New Campaign Ideas

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Ok, I am building my own world but I've been thinking, how should I start this campaign, I don't want to start it with a tavern brawl (Like my last adventure). Maybe like an invasion or something, a new empire is growing and they have a desire to rule everything, including the PCs. I don't know, can I get some ideas?
I'll list just a bunch of random ones.

  • The players have all been accused of something. Having been thrown in jail they must work together to escape and stay beyond the law.
  • The players have each been visited each night by a ethereal being (change as you see fit), one night in particular this being calls them forth from their houses. As they each follow it, they find themselves meeting in a dark alleyway where their fates begin to intertwine.
  • Chaos has swept through the cities and countryside, a mass migration has begun as people flee to unknown safety, the players are caught up in this and must work together.
  • A bard in a tavern all the players had frequented tell a tale that enthrals all members of the tavern. As he gets up to leave, the players each follow for their own reason to know more of this take.

Just a couple ideas, shall think of more later.

Also what kind of setting, and campaign style do you want to have? Is it European Medieval - High Fantasy, is it Magitech - Noir, is it Victorian Gaslight - Horror, etc.?
Ohh Hell, I don't know, typical fantasy?
1) A former acqueintance(I hate this word. My spelling is usually fairly decent, but I can never spell this word. Damnit!) to all the PC's who just happens to know someone who knew someone who's tavern went out of business bought the place and decided to open an Adventurer's Guild! Of course, this person has no idea which end of a sword to pick up so he made some calls (er..sent some messages by horseback courier) to each of the PC's and proposed they enter in on his grand new scheme.

2) The PC's have each been called forth by various groups that they are associated with to the King's (or queen or emperor or high priest, etc) to perform a great deed in the honor of the kingdom. The king requires a small group of subversives to go into another nation's territory and spy upon that king/queen/etc's actions. Subsequently the king has set them up within the capital city of said foreign nation as object/treasure/item hunters. Motto: If you want it, and can pay for it, we'll get it. In their spare time they explore ruins to get items for clients to keep up the farce while spying on the actions of nearby military deployments and training. perhaps they even acquire vast sums of money and end up working as double agents.
Ok, I'm working on the invasion thing, so far these are sounding pretty cool.
* An old legend was said to happen after X and X has happened. Now groups of characters leave the the town/city looking to fulfill the legend and become heroes.
* There's a problem in Y and the local lord has hired a bunch of people to deal with it. These people, who may or may not be strangers, are the players.
www.roleplayingtips.com

is filled with good hints for the GM looking for ideas on a variety of things.

It is a weekly ezine that is coming up to issue 400; so, there is plenty to data mine here.

Good places to start might be any of the campaign survey forms to check what the players want or are looking for in a campaign.

Dungeon Magazine and several of the campaign books like Ebberon and Minatures Handbook have lists with suggestions for encounters or events.

Steal this Hook on the web site here has many good ideas to build a campaign or adventure around.

Look into Elder and Lesser Evil books as these too have plenty of good ideas.

Check out an Anime / Manga site for ideas like http://www.animenewsnetwork.com

Buy a couple of tabloid newspapers and look through for silly but intriguing articles.

--------------------------

With a few good story ideas, choose some interesting points for the players to be involved.

Don't start at the beginning but start somewhere with the action already occuring.

Indiana Jones often starts not with the handing out of the first adventure but with Indiana already on an adventure (no need to cover the back story, let the players come up with how they got to the starting point of walking through the jungle following the map).

Relic Hunter often starts with a story of the artifact that the players will later retrieve. Consider starting with a story on what is at stake and then drop the players into the beginning events.

The Maltese Falcon starts with Sam Spade's partner being dead.

Many Enterprise movies feature very soon in the movie the launching of the ship with the main characters having a reason to get on board.

The Anime 'Night Wizard' has the lead character (nick named the Falling Man because he is constantly getting dropped) being recruited for missions by the organization that he works for by being given the choice of either 'Okay' or 'Yes'.

