Friday, September 11, 2015

Place Your Bets: D&D Story Plots

5th Edition certainly has the D&D community buzzing. I myself am still playing in the Tyranny of Dragons storyline and we've just barely scratched Princes of the Apocalypse before Rage of Demons began. Though I always lament these aren't Greyhawk modules (or heavily borrow from them), with the adventure Out of the Abyss hot off the presses, I'm still among those who get excited about every preview and I love reading the speculation of what comes next. It's like a game within a game to guess what's coming up from clues and teases by WotC. For this reason I went to the Wheel of Gold Gambling House in the City of Greyhawk to find out the official odds on Wizard's next few story plots. Enjoy!

A giant-centric story is heavily suspected by the community given plot points laid out in previous adventures. Given Paizo has recently run-down their own giants-themed AP it'll be interesting to see if Wizards follows suit sooner or later.

Crashed spaceship is another popular theory given Chris Perkins' recent teaser involving a picture of a Froghemoth and other aberrant monsters. Would Wizards really mashup scifi and fantasy in Faerun though?

A straight up dungeon crawl. This combined with others like Greyhawk Ruins or Maure Castle is a natural option for any long term game. Given the locations of Wizard's last few stories this one cannot be discounted.

This is another idea I've seen mentioned in forums. The epic adventure boxed set has just the right components for a contemporary D&D mega event. It has demons (too soon?) and it has a multipart artifact quest.

This classic module is by one of Wizards' best authors Bruce Cordell and involves the Far Realms which is always a huge meta-threat in D&D. Firestorm Peak would make a good alternative to borrowing Barrier Peaks. For bizarre monsters and crazy evil NPCs you can't do much better than this.

Uber-liches are popular villains in D&D and one like Vecna who wants to supplant existing gods is definitely a Forgotten Realms type plot (Time of Troubles, ahem). This is also one of the last strongest Greyhawk modules out there that hasn't been redone since 2E. 

I6: Ravenloft/ Odds 10:1
Uber-vampires are also a popular monster-villain in fantasy and TV (not to mention hugely popular zombies which you can lump in here). Normally this type of storyline would be the province of the Ravenloft setting, but maybe Wizards can spin a new yarn to rival Strahd Von Zarovich?

Scaly evil and jungle ruins is an untapped resource for D&D writers in the last couple editions. Given WotC's tendency to set their adventures in temperate or cold climates though, this type of story is still far off in my opinion.

Human traffickers is an evil organization that can keep adventurers busy across a wide area. This classic series has been revised recently so it may be fresh on Wizard's mind. It can also translate to other settings easily.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Feel free to add your own speculated odds to this list! 


Sean Robert Meaney said...

Lets say its a variant of S3-expedition to barrier peaks. What would it look like?
It emerged from dimensional Entropy, a great black monolith burning across the sky, its surface a nightmare infested aberration that filled the minds of those who looked too long with bloody insanity. And in the minds of the 'touched' it screamed. For it was a living horror. And then it fell, becomming a mile high Plateau, crushing demogorgon and all within a hundred miles.

Ryan said...

I think Ruins of Undermountain would be the best odds. There are a lot of Forgotten Realms veterans who are getting antsy over updating something from the original Forgotten Realms products.

Unknown said...

Considering they recently re-released the Slavers series(with additional material, I think the odds of a release of a Slavers re-visited might be exceedingly long.

Big D! said...

Hey Mike,

I thought I saw you at the Gambling House last weekend. Small world.

I also lament the loss of Greyhawk to the Forgotten Realms (although if it had been a cage match instead of a fashion show, we all know who would have won!) To be honest, I've been Drizzt'ed out for a long, long time. The Realms became so hyper-focused on Drizzt, "The Crystal Shard" gang, and Elminster, the grit that was in the first edition FR setting was lost. There was some cool stuff in there too, King Azoun and the tarrasque, the Flaming Fist with Demogorgon's true name. It's too bad. I lost passion for setting shortly after "The Ruins of Myth Drannor" and "Menzobarranzan", but with that said, Myth Drannor should be on the list, it was new for the day and GH doesn't have anything close to Menzobarranzan.

GDQ1-7: Odds 20:1, this would be epic and I mean epic, seriously, if you are going to do it, then do it right.

Bloodstone: Odds 15:1, I love the Infernal-themed campaigns, that's what intrigued me most back in 1979 as a kid at the bookstore and it still does today.

Temple of Elemental Evil: Odds 30:1, for all of my complaining about the Realms, I'm sure they are sick of ToEE and Vecna

Vecna Lives: Odds 23:1, I put "23" because it's "prime", there's a lot of potential there and the Realms does not have a total badbutt like Vecna for compare...BUT...Vecna cannot be lost to the Realms or I will implode

Maure Castle: Odds 40:1, while I'm all for more detailed information on the Maures, methinks it would be viewed as another standard, Greyhawk Ruins, Undermountain scene.

Rod of Seven Parts: Odds 5:1, this is more plausible, with all the Abyss activity, I see this as the top candidate. Wind Dukes of Aaqa, just read the backstory on the Greywiki (which has a ton of new information on it since I last read it a few years ago; I wish the references were cited better because I want to dig a lot of stuff up)

Trying to think what else I have packed away....

Dragon Mountain - that was a good one, one big ol' red dragon, lots of kobold minions, good stuff. Odds 100:1, I rarely see any references to it.

Reverse Dungeon, Odds 1000:1 - a cool idea, very original, should be revisited because hey, why should heroes get all the press


My 2.5 gold pieces,


Mike Bridges said...

Darin: LOL I like your analysis and the Dragon Mt one would be a hard sell. It's essentially the classic "Tuckers Kobolds" on steroids. Reverse Dungeon too would crack me up. I can see Paizo do that though, they'll try anything.
BTW, I think the Vault of the Drow is/can be every bit as cool as Menzo. Menzo wouldn't exist w/o "Erelhi Cinlu."

Erik: This is true, but I think of the people (including Perkins) who have worked on those and it seems easy (and stealthy) for them to adapt it.

Ryan: Yeah I hear ya. I'm not a big Realms player but even I feel the lacking.

Sean: That is an adventure I'd like to see!