Story incubator

Conan_Lybarian
Conan_Lybarian

What seeds of stories do you have that need a little more fleshing out? Character back stories, setting, histories, monster? What kernel of an idea have you had floating around that you'd like to polish and put into a campaign? Every GM and player has half of something. Maybe we can help add the flavor you're looking for to finally put it out there for a group!

Comments

  • Kallak
    Kallak
    Posts: 905

    Ooh, awesome thread. I love this concept. I really hope folks fill this thing up with a ton of ideas (partial or otherwise), contributions and the like. I'm excited at where this thing could go (I hope it does).

    If I can toss something out to start the ball rolling, I've had this sort of half an idea for a sandbox campaign that is wholly random. Names and maps from online generators, plots from random tables out of the DMG/GameMastery style books, etc.

    My problem is that the random theme is very meta, and I'm not sure how to carry some of that theme over into the campaign without things being too wonky and feeling disconnected or mish mash.

    All the best,
    - Kallak

    Inner Council Member
    CotM Selection Committee
    Writer/Editor - Words In The Dark
    Obsidian Portal Community and Content Manager
    GameMaster - Crucible of the Blacksoul (CotM for Jan. 2013)

  • gastoff
    gastoff
    Posts: 46

    @Kallak, Maybe the randomness is part of the overarching plot. Some great cosmic force is causing the natural order of things to be jumbled up and it is the PCs mission to set things right: Limbo is bleeding over into the other planes, or The Maelstrom is growing larger and no one knows why, etc. At higher levels, it could take them to some strange extraplanar locales.

    image

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 156

    I like that @Gastoff- puts a good bow on an otherwise kind of random package. That being said @Kallak, the campaign could play like a series of one shots, or like a TV show. Think kind of like Rick and Morty. Wacky and random, but still an over arching back story. An overall theme of trying to stop "The Entropy" or some other force of chaos, with lots of room for the random. I'd say lay in some common elements, like a home base that each "episode" starts from, or send your party off with missions like Charlie's Angels,  but it doesn't take much to ground an otherwise fantastical game.

  • JaymesBolton
    JaymesBolton
    Posts: 274

    @Kallak I second the notion of making it episodic withing the randomness. That way you can have a "theme" per "episode" of things that kinda correlate but the next "episode" is a whole new batch of random things. 

    For mine I have had an idea for a medieval fantasy urban adventure inspired by books like "Mistborn" or "Nightangel". I have been working on the metropolis for a while now (close to a decade) but now that the city parts are "mostly" finished I have realized that I only have a half idea of a corrupt government and different factions fighting shadow wars for power when it comes to the actual story. 

     

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 156

    I'm running a shadow war/secret faction game now- and it's defenitly tricky. I've kind of layed it out with three elements. 1- the obvious/public factions. 2- Their secret enemies. 3- the end game and ultimate goals of each. It's easy to want to add a bunch of fluff, but create 1 major goal for each and why they're fighting each other. I know that sounds simple, but it is. Write them in red pen and stick with it. Not trying to sound condescending, I'm just saying that even though it seems like a big job to tackle, you can always fall back on the the bones of the story when you start introducing new elements and characters.

  • Jynx001
    Jynx001
    Posts: 28

    Idea Seed: Forest World - the entire world is covered in different kinds of forests and the inhabitants have adapted to their particular region, incorporating their kind of forest into their lives.

    Examples that need further work:

    The Amberi - In the cool regions of the northern maple, the Amberi people have mastered the alchemy of sap, resin, and tar. They harden their leaf armor with resins that calcify over hundreds of years, and their glue traps are deadly deterrants to invaders.

    The Bamabo - Master builders and artisans of the East, their sprawling civilization is tied to the cultivation and craftsmanship of bamboo. Fast growing and highly versatile, they have expanded to the limits of their well-cultivated empire and now face a crisis - invade and spread their way of life to other regions or ring their world with walls and isolate themselves?

    The Greenbeards - The mountain clans are known on sight for their straight backs, thick beards, mighty clubs, and great cloaks fashioned of pine needles. Survivalist nomads, they traverse the frozen forests, following the ancient ways and the old gods. Some claim they have hidden cities, secreted away inside rings of mighty evergreens.

