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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    An ancient silver mine has been discovered. The finder and owner has been using their new found wealth to better their local community and now is seeking to arm heroes to face these undead horrors that rise up from the grave.
    The problem: The Silver vein is part ancient druidic ward to bind some great evil into the earth. As it's cage weakens the creature stirs, sending waves of thoughts of malice across the land, encouraging the kind of vile actions that lead to the formation of undead.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    The source is... the greed and wrath in the hearts of mankind made manifest as a form of spiritual vegeance. That last war tore the veil asunder, and therefore terrible deaths arise to avenge. With this knowledge the players need to bring solace to at least a few of their great regional conflicts, ideally with minimal violence.

    A spiritual quest!

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2016

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    Make what is essentially a Necromancer Mystic Theurge by multiclassing a Wizard/Cleric. The undead is caused by their experients into finding the connections between ressurection magic, like Raise Dead, and Animate Dead. Both spells are in the necromancy school, so he/she/them is looking to see how the two types of spells interact.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    What if the deity is wounded or confused and being mislead by an evil cult?
    Iím particularly fond of evil druids creating Zombies through some kind of virus myself.

    The PCs must ďhealĒ or remind the divine being of itís true origin/purpose?

    This may involve a lotten of dungeon delving for historical knowledge about the lost being, and then questing for familar heirlooms.
    Then they must infiltrate deep into the enemy territory to accomplish their mission.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    People are summoning a Demon Prince in a months-long ritual and the Undead are actually an unintended, but not unwelcome side effect of their chaotic and evil magic.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Takaoka, Japan

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    The last magic war has broken the sorting mechanism that is used for ushering people in this region to the appropriate afterlife.

    They are all set to take unique forms upon death, and travel to the correct final plane. However, a tear in the fabric that holds reality together is spilling these entities out into the material plane as actual physical beings first. Fortunately, slaying them frees them from their mistaken physical forms and allows them to rest in the appropriate afterlife.

    The problem: there is no fix. The damage is irreversible. The party will have to decide to either break the sorting mechanism, causing all of the dead in this area to be trapped in a negative plane, denied their final and proper rest in the afterlife of their choosing while they wait for a sorting that will never come, or allow the undead to continue forming forever, ensuring that when they are beaten they are sent to the proper final destination, but causing chaos in the physical world.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The sticks
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    I like the idea that the outer planes have somehow been closed off, so the reanimated dead aren't just reanimated, they're in fact inhabited by the souls of everyone who has died recently. So, every time an undead is killed, its just a matter of time (and not very long) before it gets back up again because the soul has nowhere to go.

    Maybe have the players get to know some NPCs pretty well and have some of the NPCs die. Then, in an attempt to figure out what's going on, the players use speak with dead or something to try and talk to the undead and discover that particular undead is one of the NPCs who they knew, trapped in this horrible cycle. That's bad, but then, while searching for a solution, the players find a mad necromancer who comes up with a simple solution to the problem: destroy the souls. Maybe feed them to some horrible creature, or use a sphere of annihilation or something. So, ending the plague may require destroying the actual souls of the NPCs the players got to know, annihilating them utterly.

    Then you can decide if there's another way of solving it if the players had just tried a little harder to find a solution.
    Last edited by Crusher; 2017-12-08 at 12:51 AM.
    I know him! He's a friend from work.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2017

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteNutButter View Post
    I've been running a campaign with heavy inspiration from the witcher series. Someone dies in a creepy way and comes back as some unique creepy monster that the party must learn to find it's weakness before they can succesfully fight it, etc.

    It's been a blast, but I'm kind of up against a turning point with limited ideas. The party has traversed deep into hostile territory having learned that the increase in undead spawning in the cities is traced back to a ruined city where someone or something is causing undead activity to increase in the empire, especially in the vicinity.

    They are now about to set foot in a ruined city overrun by undead, in an area that is inhospitable from magic wars (think nuclear fallout) and are looking for the source of the increase in undead arrivals.

    I'm have a few ideas, but none of them really strike me as interesting. It could be a lich or some artifact that they have to destroy, but those seem boring. I do a lot of homebrew monsters, and feel like it'd be cheap to just throw a lich into the mix. I'm looking for something that fits into the witcher/supernatural type them of the campaign.

    Any ideas you guys have are greatly appreciated.
    Spawn of Kyuss stats: http://chisaipete.github.io/bestiary...spawn-of-kyuss
    Because there's two pages of replies, I'm not going to read all the replies preceding mine so I don't know if my suggestion has been used or if you've already come to a decision, but I'd like to toss my hat in to the ring with my favorite undead: Spawn of Kyuss! They're in Volo's Guide to Monsters. They're undead powered by worms that eat their way to a person's brain if they're alive, or infest a corpse. Once the person's brain is consumed or the fest is fully infested, the body turns in to a zombie with regeneration. They're nasty, and worm powered, so they're weird and exotic! Also undead!!

