[HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

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[HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Havard » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:08 pm

I've been thinking about ways to make use of most of the books in the HR series as well as various related material. Here is one idea I have.

In some era (maybe the Gothic Earth's 19th Century or even later, but that is yet to be determined), a great evil threatens the earth. To defend itself, the Gods of the Great Pantheons created an artifact. This artifact can back heroes from different ages (Ancient Greece, Romans, Celts, Vikings, Charlemagne, Crusades, even Mighty Fortress and others!) to this time to fight. As the heroes of eras past are brought back to the world, they must first explore the world and learn why they were brought back into the world in the first place.

What do you think of this idea of a campaign allowing heroes from all ages to join in battle?

Do you think 19th Century is the best era for this type of game, making it a bit too similar to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen perhaps, or would you prefer a different era either in the past or the future?

What should be this enemy that is the reason for the heroes to have returned? Ideas?

-Havard
Last edited by Havard on Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [HR][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Dread Delgath » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:38 pm

I like the idea. A recent example of this was done by Dynamite comics and their Pathfinder: Woldscape 6 issue series.

In this series, Pathfinder heroes from other PF series and game-world (Golaria?) team up with the greatest Pulp heroes of 20th century fiction like Tarzan, John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Red Sonja and Tars Tarkas, as well as a few others I did not recognize.

A powerful demi-godlike wizard named Kulan Gath brought PF Golaria's heoes to Worldscape to compete in games to determine a champion worthy of wielding the Crown and Sceptre that would open the gate that would let everyone go home. This series could have gone on and explored more of this idea, but the 6 issue series felt rushed IMO. I would have loved to see these characters continue on in the Worldscape, but at least the ending was left open-ended enough to allow sequels.

Back to your idea of using the HR series... I assume you mean AD&D 2nd edition "Historical Reference" green soft-cover book series? I don't have them all, but I have enough that I could put together a campaign of the likes you suggest. I only wish I had the "Glory of Rome" or the "Age of Heroes" HR books, as either feature the best campaign setting for any displaced hero characters rolled up using the various HR books.

The heroes could travel to any/all of the HR settings; go aViking, go on a Wild Hunt with the Celts, be championed by Musketeers or defend the "Mighty Fortress", invade the Holy Land in the Crusades against the Saracens, or campaign in Europe as a knight of Charlemagne (and fight against the Vikings from HR1!), be a gladiatorial champion in the arena-pits of Ancient Rome, or knock boots with the amorous Greek gods and half-gods of the Age of Heroes! :shock: :lol:

I would probably have the "nexus" in Ancient Rome, as a demented Caesar presides over gladiatorial combat for some nefarious reason. This seems the most clichéd way to introduce the campaign, but players could either revel in the accolades of winning in the arena, or plan a revolt/escape and travel to other realms to discover why they are being manipulated.
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Havard » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:54 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:I like the idea. A recent example of this was done by Dynamite comics and their Pathfinder: Woldscape 6 issue series.

In this series, Pathfinder heroes from other PF series and game-world (Golaria?) team up with the greatest Pulp heroes of 20th century fiction like Tarzan, John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Red Sonja and Tars Tarkas, as well as a few others I did not recognize.

A powerful demi-godlike wizard named Kulan Gath brought PF Golaria's heoes to Worldscape to compete in games to determine a champion worthy of wielding the Crown and Sceptre that would open the gate that would let everyone go home. This series could have gone on and explored more of this idea, but the 6 issue series felt rushed IMO. I would have loved to see these characters continue on in the Worldscape, but at least the ending was left open-ended enough to allow sequels.


Thanks! Those comics look really great. I hope they release a TP down the line so I can buy the collection.


Back to your idea of using the HR series... I assume you mean AD&D 2nd edition "Historical Reference" green soft-cover book series? I don't have them all, but I have enough that I could put together a campaign of the likes you suggest. I only wish I had the "Glory of Rome" or the "Age of Heroes" HR books, as either feature the best campaign setting for any displaced hero characters rolled up using the various HR books.


Yes, I am indeed referring to those Green Covered 2nd Edition books. Sorry I didn't quite make that clear in the original post. I will try to edit it to make it more clear to others as well.

