How does this sound for a plot to a new campaign | First time doing this.

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OK so I was thinking one day of how to give the DM of a game a new form of control over the world within dungeons and dragons (Completely justified of course). The adventure would start as a cliche, many people have gone missing from a large city and they have all gone missing around the same area, a very old very decrepit mansion, so depending on the motivation for the adventurers to go there they travel to the mansion to investigate. The DM would get to outline and plan the trip to the mansion and when they get to the location in question they are greeted by an old man who invites them in for some wine, the adventurers have a sit down with the old man and after the players are done they begin to leave, but right before they leave the house the old man tells them he may have something important to the adventurers quest down in the basement of the mansion. So he leads them down to the basement and he seems harmless enough, the old man brings them to a door with a little slider on it for looking inside, the old man tells them all of the answers they want is behind this door and he opens it and tells them to go in and if any of the players look inside they would see a young woman on the floor and she would fit the description of one of the missing civilians.


 The adventurers would most likely enter the room in the hopes of finding clues only to have the old man lock the door behind them the young girl would fade away and be revealed as an illusion, next to the adventurers on the wall opens a huge spectral looking hole and the old man opens the viewing hole on the door to tell the adventurers that all of their answers are on the other side of the gate, so after the adventurers expend all their options to escape the room they will most likely enter the portal only to have it seal behind them and then they would be in complete darkness until a city begins to materialize around them, and as the city comes to life the adventures would hear the voice of the old man, he would tell them that he is in fact a mage of illusion and has created a new form of magical device that can create an illusionary world around the user that can be controlled by the user of the device which at the moment is the mage, however the only problem he has been having is that if the illusions fatally wound the people using the device they will go into a state of paralysis and will not reawaken. The adventurers can tell from the way the mage talks and acts that he has obviously gone insane, until a thought comes to mind from one of the adventurers. the mage said "a new form of magical device that can create an illusionary world" so if they find the device in question and destroy it the illusion would be destroyed. The adventurers would go on an expedition of sorts to try and find the device which to the residents of the fake world would be considered holy and with some luck the players would discover the location of the device.

 Now here is where the DM's more in-depth control comes in since the mage has full control of the fake world, he can manipulate it at will to impede the adventurers, However his goal is not to kill the adventures for example the mage would not cause a player to fall into a pool of lava in the middle of a forest, but he could cause the world to change in certain ways for example, the players are fighting an air elemental when the mages voice cuts in "Hmmm... lets make this a little more interesting" and as he says that the ground rises up into a flat topped hill so they cannot escape and he turn the air elemental into a monstrous form of itself and when it dies the mage cuts in again and says something like "Guess I'll have to try harder next time" and the ground goes back to normal, the adventurers then go on their way waiting for the next time the mage uses them as guinea pigs to test the parameters of his new device. The campaign would be just like a regular DnD campaign except that the DM could change certain aspects of the world at any time, and by certain aspects I don't mean turn a forest into a desert I mean make hills, walls, or certain objects larger or smaller. The ending of the campaign would come when the device is destroyed although when the adventurers get near the device the mage would become extremely hostile and enter the world of his creation, since the mage is in control of the device when he enters the world he can use the terrain to teleport to the players which would trigger the final encounter, For best results give the mage a level equal to that of the strongest player character and give him the skills to match except each round he can edit a part of the terrain(excluding the ability to kill them with the terrain) the DM has laid out in his description, seeing as the whole world is of the DM's creation. After the mage is defeated a portal would open which the mage created, now the players have a choice. The device is made of many valuable metals and gems and if striped down for its components would be worth about 10,000gp but if the machine is deconstructed in this way all of the people before the adventurers would remain trapped in the void when the world is destroyed and they would still be paralyzed but if the players destroy the device outright the magic released from it would pull everyone out of the world and cure them of any paralyses or other afflictions gained in the fake world, then the players could get the reward from the quest completion which would be chosen by the DM. The end.

This story in my opinion would work for a game mostly because the #1 rule for a DM is to be ready for whatever your players throw at you and with this campaign a DM could counter any wrenches the players throw into their plans. Also the fact that the DM could easily create a map for the campaign seeing as they can literally make it up of the top of their head and it would completely fit with the campaign(to a degree), like I said before the mage simply wants to test his devices parameters not kill the guinea pigs he is experimenting on.

Please point out any flaws you see with this and give me any constructive criticism you have and please take into account that this is the first time I've put my ideas into words so feel free to fill any holes you fell need to be filled in.  
What if I kill the old man, and only one member of the party goes into the room with the girl?

"the adventurers have a sit down with the old man" Problem #1

"and after the players are done they begin to leave" Problem #2

"So he leads them down to the basement and he seems harmless enough" Problem #3

" tells them to go in / The adventurers would most likely enter the room" Problem #4

"be revealed as an illusion" Problem #5

"so after the adventurers expend all their options to escape the room they will most likely enter the portal" Problem #6

Everything after this is when creative control almost returns to the players, so that's kind of okay.

