Help me generate some story here

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Alright I'm going to try and lay this out in a somewhat organized manner so I don't bury you all in a wall of text.


I'm preparing to run a game despite my busy life.  In order to accomodate my time restrictions on preparing material I have launched a storyline that involves certain restrictions on the players.  The players have already been addressed so there is no controversy here, its a very openminded group that doesn't have a problem with the way that I run games-so please don't try to turn this into some debate about what I should be or not be doing-I'm looking for help developing content here.


The Deadweave (3.5e)
        

This campaign is set in a homebrew dungeons and dragons fantasy world in which the weave has died.  The weave which provided the power and resources for wizards, sorcerers, clerics, druids, etc to manipulate magic.  As appropriate to this world, all spellcasting classes with the exception of those without spell lists (I.E. warlocks, Dragonfire Adepts, Dragons shamans and a few others) are unplayable.  Only fragments of the weave exist to be used, so magic is rare, difficult to attain and relatively unknown. 


When the weave died Civilization collapsed in short oder.  The old religions were lost and a new religion based on superstition has arisen.  (an ironic religion where the practitioners worship a pacifist but burn people at the stake for crimes such as blasphemy or apostasy).  There are still magic items in existence, but due to the lack of crafters most have expended their energy or been lost to the mortal races.  Most magical beasts are now myths or legend.  Elves, half elves, and gnomes have disappeared entirely. 


The cities that remain are built over the ruins of a once great civilization.  The people are generally ignorant, superstitious, and prone to other dark age type behavior.  For all intensive purposes this is a limited magic campaign set in the Dark ages. 


Now for my questions to you, what caused the death of the weave and how has that knowledge been passed on or forgotten?  Who are some people who populate this world?  What kind of organizations or institutions would you find in a place like this?


What kind of story would you tell with this type of game?


Thank you for any help.                
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"
for a low-magic world, i'd go with something rather mundane, like bandits, or an evil warlord. 
Or, you could have the bad guy be the only person who has magic, and have him use it to (attempt to)take over the world.

as for how the magic got lost:
-demons ate it
-natural tides
-it's all locked up somewhere
-the gods took it away as punishment for something really terrible
-there's actually a really simple ritual to unlock magic, but knowledge of how to do it has been forgotten.
-it was all used up
-an ancient wizard cursed everybody so they can't access it, but it's still there
 
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Interesting ideas for a campaign.
 
 How the Weave died:
 
 A powerful god of magic has taken all of the magic in the world to fight a terrible battle on the horizon of reality.
 
 An aged archmage was researchinga spell to harm spellcasters and drain their power. When the spell was created, it became an unstoppable poisen that corrupted magic all the way back to the source.
 
 

 For organizations and people, mostly more ordinary. I suspect that without magic, physical and martial practices will dominate the world, making mercenary guilds, acadamies, and fortresses more important. Without magic, towns will spring up where resources, especially those for war like iron and lumber, are available and are more defensible. Gods and guilds of magic were often also patrons of knowledge and invention, so libraries and archives are rarer along with general and free knowledge. Power has shifted from individuals to armies and countries which would band together for protection and might.

 When superstition and lack of definite proof meet, many local religions or cults will ensue. A village that has myths of ghosts in the woods might offer sacrifices to them or exult a Spirit-King of sorts while anything at least partially magical might be worshiped as the relic of a made-up god  

 If i were to run a campaign like this, i could not do it without exploring why the deadweave came to the way it is, and as an ending i might set up a solution, ending with a world with a new source of magic.

Hope this helps 
   
          

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

I'm not really much for story telling to be honest, but I used to play a Human Cleric of Mystra a few years back, and at one point our DM set up a small side quest (later I found out it was especially for me) to become a Dweomerkeeper... I don't use that character anymore, but I do still remember most of the magic side of it, specifically with regards to the Weave, so maybe this could help give your story a bit of an interesting background...?


If I remember correctly, Cyric (chaotic evil) and Shar (nuetral evil) joined forces in order to assasinate Mystra (mostly planned by Cyric though), which in turn caused the destruction of the Weave. Cyric's followers go by the pretty straightforward "death to those that oppose Cyric, or any and all that would bring good will and peace" mindset, while Shar's followers went by a more closely-knit, secretive and manipulative methods.

