10 Wildly Creative Adventure & Campaign Seeds
From Gem Cutter Roberts
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #616
The Dead Tide
From Nathan Meyer
Three centuries ago, the armies of the Ghoul King of Togora were defeated, shattered by the voice of Andowin, the greatest bard known since the golden age of the Imperium.
Now the vampire lord Xillibas Durn has arisen and assembles the dead for war. The thriving city of Ithicus looms under threat of the Dead Tide.
Horget, a music loving gnoll cast out from his tribe, has been chosen by prophecy as the Dirgest. Zava Poh, who saw her monastery fall to the Dead Tide, is a young monk out for justice. Savagris Tempse is an aged battle mage of Ithicus who made a pact with Durn, and seeks to trade the city for lichdom.
If Ithicus falls, it becomes a seat of power for the Dead Tide and bisects the most critical trade routes between the east and west.
But Durn does not act alone. The Ghoul King commands him from his sword.
Journey to the Moon
From Nathan Martin
For the first time in a thousand years, the planet will pass close enough to its once-lost moon to facilitate travel, and a gate is hurriedly constructed to send explorers through. Upon arrival, they meet Aegesalath, a silver dragon trapped on the moon when it first left the planet’s orbit under mysterious circumstances.
Before the PCs can return to report their findings, the crystal powering the portal fails. They delve deep into the strange ruins dotting the moon, searching for a new power source.
They are hindered by a mysterious Caretaker, an insane man trapped along with Aegeselath. Other NPCs include Morgomir, an ancient shade sworn to vengeance, and Celec, a self-serving freelancer who followed the team through the gate.
The team soon stumbles onto evidence that the moon was intended to be a prison for some great evil, which they must discover before they inadvertently unleash it upon the unsuspecting world.
Of Orcs and Knights
From Tony P.
Yekreb Bloodclaw is an orc warlord leading a dragon-worshiping clan from the southern desert. He threatens to summon the long-dead dragons and wage war on the nearby kingdoms.
The desert is a blasted wasteland where a great magical war ended a mythical age of technology, magic, and culture. It is said to contain an artifact that could protect the kingdoms from the orcs. The desert has been dormant and uninhabitable for countless years, but now something stirs there.
Baleor Redbeard leads a zealous group of knights and priests who blindly persecute magic, evil, and anything that opposes them. Alaric Ironheart is a corrupt magister whose loyalty is up for sale.
The PCs are in a race to find the artifact. While it might save the kingdom, it could also awaken a great evil. The artifact must either be destroyed or kept from the hands of competing enemy groups who seek it.
From Sam Commadeur
A monstrous werewolf known as Greyback has been terrorizing the towering, claustrophobic city of Arondel.
The PCs, recently accepted into the monster hunter guild known as the Vigil, have been recruited into helping hunt the menace. Through brawn and brains, they must trap the wolf and hold him until he returns to his human form, revealing his identity. But this is only the beginning.
What happens when they find out that Greyback is, in fact the confused Lord Jaxxon One-Eye, the slovenly, chauvinistic mayor, who has been tearing his city apart to find the wolf by day, and unknowingly tearing the city apart for food by night. Will his work as mayor save his life, or will his curse doom him?
And what happens when they find out the leader of the Vigil, the woman who dedicated her life to stamping out the monsters, is not only Lord Jaxxon’s sister, but also a werewolf. Will her past actions save her future, or will her monstrous nature doom her?
The Grim Citadel
From Andy Glenn
Severon is surrounded by mountains and still remembers the Decayed War when orc necromancers broke through the Grim Pass from their Steaming Jungles.
First, the party is entrusted by Baron Fitzkrugar to scout to the ruined Grim Citadel ahead of his builders. Then the scholarly mage Lord Laidlin parcels out missions of exploration and diplomacy to visit the likes of the insular dwarves and wild forest elves.
The black elf agent, Canaris, will use any means to destabilize the fort to get to the Shadow Nexus below. As more farmers settle the wilderness and valleys, the party is drawn into caring for the area by titles and rewards for their exploits.
Dwarflord Cragrim may eventually trade metal and crafted items, but very few, even among his clans, know the secret of the Anvil (imprisoned dragons fuel the forge heat).
Dead Men Walking
From Glen Vandre
Astinus Cane, apprentice to the arch-necromancer Golganth, has stolen one of his master’s grimoires, The Book of Dreams. He intends to raise his own undead army and set up a power-base on the northern coast.
The PCs, serving in the military, have just engaged in a battle between two kingdoms. Having been incapacitated during the fray, they wake to see the field littered with thousands of dead. A black-robed figure moves among the dead, chanting, as corpses rise to serve their new master.
The PCs are infected with a deadly plague, a side effect of Cane’s dark magic playing over the battlefield. Those who succumb to it will rise as undead. The only cure lies within The Book of Dreams.
The Church activates a renowned witch-hunter, The Accountant, to deal with the mess. Golganth sends the Unholy Five to kill Cane and retrieve his book.
From Lucas MacKay
A ruthless pirate king named Captain Rotwood throws trade and travel into turmoil with a fleet of powerful warships. Seemingly invincible upon the open sea, the pirate has laid outrageous demands on the coastal towns, including building yet more pirate vessels to add to his forces.
