Campaign Ideas: Star-Crossed

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This is a fairly simple idea, but it’s modular enough that you could work it into a variety of contexts. The major downside to this idea is that you’ve got less flexibility in dealing with character turnover, and so for that reason it probably wouldn’t work all that well in a gritty campaign, or one which people attend irregularly.

The idea is that each player character was born under a specific star sign, a sign under which few are ever born. This designates them as people who have great destinies. In game terms, you may also wish to expand this idea further to say that their special attunement to the stars grants them an increased affinity for magic. You could then use this as a possible explanation of how PCs could be readily healed and resurrected, but important NPCs, such as kings, may not be able to be. The explanation should facilitate creating a game world where dramatic actions have consequence on the game world, but which don’t overly penalize players.

As a campaign, once you have set forth that the players are all bound to this same destiny, you have a plethora of ways to get them together for a story. I suggest that you create an NPC character, an astrologer/astronomer, who has sent a summons to each character. When they arrive, the characters will be informed of the common bond between all of them.

At this point, with the characters assembled and, bound, however tenously, you can easily begin any adventure you like. There are a couple of ideas which I believe may work better than a standard-issue “Clear out the nearby goblin village” sorts of quests, though.

-The player characters are only part of the group that was sent a summons. There remain several individuals who did not manage to heed the astrologer’s call. The PCs are instructed to seek out these few remaining individuals. The conflict here would be that someone else has learned of these individuals’ special destinies and has been hunting them down and killing them. The villain himself could be one of these individuals, who has realized that only others born under this star sign may have the potential to stop his plans.
-The player characters have learned of their destiny, but must complete a ritual to complete their attunement to the stars. In order to do this, they must undertake a quest. This particular possibility would not pit the players against a specific enemy, but rather against a series of trials. Ideally, this line would focus on building the bonds of trust between characters as they face the obstacles.
-The astrologer may have nefarious plans, and is attempting to subvert the PCs into doing his will by posing as a mentor-type character. The PCs may be instructed to carry out various plans, but hints should be dropped that not all is as it seems.

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