To clarify more, I didn't really mean that the players would take the role of specific historic characters, but just that they could use those books to make their characters based on. I don't know if you neeed all the books to run this campaign even. You could just make up some rules for characters from historical era X, but of course the main idea was how to make the most out of all the books in a single campaign :)

The heroes could travel to any/all of the HR settings; go aViking, go on a Wild Hunt with the Celts, be championed by Musketeers or defend the "Mighty Fortress", invade the Holy Land in the Crusades against the Saracens, or campaign in Europe as a knight of Charlemagne (and fight against the Vikings from HR1!), be a gladiatorial champion in the arena-pits of Ancient Rome, or knock boots with the amorous Greek gods and half-gods of the Age of Heroes! :shock: :lol:


Time travel is indeed a possibility, but it also opens up to a lot of headaches like paradoxes and such. If it was mainly characters being brought to a single era, we would not have to worry too much about things like that. It would also be possible for the "enemy" to bring his own champions through time to the nexus era. That way we can also make use of various monsters etc from each book.

I would probably have the "nexus" in Ancient Rome, as a demented Caesar presides over gladiatorial combat for some nefarious reason. This seems the most clichéd way to introduce the campaign, but players could either revel in the accolades of winning in the arena, or plan a revolt/escape and travel to other realms to discover why they are being manipulated.


Very cool! I did not consider using such an early era for the nexus point, but I really like this idea. There is something about Rome that lends itself naturally to being the center of events. One thing to consider with this scenario is that we will be bringing characters back from the future who might have knowledge of the fate of Rome. But it might not be something to worry too much about.


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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Dread Delgath » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:36 am

Havard wrote:To clarify more, I didn't really mean that the players would take the role of specific historic characters, but just that they could use those books to make their characters based on. I don't know if you neeed all the books to run this campaign even. You could just make up some rules for characters from historical era X, but of course the main idea was how to make the most out of all the books in a single campaign :)


Yes, I meant that players create characters using the various HR books at their disposal. I only have 4 of the HR books, and the Rome book is not one of them. :?

Havard wrote:Time travel is indeed a possibility, but it also opens up to a lot of headaches like paradoxes and such. If it was mainly characters being brought to a single era, we would not have to worry too much about things like that. It would also be possible for the "enemy" to bring his own champions through time to the nexus era. That way we can also make use of various monsters etc from each book.


Oh, I never worry about time paradoxes because there is no set 'history' after the era the players are currently in. I simply tell the players not to expect their characters to know as much as they do in Real Life.

If it came about that I'd have to switch time era milieus, I'd do minimal changes anyway, except for a few localized effects - and if its not the characters' home era, they'd never know the difference anyway. The players might notice something off historically, but any of my games set in Earth's past is bound to be historically inaccurate! :lol:

Havard wrote:Very cool! I did not consider using such an early era for the nexus point, but I really like this idea. There is something about Rome that lends itself naturally to being the center of events. One thing to consider with this scenario is that we will be bringing characters back from the future who might have knowledge of the fate of Rome. But it might not be something to worry too much about.


As they do say, "All roads lead to Rome!" :cool:

I've been dying to design a Blue Oyster Cult themed campaign loosely based on the main characters of the album "Imaginos", or rather their extensive library dating back to their first album for years, but have never really written anything down. There is nothing Rome specific in any of this, (as far as I recall up to and including the last album I bought "Imaginos") but there is a magical mirror recovered by a ship's captain in the 1400's from the jungles of South America called the "Magna of Illusion" and it may be the key to the 'nexus of the crisis, and the origin of Storms' as the song "Astronomy" reveals.

It all seems so TORG-like, and however much I admired the idea of a TORG campaign, I really hated the system. :evil: I'd much rather use D&D 5th edition for this. :mrgreen:
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Yaztromo » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:22 am

How about an adventure similar to "Where Chaos reigns" (gods call you up in that adventure as well and there is quite a lot of travelling between eras too)?
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Dread Delgath » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:29 am

Yaztromo wrote:How about an adventure similar to "Where Chaos reigns" (gods call you up in that adventure as well and there is quite a lot of travelling between eras too)?


I would have an easier experience of suspension of disbelief if there was a high level/high tech agent/agency with the power to jump from world to world, or travel in time - not working directly for any deity. However, for BECMI, an Immortal might fill this role, as I do not equate Immortal and deities as the same. (I believe that characters and their quests are beneath the notice of any deity who would deign to involve/interfere with said character's life on that sort of level, unless the character were of considerable high level - 15th level or higher, and I've witnessed a lot of DMs & players who do this at 1st level; something I hate as a player because I feel like my PC is being railroaded into doing something against his will - and a 1st level character refusing to go along with the 'request/mission/quest/favor/butt-kissing' of a deity is suicide-by-DM.)

