Friday, January 12, 2018

Using Unusual Mini Campaign Settings For Your OId School Campaigns

Many of otherworldly adventures  & Weird Tales promises  of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea  game often seem a bit pedestrian for the average experienced jaded old school Dungeons & Dragons players. But a gift of a paperback book from last night's game might help to make a mini campaign setting with a twist or two.

A Comet by Jules Verne 1964 Ace D 245

So during last night's game I was gifted a paperback of 'Off On A Comet' By Jules Verne which is an old favorite novel of mine ( the anti Semtic bits are totally unnecessary to the novel & are not my cup of tea at all). The idea of the novel got me thinking again of doing a mini campaign setting which is one part of the novel & one part Arthur C. Clark's Rendezvous With Rama thrown into a blender with Swords & Sorcery plus Clark Ashton Smith. 

The idea here is that there is a remnant of Atlantis & Hyperborea that has become a part of a comet various cultures have been swept up to become a part of this comet worldlet. This includes some very alien cultures from across the scattered multiverse mixed in with a variety of human ones. In fact I'm thinking of miniature human cities perhaps something akin to some of H.G. Wells more advanced humanoid ones from When The Sleeper wakes.

An illustration from Jules Verne's novel "Off on a Comet" (French: "Hector Servadac", 1877) drawn by Paul Dominique Philippoteaux.

At the moment this is an idea that I'm toying with but the long term weird forces of the comet may have picked up literally hundreds of ruins, temples, & dungeons over thousands of years of activity. This leads to temples from Greyhawk, towers from Blackmoor, & much more.

Great Comet of 1577

  This could also lead to using some of the more obscure old school monsters from either the Fiend Folio or Monster Manual. Could this comet be a part of the cause of the world ending events of both Blackmoor & Greyhawk? I think that these apocalyptic images would translate into both a mythical & legendary background where the supposed riches & lost treasures could well be a large temptation for adventurers. Getting off of the comet is another story however.
Astronomy: various apocalyptic scenes, including a comet, lightning, and French soldiers. Coloured lithograph, n.d. [c.1847?] Welcome images.

Could there be much more going on within the interior dungeons of the comet itself? Could there be deeper secrets within the alien interior of the comet. Several of the entries in the Greyhawk box set hint at various gods & powers taking very specific interests within the solar system of Greyhawk itself. So chances are that there could be far more going on than at first it seems.

Many of these interior comet dungeons could hint at some of the secrets of lesser known demons, gods, alien Lovecraftian entities that have been hinted about in various classic modules. Yes I'm thinking of the classic T1 Temple of Elemental Evil here. Here the comet's interior might be serving as a prison for one of the other  Chthonic gods or demons of the Elemental Evil horde.

This idea right at the moment is within its infancy & so these ideas are as much a sounding board as they are something to mine right now. This may change as I tighten & mess with some of them as I get closer to using them.

For now keep those dice rolling!

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