    Last edited by Trey Bright; 2017-12-08 at 12:59 AM.
    GENERATION 19: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.

    DEGENERATION 89: Copy this into your sig and subtract 1 from the degeneration when you first see it. This is an antisocial experiment.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    Two lovers, she, an evil fighter, and he, a good cleric, once lived in this city. Realizing the truth of their characters and understanding that they would never be together in the afterlife, they chose to act against fate. When she suffered a mortal wound, her cleric lover cursed the whole region, breaking it off from the realm of the dead. Now, with spirits unable to leave, they reinhabit their old bodies and come back to life, undead. The curse is a mix of celestial and demonic - both strengthening and chaotic - and its energies mutate those who are brought back to life in ways both beautiful and horrific.

    Now, the lovers live their undead life deep within this cursed land, enjoying each other's company and building up their power to withstand anything that might separate them in the future. Adventures have traveled here to end the threat of the powerful undead forces marauding into surrounding lands. Will they be strong enough to find the lovestruck masters of this broken place? Will they defeat them by strength of arms and damn them to an eternity of suffering? Or will they redeem them, and in so doing, convince the gods that such love should be rewarded and not destroyed? And even if they do, will it end the curse? Or maybe the brave adventurers will agree that the cause of the lovers is just and set about building relations between the lovers and the neighboring lands. Perhaps they will even set up a base - the idea of immortality and the protection of undying allies might be just the thing...
    Last edited by staylost; 2017-12-08 at 04:21 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteNutButter View Post
    I've been running a campaign with heavy inspiration from the witcher series. Someone dies in a creepy way and comes back as some unique creepy monster that the party must learn to find it's weakness before they can succesfully fight it, etc.

    It's been a blast, but I'm kind of up against a turning point with limited ideas. The party has traversed deep into hostile territory having learned that the increase in undead spawning in the cities is traced back to a ruined city where someone or something is causing undead activity to increase in the empire, especially in the vicinity.

    They are now about to set foot in a ruined city overrun by undead, in an area that is inhospitable from magic wars (think nuclear fallout) and are looking for the source of the increase in undead arrivals.

    I'm have a few ideas, but none of them really strike me as interesting. It could be a lich or some artifact that they have to destroy, but those seem boring. I do a lot of homebrew monsters, and feel like it'd be cheap to just throw a lich into the mix. I'm looking for something that fits into the witcher/supernatural type them of the campaign.

    Any ideas you guys have are greatly appreciated.
    Iím sorry if this has already been said, I just skimmed, sorry playgrounders I am sure your ideas are all amazing.

    Ever hear of the corpse tearer linorm dragon? Big nasty semi undead dragon that can raise legions on command. Maybe he hoarded one too many artifacts and now slumbers in the ruins while something makes his undead fueled dreams manifest as reality. He dreams it the orb in the hoard he is laying on makes it real. Something like that might be fun. It also leads to the possibility that the group thinks itís the actual dragon instead of this possessed/true evil/forgotten powerful item, that now your group is carting back to sell. If you donít want them having a dragons hoard for it, simple, some of the sentient undead have made off with his stuff while he pleasantly dreams of gruesome undead atrocities.

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...act=mrc&uact=8

    2nd ed pic for reference.
    Last edited by Legendairy; 2017-12-08 at 01:49 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    There is an uprising/war occurring in the Shadowfell. Normally, the Raven Queen is able to keep a check on the undead, but she is a little busy now dealing with this war. A powerful Necromancer in the Shadowfell is using this as on opportunity to use an ancient artifact to merge the town he rules in the Shadowfell with the alternate version of the town existing on the material plane.

    Defeat the Necromancer and destroy the artifact, and your adventurers gain the gratitude of a deity.

    This could lead to other adventurers as well --- Raven Queen needs help with war efforts, power devil or demon getting involved in Shadowfell matters, or maybe its a do-gooder Cleric/Paladin Order getting involved in Shadowfell matters.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2017

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Legendairy View Post
    Iím sorry if this has already been said, I just skimmed, sorry playgrounders I am sure your ideas are all amazing.

    Ever hear of the corpse tearer linorm dragon? Big nasty semi undead dragon that can raise legions on command. Maybe he hoarded one too many artifacts and now slumbers in the ruins while something makes his undead fueled dreams manifest as reality. He dreams it the orb in the hoard he is laying on makes it real. Something like that might be fun. It also leads to the possibility that the group thinks itís the actual dragon instead of this possessed/true evil/forgotten powerful item, that now your group is carting back to sell. If you donít want them having a dragons hoard for it, simple, some of the sentient undead have made off with his stuff while he pleasantly dreams of gruesome undead atrocities.