The Anime 'Rental Magica' has the president of the group taking up the job of leadership because he inherited the positon from his father that is deceased. The other people are members of the company that the president now has to find work to support.

There are several school based stories and club based stories.

The anime 'Claymore' starts in a very typical Paladin way with the character walking into town and detecting the 'evil' of the monsters that are present.

The movie aliens has a military unit being assigned to escort a traumatized eyewitness and a company man to go and investigate if there are really big bad monsters where the eyewitness says they are.

The Dirty Dozen starts with a sergeant selecting prisoners for a suicide mission that all have various crimes against them. Getting the sergeant to recruit you and not look like too desperate to get out of jail is the first roleplaying test.

Okay, I hope all that gets you started on some thoughts.
Ok, that link helped out a lot thanks, I've been working on a Regional map, and I'll work down and then maybe as the adventure unfolds introduce new continents and stuff...
Hmmm, guess nobody is interested in this thread....
Don't worry this is one of the slowest Forums in the 4e group. It will take days, even weeks for something to reach two pages.

How about you describe the kind of invasion, could stir up some ideas. Is it subtle, blatant, do they send strike-forces ahead, etc.
Ok, I'm working on the invasion thing, so far these are sounding pretty cool.

One easy idea for an "invasion" campaign opener would be to have all the characters citizens of the same relatively small nation. A much distant, powerful nation with colonial ambitions has sent one of its armies to conquer their homeland, reducing its people to second class citizens of "The Empire."

The homeland's army has mustered in full force to try and stave off the threat, while putting out a call to all able bodied citizens to join in the defense of the their nation. The PCs have answered this call, and all being from the same little town, they are grouped together and tasked to defend this town from skirmishing parties sent out from the enemy army's many body.

The game could start with the PCs huddled behind a hastily constructed barricade at the town's edge waiting for the arrival of a skirmishing party spotted by lookouts posted in the church's belltower. The PCs have been told by representatives from the local military that the smaller towns should be relatively safe - skirmishers will just be sent out to cause as much mischief as possible and test the local defenses, which is why it's vital that there are organized defenses! At the first signs of serious resistance they'll probably pull back. The skirmishers arrive, but after the initial fight, more keep coming. Boo! The military didn't realize that the enemy is after something specifically in this town. What is it? Is it captured or do the PCs successfully defend it? Do they have to chase it down or escape with it? I dunno, but it's one idea about how to get started anyway... =D
The way I intend to start my first 4e campaign is as follows:

The PCs enter town, to find that it has been raided the night before- moreover, the authorities are still quite obviously getting to grips with the damage. As they go further in, a guard races towards one of the town's council-members hollering, "That's another child gone missing!"

Gives the PCs a chance to put themselves forward, and leaves the opportunity for them to be offered the job later on with specific rewards (if need be)
The thought that I have for my future DnD campaign is to have the players start by describing their activities at a village fair. I am thinking that it might be some variation of a May Pole crossed with a Princess Ball idea. Basically, a chance to get drunk and celebrate life and youth.

Once the player's describe how they are interacting at the fair, I am going to tell them that the shadow of a cloud passes overhead.

At least that is what people first think and then they see that a massive floating island has eclipsed the sun and dropped everything into shadow.

Looking up and watching the island, large winged shapes can be seen swirling around the island and the island is headed towards the local palace.

Players then get to see a large gout of destructive energy emerge from the island and destroy much of the palace in a single blast.

After the palace is destroyed the island keeps drifing along as if it had swatted a fly.

The players will then have a brief chance to react to the sight of the destruction of the palace before troops that are following the island on foot will start to arrive.

The story arc for the first part of the campaign should have as the capping moment at around level 9-10 to attempt to get on board of the floating island and crash it/destroy it in some way.
@Smerg- Watched Independence Day recently perchance?
Star Wars episode IV.

I was thinking more of a Death Star at the time but Independance Day works too.
IMO, Independence Day works better, because the weapons there were just destroying buildings rather than entire planets...

