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New GM, need a little bit of help with an overarching plot


New member
Hey! Some background: I'm a first-time GM and me and my friends (all new to tabletop RPGs) recently played our first session of Monster of the Week. It went really well and everyone had a great time. We made characters and made it through a third of the mystery before calling it a night.

I have a general idea for the campaign and much of this is a work in progress. The worldbuilding elements I have in mind are that monsters are a normal part of the world but aren't common. Monsters have urges -- instead of vampires needing blood to survive or werewolves always turning during a fool moon -- and most can control them. Being a "monster" is a gift; however, those who don't control their urges, receive the Mark of the Beast which effectively renders their powers moot. Think of lobotomies, but basically for monsters.

But like lobotomies, the process of administering the Mark of the Beast wasn't perfected early on. This is where the big bad comes in. Nicolas, who received the first Mark, had his soul destroyed when the process went terribly wrong. As a result, he became soulless and his health deteriorated quickly. Nicolas resorted to soul magic, feeding on souls to keep himself alive. The process is agonizing and now he is seeking a source of unlimited souls so that he doesn't have to worry about constantly finding souls to live on.

This is where I'm getting a bit stuck. I have this idea that there's a ancient/secret gate to "paradise" where all souls who passed on reside. I'm stuck on "why hasn't the big bad discovered it yet?" and "what's preventing the big bad from opening the gate once he does discover it? (are there ancient runes that act as a seal, is there a guardian of the gate?)" I want the PC's to feel like they are actually stopping the big bad from carrying out his plan.

Any and all feedback is welcome! Also worried a bit that I might have too much going on with this and don't want to get bogged down with way too many story threads. Want it to still be rooted in the real world and not go crazy high fantasy either. Completely open to a new campaign idea -- I haven't set up much of anything in the first session. All the hunters know is there's a werebeast on the loose.


Registered User
Validated User
First -- Hello, and welcome!

Rather than an "eternal afterlife" (which gets into the idea of "gods" and such who create/protect it; let alone a "God Almighty" figure from monotheistic religions -- I don't think you want your Big Bad to just get swatted by a Plot-Device caliber entity), how about just a limbo/purgatory/etc where the dead sort of "get used to" their new situation, before moving on?

This is a pretty common concept in a great many religions; a few days; a week or so; 40 days was one ancient Christian concept.

At about 150,000 dying per day, this will give your BigBad plenty of souls, if he can open the Gates of Limbo (or whatever).


Southern Mane
RPGnet Member
Validated User
It might need a lng, complicated magical ritual to open the gate. So first the Big Bad needs to figure out the ritual, then gather materials, then wait for the proper time, then do all the parts (including sacrifices) in the right sequence.

Perhaps he's tried before (and messed it up), and certain mysterious events of the previous century are being repeated, to give your players an extra way of figuring out what's going on.
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