Video games are a great place to find inspiration for Dungeons & Dragons campaign concepts. Having a variety of world-building reference sources is essential since dungeon masters construct new faiths, governmental systems, and entire regions from scratch. Video games also cater to gamers who wish to subvert well-known fantasy clichés through their characters’ backstory or by offering original protagonist templates.
Fortunately, the Fifth Edition approach is adaptable enough to flourish wherever it is planted, giving a variety of cherished masterpieces and their surroundings a new life with an original plot. So why not allow Dungeon Masters to use Splicers’ powers as players sneak through Rapture’s winding lanes?
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Introduce gamers to a memorable historical period. There have been several games in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, featuring anything from Vikings to pirates to ancient Egyptians. This is where you’ll shine the brightest if you or your dungeon master are history enthusiasts.
Consider setting the campaign in the present day, much like the television show, with the main narrative that spans both the past and the present. You or your ancestors may have acquired scientific tools created by Abstergo or Pieces of Eden to cast spells and use focus. Maybe your group is a civilian test group that has been made to delve into the distant memories of forefathers.
A journey to Silent Hill, Maine, might be in your future if you or your dungeon master are comfortable with flavouring the game’s fundamental elements (races, classes, and spells). Horror settings in Dungeons & Dragons are frequently restricted to the terrifying realm of Ravenloft. Ravenloft’s Domains and Silent Hill are projections of the psyche, and the monsters that terrify the area are manifestations of the player’s own harmful or willpower. Not to mention that they both have a fascination with phenomena related to fog.
It’s uncommon to encounter more than one person at a time in Silent Hill, much less a party prepared for combat. Thus, putting together a group of adventurers seems counter-intuitive to the video game. However, creative DMs might think up an explanation. There is a wide variety of subclasses, and part of the enjoyment is observing the players’ inventiveness in their creations.
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Old School Runscape
The world of RuneScape is known for its whimsy and comedy. Even with frequent sprinkles of contemporary humour and scenarios, the series’ commitment to high fantasy takes players into a cosy sense of wanderlust with just enough familiarity to seem timeless. Setting your upcoming adventure in the Gielinor could give you the exact type of creative flexibility you require if your Dungeons & Dragons group frequently produces a blend of comedy and fantasy identical to RuneScape’s.
In RuneScape, skill levelling is a significant priority. Everyone will develop multiclass into warriors, rangers, and wizards; let’s face it. However, creating your own rules for the numerous non-combat-related skills will come in handy when encouraging players to fish or cut down trees. By the same token, players’ activities during downtime between adventures become much more integral to the experience (for example, mastering cooking results in a free cast of Heroes’ Feast).
As for the plot, perhaps the dungeon master assigns the group to slay Elvarg, the dragon, directly appropriating a mission from the source material, or maybe Zamorak has new plans to sow chaos and destruction throughout the land!
The aura of Rapture is undeniable, with art-deco visuals, eerie music from a bygone period, and jacked-up maniacs looking to rip you apart. Match gamers up against a new edition of a Big Daddy, or perhaps the Splicers have advanced well beyond previous versions. While moving from one Rapture neighbourhood to another, the nearby marine life presents a difficult challenge.
Players’ experiences should be significantly influenced by tonics, EVE, and ADAM, particularly when casting spells. The multiverse idea introduced in BioShock: Infinite may also result in a novel gameplay element or plot turn for the players.
Perhaps when death saves are unsuccessful, a different version of the deceased character appears, aiding the group once again or hunts them down to allow them to die. And if a metaplot doesn’t bother you, perhaps the tabletop adaptation of Bioshock is just another Lighthouse.
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The Mass Effect series is the ideal backdrop for those that are Spelljammer addicts. Even just a campaign centred on the Citadel would be intriguing given its political intrigue, gang violence, and untold secrets that the Protheans, who built it, left behind. What party wouldn’t like to own a spaceship, and the Citadel offers a great starting point for far space voyages to other planets?
Don’t be scared to restrict players’ options for classes in Session 0. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything’s psychic subclasses are comparable to the usage of biotics, artisans are highly relevant (as they are in most contemporary 5e takes), and a warlock might easily be someone who the Reaper has brainwashed. For optional weaponry and alien technology rules, consult the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
The Lands Between offers a combat-focused environment for a Dungeons & Dragons game for players with little interest in social interaction. At the same time, the newest universe from FromSoftware is still fresh in many people’s minds. A visit to an Evergaol can fill an entire session for groups that prefer the monster-of-the-week experience, and dungeon crawlers can get their start in the complicated Hero’s Graves that can be found all over the place.
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Because, in line with From Software tradition, players should be looting goods appropriate to the person or creature they have slain. Magic Items will likely require the most significant revision in terms of relevancy. Players working for Godfrey and overcoming the many dangers to the Golden Order can shift the timeline of the story of your journey into the Lands Between far back in time.
Alternately, dungeon masters can select a different scenario, such as a look into the Lands Between after their own Tarnished won the decisive battle and what dangers now threaten the newly established kingdom.
The Elder Scrolls
Thus Tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons first influenced the Elder Scrolls series and the world of Tam riel, incorporating a campaign into the game’s setting is easy and natural. Tam riel has a long list of prospective foes and strange occurrences (like the disappearance of the Dwemer). Dungeon masters can use Dragon Breaks to retell an existing Elder Scrolls story in their unique way.
Character customization in the series is unquestionably a defining feature. Therefore Dungeon Masters should aim to give players something special through this process, such as the sign a character was born under. Of course, if the players didn’t begin the campaign as captives, it wouldn’t be an adventure in Tam riel.
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