Also the spacecraft from independence day come closer to matching your floating island than the Death Star does...

Besides, if you liken it to the Death Star, one of your players will just create some flying construct and call it an X-Wing, then you're back to square one...
Ok, that link helped out a lot thanks, I've been working on a Regional map, and I'll work down and then maybe as the adventure unfolds introduce new continents and stuff...
Show
first map
Show
IMAGE(http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x68/BRIANRAY_photo/map1.jpg) My current map (cropped)

map after mountains and rivers...
Show
IMAGE(http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x68/BRIANRAY_photo/MAP2.jpg) should I get rid of the dark mountain fill?

I think you're off on your focus, Gaelic. Perhaps it's just personal style, but I find that the map of an area is one of the least important things for a DM to work on when developing a game for their friends. It's an easy mistake to make because cool maps from published products are eye-catching.

In general, though, as long as you have a good idea of where major cities/nations ect are in relation to each other (east from here works fine) that's all you need. You should have that map you're drawing, but a general in-your-head representation is good enough at this stage.

Pay more attention to the characters they'll be interacting with and the basic plotline of your story especially what they'll be doing in the first 1-2 sessions. You will likely end up adapating the story to what your PCs are most interested in anyway.
I am actually going to start them out as orphan kids in school in a small town.

The players won't have hardly anything on their character sheets other than
a name, race, sex ,age and an idea of "what do you want to be when you grow up".

All of the players are outcasts of society and after some tough trials they forge a friendship and fend off the local bullies.

This friendship culminates within a clearing of an old grove of trees that appears to not have been traveled by anyone since ages long forgotten.

When the entire group forges their friendship pact and decide to use this clearing as a sort of gathering/meeting place/ clubhouse...

a mysterious stone erupts out of the ground.

Hopefully, the players will investigate and possibly touch the stone.

otherwise I will have the stone "call to them".

All of The players at some point will hopefully touch it (simultaneously).

This will set off a chain of events.. most notably...
the awakening of the enemy (which is both new and old).

The players will inherit a strange orb that emerges from the stone.

The players will also experience a strange empathic link that will for some time allow them to sense each other although at first they don't know it exists until one or more of them start to experience strange dreams.

At night, The enemy will lay siege to the small town within a few days since the enemy will know of it's existence and whereabouts. The town is destroyed and the kids are on the run... when all hope seems lost.. a small band of hooded individuals appear and temporarily beat back the enemy.

The kids (most likely renderred unconscious), are whisked away on to some small boats.

The small town is on an island.

Finally a massive storm splits up the small boats sending them in different directions.

Each boat lands on a different island. The player’s wake up to find that they are the only
one still alive after the shipwreck.

Neither player has the orb and none of the players know who has or hasn’t survived.

Each players then finds the appropriate mentor to begin training.

At least one of the player’s will remember seeing a female face from one of the hooded individuals.

The players will then be advanced from 0-level to 2nd level and the adventure begins anew with them looking for each other. Although it won’t be difficult since the empathic link starts to resurface itself once again.

