Early D&D Ideas From a N00b DM

I recently had to go through one my Dungeons & Dragons folders to make room for new papers. And yes, I said one, because I have a lot of papers to store and sort through, seeing as I not only have stuff for my game, but other people’s games, one shot adventures, and random D&D material in general. The folder I sorted was the “random material” folder, which is only one of eight folders at the time of this writing. I think.

The point is I had a lot of new stuff to put in, and in order to make room for everything I had to throw out old material, and I voted upon old notes and writings from my first D&D game (aka the one I was kicked out of). Seeing as it was a game I was given the boot from, I had no reason to keep any of it save for nostalgic purposes. However, I needed the room, and unlike the new material, this stuff could be digitized and made immortal in some text document, taking up no more space than whatever computer database I deemed it rest in.

Why would I bother considering the fact the game and especially those I played with are not really a part of my life anymore? To be blunt, I still cherish the time we spent together, and while the eventual outcome showed I wasn’t really that important to the lot, they ever felt important to me. I still recall the moment we all ordered food to be delivered, getting specific instructions to the cooks (which were still ignored), and using that same piece of paper for notes the next few weeks. We laughed together, even if we weren’t really together. Sort of like a good coworker, of which I’ve had many, but never had any of them become a greater part of my life.

Besides the nostalgia factor, and I tend to collect a lot of trash as it is and log it somehow as a means of being artistic or something. I actually have a pretty big project to finish which involves a few hundred pictures of individual scrapes of paper which I was originally planning to tag to a lot of poster board, but decided to throw out instead…after spending a few days video recording the scrap that is. I just had to make it difficult for myself instead of simply throwing them out, didn’t I?

Hence why we are here today. I came across my four page list called “D&D Ideas” made over the course of a few weeks and only shared with my first DM so he could see how clever I was and get support in my eventual game. I can only guess what he thought, but reading this stuff now I can only hope he thought, “His PCs are going to hate this,” because anything else deserved a slap to the head. Without wasting anymore of your time, I give you the list I wrote, filled with ideas I actually thought would work for a D&D game as written.

  • The “Power Glove” (artifact) – Gauntlet with telekinetic power over objects. Can act like the spell, but to use, player must not have any other object in hand to operate. Now you’re playing with power!
  • It’s a TRAP!!! – PCs come into a bar and one of them is enticed by a VERY beautiful woman who is promising “something good” in a room. Should a PC not see through the disguise, PC will be brought into room where it’s discovered she is a he, and will try to “rape” (extreme make out really) the PC with his/her Improved Grapple.
  • “Black” Characters – Drow and other “Black” characters are semi accepted, with half breeds appearing here and there, with purebred characters still acting evil around the world. For the sake of humor, racist jokes will occur.
  • Over 9000? – Something will be over 9000. Don’t know what yet.
  • Juggernaut Bitch – Bring in a Juggernaut from MM2 for obvious joke.
  • Hidden Family Past – Have PCs with twisted births, such as Duergar mating with a Devil, creating a Durzagon (Half-Fiend).
  • The Angelic Stripper – Randomly put in a gentleman’s club like a bar called “The Angel’s Tit” or something like that. PCs have the option to go in, and it appears as any other bar, save for the dance area for women. A Celestial woman will come out and begin to dance, and should a PC give enough gold, she will touch them, a pleasant feeling to which them must make a Will Save. Regardless of success or failure, they get aroused, but should they fail their arousal will last many hours afterword, probably enacting a penalty. Don’t forget to have a Bard in the bar!
  • Illusion Master – Have a Sorcerer NPC (villain?) specialize in pretty much nothing but Illusions, causing mischief and other such things for the PCs. At one point, he will make it appear they are falling forever, which is simply a ruse so he can escape from them.
  • Bitches Don’t Know – Input this reference in some way! YES!!!
  • I’m BATMAN!!! – Have a Batman-like NPC encounter the PCs, though it will be difficult to communicate because he talks in a lot of growls. Should the PCs point this out (throat cancer), Diplomacy Checks will become difficult…and violent.
  • Captain Falcon – A Monk of great power whose punches send people flying (Awesome Blow). Lawful Good, will be a guiding light for the PCs (enemy if they cross the line), and always fights fair and honorable. Has a troop under his command which refer to him as “Captain” even though there are no captains among Monks.
  • “Bloodlines” Dungeon – Incorporate the “Bloodlines” story and dungeon in ways which the Devilish forces which changed the prince also fathered the dark dwarf. Maybe even have the end of the fight with the Prince trigger his transformation? Dungeon #92
  • “The Cradle of Madness” Adventure – In the theme of Demons, Devils and Fiends working with a dead or slumbering god to create an avatar (or powerful cleric for Tharizdun, the god the adventure is based around), have it be part of an elaborate plot of devils trying to take over the Material Plane, with the child of the ceremony to one day grow to be an ally or enemy against the Fiendish manipulations.
  • Tharizdun – Imprisoned middle class god of madness. Seeks to unmake the universe, killing everything including himself.
  • Entropomancers? – In the line with “Cradle of Madness,” Entropomancers have the possibility to worship Tharizdun. For Epic play, the Cleric could have possession of a Sphere of Annihilation, which could actually be an Umbral Blot (Blackball) in disguise. They Could even have some dealings because of being an Entropomancer.
  • Entropomancer – Divine caster who has tapped into the void of nothingness. Became so attuned to it the Sphere of Annihilation is harmless to them. Sometimes gather as cults of destruction, death, or fate. The Great Nothingness?
  • Welcome to Coneria! – A video game themed city, containing entrance guards saying the famous Final Fantasy tag line. Will also contain others such as: A whirlpool in the middle of a pond, fences PCs will be unable to jump/climb/attack/etc., password doors with the Contra Code, All Your Base, growth mushrooms, floating coins, spiked/bottomless pits, long attack sequences that do little damage, and floating locations that involve lots of jumping.
  • Silent Hill/Ravenloft – Building upon the ideas of Ravenloft, there would be a pocket dimension the party would accidentally stumble upon, which would be very akin to Silent Hill.
  • Spiral Into Horror – A city and events which take place around the story of Uzumaki. Besides the climatic ending of the curse, find monsters/classes which tie into the personas of cursed villagers, along with character representations from the story. Have time slow down within the city as well? YES YES YES!!!

