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DND campaign set in Anthos

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Hey everyone, hope you and your loved ones are well amidst this quarantine.  

 

I'm looking to spit ball ideas for a DnD campaign to run for my friends that takes place in Anthos. A few of them are past players, and a few of them aren't. For those of you who played Anthos, what are some story hooks you think would translate well to DnD. For those who didn't play back then, do you have any ideas for a smaller campaign to start, that would then lead into a larger world ending type arche. 

 

Also, any DMs in here that have advice for writing compelling, non railroady campaigns? I want them to interact and build there own story similar to what makes the server so great. But I also need things for them to do. 

 

I'm familiar with my source material here, and I want the first campaign to take place predominantly in the human realm. I have a good cast of characters I'm familiar with, and location wise I already have a lot written down. If I ever get this ambitious thing done and it goes over well with my players, I'll be sure to share it here for you to run with your friends, imaginary or otherwise. 

 

Cheers, love you. 

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Anthos is entirely under water though. . .

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A few perspectives from a player who hand a hand in most aspects of that map;

 

- Magic was very limited but growing. Voidal mages were rare and in their beginning stages. Only a few practitioners of each type existed. Dark magic wasn’t a big thing among players. Cultural magic such as shamanism, golemancy, druidism, were probably the most prominent. 

 

- There was a long history of tension between high elves and Malinor but they coexisted/cohabitated more than they do now.

 

- Salvus, once the hub for Human RP, was eventually conquered by Orcs and turned to a desert via their shamans.

 

- the furthest tip of Anthos is a swamp

 

- The Delver War against Malinor was a hot topic!

 

- Human RP was Human RP ( but a lot happened so be sure to ask around). The war of the White Rose in particular.

 

- Eastern Humans were a really big thing it seemed. Samurai?

 

- The dwarves had the deep roads (ask someone about this cuz idk)

 

- Mage College existed atop a magical node that made everything under the keep into a swirling reality mess. This was the first of its kind to be rightly studied.

 

- Dwarves and High elves had tensions over golemancy, which was originally dwarven magic but given to the helves secretly (can you say high elven golem ranger??)

 

- the northern ice wall was a full circle around that gigantic biome. It was unscalable & had one entrance. When it was breached the forces discovered the Bohra, a race of tribal boar-men, who once inhabited a vast northern empire. They were obsessed with Thanhium (blue magic ore that draws in mana and freezes the area around it). Some Bohra priests could manipulate the ore to use in magic (was never lore explained. Only a single character did this). 

 

- Thanhium is LoTC’s gold in terms of a Dragon’s horde. Dragon-kin inhabited the North and were discovered to be the ones who destroyed the ancient bohra empire. The biome had tons of full scale dungeons & explorable ruins/treasures. 
 

- Setherien (i honestly cannot remember their origion other than them being a dragonkin corrupted by iblees) had a realm called the red realm. Inside was a vast wasteland of corruption and curses where his armies were cultivated & bred. He eventually opened a gateway in the north and conquered the tribal bohra. In his wake many other descendants were abducted and corrupted into mutilated versions of themselves.


- there were different ranks (i may look on my laptop tomorrow for the file) but essentially you had engineers, grunts, assassins, brutes, and then a council of red cloaked monsters. All characterized by oozing, metal-grafted flesh. 
 

- eventually Setherien’s commanding forces were perfected into ice wraith lords (they looked like LoTR wraiths but with ice & draining magic)

 

- The descendants marched upon the red realm and waged war upon it. They eventually won but soon after a cataclysmic event caused the continent to be washed away by a flood. Forcing them to escape through a portal to the Fringe

 

bohra basic lore: excuse the first part. It’s so old and outdated who cares who reads it x] also sorry it is black text. You will have to copy it?

 

Idc what kinda campaign you are doing. Just make sure that everyone knows about Iatrilemar Elervathar creating Arcanism! 

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23 minutes ago, Knox said:

Anthos is entirely under water though. . .

 

I'm just taking the source material and moulding it to a campaign. Pre exodus anthos is the setting, white rose as a possible antagonist. The empire will still be unified under Godfrey. Does king Heinrik approve?

 

@BrandNewKitten

 

Thanks for all the lore, I want the over arching story to do with the return of iblees in some capacity. Ideally, while they waste time squabbling in inter race politics, the real menace grows in the north. So everything GoT should have been ?. I was on the ET during the antagonist events but I forgot most of the lore, that's super helpful to have. 

 

As for magic in the world, I gotta take some creative license because I want it to play like a traditional dnd game. Magic wont be abundant, but every kingdom will have its court mage, and a few battle mages to boot. Elves will be the highest magical authority, high elves especially. I'm gonna keep Haelun'or locked from them, and have the rest of the map mostly explorable. Ideally I'll steer them towards humans and salvus since that's where I'm most comfortable.

 

I love the idea of a conflict between helves and dwarves about golemancy, thats exactly the kind of hook I'm looking for. Also was thinking of a murder dungeon plot starring Slic3mans Jester character. For salvus, I want Kingston to be the hub players think of as home, and if it does get destroyed I want it to be as a cause of their actions. Possibly in doing quests to help out the white rose, or quests to help out the orcs. Or even vice versa if they decide to ally with other sides. For global politics, I think the WR will be my catalyst, with their toll roads by lenfarthing, attacks on malinor, and general military prowess.

 

One of the ideas I'm really toying with is having them ally with the halflings, since people generally gravitate towards their kind. I could have Knox the murderer posing as the pumpkin lord, and even do a religious rift plot with newer halflings worshipping the tater lord. 

 

 

Also gonna be adding a migrant race of lizardfolk in the swamps down south. I'll shoehorn in any DnD lore to best suit the game. I'm not even gonna include Asulon, the whole of history will be in Anthos. 

 

Good to still see you kicking about BNK, thanks for the ideas.

 

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The activity of the Black Scourage, the Boh’ra, and the Mage’s Guild. 

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1 hour ago, aron. said:

 

I'm just taking the source material and moulding it to a campaign. Pre exodus anthos is the setting, white rose as a possible antagonist. The empire will still be unified under Godfrey. Does king Heinrik approve?

 

@BrandNewKitten

 

Thanks for all the lore, I want the over arching story to do with the return of iblees in some capacity. Ideally, while they waste time squabbling in inter race politics, the real menace grows in the north. So everything GoT should have been ?. I was on the ET during the antagonist events but I forgot most of the lore, that's super helpful to have. 

 

As for magic in the world, I gotta take some creative license because I want it to play like a traditional dnd game. Magic wont be abundant, but every kingdom will have its court mage, and a few battle mages to boot. Elves will be the highest magical authority, high elves especially. I'm gonna keep Haelun'or locked from them, and have the rest of the map mostly explorable. Ideally I'll steer them towards humans and salvus since that's where I'm most comfortable.

 

I love the idea of a conflict between helves and dwarves about golemancy, thats exactly the kind of hook I'm looking for. Also was thinking of a murder dungeon plot starring Slic3mans Jester character. For salvus, I want Kingston to be the hub players think of as home, and if it does get destroyed I want it to be as a cause of their actions. Possibly in doing quests to help out the white rose, or quests to help out the orcs. Or even vice versa if they decide to ally with other sides. For global politics, I think the WR will be my catalyst, with their toll roads by lenfarthing, attacks on malinor, and general military prowess.

 

One of the ideas I'm really toying with is having them ally with the halflings, since people generally gravitate towards their kind. I could have Knox the murderer posing as the pumpkin lord, and even do a religious rift plot with newer halflings worshipping the tater lord. 

 

 

Also gonna be adding a migrant race of lizardfolk in the swamps down south. I'll shoehorn in any DnD lore to best suit the game. I'm not even gonna include Asulon, the whole of history will be in Anthos. 

 

Good to still see you kicking about BNK, thanks for the ideas.

 

 

could be fun, let me know how it pans out!

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Iblees didn’t return until the next realm, Athera, after we accidentally let him out of his confinement within an ancient dwarven metropolis. 
 

Clerical/Paladin magic was a thing in the human kingdoms but as a DM I would limit other magic unless you find a lore reason for it to be there. Maybe they were beginning magic training but the mage’s guild kicked them out? In Anthos a great surge of magic allowed many to self-teach magic. This expanded into a metaphorical tsunami of self-teaching during the fringe. 

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Drop me a msg on disc with any questions, i’ll help you out since its DND

 

Knox213#7718

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My absolute favorite reference for DM insight is the brilliant Matt Colville’s series Running The Game (yes it’s very long, pick and choose if you like) which covers numerous broad and specific areas of DMing and is chock-full of helpful wisdom; I taught a friend and my brother to DM through Matt’s series and occasional reference of Web DM, a similar channel.

 

BNK (❤️) covered a lot of things that came to mind but some additional threads could include:

 

-The rise of necromancy, the first resurgence of some kind of dark magic after Iblees’ fall in Aegis (not counting Asulon’s event-grade blood magic) which is therein unrelated to Iblees and is far less fiery and much more gritty and black. Its appearance quickly sparks conflict with the Tahariae clerics and over time their arms race leads to the creation of necrotic wraiths (nazgul-esque) and itharel (Diablo-esque angels, i.e. Tyrael) who clash repeatedly for centuries to come. Eventually ghouls (player zombies essentially) are engineered as better undead than truly mindless temporarily raised zombies and grow in numbers while liches (note that at the time liches couldn’t be necromancers so they were always highly potent Void mages) become somewhat more popular as well. Both served under the wraiths and the necro-cleric conflict leads to a large increase in tension and damage in Malinor since the necromancers were hidden in a barrow east of the northernmost tip of Malinor.

 

-The Perfectionist, a deeply mysterious mute mime murderer (unintentional alliteration) terrorizes various human settlements before disappearing for a time and resurfacing as the first user of newfound necromancy and leader of the necromancer coven. By strange pact-like terms he is ‘friends’/allies with the aforementioned Knox as well as a small handful of other deeply insidious murderers in an underworld society called ‘the tea party’ rooted in Abresi.

 

-Apparitions are discovered, those being incredibly powerful ghost-like entities comprised of many souls formed from a single mass death event such as a cave in, battle, ritual suicide, etc, who lay still in dark places near their place of death like a crypt or cave and attack those who disturb their peace. The most intelligent yet encountered has its residing pillar destroyed and in the night it flees north wherein the Black Scourge (maybe Glurtzfolok at the time, hard to remember: the antagonists) commune with it and it enters their ranks.

 

-At one point the Black Scourge take their flying citadel and seat it over Cloud Temple and kill monks and Descendants and eventually push them out, destroying the temple which is then relocated eastward by the main road. The citadel gets chained to the ground and from it the Harbingers and various minions descend from it to dredge out a mine underneath the temple to find the Door of Eternity, the path to the Fringe.

 

 

There’s plenty more but I can’t recall it all at this moment.

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6 hours ago, Zarsies said:

My absolute favorite reference for DM insight is the brilliant Matt Colville’s series Running The Game (yes it’s very long, pick and choose if you like) which covers numerous broad and specific areas of DMing and is chock-full of helpful wisdom; I taught a friend and my brother to DM through Matt’s series and occasional reference of Web DM, a similar channel.

 

BNK (❤️) covered a lot of things that came to mind but some additional threads could include:

 

-The rise of necromancy, the first resurgence of some kind of dark magic after Iblees’ fall in Aegis (not counting Asulon’s event-grade blood magic) which is therein unrelated to Iblees and is far less fiery and much more gritty and black. Its appearance quickly sparks conflict with the Tahariae clerics and over time their arms race leads to the creation of necrotic wraiths (nazgul-esque) and itharel (Diablo-esque angels, i.e. Tyrael) who clash repeatedly for centuries to come. Eventually ghouls (player zombies essentially) are engineered as better undead than truly mindless temporarily raised zombies and grow in numbers while liches (note that at the time liches couldn’t be necromancers so they were always highly potent Void mages) become somewhat more popular as well. Both served under the wraiths and the necro-cleric conflict leads to a large increase in tension and damage in Malinor since the necromancers were hidden in a barrow east of the northernmost tip of Malinor.

 

-The Perfectionist, a deeply mysterious mute mime murderer (unintentional alliteration) terrorizes various human settlements before disappearing for a time and resurfacing as the first user of newfound necromancy and leader of the necromancer coven. By strange pact-like terms he is ‘friends’/allies with the aforementioned Knox as well as a small handful of other deeply insidious murderers in an underworld society called ‘the tea party’ rooted in Abresi.

 

-Apparitions are discovered, those being incredibly powerful ghost-like entities comprised of many souls formed from a single mass death event such as a cave in, battle, ritual suicide, etc, who lay still in dark places near their place of death like a crypt or cave and attack those who disturb their peace. The most intelligent yet encountered has its residing pillar destroyed and in the night it flees north wherein the Black Scourge (maybe Glurtzfolok at the time, hard to remember: the antagonists) commune with it and it enters their ranks.

 

-At one point the Black Scourge take their flying citadel and seat it over Cloud Temple and kill monks and Descendants and eventually push them out, destroying the temple which is then relocated eastward by the main road. The citadel gets chained to the ground and from it the Harbingers and various minions descend from it to dredge out a mine underneath the temple to find the Door of Eternity, the path to the Fringe.

 

 

There’s plenty more but I can’t recall it al

6 hours ago, Zarsies said:

My absolute favorite reference for DM insight is the brilliant Matt Colville’s series Running The Game (yes it’s very long, pick and choose if you like) which covers numerous broad and specific areas of DMing and is chock-full of helpful wisdom; I taught a friend and my brother to DM through Matt’s series and occasional reference of Web DM, a similar channel.

 

BNK (❤️) covered a lot of things that came to mind but some additional threads could include:

 

-The rise of necromancy, the first resurgence of some kind of dark magic after Iblees’ fall in Aegis (not counting Asulon’s event-grade blood magic) which is therein unrelated to Iblees and is far less fiery and much more gritty and black. Its appearance quickly sparks conflict with the Tahariae clerics and over time their arms race leads to the creation of necrotic wraiths (nazgul-esque) and itharel (Diablo-esque angels, i.e. Tyrael) who clash repeatedly for centuries to come. Eventually ghouls (player zombies essentially) are engineered as better undead than truly mindless temporarily raised zombies and grow in numbers while liches (note that at the time liches couldn’t be necromancers so they were always highly potent Void mages) become somewhat more popular as well. Both served under the wraiths and the necro-cleric conflict leads to a large increase in tension and damage in Malinor since the necromancers were hidden in a barrow east of the northernmost tip of Malinor.

 

-The Perfectionist, a deeply mysterious mute mime murderer (unintentional alliteration) terrorizes various human settlements before disappearing for a time and resurfacing as the first user of newfound necromancy and leader of the necromancer coven. By strange pact-like terms he is ‘friends’/allies with the aforementioned Knox as well as a small handful of other deeply insidious murderers in an underworld society called ‘the tea party’ rooted in Abresi.

 

-Apparitions are discovered, those being incredibly powerful ghost-like entities comprised of many souls formed from a single mass death event such as a cave in, battle, ritual suicide, etc, who lay still in dark places near their place of death like a crypt or cave and attack those who disturb their peace. The most intelligent yet encountered has its residing pillar destroyed and in the night it flees north wherein the Black Scourge (maybe Glurtzfolok at the time, hard to remember: the antagonists) commune with it and it enters their ranks.

 

-At one point the Black Scourge take their flying citadel and seat it over Cloud Temple and kill monks and Descendants and eventually push them out, destroying the temple which is then relocated eastward by the main road. The citadel gets chained to the ground and from it the Harbingers and various minions descend from it to dredge out a mine underneath the temple to find the Door of Eternity, the path to the Fringe.

 

 

There’s plenty more but I can’t recall it all at this moment.

l at this moment.

 

The perfectionist! Forgot about that guy! Used to terrorize us in Salvus. Also decided I'm going to run with the bohra, I think that's a good plot device. 

 

Do you or anyone remember Dokahns character The Lion? That guy was badass, I am totally gonna add him in. 

