Being in a 4E game winding down this week and next I was trying to think of what would make an interesting 4E campaign idea. Having loved Jeff Rirnt’s Fourth World idea I wondered if I could adapt another pop culture property to it. So I present:
Crusade Beyond the Door
The hermit told you of a holy relic, the door frame of stable of Bethlehem, and a strange property it had. Tonight the stars would align just as they had the night of Christ’s birth. In fact, this was the first time they would since that holiest of nights. In aligning the door frame would be filled with a door not of wood but of the spirit and give access to another world.
“We can walk bodily into heaven,” one of your party asked.
“No,” he said, “for that is the provence of the Lord and the greatest of the prophets alone. You, instead, can walk into a world in need of the light of Christ even more than this land.”
So you thought. You remembered the brothers from Venice who disappeared into the desert in search of the Grail. You remembered Baldwin and his success in succeeding Thoros of Edessa. So you came, along with your companions and others to that dark cave on the night in question.
And there the hermit was suffused in brightness and revealed to be more than a hermit but Sariel. As he stood before the frame it rippled with light.
“Beyond this doorway live men lead astray and enslaved. Beyond this doorway men are enslaved by those decended from the daughters of men seduced by those of the host of heaven. Beyond this doorway lies a destiny greater than you can know and a crusade of great holiness,” he declared to the assembled host.
And with that you stepped through the doorway into a great courtyard in a dark building. You soon realized you were alone in a dark and abandoned city on a great island. Yet one of the wizards among you also realize they could open the doorway by a set of runes. Now you prepare to step through it again to seek the destiny Sariel proclaimed.
Initial characters are members of the First Crusade who have stepped through a magical gate into another realm. Initial classes allowed are Cleric, Paladin, Avenger, Invoker, Fighter, Ranger, Warlord, Warlock, Wizard, Bard, or Sorcerer. Actually, I’d consider omitting Ranger as I don’t see it fitting the Crusader theme. Divine classes should fit a generally medieval Catholic Christianity.
Adventures generally are found beyond the gate in the City of the Nephilim. Beyond the gates are lost tribes of man, ruins and remenants of races from before the Flood, pagan gods and their followers, and most of all the Nephilim themselves, the children of angels and the daughters of men. They both rule and feed upon men creating a climate of fear. Yet men, being men, are not united against them and having been so long removed from the light of the Lord lack the faith to do so. Allies and friends among them can provide new and different characters covering all of the available options you wish to allow. This would be a great campaign to try out The Chatty DM’s ideas about changing characters in the campaign without character death (at least I think it was his idea).
The thirty level story arch is mostly likely to follow the war against the Nephilim. Heoric tier adventures would be finding items, making friends and allies, and locating information about the Nephilim. By the paragon tier the surviving members of the host (which should include the PCs) should begin overcoming second tier threats such as the pagan gods and evil men in order to allow good peoples to unite. The epic tier will be the quest to take the war to the heart of the Nephilim’s empire and the defeat of their Emperor themselves (and learning the secret of his paternity in the process).