When the player’s finally re-embrace each other. They will begin their quest of uncovering the unseen enemy and finding out the whereabouts of the orb and the identity of the woman’s face.
I plan on having my adventuring group meet through an interview in a town after seeing a poster that says something like "adventurers wanted". Each of them gets the word from somewhere down the line, casters are there because they've reached that rank where they need to start journying, dragonborn are there looking for good start work etc. Basically the town needs help with a bandit problem and needs to hire good help but money is a problem so they're hiring people somewhat competent but also ones that are as cheap as possible. In the end the town narrows it down to 2 groups and the teams are split up with the pcs split among both teams being supplemented by npcs. In the end the town gets to pick the people they best feel would work from each group, and of course end up picking the pcs. The npcs who weren't picked will form a group and be occuring rivals through out the campaign.
Ok, I've decided how the beginning will work out.. The Invasion will occur when the Pcs reach level five, if they choose not to fight in the war, to fight in the war, or to submit/join the enemy will determine their path...
A small mining/farming town of X is beginning to thrive, the crops are growing marvelously, the miners have struck iron rich ore, the cattle are nice and plump, and everything is good... But the children of these farmers/miners don't want to grow up and be like their parents, and that is where the adventure begins. They will all have their own story line and that stuff, but they all come from this small town ex/ the fighter was the blacksmith's son and that stuff. If none of the players play a cleric or a wizard (Which I may block off wizard until they can read) they will also be illiterate, and need to either become one or hire one. Anyway, to avoid becoming a miner, rancher, farmer etc. the players begin to seek out alternate sources of pay, some may be friends, some may be rivals, but they all get the same job. One day a caravan from a nearby town is passing through selling and buying goods, they hear about bandits down the road hiding in one of the mountain passes, so they seek out young foolish people to lend aid in keeping the bandits and other beasts from stealing or destroying the caravan. So armed with possibly stolen tools that can be used as weapons, the clothes on their back and some food and drink the adventurers follow the caravan out. The PC's are making roughly 5 copper a day (which to these young boys/gals is great pay) and the adventure takes off... when they reach their final destination they are payed an additional 10 silver for successfully protecting the caravan (silver based world, money increments of 100). They end up in town Y. Now the adventurers, hopefully now well bonded and fairly loyal to each other after a months time, must seek out more jobs (players are roughly level 2-3 now, and still own poor equipment, maybe leather/chain from bandits, and maybe a hammer, axe, pick, possibly even a sword from the Bandit leader.)... (Work in progress, more to come, check back later....)
X is starting town, Y is final destination of the caravan the PCs guard... Though I may switch it, Y is start X is destination... I don't know yet... any Ideas?
Ok, I am building my own world but I've been thinking, how should I start this campaign, I don't want to start it with a tavern brawl (Like my last adventure). Maybe like an invasion or something, a new empire is growing and they have a desire to rule everything, including the PCs. I don't know, can I get some ideas?

I'm starting my first campaign with a fork in the road. The left hand path leads to peril, the right hand path leads to a slightly different kind of peril...behind them a few miles is a vast unguarded treasure hoard full of magic baubles and enchanted boon. But the poor suckers will never think to ask what's behind them :evillaugh
1) A former acqueintance(I hate this word. My spelling is usually fairly decent, but I can never spell this word. Damnit!) to all the PC's who just happens to know someone who knew someone who's tavern went out of business bought the place and decided to open an Adventurer's Guild! Of course, this person has no idea which end of a sword to pick up so he made some calls (er..sent some messages by horseback courier) to each of the PC's and proposed they enter in on his grand new scheme.

2) The PC's have each been called forth by various groups that they are associated with to the King's (or queen or emperor or high priest, etc) to perform a great deed in the honor of the kingdom. The king requires a small group of subversives to go into another nation's territory and spy upon that king/queen/etc's actions. Subsequently the king has set them up within the capital city of said foreign nation as object/treasure/item hunters. Motto: If you want it, and can pay for it, we'll get it. In their spare time they explore ruins to get items for clients to keep up the farce while spying on the actions of nearby military deployments and training. perhaps they even acquire vast sums of money and end up working as double agents.

1) Acquaintance. I always get stuck on "maintenance" myself.

2) If you have a problem, If no one else can help you, and if you can find them...maybe you can hire...the A-TEAM!

(psst! that's a link)

The players will then be advanced from 0-level to 2nd level and the adventure begins anew with them looking for each other. Although it won’t be difficult since the empathic link starts to resurface itself once again.

When the player’s finally re-embrace each other. They will begin their quest of uncovering the unseen enemy and finding out the whereabouts of the orb and the identity of the woman’s face.

What if one of your players decides that he/she wants to move on with their lives and not go looking for the others?
What if one of your players decides that he/she wants to move on with their lives and not go looking for the others?

hmmm, that would suck lol, I'm hiring the A-TEAM...
What if one of your players decides that he/she wants to move on with their lives and not go looking for the others?

