Thursday 27 October 2016
Terrible Campaign Ideas: Bereton
The Apocalypse is coming....Become name level without leaving your village
Twenty years ago a age of invasions, migrations, plague, famine and war ended. A decade of dark skies, bad crops and volcanic fumes ended. Since then everything has been green an people are happy. Conflict has ended as resources are common. You can still find ruined villages, tools and all kinds of goods in the woods. Most young have never known hunger, but the old are scarred, bitter and wary from past trauma.
Kings have started rebuilding borders. sending out tax collectors and establishing households of knights in every inhabited area. So far there is mostly peace.
But cultists, witches and monsters lurk in the woods and are working in secret to corrupt certain places. Ruins are thick in places, undead haunt old battlefeilds, shattered castles and ruined villages. Haunted abandoned houses are common near every village.
Players start as young eager adventurers who have lived in a time of peace. As economy grows people crave more than just sustenance and markets are growing. Adventurers get to deal with local mysteries, petty creatures and old wells and caves before discovering a conspiracy.
There is only a good market in each capitol. Most goods are made by request and not in stock. The capitols have more conspiracies. Cultists seek to corrupt local leaders and communities. While action of setting seems local actually a cosmic struggle is brewing. Demons are being called and re inhabiting underworld fortresses. The seek to open elder gates and release more monsters. Imps and gremlins are becoming more common. Terrible war machines of old gods are being found and restored by cults. Cultists are increasing and becoming more blatant. The apocalypse is being called and draws near. the universe will be drowned in cosmic creatures from beyond then turn inside out and be rendered into raw chaos. The gods are weak, recovering from wounds and battles decades ago. Nanny Binx the wonder goat is doing her bit to revive earth cults to help the world resist. A few other beings are trying to help but the faiths of good and law have declined since peace broke out.
Eventually heroes battle demons, and enter gates to seal them. The more gates and plane shifting and chaos taints the worse world gets. Demons might even provide adventurers with magic items that really make the world worse.
The point of this setting is to start looking petty and local with very little civilization. At first they get to know area and locals outside their village. The capitols wont hold much interest and nobility wont accept party as they are low born. Non humans are rare but increase as apocalypse draws near.
Is shit. Has communal sheds for produce and animals and a ale house run by millar, blacksmith and a 1st Lv Cleric in a shack who uses a barn for service and has a few religious nick nacks to sell tourists who come to see sacred rock of St Branagh. Population under 50 scattered over a fair area.
d10 Phase 1 Adventures (0-2 level challenges)
1 Giant rats in the orchard and in the barn and in the cellar - kill them all
2 What happened to Mrs Muggles pussy? - did it fall down the well?
3 Shepard's Hole where farming lads rest from the sun has never been explored
4 A goblin has stolen a pie and ran into the woods - follow his trail
5 A shifty man has been planting strange urns around the village - cultist marking area to attract evil
6 A fancy youth came seducing folk and ran away with stolen goods - doppelganger?
7 A old barn has Stirge Owls and people are upset they will breed - did someone plant them?
8 A creepy old house has a spirit - defeat several undead and meet a spectral adviser
9 Someone stole the holy rock and shitted on church altar - priest offers a reward
10 A goatman has been seen eyeing off the village sheep and has everyone scared
1d10 Phase 2 Adventure (3-6 level challenges)
1 Sheep all stolen by a band of goat men who wish to mate with them or eat them or sacrifice them
2 Woodland goblins up to mischief and stealing metal tools, live in a woodland village
3 Well has been inhabited by something! d4 1=water weird 2=giant snake 3=giant toad 4=fish man
4 Charlatan visits, tries to get rid of party on goose chase with fake maps so he can work evil
5 A villager has been charmed by a cultist and is tainting graveyard with chaos potions
6 Currupt officials from king come demanding things, cultists use to spread discord and resentment
7 Someone horribly murdered in home - ritual or random monster hard to tell
8 Sherrif has been kidnapped and his beadles want help getting him back from who has him
9 Bandits in area attacking tinkerers, traders and clergy and villagers have had enough
10 Smoke has been seen from the old tower where wizards made orcs in the war
1d10 Phase 3 Adventures (7+ level challenges)
1 A Knight comes to visit and wants some youths to help find a monster seen in area
2 A regular coven site of worship has by identified by locals, cult will prepare a trap
3 A great dungeon door has been uncovered in hill, inside evil tries to restore a great chaos engine
4 A cave has been found by farmers - beast men, orcs and goblinoids serve a planar visitor inside
5 A bubbling pool of chaos guarded by monsters is tainting the area with mutants
6 Elves, dwarves and other old races seen openly and willing to talk about problems in area
7 Stairs in ground with magical chaos maze of magic traps, treasure and trauma
8 The graveyard erupts one night in zombies of dead townsfolk of last 40 years
9 A monster randomly attacks the village randomly to eat people and then wanders off to start a lair
10 A famous cultist hero comes to area to destroy it with occult powers
This is all based on a friends game. No matter how great and cosmos shatteringly weird we got, everything stayed local and mostly in villages. Many actions degraded the universe. Evil tries to trick party and frame innocents or left them tainted artifacts and spells which did cool stuff butt added to the mass of chaos in the universe each use. Players learned strange cosmic secrets which made them seize artifacts from demiplanes but in fact chaos wanted the party to open more gates and bring in more artifacts to weaken the world. All this cosmic stuff over about 6 villagers. Players might have to be creative to get fancy equitment or salvage goods from abandoned places. Military grade items not for sale outside a capitol many days away!
Chaos nearly one and burnt out much of the magic in the world and the gods have slept since. The more dungeons and demi planes are opened the more chaos wins. Getting that cool weapon or destroying that magic relic often only had short term benefits.
By phase 2 non human races turn up and are allowed as characters. They often bring clues of some of the wonders hidden in the area. They also bring new enemies and problems and are competative as to what race survives the apocalypse.
By phaze three some villages will be gone,many NPCs dead or tainted or undead, ancient horrors walking. Chaos gates bringing in demons and pools spawning creatures more common. Lead cultists seek to spoonfeed heroes to open more gates and release more creatures using spies, planted evidence and fake documents. Eventully the universe starts bursting at seams and gods start dying.
Eventually it involves attackin devils and demons and elemental lords on their own plane.
Some useful tables
A bunch of my tables could build most of this setting
Low level Challenges
Village life and decline into Chaos
Nice Village Encounters
Villagers mistake adventurers for...
Mildly suspicious village happenings
Weird village happenings
Rampant chaos village happeneings
Evil Frontier Farms