Sunday, April 12, 2009

10 Campaign Ideas with Unusual Settings

All right, work and classes- I admit I may have underestimated you slightly. But I still managed to get a decent number of posts up this last week! Anyway, have the fruits of another brainstorming session. This one tended more towards quick, open-ended writeups.

There is a strange tree, deep in the Forgotten Woods. When its roots encounter the bones of some long-dead being, they absorb them, and in the spring the being emerges from beneath its boughs, reborn in a plant body. These bodies need not feed, but every spring must return and drink the sap which flows in the hiddern caverns under the trees' base.

So it is that all manner of plant-beasts dwell around this tree and ward off outside intruders. But we are different. We were people, once, even if memories of our past selves elude us; people from eras centuries apart, some of prosperity and enlightenment, some of destruction and savagery. Each year we band together and journey out into the woods, seeking the world outside this forest. And each year we must return, lest our bodies take root and we become trees ourselves.


Four centuries ago, our ancestors drove the Leviathans underground, and built mighty walls to seal them there. But they knew no barrier could be made to last forever. A city was built around the mile-wide seal, and for four hundred years each generation has trained the next to attain new pinnacles of ability in all the realms of monster-slaying ability; knowledge of their biology, the crafting of poisons, the wielding of all branches of magic, and above all pure martial skill.

Now, our ultimate test has arrived. The Apocalypse is returning. Lets us see if we are now ready.


Six years ago this was a research facility. We don't know what exactly they did to create this anomaly. But it killed them all- wrecked anything resembling circuitry too, so we have no records- and then stabilized. And it's attached to this hunk of rock.

A curiosity, perhaps- except that this anamoly is a nigh-limitless source of huge amounts of power. Whoever can hold onto this thing- and hook up equipment like thrusters and shields and weaponry- will be unstoppable. Let's get to work; there's not a moment to lose.


The all-seeing moon drifts over the land. It has no limbs with which to carry out its will; so it takes us into its family so that we might act upon the surface in its stead.

We are the hands of the all seeing moon. We do its will. We earn its love. We gratefully receive its gifts of power. You would be wise to follow our example.

One day all shall obey.


This land has been our people's home for ages. But now the world is changing. Each day is warmer than the last, and each day the ice beneath our feat becomes a little more fragile. If we are to preserve our way of life, we must pursue the North Star- it shall lead us to colder places once more.

Pack quickly, children. Several hunters have been seeing large shapes in motion beneath the ice.


Come now, sailor. If you are here, then you must have spent plenty of time on the waves- enough to know that sea's will can trump the best efforts of man, and maybe even the guiding hands of an angel.

Aye, there be no pearly gates for you here- just whale bones and sunken hulls, and an endless expanse of the great blue. Welcome to New Atlantis, man of the sea- or Davy Jones' Locker, if you prefer.


They don't like to come outside, not when it's this high up. So long as you stay on the roofs and sky bridges- and keep away from the windows- you should be fine. Just leave the supply-gathering to me, I know the layout and can handle myself indoors.

I promise I'll be back soon.


Pennathyne Gas is a marvelous discovery. Even a small amount provides an enormous amount of upwards force- up until you attain an elevation of 3,255 meters above sea level, at which point it ceases to provide any further lift. All over the world, airship trading ports are growing into towns and cities- and all of them are located at a very precise elevation. Quite a time to be an airship trader, I must say!


The King owns the whole of this vast, untamed stretch of land. He pays the Druid an annual salary to serve as the Royal Groundskeeper, a position originally meant for forests a tenth of this region's size. The Druid oversees things and works his rituals from the pillar of rock he erected years ago, and subcontracts us to do his "field work"- collecting samples, dealing with foreign species, investigating strange spiritual signals and so on.

As jobs go, I've had far worse.


They call this place the "Undercity". They say its people built and built, and left each level of the city behind as they added a new one on top of it. seeing how old some of these buildings are, that'd have to mean quite a few levels more exist up above.

Now, personally, I don't know if this "surface" really exists- no one's ever found a way up and then come back to tell the rest of us, that much is for sure. Odds are it's all just old tales and no more.

But right now? It's the only hope you have.


Anonymous said...

Heck yes, these are my very favorite posts to read on this blog.

Mr Black said...

Thanks for this, these general outline ideas (be they for campaigns or characters) are the best parts of your blog.

Dagda said...

Oh Black, you flatter me. In the sincerest form, apparently. ;)