So a few
Posts ago I mentioned that I was wanting to put my players into a type of dungeon dive where they enter into a temple of chaos and I wanted to put the feel HP Lovecraft in there, and just completely random elements of chaos that would makes things oh so wonderful and unpredictable.
I plan on making a random chart (how big and the wide array of effects depends on how ambitious I get, and how much time, but by all means if anyone has suggestions, please comment!) where different things happen. I’m thinking stuff like if a player casts a spell I roll randomly to see if it is the spell they want to cast. Maybe casting cure light wounds actually does inflict light wounds. Casting Fireball maybe turn into an area effect ice spell that freezes the ground. Maybe casting lightning bolt, shoots out of the players hands and arches backwards to hit nothing, or fizzles completely. Also having it where the players are affected, maybe when they run towards a creature, the run in the other direction, when they speak to a player, the language is babbled and incomprehensive, stuff like that. Again, suggestions welcome here.
I’m thinking though, that it would be fun to use something that ChattyDM used with great success, the 5×5 adventure, you can read it here: Part 1 and Part 2. I think it would add a whole level of chaos if things kicked off that they were going to the temple and several other things happened at the same time that they needed to prioritize and work through or just leave alone and suffer possibly consequences for doing so.
My basic premise/idea stemmed from my g/f reading her national geographic about an ancient civilization called Angkor. I won’t get into the civilization here, that is what the link is for. I looked at the pictures and listened to her talk about the article, and she told me I should run a session or a game with something like that in there. So my brain starts forming ideas. I knew I wanted to do a chaos temple or something like that already, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to incorporate it. Now I had an idea.
This ancient civilization once practiced more shamanistic ways, was peaceful, and grew to moderate to higher dominance of the area. Eventually an exiled shaman or noble or whatever, who was banished for practicing forbidden arcane magic, comes back. He is powerful, and wields magic that the people have never seen before. He also summons creature both fascinating and terrifying in the same breath. I’m thinking Aberrations with a cthulhuian feel to it. I’m playing 3.5, so I’m planning that this exiled priest became the Alienist prestige class from the Complete Arcane, but easily adapted to whatever class/system.
This priest starts gaining notoriety and a following. Eventually he becomes the ruler and the shaman ways are forced out, the shaman priests all become Alienists or worshippers, etc. Now this once great society is changing rapidly and chaotically, because they are thinking not in the logical realm of the physical, but outside it and otherworldly.
Eventually, and this all that can be found on why the society crumbled was due to mass hysteria and rioting. People who didn’t go mad fled to the outlying areas and lived to tell the tale of the fall of the great empire, but eventually those tales turned into myth and the temples were forgotten and became part of the jungle/forest/marsh or whatever.
Aberrant creatures still roam that part of the jungle and there are stories of people coming across the horrors and barely surviving.
What now?: I figure that in the temple the worshippers were trying to open a gate to the realm of Chaos. Maybe they succeeded, or maybe they got close, or maybe someone stopped them. Over the millennia the gate or barrier has eroded and now the realm of chaos is leaking through. A nearby village has recently been attacked, or just gets attacked when the players are there, by a powerful Aberration. This will get the players involved, or any other number of ideas would work here.
The players will make their way through the temple, and things will get more chaotic as they delve deeper and deeper. Eventually it could be possible to actually enter the realm of chaos itself to shut the portal, and hopefully escape before it closes.
That’s my idea in a nutshell. As I develop it more, I’ll post. Comments welcome!