Shar was also the creator of the Shadow Weave (constructed from her knowledge of Mystra's Weave).. And similar to Dweomerkeepers, Shar's followers had to tend to her Shadow Weave, but rumour had it that this task left the majority of these wizards, priests and clerics of Shar completely insane. Unpredictable, dark wizards wielding evil magic for selfish purposes.


When Mystra died though, both the Weave and the Shadow Weave collapsed with her... So What about a story built around the aftermath of the collapse of both the Weave and the Shadow Weave...? Broken, misguided factions of Cyric trying to keep their faith alive (by endlessly killing, looting, pillaging, etc.), while similar groups of Shar's followers are out to hunt down and exterminate these reckless, selfish, mindlessly destructive followers of Cyric.

There may very well still be pockets of mild magic left in wild magic zones here and there, so having a backing of powerful and twisted sorcerers and wizards could work in quite nicely here (even if they're apparently just myths and camp-fire stories told by travellers).

Not really sure if that helps at all though, but I hope so...
The Weave was killed to pave the way for the arrival of the Elder Things, the horrors from the outer planes who now secretly rule your world and manipulate its religion and politics while shaping it to be more like their own.

Alternately:

The Weave was killed during the war with the Ones Beyond.  In the wake of their victory, knowledge of the Weave was surpressed and the surviving humans reverted to a state of barbarism.  Magic is to the Ones Beyond as matter is to antimatter.  They abhor its presence.  Only in some secluded corners of your world are fragments of the Weave yet living, kept alive by the cults of the dead gods, ruthlessly hunted by the Holy Inquisitors.
Thank you for the replies.  These will definitely help me generate some story.  When I start the campaign the PC's are being removed from Vildglim, a city build over the ruins of an ancient elven/human city.  They are being executed for treason and murder.  The execution is botched and the Pc's manage to escape.  
Upon exile the PC's will ultimately arrive in a small city locally known as The Refuse, a city overrun with thieves, assassins, murderers, thugs, corrupt city officials, and other scum.  organized crime controls sectors of the city while the city guard and government control others-behaving in much the same way.  Performing shakedowns, ad hoc interrogations, collecting taxes/protection money, etc. 

     The one thing that the PC's do know upon arrival is that they are following in the footsteps of a Man named Twist, master assassin and manipulator.  The PC's know that Twist is the reason they were charged with crimes, and that he is the key to their exoneration.
     Twist is legendary throughout the land and it seems no matter who you talk to they have stories of Twist commiting crimes when they were a youth, now Twist is either a real man whos deeds have been greatly exaggerated or an alias by which several Rogues have gone throughout the decades, possibly something more.


If anyone could expand on Twist, or any of the people of The Refuse in such a manner as to provide story hooks that would be great.  Thank you       
...and in the ancient voice of a million squirrels the begotten chittered "You have set upon yourselves a great and noble task, dare you step further, what say you! What say you!"

Twist could be:

 A distant guildmaster that earned the title by finding and killing the previous Twist, as all the others have. Not an easy feat, and many Twists are cautious, if not paranoid.
 
 A servant of a god, using trickery and violence to further his goals. The demigod in question has granted him an abnormal lifespan and abilities.
 
 A spirit that posesses a body worthy of its experience and talent, going on many adventures, spreading lies, and slowly advancing towards unlocking a more permanent way of staying here. When a body has "run its course" he abandons it in search of another one.
 
 An alchemical abomination/runaway experiment of a wizard trying to fuse troll and human blood to create a superior "breed". The trollblood grants him regeneration of wounds, a slower ageing rate, and advanced strength. He retains an animalistic cunning and pragmatacism, along with a cruel charisma. he has nicknamed himself Twist for his twisted facial features that he covers.

 Hope this helps        

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. -Revelation 21:6

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.-John Donne, Meditation XVII

My photo was found here.

Does it matter why/how the weave died?  What are your themes?  Do you plan/expect your players to explore what happened to the weave?  Are the players utlimately going to return magic to the world?  If you answered no to those questions, then just make up as many stories why the weave died and leave it at that.

If yes, then at this point all you need is a vague clue how it died.  For example, the weave is a universal plant whose caretaker died/captured/doesn't care anymore and stopped nurishing it and it has subsequently died.  At this point, you don't need more than that. Just fill in the blanks as you go.