No Sir. I don't like it.

;)
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Yaztromo » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:52 pm

Where Chaos reigns is a high level adventure. :)
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Big Mac » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:23 pm

Havard wrote:In some era (maybe the Gothic Earth's 19th Century or even later, but that is yet to be determined), a great evil threatens the earth. To defend itself, the Gods of the Great Pantheons created an artifact. This artifact can back heroes from different ages (Ancient Greece, Romans, Celts, Vikings, Charlemagne, Crusades, even Mighty Fortress and others!) to this time to fight. As the heroes of eras past are brought back to the world, they must first explore the world and learn why they were brought back into the world in the first place.


I think I've got a clue how that artefact might bring people like Romans back from the past! :)
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby RobJN » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:03 pm

Hmm, ancient hero summoning? Why not add some magical pseudo-tarot, and maybe a wish-granting Holy Grail?

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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Dread Delgath » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:31 pm

Yaztromo wrote:Where Chaos reigns is a high level adventure. :)


I think... no, I do have a copy of it, and I might have skimmed through it once or twice. IIRC its a CM module? (Companion/Master level, I think...)

Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:In some era (maybe the Gothic Earth's 19th Century or even later, but that is yet to be determined), a great evil threatens the earth. To defend itself, the Gods of the Great Pantheons created an artifact. This artifact can back heroes from different ages (Ancient Greece, Romans, Celts, Vikings, Charlemagne, Crusades, even Mighty Fortress and others!) to this time to fight. As the heroes of eras past are brought back to the world, they must first explore the world and learn why they were brought back into the world in the first place.


I think I've got a clue how that artefact might bring people like Romans back from the past! :)


Ha! :D

How about Artifacts, my focus is on the plural. I think a simple gate would work just as well. No need to go into a lot of detail, unless the artifact(s) are going to be a major part of each leg of the campaign. As a Maguffin, each gate could take a different form, like Harry Potter's portkeys. If they were all the same sort of gate, it gets a little too much like StarGate for my tastes. (Unless that's what you want to aim for...) ;)

We might be splitting into different ideas here, but my main idea is to expo each HR setting as separate legs of the same campaign, whereas Havard might be thinking of simply drawing characters from each HR and setting them all in one place for the entire campaign. Each has advantages, although traipsing about each HR era will require a lot more work.

I go sandbox route, however, and the gating artifact would be the Maguffin to start and end each leg (era), and let the players explore or campaign as much and hard as they want in each era, to get the full cultural experience before blowing it up, or defeating the BigBad that wraps up each leg and traveling to the next one.

Oh, also ran: I just remembered that I bought a board-game called Kill Shakespeare by IDW. It is based on a comic book series of the same name, and it gathers many of Shakespeare's heroes & heroines to one place and they must stop King Richard III and Lady MacBeth from finding and killing the Bard Himself. I haven't fully read the rules yet, or even popped out the hundreds of game pieces, but it looks like a fun game playable in under an hour or two.

This is another great example of time/era heroes being brought to one place to accomplish something to go back home, or save the world.
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby thorr-kan » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:37 pm

Seeds of Evil, Dragon #249. How To...combine Masque and HR.
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby ripvanwormer » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:58 pm

An idea that I've been trying to work out in my head is using Testament (Green Ronin's sourcebook for ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Palestine) and Anger of Angels (Malhavoc Press's sourcebook for angelic PCs) as a basis for a group of angel (and/or fallen angel) PCs, beginning in the Biblical era, in a single campaign that spans a variety of historical epochs. Since angels are ageless, the same group of PCs could undergo a series of missions in ancient times (before and after the Flood), the Carolingian era, the Crusades, the Reformation, the Victorian era and so on without time travel as a necessary component. The same antagonists could reappear, in different guises, in each era. Having them battle the Red Death and its servants in different eras might work too.
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Yaztromo » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:49 am

Dread Delgath wrote:
Yaztromo wrote:Where Chaos reigns is a high level adventure. :)


I think... no, I do have a copy of it, and I might have skimmed through it once or twice. IIRC its a CM module? (Companion/Master level, I think...)

