A nearby dragon has decided it is finally powerful enough to take over King Arthur's Court. Using arcane magic, the dragon contacted an outer plane of chaos. It used some of it's wealth to purchase a certain ritual. This ritual distorts the magic inside all creatures. Only a few things were found out by the mages of the castle before they were overcome: 1. It subverts magic. So wizards and clerics are the first to fall. 2. It is highly contagious. It spreads with contact, blood, fluid transfer, or flea bites carried on rats. 3. Nobody has found out how the contagion was introduced(make it food or water). 4. It has an incubation period of a few days. 5. It takes x weeks to kill someone, though a coma is one of the first symptoms. 6. Who cast the ritual. 7. Where the person is. 8. A counterspell cannot be designed without the ritual(since it's outerplanar). Not leaving it at just that, the dragon also cast a confusion spell on the populace. The weaker willed ones(peasants and some military) were affected. The spell reverses loyalties towards a specific target(the king in this case). It will only last a couple weeks(1 day/dragon level), but that is surely enough time to kill off all the important people in the town. With these in motion, the dragon sits in his lair and watches as Camelot undoes itself. The castle guard has their hands full trying to keep the forces at bay. How long can they last?
The players have a few tasks at hand now: 1. They must avoid a magic curse. Maybe even find out how all this was introduced. 2. They must escape the castle with as few casualties as possible. It is besieged by the townsfolk and some guards. Military caches were raided, so SOME of the forces have better gear than the others(think standard monsters vs minions). 3. The party must traverse the land and navigate treacherous terrain to reach the dragon's lair. 4. The party must get past the hazards, traps, and minions of the dragon. 5. The party must not only beat the dragon, but find out where the ritual is hidden(doubt the dragon will leave it in the open or with it's hoard). 6. They will have to travel back to Camelot, sneak back into the castle, and use a wizard's lab to reverse the effects while inside the magic's sphere of influence(so that it targets the curse).
That is a good idea for an adventure that one of my friends who is not a Sci-Fi alien time paradox DM. I will forward this to him. He will love it.
So based on what I have so far:
1. A magic resistant plague has been found to have infected the king. 2. It is highly contagious and uses contact, blood, fluid transmisson, and rats and fleas. 3. The origin of the outbreak is unknown, possibly food or water contamination. 4. Under the public health law, the commonfolk have placed the Camelot under quarantine. 5. Samples sent to the ye olde maximum containment facility for analysis. 6. They discover that the bug has an incubation period of three days. 7. It takes approxmately 1 week for symptoms to appear and then another week to kill the victim. 8. They also confirm the transmission vectors. 9. Later in the advanture they find that the DNA was altered and it now has a rapid reproductive rate which is an R knout of 2. meaning that for every one person sick, 2 more people can contract it. 10. Because of the nature of the mutations, they suspect it was some entity that created it, maybe a mad wizard, demon, or mage.
There are rumors that a cure has been found in an old abondoned Space Pirate weapons lab now turned into a medical research institute. The facility is in a dragon's lair. The commonfolk have sent many people there to retrieve it but none returned. Their best men (the group) are stuck in the hot zone due to a false positive during screening.
The group now has to complete the following objectives:
1. Find a way to break quarantine while avoiding infection. 2. Breaching the quarantine zone will be easier said then done, so minimise all casualties. 3. Once outside the hot zone make their way to the dragon's lair which is located in the most treacherous areas of the whole kingdom. 4. They might want to get some better gear and maybe some help too along the way. 5. Somewhere along the line they will learn the codes to open the facility entrance. 6. Once they arrive at the lair, they must avoid or fight off the dragon long enough to enter the codes and open the facility blast doors. 7. They could try using dilpomacy and or bluffing to get past the dragon without the need to use any force. But that will require alot of luck, if it works the dragon might give them a side quest to complete before being allowed to pass. 8. Once inside the facility they must make their way to the Biosafety Level 4 laboratories while avoiding and or bypassing all security systems. 9. Regardless of whether they are authorized to be in there or not, they must pass through a decon chamber to be cleaned before going into the laboratory sector. There they must adhere to standard clean room practices for each approprate level. 10. Once at the Biosafety Level 4 labs they must go through another decon chamber and follow all protocols listed in the labs. 11. They must convince the scientists there to give them some extra samples of the cure. 12. From here they have some options, they can have the samples air lifted back to Camelot, or they can carry it back themselves. If they opt for the air lift, they can ride along or head back themselves. 13. Once the cure has been delivered, they must now go and kill the entity that created this disease who has now been identified. Once the king and everyone in the complex is treated the commonfolk will lift the quarantine and things will go back to normal. 14. As for defeating the villien who created the bug, well they just find its lair, survive it and kill the entity inside, you know the drill.