The campaign is only partially open-ended.

If a player decides to go it alone or do something different they can.

here's the thing, the other players can still go look for the others and maybe convince the player to come along.

It will be painfully clear that allowing the evil to fester on it's own could make the situation become untenable if nothing is done. This would be comparable to you having cancer and not going to the hospital to get treatment... eventually it will become fatal.

Besides all of the characters will have some history before they show up at the orphanage.

an example of which, might be that one of the players had already experienced a raid on his/her village and the whereabouts of his/her mother is unknown, probably captured and this raid is also tied to the "festering evil".

There is some circular logic applied here and even a large portion of the side adventures will have something to do with the larger problem.

Hope this helps...
The campaign is only partially open-ended.

If a player decides to go it alone or do something different they can.

here's the thing, the other players can still go look for the others and maybe convince the player to come along.

It will be painfully clear that allowing the evil to fester on it's own could make the situation become untenable if nothing is done. This would be comparable to you having cancer and not going to the hospital to get treatment... eventually it will become fatal.

Besides all of the characters will have some history before they show up at the orphanage.

an example of which, might be that one of the players had already experienced a raid on his/her village and the whereabouts of his/her mother is unknown, probably captured and this raid is also tied to the "festering evil".

There is some circular logic applied here and even a large portion of the side adventures will have something to do with the larger problem.

Hope this helps...

Well what if they decide to join the festering evil rather than fight against it?
I'm starting my first campaign with a fork in the road. The left hand path leads to peril, the right hand path leads to a slightly different kind of peril...behind them a few miles is a vast unguarded treasure hoard full of magic baubles and enchanted boon. But the poor suckers will never think to ask what's behind them :evillaugh

and if an adventurer says, "screw the fork I'm gonna go back towards home." What then? Do they get the baubles? after the baubles what then?
and if an adventurer says, "screw the fork I'm gonna go back towards home." What then? Do they get the baubles? after the baubles what then?

They get the baubles, and promptly steamroll over obstacle and monster in their path, until I give up and storm out in a fury, chain smoking. eating my body weight in cheez-its, and drowning my sorrows in flat mountain dew while my players have a good long laugh at my expense and probably start making lewd phone calls to my sister and molesting my pets.
Well what if they decide to join the festering evil rather than fight against it?

hmm.. gee .. let me think.... The game ends before it begins.

This is a good campaign and this isn't shadowrun.

In my games.. if you go to the "Dark Side"... just turn in your character sheet.

:D
I am starting the new campaign by designing a new world. I decided to make room for Bael Turath and Arkhosia. I have drawn the map and made sure there is room for all PC races and classes.

One of the things I like to do with every campaign is make sure that the players will get a shot at the marquee monsters of D & D: These include, Dragons (of course), Beholder, Lich, Vampires, Devils and Demons, and at least one high level NPC group. I also want to have encounters with Hags, Ghosts, and Lycanthropes-some personal favorites. I will fill in with the rest as necessary.

My third edition big story, Heart of Evil, was Beauty and Beast (really warped).

Frankly, I need the new MM before I can really write the story. For Heart of Evil I took a look through the MM until I found some monsters that I wanted to craft a story around. The Gray Render and Dread Wraith really stood out.

I needed something to forward the story and a Hag covey filled the bill qiuite nicely. I located the story in a swamp side town and the ideas started to flow.

Ian
I'm coming to this thread a bit late. One thing that I have been guilty of in the past is starting campaigns too far advanced, in an attempt to get to the 'good stuff'. Invasion campaigns can be guilty of that. The temptation to reach the climax too soon can ruin campaigns like that. (IMHO)

On a different tack, I have always been fond of the way the old Basic set module B4: The Lost City begins. The characters are part of a caravan travelling across a desert. A sandstorm separates them from the caravan. Just as their water and food are running out, they stumble upon ancient ruins, and a secret door at the top of a buried pyramid....
hmm.. gee .. let me think.... The game ends before it begins.