Admiral Brenton Highwater may be the last hope of the collected towns. He is backed by the sea elf priestess Sorularra and opposed by the sea hag witch called The Kelp Queen.
The truth is the pirate is mere figurehead, while the pirate vessel is the true pirate king. The ship is possessed by the ghost of a legendary pirate king of old. It controls the pirate fleet through pieces of its magical wood crafted into their figureheads.
Plague of Rats
From Mark Macedo
A plague of rats, including dire rats, has hit Delver’s Folly. The town is built not far from a huge sinkhole, the remnants of a mining accident decades past.
The rats are led by Suffik and Glendal, a pair of bards armed with a Pipe of the Sewers. They lair within the crumbling mines of the sink hole. The town priest, Father Mirras, is the real mastermind behind the rat attacks, charging the bitten townsfolk for each Remove Disease he casts, and sharing the profits with the bards.
Father Mirras is unaware that Suffik and Glendal are wererats who seek to convert specific townsfolk into wererats to grow their pack.
The Return of Math
From Mal “Boulder” Martin
200 years after a great wizard war, the population is just beginning to trust wizards again. With this growing trust, Math, a minor god of magic, has reappeared and attracted new followers. The last of the old wizards, Moralyn, exiled himself from the world after the war. Now, Math has tasked him with mentoring these new followers.
Aaron Grand is a medium-to-high-level wizard who has kept his powers secret for years. He plans to disrupt the reacceptance of wizards so he will become powerful and take control. The PCs all have magical talent and thus they are at risk of suffering due to Grand’s schemes. Perhaps Notic, a local sage and priest of the god of knowledge, can help.
Unknown to all, the Dark Forces of the Netherworld are manipulating Grand for their own unknown schemes.
Port of Darkness
Count Mortis Dowright is a vampire who wants to take over the coastal region by creating an army of vampires. The campaign opens with the PCs on a ship headed for a new land to seek adventure. The ship encounters another ship crewed by dwarves. Vampire dwarves.
The port city where the PCs were headed and eventually wind up has had many children go missing lately. City mayor, Gerold Bristol, is more concerned with losing his job than getting rid of the problem.
The local harbor master, Jorad Seablight, often has good leads on treasure and will pay well for magic items. He also sells useful items. Martin Van Atern is the dwarven innkeeper of the Gold Hoard Inn. He can provide additional leads to nearby islands and inland to dwarven caves, in search of treasure.
Seablight is an agent of the count. The PCs will encounter any of the magic items they sold.
Brief Word From Johnn
Campaign Seeds Book Launches Wednesday
I’m putting the finishing touches on the Campaign Seeds book today, and am excited to announce it’ll be ready for purchase tomorrow!
The book is over 100 pages, and it has 128 killer campaign seeds based on entries from the recent campaign seeds contest.
I asked editor Gem Cutter Roberts to pick his 10 favourite seeds, and they’re in today’s newsletter to give you a taste of the awesome content in the book.
I also read every seed and found myself writing madly in my notebook of ideas for the new campaign I’m planning out, Chaos Keep. There are lots of neat ideas and concepts from your fellow RPT readers to be found between the covers.
Something that struck me was many seeds also make perfect adventure concepts and seeds too. I noted several I’ll come back to during the campaign for potential use as adventure inspiration.
So, while we only start campaigns once in awhile, I’m sure you’ll get great use from the book for the many, many adventures you’ll run in the future.
Before I share Robert’s picks, I just wanted to show you the book cover. My friend C.W. designed it, and I think it’s a fantastic look. I hope you like it too.
Stay tuned to your inbox for an email from me tomorrow morning with a launch day link to get your copy of Campaign Seeds: From Zero to Killer Campaign Concept.
Looking For A Charity Web Site Contact
My employer has a program where I can take time at work to do some volunteering.
By day, I’m a web site analyst. I hook up Google Analytics, generate reports, analyze the data, and suggest ways to improve the web site using the data and expert knowledge of online revenue optimization.
So last week I received approval to use my volunteer time to help a charity site with their web analytics.
Do you know anyone who runs a charity web site who could use help with their analytics and being consulted on how to improve the web site?
If so, please get them in touch with me. You can share my email address with them or send them to my LinkedIn profile.
I’d love to help a charity improve their site! Thanks.
Great Villains Get In The Way Of Your Dreams
RPT reader Aaron Thorne shared this with me last week, and I thought you might enjoy it too:
Hi, Johnn. Yesterday I was reading an article about the soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo and ran across something that struck me. I am currently in the early planning stages for a new campaign and found this quote to really fire my imagination:
Not everyone you dislike is a villain. A villain has to be worthy of your hatred and animosity; he — or she, but for our purposes here, he — has to be your equal or your better.
You have to begrudgingly admire him, even as he makes your life miserable, kidnaps your dog, strands your wife at the top of a very tall tower, beats you to within an inch of your film-franchise-sustaining life. Or messes up your soccer team.
Not sure I fully agree with the second paragraph, but the first one is solid gold. In Praise of Cristiano Ronaldo Here is the full article.
Thanks for the tip, Aaron.
Ok, let’s dig into Gem Cutter Roberts’ fave campaign seeds.
And try to get some gaming done this week!