BRADFORD UNIVERSITY GAMING SOCIETY MEMBERS AVERT YOUR EYES AND NAVIGATE AWAY, THIS IS MATERIAL THAT COULD TURN INTO A CAMPAIGN I RUN AT BUGS.
This is the basic plot of the Arrakis Campaign:
- The 497th Imperial Penal Regiment of the Elven Empire (precursor to the Dominion) assault the world of Youwy II and eliminate the Illithid Collective presence there.
- In the initial conflict the 497th take not heavy and somewhat significant casualties and their transport capital ship and a lot of their equipment is destroyed. After recovering Colonel Arrakis, who was telepathically bonded to the transport, orders her regiment to go in to guerilla warfare while they wait for support to arrive.
- Though reinforcements never arrive the remains of the Regiment manage to, with the help of rebels in the illithid’s slave stock, take down the local Collective before their dark rituals awaken the ancient evil deity sealed within Youwy, the world’s dark purple “star”.
The players are a squad who are around when the colonel is hit by the psychic backlash and were involved in mounting a defence of her position, their sergeant was killed in the initial beach landings… is it called a beach landing if you make a beachhead in the desert by landing from space? who knows, and one of the players is appointed leader of the party group. they along with a few NPC spare lives and whatever survivors of Spec-Ops-Missions-Gone-Wrong and/or rebels they can pick up along the way go around the desert with the standing order to cause as much disruption as possible as well as the occasional communique from a higher up to attack something specific.
Pile ‘O Fluff with some Crunch: Elven vehicles are all plant based, the craft accessible for the Arrakis Regiment are all grown from the late transport ship. (also they would need water and nutrients no? i’m sensing a plot hook!). The Illithids “Heavy Weaponry” consists of low-ranking illithids and psionic slaves throwing psionically generated bolts of fear with the intent of causing a heart attack in the victim, successive Wis and Con saves or the target goes into death saving throws. if they fail the Wis save they are disadvantaged for the rest of the day. This attack doesn’t deal HP damage but is nonetheless quite deadly. ED troops are generally armed with crossbows or similar ranged weaponry. ED heavies carry lighter versions of their vehicular weapons, which fire bolts of typed magical energy based on the crystal power source used. Asides from melee weapons there is no easy way to avoid spending ammo. Large Set animals populate the desert, and are this world’s answer to the camel, as well as small Ostrich-Dodos, Vultures, Bugs, Meerkats and FUGE SANDWORMS!! (From, you know, Dune, that thing i’ve named the colonel after). Instead of the standard D&D classes i’ll be tweaking them to fit the millitary setting and probably removing/rebalancing some options to better stop them from solving everything by throwing a caster at it, stuff like Create Food & Water is going to completely break everything unless i tie to to a hard-to-get material component. actually i kinda want to get rid of Vancian Magic entirely but we’ll see if i have the time. The Youwy II desert consists of a mix of mesa and desert, there are some fertile zones on the banks of nile-like rivers and small saltwater seas dotted sparingly around the world (See the map above, generated with the Donjon Fractal World Generator using seed 08101920, ice 10%, water 20%). Poles are more fertile than land. Youwy II is orbited by several orbital defense platforms which are responsible for destroying the Transport, they’re big stone things. it’ll probably be a mission to take one of the remaining landers and take over one at some point. Wardens are the ED’s version of Imperial Guard Commisars, but only assigned to penal legions because i’m not trying to go overly Grimdark (which is of course hilariously edgy, because our missiles have the brains of our dead butlers in them). I want to introduce some relics of civilization on Youwy II before the Illithids took over, crumbled castles and rock face cities. To indicate this i need a insignia for these places, kind of like the Lambda Caches from Half Life 2 but with more significant value. these places also hint at the evil dude in the sun and how bad it’d be if he got out. Though i’m aiming for a lower magic game it is and still will be present, the Regiment will have Druid “Sherpas” who will help tame the Set beasts, Healing will have some magical elements to it, though probably rely more on alchemy and devices than cast spells, the enemies are Psionic in nature and there will be countermeasures to that in place.
Endgame: After building up resources and connections the players lead an assault on a major city in the region, disrupting the Illithid’s dark plans. It’ll be dramatic, give a great sense of achievement if things go well or a tenseness if things go wrong and if all goes to plan it’ll make a great non-cliffhanger into a “second season” campaign if the players want to continue next year or online.
All Hyperlinks point to stuff owned from other people, apart from the link to RCG1.1, that one is mine.
Dungeons and Dragons and the Spelljammer setting are the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast, Please support the official release.
Set animal taken from wikipedia article, stated to be a recreation of a public domain image.
Map generated by DonJon.Bin.Sh fractal world generator.
The screenshot from RCG1.1 is public domain i guess. i made RCG so i say you can use it for whatever you want as long as it’s not hate crime.
The picture of Colonel Arrakis is licensed Creative Commons BY-NC-SA Vers 4.0, or whatever version of Creative Commons DevientArt uses. to me, Matthew Crane.