Epic Tower Quest: A Campaign Seed With Strategy, Intrigue, and Adventure

RPT GM NecroFileMD shared their cool Campaign Seed with us over at Campaign Community. You might use this idea for a campaign, an adventure, or even some fascinating lore for your world.

Here’s the Campaign Seed:

I run a homebrew tower climber campaign based on 5E.

A 100 floor tower has appeared in the center of the area the party started off in. It’s entirely a dimensional space inside. No two floors are alike, and they change in size from about the size of city block to something akin to Rhode Island.

Each floor starting with floor 1 must be cleared within 100 days of that specific floor opening. The first 15 floors are fairly easy to deal with. Character leveling and growth.

After floor 16, things get hard. And from floor 35 to 70, there are only faction floors. This powerful group owns/controls this floor and they are at odds with another powerful faction on another floor.

Oh, and if the floor is not cleared within the time limit, every floor that hasn’t been cleared is immediately released into the world, and there are some grim nasty things in there.

It gives me a lot of leeway and because I’m not limited to the Tower structure, it’s not a standard dungeon crawl. It’s really flexible. Means take good notes and prep about an hour or so a week and I’m good.

This is a great Campaign Seed for several reasons. Re-stating why NecroFileMD likes it:

  • Freedom to create any kind of micro-world on a given level. Lots of GM flexability here.
  • Run any adventure types: dungeon, wilderness, civilized, esoteric. Further, a GM can mix them up with no demands on their order. Perfect for ADHD.
  • Quick prep because the central conflict (clear the tower, save the world) is easy to maintain. No complicated ball of wool to unknot and keep consistent each session.

In addition, these are great benefits as well:

  • Faction play. My favourite. A simple way to present deeper gameplay. Factions let you adjust difficulty levels on-the-fly; they offer a plethora of adventure type options such as political intrigue, heists, and tragedies; and they let you spawn NPCs galore.
  • Perfect for 5 Room Dungeons! Make prep even simpler and faster, while telling mythically structured stories.
  • Deadline urgency from the floor-clearing time limit. As we chatted about last week, adding urgency makes sessions faster paced and exciting.
  • Easy mode until the 17th storey to help players along the learning curve, and to harden the characters a bit before fully opening your GM Toolbox.
  • A perfect project for #Dungeon24.
  • A great way to playtest areas of your world or homebrew rules before making them canon. Put a setting piece on a tower level and see how it runs.
  • Highly replayable. You make the Laws of Reality here. For example, floors could be magically repopulated when returned to, or a faction might’ve discovered helpful strangers have cleared the territory for them to move into. (Hello Bag World! An epic story of characters losing control of their Bag of Holding when they stash hirelings into it. Heh.)

Thanks for sharing your epic Campaign Seed, NecroFileMD!

Have more fun at every game!

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