My real screen name is WAR10CK. Space pirate science, We do what must because we can.
The concept is OK, but your details seem a bit off, and the explanations for them are bogging you down. When you take the "peasants in demon-steel armour" out and just write down those bullet points, it actually looks more or less OK.
You need to decide exactly what sort of setting. Sci-fi? Fine, but a "quasi-medieval fantasy setting" sci-fi? Regardless, you need to get that clear, then you can reflavour the above to suit.
You can of course have a less sci-fi-sounding research "lab" if you make it, say, a den of a weird cult or group of wizards. These sorts of people are known for tampering with the forces of the universe (though through magic rather than science) so it's easy to have something like this cropping up.
There is a way that I can implement the scientists. On the D&D wiki there is exists a home brew class called the biomancer. This class is essentially dedicated to scientific research. This is who will be working in the labs. I will be posting the stats on my blog soon. But they are very sophisticated for a medieval class.
This is a new idea that I just came up with. Now you all know that the most infamous pandemic of the middle ages was the plague. It infected most of Europe and killed thousands of people. In my books the plague was a Biosafety Level 4 agent. Highly contagious and no known cures or treatment protocols. Nowadays it is probably a Level 2 or 3 agent.
This takes place in the Court of King Arthur and his castle Camelot. It all happened during a feast in the great hall, little did they the food was contaminated before the group, the knights, and king ate it. A few days later, the king was sick in his own bed, when the doctor came to examine him, what he saw was not good.
"I want his majesty isolated immediately! Tell the guards that Arthur is not to leave this room for any reason!" he ordered to a servant. The servant obeyed and alerted the captain of the guard that the town doctor ordered the king's isolation. As such two guards secured the royal bed chamber and stood watch to ensure that the order was kept. The doctor returned to the town to inform the others on the situation.
A few days later Sir Lancelot came down with the same illness along with three others. Getting nervous a squire to Sir Lancelot went to leave the castle complex when he noticed that the doors were blocked from the outside and could not be opened. Informing the captain of the guard of this, he went over to try the doors himself. After finding that they were blocked he tried the other gateways but found that they were sealed too.
"That's odd, they have not been locked like this before." he said.
"Sir you had better come look at this!" a guard said from atop the castle wall. When the captain went up to take a look, what he saw was shocking. The castle was surrounded by armed peasants wearing full plate armor. They, along with the town guards were setting up inverted defences around the moat. The draw bridge was blockaded by metal barriers.
"ATTENTION! RESIDENTS OF CAMELOT, YOU ARE NOW UNDER QUARANTINE! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LEAVE!" one of the peasants yelled. All the windows were being covered with plastic and glass seals. The whole complex began to panic and rush the doors only to find that they were trapped inside. The idea was simple, nobody came out and no one went in. Soon doctors entered the castle in special hazmat armor. They confirmed that the illness was indeed the plague.
Rumor has it that a research facility has discovered a cure for the plague. The facility was located in a dragon's lair for security reasons. The group's only hope is to get the cure from the facility and hope that it is not too late. In order to embark on this quest, they must breach quarantine and escape the town un infected. Can they do this and find the cure?
A plague called "The Red Death" ravages an obscure countryside, and Prince Prospero gathers all his friends together in his castle, locks the doors, and has a massive and decadent party inside while the peasants suffer outside the walls. Prospero, secure that he and his guests are safe within the walls of the castle, is horrified to find that he has an uninvited guest to his masked ball....
Roger Corman's 1964 film version with Vincent Price elaborates on the story a little, with Vincent Price clearly having a ghoulishly good time playing a sadistic, devil-worshipping Prospero, whose wickedness is directly responsible for bringing the Red Death upon his land... the sort of character that would make a respectable D&D villain.
Trap the PCs in Prospero's dungeon while the plague escalates outside, pit them against Prospero's evil guests, guards, and servants, have the PCs help keep infected peasant mobs outside, leave the PCs torn between helping innocent people who might be infected get inside or leave them locked outside just to be safe, stop human sacrifices that Prospero's cultsists are attempting to make to help protect the guests from harm from the Red Death incarnate, meet evil alchemists and sorcerors who are conducting human experiments on peasants in order to find a cure, have the PCs come face to face with the Red Death itself so they might play a game of chess against Death for their lives and bargain with Death to help it bring Prospero down, give the PCs a chance to disguise themselves for the masked ball so they can sneak by the guards, and arrange a dramatic show-down with Prospero in his decadent ballroom among masked guests with mixed loyalties.
There's a lot of ground you can cover with Poe's classic story as an inspiration!
Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
"Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
"Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri