As I detailed in my last post, I’ve been looking for a change of pace to get me excited about TTRPGs again. In an effort to do that, I’ve come up with rough concepts for three mini-campaigns I could run that are a bit different from games I’ve run in the past.
The idea I’m going to talk about today is “Into the Wasteland,” an exploration and combat-focused game that sends players into the treacherous ruins of a destroyed kingdom.
In my homebrew setting of Seliit, there’s an important bit of history that begins with an event called the Night of Falling Stars. This marked the arrival of orcs, a race of interstellar travelers, to the world. Unfortunately, war eventually broke out between orcs and elves. The war was long and terrible, with both sides taking devastating losses. At the height of the conflict, the orcs used one of their most powerful weapons to completely wipe out a place called Casterel; not only was the kingdom annihilated, the ground itself was rendered barren and uninhabitable. However, bold adventurers, archaeologists, and thieves occasionally venture into the ruins in hopes of recovering lost treasure or knowledge.
This campaign would center on a group of characters exploring the wasteland of Casterel, finding ancient artifacts, traversing crumbling dungeons, and fending off the kinds of powerful monsters that could adapt to such a deadly environment.
I like the idea of running what is essentially a pure dungeon crawl–I’ve never done that before! There wouldn’t be a ton of opportunity to make interesting NPCs for the players to interact with, which would be sort of weird for me; however, not having to design and keep track of dozens of characters would give me extra time to focus on designing unique and interesting areas for my players to explore.
I’ll admit that I’ve never been great at building cool dungeons. This campaign might be a good opportunity to stretch those muscles and push myself out of my comfort zone a little bit.
I’m also interested in seeing what sorts of monsters I could fit into this area. I think of Casterel is being… wrong, somehow, almost like it’s irradiated by the weapon that destroyed it (except, you know, more magical). I’d envision this as a higher-level game, something in the low- to mid-tens to start out. I’m sure there are lots of neat monsters to choose from that would fit well in this scenario!
Of the three ideas I’ve had, this one is probably the most different from my usual style of play. On the one hand, that might be just what I need–something entirely new! On the other hand, I might find out that there was a good reason I never built an adventure like this before. Either way, I’d probably learn a lot!