get a 1-on-1 meeting with anyone in a position of power to arrest/question her. The accusation may even land the PCs in jail for the week.

    In the meantime they might consider sabotaging the artifacts but they will be (spectacularly) well-guarded and probably being worked on all day & night by the large number of volunteer spellcasters.

    That's as far as I've got with this idea so far...

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Campaign: A God Am I (I never read Dr. Moreau, but cultural osmosis, amirite?) Part 7: Science Unfettered

    Level: 12-14
    Synopsis: After some digging, the mysterious misty island is located. The Red Orb of Dragonkind is there, along with an amoral lich theruge. Because you never find a mysterious must-shrouded island populated by a gnomish day spa.


    A gathering of information determines the location of the island from the Red Song vision. A ship can be hired to make the journey to the far north. The PCs' destination is an island at the very southmost tip of the permanent ice shelf. The crew tell of shipwrecked persons disappearing on the island, and thus refuse to make land.

    Making shore with a borrowed dinghy, the PCs find the subarctic island to be tropical in climate, the surrounding mists being endlessly sublimated ice. Inhabiting the island are a menagerie of odd creatures, from dinosaurs to variant aberrations and hybridized monstrosities.

    At the centre of the island is a genial old man who acts as caretaker for "the Master". The Master is a lich who killed the original Order of Io monks who guarded the Red Orb. The Master uses the Orb to affect this climate, which allows for his "scientific breakthroughs." Eventually the caretaker reveals a grotesque true form and killing seems a mercy.

    The Master is away from the Island on a "procurement expedition", so gathering the Orb will at this point be easy, but once obtained, the island quickly reverts back to its true icy climate.

    And then the ship returns, only the crew has been killed and animated, all screaming accusations at the PCs. After repulsing (or through some epic diplomacy, aligning with) the undead ship, the lich, aboard an enchanted airship, returns.

    The lich is thoroughly displeased, and will fight to the death. Upon success, a magical airship is at your disposal, but unless you find the phylactery, the lich with periodically harass the party.

    A little experimentation will reveal the airship requires daily arcane infusion to operate (meaning expending spell slots). Notable is the "cargo" of halflings the lich captured, among them an acolyte of a goddess of music. The acolyte suggests a trip to the goddess's celestial plane (if the PCs didn't think of it themselves).
    Last edited by redzimmer; 2016-04-01 at 12:54 AM.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    I was pondering what treasure to place with the goblins my level 2 PCs are about to fight--they shouldn't have a lot of coin, goblins aren't likely to be carrying difficult-to-sell valuable items. MAgic?

    Yes. 12-20 potions from the Cauldron of Chaos.

    What do the potions do? Well you don't know until you drink it. Roll! (All durations 1 minute)

    1. Expeditious Retreat
    2. Enlarge Person (to Large)
    3. Reduce PErson (to Tiny)
    4. Fire breathing (Burning hands, or produce flame)
    5. Sleep
    6. Summon Tiny Paparrazzi! You are surrounded with brightly colored fairy lights that flash and wink constantly
    Will save each round or be dazed. (DC 11)
    7. Invisibility
    8. Rage
    9. Silence
    10. Blindness.
    Last edited by johnbragg; 2016-03-31 at 04:40 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    redzimmer's Avatar

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    Default Re: DM's Aid: Share Your Campaign, Plothook, and Encounter Ideas

    Campaign: A God Am I (If you have airships in your campaign and no airship fight, you're doing it wrong) Part 8: Skies of the Outlands

    Level: 14-16
    Synopsis: After gaining the Red Orb and a fancy magical airship, the PCs must race to the Realm of Sheela Peryroyl in the Outlands and entreaty the Goddess for her holy artifact
    the Compleat Songbook.

    The PCs have a group of freed halfling captives onboard. In exchange for transport to their homeland, an acolyte of Sheela Peryroyl (halfling Goddess of, among other things, Music) will show the PCs a portal that can allow travel from one plane to another.

    After dropping off the halflings, the PCs travel to a mystical location known as the Valley of All Worlds. They must activate the portal and direct it the Outlands, where Sheela dwells. It is not an easy feat, involving restarting ancient magical machinery and avoiding the prerequisite guardians.

    Just as the PCs activate the gate to the Outlands, another airship races through the portal and the race is on. After you catch up to the airship, you see the Traitorous Knight of Io is piloting the ship and has the same idea as you.

    After a battle in the skies of the Outlands the PCs' ship is destroyed (alas, so swiftly), but the Mad King's Mad Kingdom airship is now theirs. A quick trip to The Flowering Hill, the realm of Sheela Peryroyl and some convincing diplomacy or sleight of hand will get the PCs access to Her enchanted songbook, and more importantly the location of all remaining Orbs of Dragonkind.

    A return to the Material Plane is in order. There are Orbs to be found...
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