    The Red Giants - On the Edge of the West, giants still roam. Their trees are tall as the sky, but they grow slowly and cannot compete with the faster smallfolk. The stoic peace that has endured for ten thousand years is at an end, for the nearby tribes have broken the ancient taboo and cut down the mighty monuments. The red wood is of great value and conflict is innevitable.

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 156

    @Jynx001 - These all look pretty great! What do you need for them? I'm happy to help flesh them out, but the backstorys already sound solid. Is it main story or conflict? Or additional tribes?

  • Kallak
    Kallak
    Posts: 905

    The Amberi remind me of an episode of Naked and Afraid that I saw, where there was sap from this particular kind of tree that caused burns on the skin and was pretty awful and hard to scrub off. Sounds like a cool concept for a weapon coating.

    All the best,
    - Kallak

    Inner Council Member
    CotM Selection Committee
    Writer/Editor - Words In The Dark
    Obsidian Portal Community and Content Manager
    GameMaster - Crucible of the Blacksoul (CotM for Jan. 2013)

  • Jynx001
    Jynx001
    Posts: 28

    @Conan_Lybarian - Sorry about the delay in response. The holiday insanity diverted my attentions. I had not really thought too much beyond these initial seed-ideas until now. I'd say the Forest World setting could be either a large region within an established world or an entire world of it's own. Tribal conflict could be an interesting backdrop in the midst of perhaps a larger problem of some kind. Maybe an encroaching environmental distaster -- uncontrollable fires or a new insect plague -- something to drive the tribes together and disrupt whatever equilibrium exists.

    Or, make one tribe or alliance of tribes go to war with another. New technology/magic might be the catalyst. Pretty standard fare, just with a vegetation-based "skin" over top.

    Feel free to take anything and run with it, though. Trees are versatile enough that even if ten of us wrote games around the concept, we'd probably end up with ten very different versions of such a place.

    Oooh, side note: Maybe there's some kind of apex predator that flies above the canopy and picks off anyone who dares to try and traverse the leafless Open.

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 156

    Sorry it's been a bit @Jynx001, but I keep coming back to this and mulling it over. I've got some random ideas to throw out

    It definitly has the meat to it to be a full campaign setting. Just the tribes and forests you have already is enough for a TON of exploration. As far as story points, diaster and pestilance would be great for an overall backdrop- kind of the common seed that drives the story/chapter or reason that the tribes could be at war or brokering peace.

    I'm a big fan of tribal conflicts. With the age and cultures of trees and their people being as ancient as they sound, grudges and fueds can live for a very long time. But I was thinking about a new people or enemy. Maybe something like the Kudzus. "A people as invasive as the vine they are names after. They carry the chocking plant with them to take over, kill, and mold forest settings to their own liking." Not sure of their origin exactly, but it gives a good creeping fearing like the Reapers from Firefly. Or more plotting and sinister, given the way kudzu actually grows around trees and sucks the nutrients out of them and the soil.

    An apex predator is awesome! Played a game where we had to fight a sand kraken once. How about a land Kraken that stays in the plains because it can't navigate or feed in forests due to the root systems?

  • Jynx001
    Jynx001
    Posts: 28

    Great ideas, @Conan_Lybarian! Kudzu's are a brilliant thought. They infiltrate and strangle. Perfect parallel. You could even subdivide such a tribe into other invasive species of non-tree plants and really play up the idea that they seem so innocuous until you find out just how many of them there are and how much imbalance they introduce. For a more mature game, you could get into the politics of racism, too.

    Plains Kraken would also be a really great reason why "we don't go West." I feel that such cultures would view a plain like ancient people viewed uncrossable ocean or the way we view space.

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 156

    @Jynx001 I love the idea of the "uncrossable void". It has such an ominous feeling. And it gives you a perfect DM "in" for new things/people/creatures showing up. The Kudzu's crossed the Void on a bridge/island network of fast growing vines and started to leech the soil.... The Pappi(plural word for dandelion fluff that I honestly had to look up for this random thought)/Lyons arrived on giant floating clouds of seed webbing and began to spread like wild fire...

    I would totally play this campaign. I've also always wanted to play a druid though, so maybe I'm just channeling my repressed player PC

Sign In or Register to comment.