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Blight

This campaign idea came about after a conversation with a friend regarding a “mutt” campaign, which was described to me as campaign that involves characters, objects, and settings from a variety of genres all rolled together.

The basic premise is that there is a villainous race of invaders that have discovered a machine that can open portals across dimensions. They use this device to move their entire population from world to world, sucking each one dry of precious life force. Players take on the roles of hardy, heroic folk that have been combating these folk. Characters can come from a variety of settings, but the overall flavor of the story should be steampunk.

Although I’d like to keep as much of the information in this campaign guide as rules-generic as possible, I’m going to develop it with the D20/OGL system in mind. The D20 system is well known, and already has several genre specific rulebooks (D&D, D20 Modern, Spycraft, Star Wars, etc.).

The Blight

  • The Blight did not invent the device. They’ve studied it enough to develop their own versions, but these are massive, can only open small portals for very short amounts of time, and use massive amounts of energy. They use these devices only to send agents and generally abandon them when it’s time to move on to a new world.
  • The Blight have developed a method to extract the life force from living things and use it as a power source. This destructive practice (along with their warlike nature) is the main reason the Blight continue their invasions.
  • Blight drones are intelligent creatures that have had all but the very last bit of their life force drained from them. They are creatures with intellect, but no will of their own. Blight taskmasters “program” these drones for different tasks, from common slave labor to front line warriors.

Worlds and Phases

A campaign generally falls into a category based on the world (ie: genre) and phase that it takes place in. Worlds reflect genres and playing styles. Worlds can be epic fantasy, space opera, Victorian gothic, or even modern. Phase refers to the phase of Blight invasion. Each phase can be quite lengthy (decades to centuries or more).

  • Blight invasions always begin with a few “agents,” Blight soldiers who travel the aether ahead of the main force. Their job is to gather information and prepare for the arrival of the race. This phase is called the [???] and is appropriate for campaigns where the characters either have not discovered the Blight yet or know very little of them. Player characters can be local heroes learning of the threat, or hardened veterans from other worlds trying to make the locals understand the threat all the while fighting against them. Blight agents are smart, crafty, and insidious. Their missions usually begin with collecting varied information (types of plants, animals, intelligent creatures, geography, meteorology, etc.). After some time their missions will shift towards preparation. Preparation missions range from collecting and storing energy, recruiting drones, establishing strongholds, unbalancing governments, sabotaging military and industrial centers, and generally fomenting chaos.
  • The “Beachhead” phase begins once the Blight are ready to move en masse. They have opened the portal and are transporting people and equipment through (including the device itself). Generally there is some local knowledge of the Blight and possibly some efforts at resistance are already in place. This phase is generally the shortest, as it consists only of the time the portal opens to when the Blight have established themselves in the new world.
  • Next comes the “Harvest” phase. The Blight have established themselves in the world and are actively attacking, enslaving, expanding, and harvesting. This phase is generally the longest, and can take centuries to complete.
  • The final phase is the [???] phase. The Blight have won and are readying to move on. This apocalyptic style of play can involve characters attempting to escape to other worlds or just survive in the lifeless wastelands left behind by their predations. Some Blight are often left behind and

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Blight Harlequin_1998