I was wondering if the community had any ideas to help me flesh out an all-dwarf campaign. Here is a basic outline as far as I have it:
- players begin as members of a diminishing clan; they work at some chore that is generally looked down on and may be embarassing, but nothing outright illegal or reprehensible; my original idea is that they work as a clean up crew for the Diamond Guard.
- the players are called to clean up after a small skirmish with goblin/hobgoblin/humanoid skirmishers who had been harassing draven miners
- while working they discover a hidden or concealed passage that leads to an abandoned housing colony; I am planning to make this a Kobold colony; because Kobolds withdrew from these parts many decades ago the creators of the complex are not readily identified and the characters find themselves exploring a mostly abandoned system of rooms and passages
- not everything will be empyt or easy; there will likely be some untriggered traps (something simple like pitfalls), perhaps some new vermin that have taken up residence, and a crazy xorn to make things interesting
* this first adventure will likely be something light in mood and rather fun to allow the players to get to know their characters, each other, and the setting
- while exploring the complex, the players will find some kind of clues to a vast amount of wealth; I'm not sure exactly what form the clues will take, but they should be enough to be plausible and enticing; some examples may be: if the characters make friends with the Xorn - s/he could give them the informaiton, they could discover a series of frescos or stone carvings that they later research and confirm are actually a map to some distant place, or something along those lines (perhaps the value of the clues won't be fully understood, but an attempt to steal them or something similar could motivate the characters enough to follow the lead - perhaps an augury or magical tip)
- I would idealy like to place some kind of close-to-home adventure here, maybe an interlude before they beging searching for the treasure; this would be something where I would need ideas
- after some clues are explained, the players will be lead to a curious mine where dwarfs and humans are working together; the mine is unique because the inhabitants live mostly underground, even the humans, they are lead by a powerful human mage who lives deep in the depths and is experimenting with lichdom and creating undead
- here the players will discover that the mage had enslaved a clan of kobolds - the same who's complex the characters initialy discovered; in order to be able to chat with the kobolds the characters must do something for the mage: kill a mutated dragon, fight some underdark nuisance that is attacking the mage's holding from below, etc.
- once the players succeed, they are told by the kobolds that they must find the bones of an ancient dragon who once protected the kobolds; unfortunately, the dragon was slain by none other than the Storm King himself
- the players must find a way to contact the Storm King and get his permission to cast a 'speak with dead' spell on the dragon's remains, which are now incormorated into the Storm King's throne
- in order to allow such an unusual request, the Storm King demands that the players travel to northern Zangala where the Storm King's brother was last seen
- in Zangala the players could have a variety of adventures with the Dominion, the renegades in the Highlands, etc.
- eventually the players will discover the Storm King's brother has been turnded to stone; they can come up with some ingenious way to turn him back, or take him back as is; the Storm King may honor his agreement either way, depending on how the campaign is progressing and how much fun everyone is having
- finally, the players will be allowed to consult the ancient dragon's remains; it will tell them that they must travel to Anderland where they will find Kobolds who can help them find the treasure they are seeking
- the players travel to Anderland, have an adventure or two in Maruphel's Delta, eventually make their way into the interior where they contact a kobold tribe with the help of some lizard people guides, and discover the true meaning of the clues they had uncovered
- at this point, there should be some kind of climactic adventure with the players finding some truly amazing wealth and being forced between two hard decisions: taking the wealth for themselves or allowing the kobolds to keep it… I haven't worked out the details completely, but the "wealth" could be some real worldly treasure, but it could also be the secret to immortality, or some means of restoring one of the kobold's slain heroes who was on his way to immortality and becoming the kobold's racial protector and perhaps even God
So, what do you think? Any ideas to flesh out any of the ideas presented are welcome. I have many other ideas and details for side plots involving the Storm King's brother, the Council of Voices (ogre thralls often used by the giants as ambassadors to other nations), the need for secrecy amongst other dwarfs as news the the players are consorting with giants could hurt their clan name, kobold culture and the history of kobolds in Anderland, etc.
This is a setting that I really love, and I want to do it justice by maintaining that 'golden age' feel. I want the players to be awed by the magic and granduer of these idealized giants and kobolds. I want them to we mystified by great magic and grand adventure. I want them to feel like they are participating in the making of history.
Thanks in advance.