Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I have an off-the-wall idea for a D&D campaign. It's pretty half-baked, so I'll just start rambling:

I want to make a campaign based around the AD&D action figure line manufactured by LJN in the 80s. (You know, the one with Strongheart, Warduke, Zarak and the rest - you can read up on it here.)

In the setting, those action figure characters (hereafter abbreviated AFCs) would have turned against each other long ago. The power players of the world would be the relatives and descendants of the AFCs, split into squabbling factions - let's call them Houses - each of them jealously guarding the relics (remains, weapons, armor, etc.) of the old heroes and villains. None of the Houses would have complete sets of any one AFC's relics - centuries of squabbling, betrayal, and theft would have scattered them across the factions. In fact, the years have led to much confusion as to which AFC used which relic. (There could be bizarre religious schisms over whether a particular relic-shield was carried by Drex or Deeth in the olden days.) Furthermore, each House would maintain massive dungeons where the relics were housed and guarded.

If I wanted to get really weird, I could say that dungeons (and maybe even the monsters guarding them) are actually spontaneously generated by the AFC's relics. I like the idea of a dead adventurer's tomb slowly burrowing tunnels into the earth, sprouting monsters and traps like a seed sprouting roots...

Anyway, the player characters could be the official dungeon-delvers of a particular House, or be free agents hired by the different Houses to raid other Houses' AFC reliquaries. There could even be a secret "House" comprised of the descendants of the AFC's disgruntled followers and henchmen, seeking to claim the relics for themselves, or destroy them to spite the Houses. There would be many other "official" delving companies as well as free agents, and these could comprise the primary antagonists of the setting.

So, there you have it. It's sort of metagamey, I guess, but the idea has a certain wacky appeal to me. Any thoughts?


  1. You realise that's going straight in the DM's Bumper Fun Book of Mad and Twisted Ideas, don't you? :)

    IIRC the chaps over at the Gaming Den talked about something similar to your relics as dungeon seeds thing a while ago. Theirs was more on the lines fonts of power in the depths of dungeons that spewed monsters and weird magical effects, but which could be tapped by villains with the right pre-requisites to build armies or make artefacts (think Sauron, Mount Doom, Barad-Dur and the Ring).

  2. Thanks again.

    That's a great idea, too, and one that could be folded into mine very easily. Maybe this "font of power" concept could be a reason for the Houses hunting after all these AFC relics...

  3. You should check out the old Basic D&D Module Quest for the Heartstone. It has the Basic D&D stats for all of the characters from the figure line and illustrations of them by Larry Elmore. The module itself doesn't really feature these characters unless you decide to use them as PCs (which is I guess what you were supposed to do with them). Just a thought.

  4. You know, I'm not sure which edition of the game I'd use for this idea, but I always did want to track that module down.

  5. In my recent musings on the Holmes Basic edition, I've come to the conclusion that the underlying assumption about what the Dungeon is, according to Holmes, looks very much like your spontaneously generated relic spawn dungeon...interesting, no?

  6. Very interesting! Thanks for pointing me in the direction of your blog.