Good idea I’ma steal it: The Darksiders

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Yeah yeah I know 4th edition is just like World of Warcraft or some other game. Blah blah blah. Really I don’t care if my role playing games are like other games. I could spend time going off about how most if not all fantasy role playing games have taken a ton from Dungeons and Dragons so really it’s a circular argument. I’m not going to waste my energy on it though, at least not today.

Today I’m going to write about an Idea in a video game that I want to bring into my next campaign. That’s right I want to make my game more like a video game. Go on and complain on your message boards and forums, I’m going to go on playing my games my way.

This Christmas I received a copy of The Darksiders from my grandmother. What an awesome grandma! No socks or sweaters for Thadeous; post apocalyptic angels vs. demons, huge sword swinging videos games for him!

The game starts out like many other games of it’s genre; the hero/anti hero has a great deal of power and abilities and through a short amount of game play ends up losing most if not all of his powers. Left weakened with little resources the hero must contend with creatures once easily beaten. He must also deal with enemies he had made in his long life and rise to power.

In a role playing game such as Dungeons and Dragons or the Dresden Files this idea can translate into a really sweet story line for starting a campaign. As a GM let your players create very powerful high level characters, complete with insanely over powered weapons and armor. Tell them it’s a one shot or a short run if you want.

Once they players have their characters give them some fun encounters and missions. Design them as very easy encounters so the players really understand just how powerful they are. Throw some really iconic and powerful monsters at the group, a few beholders here a few dragons and hydras there. Start creating a living world by sending your group on missions to thwart and capture but not kill some low level villains. Let your players be heroes to the world for a short time.

Once the group has established how great and powerful they are take all their power away. Send them on a mission to capture a low level wizard, nothing that is too much of a threat to them. When the party arrives they find them selves trapped in a ritual designed to transfer their power to the wizard. Suddenly the group finds them selves back at a lower level say 4 or 5 and the world now has an evil wizard running around with their combined power.

The party is now faced with a world filled with monsters they fought to defeat and capture who have been freed by the new super wizard. They also have to face the fact that they not only failed to capture a villain but helped to create the worlds most dangerous threat. All of these things translate into possible story elements. A ready group of encounters based on monsters with whome the party has history, a reason to need to gain more power and level up, a world filled with people who are either sympathetic to the heroes plight or are angry with them for putting the world in danger. A GM has a plethora of options when it comes to creating NPCs for a campaign that starts off in this fashion. Those who: worshiped the heroes, envied them and thus rejoiced at their fall, hated them for their great deeds, were hurt by them in some way, feared them and now see opportunity to remove that fear, and on and on.

Treasure and equipment can be easy to manage in this campaign. Them GM can de-level the players gear as it were. As the players move up in power so does their gear. Most players can still choose to acquire new items but their original gear can always level up with them.

Feel free to use this idea in your game. I know it’s not 100% original, I’ll even wager that some of you have already done something like this. If you have or are going to in the future please feel free to leave a comment and tell everyone how it went.


Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

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About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.
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