Creating an entire campaign story arc for your D&D players is a monumental task, and requires a lot of thought and work to make it happen. But, it’s absolutely possible to do, no matter how daunting it seems. It all starts with an idea.
Following the previous article, 6 D&D Campaign Ideas Straight From The Monster Manual, here are 6 more campaign ideas involving more creatures and objects just waiting to be used and abused.
Hunger for Revenge
(Revenant pg. 259)
“A revenant has only one year to exact revenge.”
“If its foe is too powerful for the revenant to destroy on its own, it seeks worthy allies to help it fulfill its quest.”
One year. That’s all the time your PCs have to hunt down and stop a revenant from exacting its’ revenge. Or maybe they have to protect the person who is the target of a revenant’s revenge for a full year. Better still, throw in some obscure decision-making by having a revenant seek out and petition or blackmail your PCs for help with its revenge.
(Sahuagin pg. 263)
“So intense is sahuagin hatred for the aquatic elves that the sea devils have adapted to combat their ancient foes. A sahuagin born near enough to an aquatic elf community can enter the world as a malenti-a sahuagin that physically resembles an aquatic elf in every way.”
“The sahuagin put the malenti to good use as spies and assassins in aquatic elf cities and the societies of other creatures that pose a threat to the sahuagin. The mere shadow of the malenti threat incites paranoia and suspicion among aquatic elves, whose resilience is weakened as the prelude to an actual sahuagin invasion.”
Paranoia and suspicion–now there are two excellent factors that could make any campaign worthy of playing. This campaign could also work for players looking to move off land and play an aquatic-focused adventure. In standard fare, the sahuagin have devised a nefarious plot for conquering and enslaving a nearby kingdom of aquatic elves, and your PCs are called in to assist the elves with stopping them. For added tension, make the elven kingdom the last of their kind, and in danger of becoming extinct. Or, make the elven kingdom the first to ever be threatened by the sahuagin, and the first time the sahuagin make use of the malenti. Remember how people first found out about synths in Fallout 4? Yeah, that.
The Spawning Stone
(Slaadi pg. 274)
“Long ago, Primus, overlord of the modrons, created a gigantic, geometrically complex stone imbued with the power of law. He then cast it adrift in Limbo, believing that the stone would bring order to the chaos of that plane and halt the spread of chaos to other planes. As the stone’s power grew, it became possible for creatures with ordered minds, such as modrons and githzerai, to create enclaves in Limbo. However, Primus’ creation had an unforeseen side effect: the chaotic energy absorbed by the stone spawned the horrors that came to be known as the slaadi. Sages refer to Primus’ massive creation as the Spawning Stone for this reason.”
One of the prime campaigns of 4th edition D&D was called The Chaos Scar, a sandbox set of adventures involving a strange meteor that fell long ago, and is causing an increase in creatures’ violent behavior in the area surrounding it. Perhaps that meteor is a chunk of the Spawning Stone, that, for some unknown reason, has broken off, and has crashed on the Prime Material Plane. As the Stone’s chaotic energy slowly leaches out, what disastrous effects would it bring about? What force could break off a piece of the Spawning Stone? And how badly do the slaadi want it back?
(Troll pg. 291)
“Their regenerative capabilities make trolls especially susceptible to mutation. Although uncommon, such transformations can result from what the troll has done or what has been done to it. A decapitated troll might grow two heads from the stump of its neck, while a troll that eats a fey creature might gain one or more of the creatures traits.”
Trolls are well-known as very tough and horrid creatures, with an appetite for every creature they can catch and kill. As stated above, some trolls are also prone to mutations, often sparked by what a troll eats, or what a troll encounters. Possible campaigns include a great army of warriors and mages attempting to eradicate a nation of trolls, forcing the trolls to steadily mutate to counter the threat to their existence. Or perhaps a certain troll undergoes a mutation that increases its intelligence, becomes aware of it, and begins uniting and directing other trolls towards specific mutations in order to create an unstoppable race of teenage mutant ninja trolls. Yeah, I’m so writing that campaign as my next one.
(Yuan-Ti pg. 307)
“The yuan-ti were once humans who thrived in the earliest days of civilization and worshiped serpents as totem animals.”
“Cults bound themselves to the worship of the serpent gods and imitated their ways, indulging in cannibalism and human sacrifice. Through foul sorcery, the yuan-ti bred with snakes, utterly sacrificing their humanity to become like the serpent gods in form, as well as in thought and emotion.”
This campaign idea has me thinking of adventures set during the time before the yuan-ti fully existed, back to when they were a thriving human civilization. Their “advanced philosophy taught the virtue of detachment from emotion and of clear, focused thought.” They produced legendary warriors who helped expand their empires, where “temples stood at the centers of ancient metropolises, reaching ever higher in prayer to the gods they longed to emulate.” Just as Critical Role’s DM Matthew Mercer did with Emon, I think it would be fantastic to create this magnificent empire, and then watch as it implodes and destroys itself. Unless the PCs can intervene and save it, of course
The Books of Keeping
(Yugoloths pg. 311)
“The first yugoloths were created by a sisterhood of night hags on Gehenna. It is widely believed that Asmodeus, Lord of the Nine Hells, commissioned the work, in the hope of creating an army of fiends that were not bound to the Nine Hells. In the course of making this new army, the hags crafted four magic tomes and recorded the true names of every yugoloth they created, save one, the General of Gehenna. These tomes were called the Books of Keeping. Since knowing a fiend’s true name grants power over it, the hags used the books to ensure the yugoloth’s loyalty. They also used the books to capture the true names of other fiends that crossed them. It is rumored that the Books of Keeping contain the true names of a few demon lords and archdevils as well.”
Similar to the Rod of Seven Parts campaign, this one would have the PCs discovering the existence of, and searching for, the four Books of Keeping. During their adventures, the PCs encounter yugoloths, night hags, and many other creatures with a vested interests in the Books, including Asmodeus. And don’t forget the yugoloth who is not named in the Books – the General of Gehenna.
All images credit Wizards of the Coast