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as a gm running a few open campaigns you should be prepared a lot to improvise. Come up with dialogue thats engaging and building characters that players can be emotionally manipulated or attached to. Learn to multitask efficiently and split your brain into cores of where you can consider improvisations, how the players are interpreting your actions, what youre actions are meant to interpret, and how your actions are coming off. I found roleplaying is extremely good for the prior mentioned, if you get really into it; you should aswell get to know the characters before and during the campaign to write dialogue that may prod or engage them. If a player merely shows up with “Big Chungus” the fighter, then they may; but for the person who designs a character with clear thought and an open story, you can provide a lot that may develop them and cause them to become a lot more in love than initially thought. Aswell, provide hooks. An extremely important thing to do is that given “Unlimited ways to tackle a situation”, players will pick the most direct out of cautiousness typically. I found that providing hooks, or leads, into different options of how to tackle a plan is a splendid idea. Perhaps while you’re stalking a noble your group plans to secretly kill, the questgiver encourages “learning his routine” or “hes got a terrible cough, i think he takes medicine for it”, and provide options that are hidden from the easy-eye but a prying-eye would find such quite easily, it really makes the players feel smart, and I feel that is the most rewarding feeling playing tabletop. 

Overall
Invest your players in the campaign
invest your players in their characters, and your characters
make the players feel smart, and like they have ultimate control over their surroundings and the world around them
use writing that allows you to improvise and think of ways to connect point A to point B, and as an aftersession consider what their actions may lead to if they divert from course 

Best of luck GMing, I hope my advice helps- im currently gming 3 homebrew-setting pathfinder sessions, and these are points I take a lot from; alongside others, like quality writing and storylining, etc

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7 hours ago, SquakHawk said:

as a gm running a few open campaigns you should be prepared a lot to improvise. Come up with dialogue thats engaging and building characters that players can be emotionally manipulated or attached to. Learn to multitask efficiently and split your brain into cores of where you can consider improvisations, how the players are interpreting your actions, what youre actions are meant to interpret, and how your actions are coming off. I found roleplaying is extremely good for the prior mentioned, if you get really into it; you should aswell get to know the characters before and during the campaign to write dialogue that may prod or engage them. If a player merely shows up with “Big Chungus” the fighter, then they may; but for the person who designs a character with clear thought and an open story, you can provide a lot that may develop them and cause them to become a lot more in love than initially thought. Aswell, provide hooks. An extremely important thing to do is that given “Unlimited ways to tackle a situation”, players will pick the most direct out of cautiousness typically. I found that providing hooks, or leads, into different options of how to tackle a plan is a splendid idea. Perhaps while you’re stalking a noble your group plans to secretly kill, the questgiver encourages “learning his routine” or “hes got a terrible cough, i think he takes medicine for it”, and provide options that are hidden from the easy-eye but a prying-eye would find such quite easily, it really makes the players feel smart, and I feel that is the most rewarding feeling playing tabletop. 

Overall
Invest your players in the campaign
invest your players in their characters, and your characters
make the players feel smart, and like they have ultimate control over their surroundings and the world around them
use writing that allows you to improvise and think of ways to connect point A to point B, and as an aftersession consider what their actions may lead to if they divert from course 

Best of luck GMing, I hope my advice helps- im currently gming 3 homebrew-setting pathfinder sessions, and these are points I take a lot from; alongside others, like quality writing and storylining, etc

 

Thanks for the advice, it's very helpful. My goal right now is to amass enough hooks, so that my party can do virtually whatever they want, and I can just roll with it. I like the idea of presenting an open book to problem solving. My most satisfying moments as a character have all been from figuring out something on my own, and getting innovative with spells or other means. 

 

How do you go about making hooks serve a larger narrative? I dont want to railroad my party on a larger quest without giving them room to explore. I also dont want a series of meaningless mini plots that only serve to keep them busy? Maybe I just turn smaller hooks into full fledged plots if I find they are investing in it?

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On 4/2/2020 at 8:37 AM, Zarsies said:


YES! The type of knowledge dump we all craved! Let’s write a frickin book about Anthos, bud!!

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