This is a good campaign and this isn't shadowrun.

In my games.. if you go to the "Dark Side"... just turn in your character sheet.

:D

haha, yeah, sometimes my PCs want to mix it up a bit, but everytime they go evil their next party has to fight their old characters, so they tend to go good so they don't have to face their blackguard, their werewolf ranger, their necromancer etc.
hmm.. gee .. let me think.... The game ends before it begins.

This is a good campaign and this isn't shadowrun.

In my games.. if you go to the "Dark Side"... just turn in your character sheet.

:D

I don't know...sounds kind of railroad-y...like the character's ultimate destinies are decided by your story, rather than by them. I'm not trying to flame you or anything, but this is a mistake that a lot of DM's make and it robs an element of the fun from the players...so I feel it's a legitimate criticism.
I don't know...sounds kind of railroad-y...like the character's ultimate destinies are decided by your story, rather than by them. I'm not trying to flame you or anything, but this is a mistake that a lot of DM's make and it robs an element of the fun from the players...so I feel it's a legitimate criticism.

Yeah, a lot of DM's are railroad-y, I usually put a couple rocks and split paths in my adventure so the adventurers stumble, and try to find their way back onto the path, and when they come to the fork, that is their decision, though the fork may fork back onto the good path after a while, my storyline is pretty open ended...
Ok, I have been working on a storyline for a little while so here it is....

*I did not put names in yet*

Show
It has been 257 years since the fall of the great Empire of _______. After the fall of the ______ Empire the lands were shattered, the races scattered, and civilization destroyed, the lands are now marked by war, famine, and plague. ______ is ruled over by local tyrannical warlords and their soldiers, anyone that stands in a warlord’s way are quickly disposed of and their corpses sent down river or thrown into a ditch. Warlord’s clash for land and start wars that result in either a warlord’s death or the many deaths of innocent people. Legend speaks of heroes that will grow from the ashes of their land and rise up, unite the lands and fend off an even greater threat that was long forgotten, but that is nothing but legend, these lands will never be reunited.
You all hail from a small farming and mining community in the north ruled over by the warlord _____. Your local warlord is a kind one, and treats his people as though they were sons, but he is also a ferocious warrior and a great tactician, and easily proves his right for the throne, although he is a great leader, he is not perfect, his lands are plagued by bandits and rebels, plague, and frost. You have grown up in this town of 137 people, and told stories of greatness and adventure by the Inn Keeper of the Lone Goblet Inn, ____, he claims he was once a great hero and beast slayer, though the only proof is the great Winter Wolf head on his inn’s wall, and the bastard sword up on the mantle piece, though you have never seen him wield it, it looks formidable in and of itself.
The stories he has told you are grand and have clouded your minds. Now you are of the age to seek out an apprenticeship or become a farmer, or worse, a miner. But like all other young people, you do not wish to become a farmer, a blacksmith, a miner, or a candlestick maker; you want to become a hero. And so the adventure begins. One day in harvest season a caravan from the warlord’s town making its trip to all of the other towns, buying, selling, and telling stories. Though the caravan has a few guards the caravan leader, ____, doesn’t want to take the typical route, around the mountains, he wants to cut straight through them on an old mountain path, though his companions told him it was crazy and he would have to double the guard power, they still want to continue along with him, so they are seeking out young foolish people willing to, for pay, guard the caravan as it makes it way through the mountains. They are offering 5 copper a day, which in your young minds is not bad pay, the price is nonnegotiable, and the only supplies they will provide is food, water, and shelter. You must find yourselves weapons, heavy clothing, and other supplies you find essential, you have clothing, but not the money to buy even a farming tool as a weapon, for all the money you make goes to your parents. You must steal anything you can use as a weapon, which is not hard, and any other supplies you see fit.
Welcome to the world of ______, and good luck on your quest for glory, gold, and adventure!


and then the map:
I don't know...sounds kind of railroad-y...like the character's ultimate destinies are decided by your story, rather than by them. I'm not trying to flame you or anything, but this is a mistake that a lot of DM's make and it robs an element of the fun from the players...so I feel it's a legitimate criticism.

