Thursday, 8 January 2009

When Gods walked the land

Wouldn't it be fun if you dropped a god into your campaign world with his own agenda and just ran it as a subplot? That's what I'm going to be doing.

In my game-world, Tharg is a kind of Norse god of battle equivalent; the god of war. He's going to pop up somewhere in the lands to the south and start calling those Free People with fire in the their veins to him to form a vast army, and then he's going to attempt to crush the Great Hoarde into dust.

The players will learn about this as rumours in taverns and so on - "a man is gathering an army to him in the deep south!", "there is a rumour that Tharg himself is walking the land, preparing for a Great War" until one day they bump into a man who works for a man who works for someone else who is claims to be working for Tharg himself, bearing a message: Stand beside the God of War and make bloody battle with him against his enemies.

This will be completely and utterly optional. Its likely the party will have too many quests and obligations to do this, but I don't mind if they decide to join his army and swear fealty to him to participate in an epic battle featuring hundreds of thousands of warriors.

If they don't, they will hear how the great war goes as it happens. They learn through rumour whether the great lord of war defeats his equal and opposite in single combat while his huge army battles the great hoard in a valley stained with blood. I'm sure it will add spice to the campaign and will help the players realise they are not the centre of everything that happens...


Norman Harman said...

I dig it.

I love background plots, events, things that show the world is alive.

My players, not so much. They're raised on storypath "players are the only heroes" type games. They expect every rumor/hint/thread/plot to be for them. When there's more than one path to choose from they freak out. Feeling they have to do all of them and not knowing how to choose.

The Recursion King said...

My players are ok with having options because of the framework of the campaign. They serve the High Priestess of the Malevolent Malice and do quests for her, but along the way, they run into odd things that they can explore and do. An example is finding the bodies of kobolds strewn around the entrance to a cave. They can explore and find out what is going on if they want, or continue on their main quest. The last two game sessions have been them exploring a dungeon that they found the door to in a graveyard that has nothing to do with any quest. The door led to a crypt, which was built over some caves which deeper in became flooded and has eventually led to a lost temple.

This sort of thing works well with players, the choice is something not explicitly presented to them, but curiosity can bring them in, or back to a site they've left behind to find out what's there. This is the way I'll be running the war god sub plot too. Perhaps if they get broke, they might enlist, otherwise, I'm happy for them to continue on their main party goals.