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...act=mrc&uact=8

    2nd ed pic for reference.
    That legit looks like SCP-682 (or at least the picture does)
    GENERATION 19: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.

    DEGENERATION 89: Copy this into your sig and subtract 1 from the degeneration when you first see it. This is an antisocial experiment.

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    Googled, and yes, yes it does. Creepy!

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Beholder

    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    Everyone related to some famous historical warlord is rising, killing those related to their old enemy.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    QuickLyRaiNbow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteNutButter View Post
    Any ideas you guys have are greatly appreciated.
    I ran a Dragonlance campaign some years ago taking the deaths of Paladine and Takhsis as the starting point. The surplus divine energy in the cosmology, released by the deaths of the two primary deities, did stuff. One of those stuffs could very easily be mass risings of the dead. Mass risings could then alert the broader world to the surplus power, leading to power struggles between the churches as they position themselves to advance their deity.

    The Bioware RPG Jade Empire also used mass risings of undead, caused by the death (or perhaps sealing away) of the divinity responsible for shepherding the dead into the afterlife. The player then had to enter the spirit world to resolve the blockage. Another possible point of reference might be the conversation at the end of Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer with the spirit of Myrkul, the dead and former god of death.

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Re: Something is causing undead to rise... but what?

    The undead aren't actually undead. They're normal people under a powerful enchantment, granted to the land through a pact with an ancient, powerful creature by a 'hero' who was trying to save the life of their love. That creature spread an affliction that addles the mind and rots the body, but otherwise staves off death by natural causes. The cost was the hero's spirit, who has been trapped to act as a guard for the creature for 100 years while it slumbers. The party meets a princess, the hero's love, in a temple that used to be the center for the country's religion.

    The creature can be reasoned with, though it will not undo what it has done without cost- it will be annoyed at being awoken for a second time in less than a century, and will want either another guardian or some other method for keeping out riff-raff. There is a catch, as well. Though it can remove the affliction, the people it has affected will die almost immediately due to the current state of their natural bodies.

    To truly restore the survivors, preparations must be made. The undead must be led to an enchanted wellspring of healing, which can leech the necromantic energies of the undead and return them to a healthy form if the creature also undoes the affliction. This will, however, permanently corrupt the wellspring. The nymphs that defend it will be adamantly against this and hostile, and with good reason: they will become hideously deformed monstrosities in this circumstance, something that has happened in recent times.

    See, the love that the hero had originally sought to save was brought to the wellspring as well. The hero had not known that the creature posing as a princess was a succubus who's 'illness' was due to the strong holy powers radiating from the temple the party originally met the princess in. When the hero brought her, unwittingly, to the enchanted wellspring and placed her in it, her demonic energies were leeched away, leaving an ordinary but dying human woman thanks to the wellspring searing her vile soul (though with full memories of what she once was). The queen of the nymphs was then twisted into a nightmarish creature of evil, which has also haunted the lands ever since. She cannot be saved without inflicting someone else with the demonic energy she absorbed. There is one person willing to do this- the 'princess', who despite feeling very guilty about her time as a succubus, does not wish to see anyone else suffer on her account.

    If the queen of the nymphs is restored, she can help concoct an antidote to the affliction that will at least purge the necromantic energies and restore the body, though it cannot reverse the affliction (only the creature can do this). The hero's spirit will be incredibly bitter if this happens, however, and will allow itself to be corrupted into a shadow to lash out at the party should they allow the princess to become a succubus once more. The creature will be equally annoyed that their guardian has gone missing, and will demand further recompense in the form of a new guardian. If the players have come this far, they may be able to convince the rescued townsfolk to do this, though they will more than likely prefer fighting it.

    That creature is lethargic and addled because of an ancient battle with the deity that the country worships. Anyone who knows their religion could tell the party the story. The place it is found is a cage, one that has been eroding over time. It is in the shape of that deity's holy symbol, but some of the lines have been marred by collapsed stonework. The creature has been patiently waiting for millennia for the stones to fail, and has been using guardians to keep the faithful out so they can't prevent it. The players may attempt to restore it, though the creature will try to stop them. More importantly, it has a powerful new ally- the succubus had originally come to this town in an attempt to awaken its ancient master, the creature, hence its own weakness to that deity. Her actions to weaken the seal are what allowed the creature the power to influence the country through the affliction. The creature can be stopped temporarily through physical harm, but it regenerates very rapidly. They will be tasked with completing the symbol as fast as they possibly can before either the creature or the succubus kills them.

    TL;DR- Consider making killing the zombies immensely tragic in the end. If you liked the Witcher, that's a dead ringer for how a lot of those hunts went.
    Last edited by Waterdeep Merch; 2017-12-08 at 04:23 PM.

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