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Dungeon Architects Guild

Cognisant

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A thread for brainstorming quest/adventure/campaign ideas, go into as little or as in-depth detail as you like.

Intelligent Items
The party discovers some magical items and each of these items become bound to whoever picks them up (i.e. they're cursed items, players can't remove them from their inventory, if the item is removed from the character they die) and in this dungeon or the next the party is wiped out, ideally by some sort of easy to spot but mercilessly effective trap. For example the party encounters an old dwarven vault and when they enter it some hidden enemies quickly close and lock the vault door behind them then open a valve that fills the vault with water, drowning the party within. When the enemies (lets say goblins) open the vault and loot the bodies the cursed items, which now contain the souls of the party, bind to and possess the goblins thus giving the party a new chance at life, as the goblins who killed them (no class levels just vanilla goblin stats). Maybe there's more goblins other than the party members, maybe they try to kill them, maybe they don't, in any case as they're exiting the cave/dungeon/whatever they encounter another party of adventurers entering, if the party is killed by them and looted the players take over the bodies of these adventurers.

The point of this is to put the players in the position of roleplaying imposters, as goblins they might try to blend in to the goblin tribe and it would be interesting to see what that's like, or as the adventurers who killed them they have to interact with party members who aren't party of the original party, and what happens when the party meets these adventurer's friends and families?

This ability to possess people is incredibly powerful, as long as nobody knows about it, and since it is magic (very dark magic at that) every wizard with Detect Magic is going to notice something is going on and paladins with Detect Evil will be getting sudden justice boners, so it's of paramount important that the players roleplay well because it'll only take a few exposed imposters in the same town before people start deducing what's going on.
 

Hadoblado

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I like the idea, it'd be great fun for a short campaign. You'd have to be an exceptionally flexible DM, and the chaotic members of your party are going to have a much better time of it. You're giving the party a sandbox in which they get to play any character (that is willing to kill them) and see what they can do with it.

What happens to the soul of the person that kills you? Trapped in the item? Given to whoever created them in the first place?
 

Cognisant

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I assumed they're just dead but I really like that idea that their souls are being stolen by some extra-planar entity, gives the players a reason to try and uncurse themselves before they cause some kind of cataclysm.

Also just because someone kills them doesn't mean that person will loot the body, I'm a big fan of tragic unintended consequences.
 

Cognisant

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The Terminator
An adamantine skeleton with red glowing eye sockets is stalking the party, it’s tireless, practically invincible, incredibly strong, highly resistant to magic, and fortunately it’s quite slow. The point of this is that the party can never stop moving for long and when they get away from it there’s no telling when it’s going to catch up to them (it always knows where they are) and when it does it’s smart enough to set traps and hide itself in places only a skeleton could hide.

The party are walking along a dirt road in the rain and as they walk by a muddy puddle a skeletal arm bursts out and grabs one of them by the hem of their cloak, the skeleton had dug a hole in the road and filled it with muddy water then sat inside waiting for the party to pass by.

As the party board a ship one of the longshoremen ask the party’s strongest member to help them carry a particularly heavy barrel of wine aboard, once at sea they finally relax, surely that heavy metal skeleton can’t swim out to them. That night the skeleton bursts out of the barrel and goes on a bloody rampage until the party either abandon ship or find some way to push it into the sea.

The party hear about a necromancer terrorizing a village and go investigate, they encounter someone in a plague doctor’s outfit who at the sight of them flees through a door and locks it behind him. The party forcibly enter the wooden building and start searching, they find parts of the plague doctor’s outfit scattered about, eventually the search the basement and as they do they hear a crash and whoosh from upstairs. As they ascend the skeleton appears at the top of the stairs, backed by fire which is rapidly spreading through the old wooden house.
 

travelnjones

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There was a TORG game that I was reading about. The gm had a major villain banished into an intelligent item sort of as a contingency plan. The players then took that item which constantly cause problems for the unwitting party. Something like that sounded awful fun for the DM.
 

Cognisant

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Realm of Nightmares
Basically the idea is that there's some place where the party can't rest because whenever they do they're haunted by nightmares (the thing that happens when you sleep, not the flaming demonic steed) this place could be a dungeon, an island, a country, or the BBEG's ever expanding sphere of influence. It could even be a nightmare dimension, the dimension itself being relatively peaceful on account of nothing but the most literally brainless monsters being able to live there, anyone trapped there quickly realizes that it's a death sentence, unless perhaps you can do that elven meditation thing.

Money Money Money
Inspired by Goblin Slayer, have the party struggle to find worthwhile quests, there's plenty of vermin slaying quests available that pay measly amounts, or go the Cowboy Bebop route and have decent paying quests but they're uncommon, the party has a wealth of downtime and are forced to budget their limited resources accordingly. Alternatively have the party obtain a huge fortune easily (inheritance, lottery, lucky find) but they've got nothing worthwhile to spend it on, magical items are exceedingly rare (effectively priceless), the economics/politics of the time are too primitive for venture capitalism (an investment portfolio wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on) so figuring out what to do with the money and how to keep it safe until they do becomes the goal of the campaign.
 
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