For whatever reason, I though some of these ideas would actually be used in my first campaign How U Mine For Fish?…and I can’t help but headdesk because of how incredibly bat shit insane it all is. My current mind looks at all this and just balks at how much I’d changed as a DM, because I would never consider any of these ideas without some altering and specific changes for the fun of the PCs. And yet I specifically remember thinking these ideas as awesome as they were written, deserving to sit in my D&D folders for future reading and implementation. I’ve since gotten a brain and have decided to trash the lot (before typing it here,  it would seem).

A lot of this stuff is written for the humor factor, which can be good if done right, but I still don’t have a clue how to go about using some of these without being annoying to the PCs. Forcing comedy always made me feel the fool, while working with whatever humor one notes while playing is amazing. It’s the same principle of not expecting your PCs to give a damn about your campaign world/story.  The PCs will care and go where they please, no matter how much you try and tell them they should actually care why this one NPC is the way he is. They would much rather kill him and steal his belongings, and you’re going to have to take it and not get in a hissy that they “ruined” your game.

To be fair, they aren’t all as bad as I make them out to be, but seeing how things turned out to what I was expecting is a major leap. I actually used some of the ideas mentioned in the list, one of which lead to a very interesting conflict. It was inspired by a short altercation adventure putting the PCs between two powerful Outsiders titled, “The Rock and the Hard Place,” from Dungeon #91. I did a little editing to the final product, such as making it more of a fight via the PCs at a lower Level and the presumed ally or enemy a little more powerful, because at the stage the PCs were in the as written adventure, it would have been a fairly over an done with fight if played as such (especially with the way my own PCs eventually played it out).

In summary, I was young and dumb with full of high expectations of all my great and amazing ideas. Reality has a way of showing you how really smart and clever you are, and I’m all the better for it. I’m sure there’s something to salvage from what I made (besides making it into a blog to waste your time), but at the moment I’m more concerned with finishing up my first campaign than working with new ideas. Lord knows I already have a big mess in the campaign already, and I need to finish it all up by June/July 2012 at the latest. Over three years one one game is just far too much in my eyes, making me wonder if I should just hand the PCs a nuclear device to set everything back to zero. Heck, with what’s at stake, that may very well happen.

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