I totally see your point and I pretty much knew in advance that it was kind of "railroad-y".

If I were to allow the players to side with the evil side... yeah ok...

the bad guys will probably win, but the way I run evil is.. that sooner or later and it's usually sooner.. the bad guys will turn on each other and I usually throw stuff out there that will make the players almost fight over each other.

The end result is "yeah, the players can win playing evil and they get to take part in all sorts of raping, pillaging and outright debauchery.. but that gets tired and when the "festering evil" no longer needs the PC's... they'll all be killed outright and trust me when I tell you that they have no chance of beating it if they help it".

This evil isn't lawful evil. It's more neutral evil and it has no qualms with killing the characters whenever it's convenient.

This campaign starts out slow and small but eventually grows into a near world-spanning war. It's kinda tough to sit on the sidelines and do nothing.

If given a choice between...

1. Light Path - Destroy the evil, gain revenge against those that killed your relatives, gain glory, real respect and maybe a title and probably money. If you sacrificed your life to do so, you might even get a special position in the heavens. The players will have a couple of choices as to how to approach each and every problem and there are side adventures for character development.

2. Dark Path - Help evil, have fun and gain treasure but evil ultimately turns on itself and the players end up eating dirt permanently with a knife in their backs.

3. Do nothing - the players might be able to find a place to hide and let some other poor schmucks do the battling but you don't gain anything by doing that
and the campaign won't move forward and there is little do outside.


what do you choose???

yes.. I suppose you could try to fake at being evil and try to gain their trust but ultimately that won't last long and the players are back to square one with where do we go from here.
I totally see your point and I pretty much knew in advance that it was kind of "railroad-y".

If I were to allow the players to side with the evil side... yeah ok...

the bad guys will probably win, but the way I run evil is.. that sooner or later and it's usually sooner.. the bad guys will turn on each other and I usually throw stuff out there that will make the players almost fight over each other.

The end result is "yeah, the players can win playing evil and they get to take part in all sorts of raping, pillaging and outright debauchery.. but that gets tired and when the "festering evil" no longer needs the PC's... they'll all be killed outright and trust me when I tell you that they have no chance of beating it if they help it".

This evil isn't lawful evil. It's more neutral evil and it has no qualms with killing the characters whenever it's convenient.

This campaign starts out slow and small but eventually grows into a near world-spanning war. It's kinda tough to sit on the sidelines and do nothing.

If given a choice between...

1. Light Path - Destroy the evil, gain revenge against those that killed your relatives, gain glory, real respect and maybe a title and probably money. If you sacrificed your life to do so, you might even get a special position in the heavens. The players will have a couple of choices as to how to approach each and every problem and there are side adventures for character development.

2. Dark Path - Help evil, have fun and gain treasure but evil ultimately turns on itself and the players end up eating dirt permanently with a knife in their backs.

3. Do nothing - the players might be able to find a place to hide and let some other poor schmucks do the battling but you don't gain anything by doing that
and the campaign won't move forward and there is little do outside.


what do you choose???

yes.. I suppose you could try to fake at being evil and try to gain their trust but ultimately that won't last long and the players are back to square one with where do we go from here.

Yeah...I didn't mean offense or anything, and afterall it is your campaign to do with what you please.

I myself enjoy playing heroic characters and following a well developed story and having a campaign that directs players in this area isn't a bad thing, especially since it does sound like the story revolves around the actions of the characters, the problem comes when the PCs are just bit players in the "Elminster and Khelben Show" if you catch my drift.

I was just throwing that out as a hypothetical for you to ponder, but i'm sure that you run a good game.
Nah.. Everything's cool.. O_Shazbot.

The player's are definitely at the forefront of the story and it's up to them to figure out how to accomplish tasks. There will be a couple of powerful beings to give them "sage advice" but little more than that.