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D&D 3E
campaign design, at an impasse. could use some ideas. my campaign… 
17th-Jan-2005 01:38 pm
campaign design, at an impasse. could use some ideas.

my campaign takes place on a world with 5 moons, one for each of the elements. earth, air, fire, water, and aether. there was a 100 year long religious war that culminated in the clerics of 5 races going to the moons for pure elements to use in their war. the gods were insulted by this afront and invasion, and cursed the 5 races. the curse ended the war. what i'm having trouble with is firguring out two of the curses. this is what i have:

the dwarves went to the earth moon and used the power of the pure elemental earth to create powerful automatons. they were cursed with stone-skin affliction. Older dwarves, especially those from royal families or those descended from the old priest warriors, are likely to contract a wasting illness where the skin turns scaly and hard like stone. Eventually the afflicted can no longer move or care for themselves. Finally, if they don't die, they turn to stone.

gnomes went to the fire moon and used pure elemental fire to control and summon red dragons. they were cursed with exile. the gnomes' kobold shock troops and dragon servants revolted, took over the nation and the gnomes fled. They now live in exile never to return to their home and never to have a homeland of their own. Any gnome settlement over 100 is doomed to failure, collapsing to the chaos of the curse of exile.

Orcs were the most powerful (and civilized) wizards in the world. they went to the moon of aether and used the aether to cast True Magic that permanently altered reality itself. They were cursed with insanity and now roam the world as near mindless barbarians.


that's all i got until i run dry. i have two elements left, air and water, and two races left, and i'm not sure what to do. i had orignally intended to use elves with air, they used air to call storms to attack their foes, and were cursed with fould weather. their northern homeland is under constant assault by the elements. and then humans with water who used the power of the element to call floods and droughts against their foes. but i couldn't think of a curse for that one. so. suggestions?

17th-Jan-2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
I'd definatly combine elves with air. Now they are bound to the land and they have to trurn to a specific peek of a high montian and breathe the wair or else they turn as ethereal as the ghosts they summoned from the moon. The montian is the center of a forest which is their homeland etc. This could explain why few leave their homeland. They have to return once every year, or ten years, or whatever.

Where as Gnomes are now probably more like peddling gypsies. I'd give halflings the water one and now they are forever in drought. With halflinfs land in drout make them nomadic herders. Those halflings that leave their land in significant numbers bring the drought with them, so they are shunned by EVERYONE else.

Humans were so inferior at the time that they weren't even involvbed in the wars and the only one not cursed. Thus they now have prominance throughout the land.
17th-Jan-2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
interesting. i kind of like that. except that i never really think of halflings as organized or dedicated enough to take part in a war of supremacy.
17th-Jan-2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
Well..... When you are being conquored you do what you gotta do right ;-)
17th-Jan-2005 07:38 pm (UTC)
Elves ... air ... how do flying castles fit in to your world? You strongly imply that orcs used to be an intelligent, civilized, perhaps even noble race, and are now reduced to their more typical D&D level ... what if the elves used to fly? What if their cities were in the sky and the birds were their steeds and they could fly, either with wings or with magic (psionics?)? Their cities fell from the sky and shattered, all their children perished in the fall, and now the elven spirit is broken and they are dying out. Just an idea. Elves are very birdlike anyway, with those slender, maybe hollow bones. ( I note that the curses in question seem more like flavor pieces than things that will directly afflict the PCs, so I think this works )

Humans. Water. Maybe the human curse is something straight forward like ... Leviathan. It roams the seas, actively hunting all humans that stray across the water, maybe even assaulting coastal settlements ... I'm sorta thinking of Sin from FFX now. Or maybe they are permanently afflicted by the drought and have become wandering nomads, ever seeking a Promised Land where they can settle and raise crops.

17th-Jan-2005 08:08 pm (UTC) - flavor pieces
yeah they are, i don't want to screw with the PC's, just want a history to work with. the game i have planned revolves around the elements so this is how i got started.
17th-Jan-2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
also, i don't want to use flying castles. my current campaign is a broken world made of flying island cities. don't want anything like that again.
17th-Jan-2005 09:39 pm (UTC)
Well, my thinking was that all the flying island cities had already fallen from the sky ... they could make for some pretty good dungeons, actually, the shattered remnants of elven cities, crawling with elven ghosts and undead and totally inappropriate for the surrounding landscapes.

But I can see why you would want to avoid using the same tropes over and again.
17th-Jan-2005 09:43 pm (UTC)
yeah but i like your idea of crashed castles and i'll only have one player in the new group that was in the old group. so maybe. the good thing about htis is i have the luxury of time to really develop the hell out of this. so it probably won't be anything like i imagine when i finally run it. but it should be decent given all the time i have to put into it.
17th-Jan-2005 07:41 pm (UTC)
Elves used the Moon of Air to call thunder and lightning to fight for them, as you suggest. They were cursed that the winds would always go against them, and they have since been unable to use any ranged weapon.

Humans got the Moon of Water, which they used to flood their enemies' towns. Their curse was to make their settlements flow like water; permanant buildings or towns occupied by humans will slowly melt, so that after a year or two they are unusable. Humans have thus been forced to become nomadic, with a few small cities continually being rebuilt.

If you use this, you might want to change the gnome curse, now that I read that again. Perhaps make all dragons automatically hate any gnome they see?
17th-Jan-2005 08:39 pm (UTC)
the ranged weapon thing is too heavy handed, especially considering that's something elves are normally really good at. as pointed out by that other guy the curses are more for flavor. don't want to penalize the pc's before they start.
18th-Jan-2005 03:03 am (UTC)
I'm gonna go ahead and disagree with everyone.

I think the Elves in their folly sought the moon of water. They intended to return coastal areas to the see and flood villages to return enemies, buildings and the like to a state of nature. After all, water nourishes the plants and trees. They were cursed to never again feel the southing touch of water. Whenever they bathe, their skin itches. If they remain in water their skin feels as if it is on fire and they are treated as dazed until they dry off.

The Humans Went to the moon of Air. They sought the powers of the sky, to fly like eagles, swooping down and destroying their foes. They used elemental air to rain hurricanes and gales down on their enemies. They even smashed down the very trees and rocks of their enemies homelands. For their folly they were cursed to never leave the ground again. Humans cannot jump or fly, even with the aid of magic. Climb checks recieve a -2 penalty, and all humans suffer vertigo from height.
18th-Jan-2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
OK these ideas are trying to keep in line with the gnome impact on a civilisation you described:
If the elves went for air, how about their curse being severe fear of open spaces - agoraphobia (sp?). That would have a huge impact on their society - moving the main city into the denser forests, or cities with few open spaces. Would seem similar in line with the curse you have for the gnomes. Combined with the traditional elven love of nature and staring at the stars and hippy stuff, this would have large consequences for the race. Maybe some embraced the curse and went underground - becoming drow?

If humans went for water, then maybe the bounty of the seas is denied to them. Cultures and regions based on fishing fell apart, and humans were forced to move away from the coasts. With the sudden move of populous away from the coasts, monstrous races flourished there, making shipping and trading more difficult.
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