Monday, January 13, 2014

Come Endless Darkness

No. Not the Gary Gygax book, but related.

I have been thinking a lot about the 1st Ed AD&D game my kids are in now.   They love play 1st ed more than 3e I feel, but what is missing from this game, at least how I initially conceived it, is an epic arc.

In this campaign the characters are going to get involved in something huge, something world changing.  Since these characters are the sons and daughters of their 3e characters I also want some thing that alters the feel of the game world to help explain the shift in rules from 3e to 1st Ed.

So I am going back to an idea I had years ago that I originally wanted to try for 3e.  It was going to be called Shadow Earth and bits and pieces live on in my other products and posts.
I am planning to blot out the sun.
This was something that I toyed with now and again and thought it might make for a good plot. It was also one of the ideas I threw out later on as an idea for my "no big bad" game Season of the Witch.

The idea is a simple one really.  The vampires, drow and mind flayers* (or maybe the mi-go have not decided yet) join forces to blot out the sun.

The PCs discover part of this plot after they bust up a slaving operation being run by vampires (A series).  Unlike like other games though, the bad guys succeed in their plans and the sun goes dark.  While the big powers of the world are meeting to discover how to reverse it (and thus not able to help out their offspring) the new generation is sent off to investigate reports of giants attacking a village nearby (GDQ).

So yes I am using modules with this.  I figure I have come up with say about 100 unique adventures over the last 35 years or so.  These allow me to ease some of the heavy lifting AND also to give my kids a shared experience with other gamers.
Here is the plan so far.
  • B1 In Search of the Unknown, levels 1-3 (played at Gen Con 2012)
  • B2 Keep on the Borderlands, levels 1-3 (playing now, will include a shrine to an evil god of chaos)
  • T1 Village of Hommlet, Intro-levels (might not use now, depends on how the Temple of EE fits in)
  • L1 The Secret of Bone Hill, levels 2-4 (maybe)
  • X2 Castle Amber, levels 3-6 (the MiGo plot)
  • A0 to A4, levels 4-7 (the vampires get their victims from the Slavers)
  • A5, The Last Slave Lord, levels 5-9 
  • I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City, levels 4-7  (snakemen - minions)
  • C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, levels 5-7
  • G123, levels 8-12 (drow)
  • D12, levels 9-14
  • D3, levels 10-14
  • Q1, levels 10-14
They are currently going through Tomb of Horrors under 3e, and I am thinking of running Expedition to the Barrier Peaks under AS&SH.

The idea then will be that the PCs discover the plot and have to destroy the device blocking out the sun on Lolth's plane.  IF things work out and we have more time or they want to go on then I *might* work in the old H4 Module, Throne of Bloodstone and redo it a bit to give them a second part to destroy.

Things I have not yet figured out.  I would love to use my Ophidians in there somewhere.  I should really since they a cool race and work well.  I will have to use my take on Demogorgon then as well.

Mindflayers seem like a no brainer to me which means I should really investigate why I am using them.  I think they should be part of a more Mythos-like mindset.  Their goal of course is to enslave the entire world.  But do they have a demon lord they answer to? Not likely.  Given this many factions I need to figure out their motivations.  Why? Well that will tell me how the players will be able to succeed.
Maybe the Ophidians are in league with or controlled by the mind flayers.

I want to give them an epic. I want this to feel like opera; like all three parts of Wagner's Ring Cycle.
At the end I want to be able to look over the table at their faces and know they know what it is to shake the pillars of Heaven.  I felt that when the I was done playing in the "Dragon Wars" in 1988 and again when I ran "The Dragon and the Phoenix" in 2002-2004.

Regardless how epic it might be, it will be fun.


Sciamantis said...

Mind Flayers blotting out the sun… isn't that the topic of the Mind Flayer module trilogy linked to the Monstrous Arcana 2ed series?

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I don't know! If it is then I need to find it.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Well it looks like I must have read these at one point. Cool! Now just to find them.

captainben said...

Sounds cool! I had a friend who brainstormed a similar setup, where it was low level characters having to deal with it.
I don't know how much interest you have in Norse mythology, but in the game Ragnarok: Fate of the Norns the premise is that Fenris' sons have swallowed the sun and moon, starting ragnarok and endless winter. Might be an interesting angle, or at least one interpretation a doomsday cult might have of what is happening.