29 May 2013

Campaign Pitch: Djinni Unchained

As May draws to a close I have decided to squeeze in a post for this month's RPG Blog Carnival, hosted over at the always entertaining Age of Ravens. This month's carnival topic is games that you would like to run, so now is as good a time as any for me to do another campaign pitch.

Al-Qadim was always one of WotC/TSR's more interesting settings and it has been heartbreaking to watch it get left to languish in a dusty old corner of the Forgotten Realms. I was happy to see that Paizo touched on the setting briefly with the off-brand Legacy of Fire, but they have since moved away from there to focus on other parts of Golarion. I bring this up because I have long wanted to do an Arabian Nights style fantasy campaign. Desert and middle eastern inspired settings have been overlooked in my gaming circles and I think it would be a lot of fun to play in my own spin on the setting and mix in some old published adventure modules.

Digital Art by João Paulo

Djinni Unchained

My Arabian Nights campaign would start with a bang or, rather, a puff of smoke (bang sold separately) when an old bottle falls off a shelf in a dungeon and shatters on the floor. This, of course, frees whatever was trapped inside the container. In this case the bottle contained our group of player characters which, due to a clumsily worded wish in the past, have been sitting in a bottle for a hundred years.

The PC's will need to climb their way out of the bottom of a dungeon and when they reach the surface they will find the world has radically changed in their absence. The Djinn they accidentally freed has been running rampant across the country, passing out twisted wishes left and right and freeing his magical brethren. Wishes are common place and feared by all. A wish uttered in exasperation could end in disaster and many avaricious men have tried to take advantage of unrestrained wishing, often to their own downfall.

 What will the heroes do in this new world? Will they journey the fantastic desert palace of the djinn they switched places with? Will they set out to explore the new world and right the twisted wishes along the way?

I don't know the answers to those questions, but I do want to find out.

How I'd Run It

This would be a sandbox game. 100 years of indiscriminate wish granting could make for a very unusual world for a group of heroes to explore. I also think there is a strong chance that the party would be motivated by revenge and will seek to take down the djinn that condemned them to a lifetime of prison. Even if they aren't, I think much of the game will involve recapturing djinni and saving people from their wishes.

This would definitely be a campaign with a heroic mood and I would pull a lot of from the source material that inspires an Arabian Nights setting. There would be a lot of magic, but it would be unpredictable and rarely in the control of the heroes.

What Game Would I Use?

Dungeon World, probably; however, any edition of D&D or D&D style game would do the trick. Maybe it would be fun to dust off AD&D 2e and go full Al-Qadim. I might also take the campaign as an opportunity to run one of the few RPGs designed for an Arabian Nights setting and I think Legend of the Burning Sands would be at the top of that list. I would be also be interested in trying 1001 Nights, but I don't think it is the right game for the style of play I imagine this campaign having.

1 comment:

  1. Middle Eastern settings need more love. I like your ideas for setting and adventure -- they remind me a bit of Quest for Glory 2. I've done some research into various Middle Eastern mythologies, and I was surprised by how much their critters get shoe-horned into Greek mythology. They deserve their own world as much as any other setting.




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