So issues by problems:

Problem #1: They kill the old man, on sight. People vanished near here, after all, they figure he's responsible. Characters can be sociopaths.

Problem #2: Assuming they didn't kill the old man, they may stumble on the basement themselves, while someone stays with the old man. Opens the door, is the illusion there? They find out it's an illusion, come back up and kill the old man trying to find the real girl.

Problem #3: He seems harmless, but is obviously insane later? Needs a check. I'd be Sense Motiving a guy who says "The answer is down here in my basement." That's almost a confession.

Problem #4: I see a girl, one of the missing girls, I question the old man, or possibly kill him, he's obviously behind this.

Problem #5: She's an illusion, could I have passed a check earlier? There's will saves and spot checks to contend with.

Problem #6: We can't break down the door? Can't use Knock? Telekinesis? Lockpicks?

This is a bit overly railroady and relies on players not being players, but being easily duped and not suspicious of the common link in a massive number of disappearances.
Like I said first time ding this if you would like you could suggest to me the best possible solutions for these problems it would really be appreciated.Smile
Like I said first time ding this if you would like you could suggest to me the best possible solutions for these problems it would really be appreciated.

Throw out everything that starts with "and then the players do...", because they won't.

Have a general idea of what happens based on causality. They kill the old man, he has missing people (all of them?) still chained in his basement. Case solved.

They kill the old man, he has some missing people, the ones there say the others were moved by MYSTERIOUS GUY X, case partially solved, investigate house for clues to identity, continue.

They burn down the mansion, killing everyone inside. Oops. Answer to city guard or other authority figure.

They talk to the old man, he assures the PC's they should come down to his basement, they leave and decide to come back when the old man is asleep. Find chained people. Question old man.

As above, but the old man moves his captives because the PCs didn't go into his dungeon of dungeonation. Gotta track him.

You don't even need that many things prepared for all this, just a vague sense of how the old man would react to certain things. Personality etc. TBH it's your game, play what you like, but it's a feel bad moment when your DM says that your character does things that they wouldn't actually do or that you didn't decide they did.
Thanks i'll revise the entire thing and possibly post it in here so you along with other people can reread it and you can tell me what you think.
Most players do not like being railroaded, remember that

Here's some ideas

1: I hear "People going missing near mansion", I think "Haunted mansion". Assume your players are going to ask the townsfolk for information on the house. Maybe its been abandoned ever since that mysterious man vanished, most certainly murdered by his younger brother who is now (Insert position of importance here). Probably a rich merchant

2: Following on from the above, people are immediately going to suspect the old man if he greets them outside. If they're going to enter, let them do it of their own violition

3: Ever read House of Leaves? Or play that one quest in Oblivion where you're in the madman's mind? Heck, even Psychonauts. I'd skip the illusionary city plot and instead say they're in the psyche of the dead mage, which they should be able to deduce from good rolls

Maybe the other people who got lost inside aren't dead. The force of this mage's power is such that he's assimilating anyone who enters into his mind, so the stronger willed of them have gone and taken over their own "sections" of the house according to their personalities, their fears, hopes, dreams, desires. No one else has figured out they're in the head of a mage, so maybe some of them think they've escaped, twisting their section into a mirror of the town, one that's awfully too bright and orderly, and turning certain corners just leads to blank walls because Sir Albantus would never go down those dark alleys, no sir, and does not even comprehend what may be there. The others flit around like ghosts, desperately seeking help, aid, or running in fear. Maybe another's fear turns real and literal, turning a section into a shadowed labyrinth where one's worst fears spring forth and attempt to chase down all who enter. Only with courage can they save the person here and gain another ally for the final bout

Final boss should be either defeating the mage's psyche, causing the dream world to collapse, or making him realise he's finally dead after all this time and let him come to grips with it all, releasing those who have been drawn within

4:
This story in my opinion would work for a game mostly because the #1 rule for a DM is to be ready for whatever your players throw at you and with this campaign a DM could counter any wrenches the players throw into their plans.


You want to embrace your players taking alternate options, not shutting them down. This is a Bad Thing to Do.

Your players don't want to run the dungeon but instead drain the massive pool of acid to sell in town? Okay, allow it. But after a few days, couple of goons hired by a high up merchant come around and try to kneecap the players for messing up their little acid racket. Maybe the adventurers then decide to try to pull a power play with another merchant to increase their influence. Maybe they decide to find out where this merchant lord lives, pay him a "visit". Maybe they decide for corporate sabotage, heading out to the anhkeg farm and releasing them into the wilds to cripple his supply

This is a far more exciting time than playing "Run through the dungeon, get loot, ???" for them simply because they're being rewarded for thinking outside of the box and facing subsequent consequences for doing so
oh I see so let them do what they want but have it cause a backlash later on that can tie in with the story, thanks for the advice.
Not always a backlash, just have it make sense. Reward them for thinking outside the box, and then give the appropriate counters later