CM6, I played it over 25 years ago... :P one of my best roleplaying memories... ;)
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby ripvanwormer » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:07 am

Another idea: the PCs are heroes from ancient Greece, each with enough divine ichor in their veins that they don't age. This isn't really a thing in Greek mythology, where demigods age and die as mortals unless they're made into full gods, but if you're willing to go with the premise you could have these ancient Greek semi-deities show up again in ancient Rome, in Carolingian France, in Elizabethian England, etc., battling rival demigods and monsters who take on new identities in each era.

In Robert Holdstock's novel Celtika, Merlin is initially a friend of Jason and the Argonauts and he faces Medea again in King Arthur's time.

Idea three: Heroes who travel to Faerie come back to find that centuries have passed in the mortal world when only hours or days passed in Faerie. Heroes in ancient Greece spend an evening's revels with satyrs and nymphs and leave the forest glade to find themselves in the era of the Empire of Rome. In Gaul, spirits worshiped by the Celts pull them into Faerie once again and they reemerge centuries later, after Rome has fallen...

The villain in this case could be a minor Greek sylvan deity who becomes a ruler of the unseelie hosts in later eras.
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby ripvanwormer » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:08 am

STILL ANOTHER IDEA:

The players are allowed to create characters from any era. Medieval, ancient times, modern times, the far future... whenever.

Regardless of who they are, the PCs all awaken in a vast, strangely-shaped room filled "curious and inexplicable utensils of myriad sorts." Surrounding them are bizarre beings, roughly cone-shaped, iridescent, towering ten feet in height, with clawed appendages, orbs and stalks.

To their horror, the PCs slowly realize they, too, now inhabit similar bodies.

Many will come to the conclusion they are in Hell, or some other underworld. Optimists may choose to believe these beings are angels or benign gods. More modern types may assume they've been abducted by extraterrestrials.

In truth, these entities are the the Great Race of Yith, from H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time."

The Yithians explain to the PCs the situation: at some point, during the Anthropocene, the human epoch of Earth's history, a great evil was released into the world. A memetic infestation, a cancer in the substance of reality, an idea attempting to metastasize itself into an all-powerful god. At times it has been known as the Red Death.

If left unchecked, it will infect the entire solar system and use human-created ships to infect countless other stars. It will never end.

The Yithians have projected themselves into countless future timelines, and the only ones worth inhabiting are the ones where the Red Death was stopped during the Anthropocene. Yithians have no desire to inhabit human bodies in the long term, although they have agents and exiled scattered throughout human history. But in epochs to come, long after humans have departed from the Sol system, the Yithians have identified a race of beetle-like creatures as the future of their race. This race won't exist if the Red Death has its way.

In those few timelines where the Red Death was stopped, one solution has worked more often than most: champions have been gathered from throughout the human era, more attuned than Yithians to operations within the Anthropocene. Humans would call them "heroes." The Yithians will project the minds of these heroes into suitable hosts at critical historical turning points, times and places when the Red Death can be defeated.

As a reward for success, the Yithians can send the PCs back to their own times or into a utopian era created by their efforts, or permit them to remain within the Yithian era and learn their alien sorceries and science, if they're weird enough to be into that.

If the PCs fail at a particular turning point, their next mission might be in a darker timeline. Or they might start out in the darkest timeline and things might get progressively lighter as they score victories against the dark. Missions need not be linear. A post-nuclear wasteland full of mutants and demons may be retroactively eliminated by a later mission in the cyberpunk dystopia that preceded it. Their enemies might discover their own methods of traveling through history. The PCs may have to change famous historical events, with the implication that history as the players know it is terribly wrong. They might have to assassinate Queen Victoria or rescue Napoleon Bonaparte, join forces with the robot spiders in the War Against the Robot Spiders, bind Merlin in his cave, impersonate Patroclus, dethrone Kull the Conqueror, or bring critical knowledge to the necromancers of Zothique. There might be opposing factions within the Great Race of Yith, and it may turn out that those steering the PCs through time have themselves become corrupted, requiring the PCs to backtrack and oppose their own past selves when they realize their victories have been making things worse. They might have to find alternate means of traveling through time after the Yithians become unreliable. Lots of possibilities.
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Re: [HRef][MotRD] Campaign Idea: Champions of the Ages

Postby Angel Tarragon » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:58 am

Damn, Rip. That is ten levels of awesome and more.

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