Saturday, June 6, 2009

2009 Golarion Campaign – The Forgotten Gods

I have a working outline for my campaign which will formally kickoff after GenCon. I will be using the new Pathfinder rule set and I will also have a set of house rules. Once I have the new rules in my hands, I will be finalizing the house rules. There is a certain feel that I am looking for. As I have stated in my earlier blogs, I want an “Indiana Jones” feel to the campaign. By this I mean that the characters are explorers rather than heroes, each with his/her own reason for wanting to explore. I will be using guilds, and the two that I am thinking of introducing right away are the Pathfinder Guild and the Delver’s Guild (from Ptolus). I like the concept behind them. The Pathfinder Guild is about exploring to gain knowledge, particularly lost knowledge, while the Delver’s guild is more about exploring in general. It’s this gritty hands on passion for lost treasure and artifacts that I want to be the player’s focus.

I finally decided on a name for the campaign, “The Forgotten Gods,” which I think sums up the overall plot arc very well. I like to have background plot arc that helps to give the campaign a bit of flavor. My last campaign was called, Rise of the Chaos Lords, in which a number of Chaos Lords from the abyss where making a power play that was spilling into the material world. While the adventure was centered inside the city of Ptolus, there were a number of chaos factions both inside the city and outside the city that ultimately had an impact on what was going on inside Ptolus. In essence, Ptolus became a smaller version of the larger conflict. It was this larger conflict that gave context to smaller things that were going on. I thought this worked out very well, and it was very interesting listening to them try to put the pieces together.

For this campaign, the overall plot arc will take the characters through Legacy of Fire (LoF) and on to Necropolis, with a stop in the City of Brass. This will campaign will definitely have an Arabian Nights/Egyptian feel to it, which will a first for me. In the past, I have run European style campaigns, so this is definitely new territory, which I think is good. One of the strengths of D&D is that one can pick from any number of settings, and each has a different feel to them. At some point, I want to run a Viking style adventure, but that will probably be a few years out.

The campaign will start out in media res, meaning that I will start them right in the middle of the action. One of them will have acquired a “treasure” map that leads to a lost artifact called the Rod of Rahotep, which has lead them to northern Katapesh and the Brazen Peaks. The actual starting point will be in front of small hidden cave that leads to a multi-level dungeon that has the working title of “The Goblin Cave.”

The Goblin Cave started out as a 3 level dungeon, but I have expanded upon it quite a bit. Now that I have decided on an overall campaign arc, it is undergoing a face lift to give it the appropriate feel of dungeon in northern Katapesh, as well as tie it in to the overall campaign. At the moment it is 15,000 words, and growing.

From here, the characters will meet up with merchant princess Almah and that will formally start the Legacy of Fire AP. Now I want to play the AP very loosely, meaning that if they want to deviate from the plot line, I am going to let them. There are a number of breaks in the AP, and I have plans to fill them with smaller quests and adventuring possibilities. Through all of this, I want to keep to the theme of Indiana Jones style adventuring. Without giving away too much, I can say that there are a couple of artifacts that play a major role in LoF, which I think will work out well with the feel that I am trying to capture.

Once LoF has played out, it is off to Osirion and the providence of Khemit, which will host the mega-dungeon of Necropolis. Necropolis is a very challenging dungeon in terms of play for both the players and the GM. After Necropolis, I have a couple of ideas kicking around, but I probably have a year or so to think about that. My thought is that after Necropolis, the characters would be 20th level, and it would be time for some epic adventuring.

One of the things I want to be very careful with is the LoF AP. While I want the players to go through it, I do not want to create a rail road that handcuffs them. With this in mind, I have a couple of ideas. The first part of LoF is actually rather loose, with plenty of options available to the players. With this in mind, I want to create meaty side treks that they can explore as much or as little as they want. I am also thinking about creating a completely different alternate adventure option that is more of a sandbox just in case they just really want to do their own thing. In other words, their participation in LoF is really up to them.

We shall see how it all works out. I have another two months to bring it all together.

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