An Industrial Revolution for Dragonlance
Recommended for games set during the 'Beyond the War of Souls' time period.
Solamnia, Palanthas and the nearby areas.
In the city of Palanthas, new technological inventions and breakthroughs are rapidly beginning to change the way people think and live their lives. The Industrial Revolution begins to kick in, old fashioned world views based on High Sorcery and Holy Orders are being forgotten and made way for a new world based on technology and sciences. Priests of the ancient gods and wizards of High Sorcery are viewed with suspicion and are considered unreliable, since they seem to enforce a highly class-based society that abuses the common people. Demihuman races like elves, dwarves and gnomes are moving out of Palanthas as this new kind of society seems alien and unnatural to them.
An eccentric inventor called Nikola Tesla designs a machine that can directly tap into the powers of the Plane of Shadows and draw infinite amount of energy to the Material Plane. He has grandiose dreams of a utopian future where energy is free and open to all and where weapons are so powerful that no nation dares anymore to make war with another in the fear of mutual and total destruction.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) no one takes him seriously and he is regarded as a mad man. Not even the gnomes find his ideas any reasonable. Tesla is unable to find a financier for his research, and he succumbs into despair and to the brink of insanity as his marvelous invention is never going to become a reality.
When all hope seems to be lost, Tesla is contacted by an agent of a semisecret Chemosh-worshipping Vampire Cult of Palanthas. The Cult represents itself as a friendly and well-meaning group who cares for the future of the world. Without considering the cost, Tesla jumps to their offer to fund his research.
Little does he understand that the Cult has no intentions of following his dreams of a free world and intends to use his machine for their own evil purposes...
The campaign tries to explore the deep ethical and the philosophical themes about the problems of the modern day technology based society. It sets the scientific and materialistic world view and the more humanistic and naturalistic "as the gods originally intended" world view against each other, and tries to explore their good and bad sides and their conflicts. Science vs. Religion is main driving force of this campaign.
At the start of the campaign, the players should be given a feeling that a new age is dawning. Inventions like gunpowder, steam engines, advanced mechanical devices and flying "hot air balloon with propellers" machines are reality. As the campaign progresses, the darker sides of technology is slowly raising its head: obsessions, mental illnesses, pursuing of personal gain by the abuse of other people, cold feelingness, loneliness, suicides and serial killers...
Cast of Characters:
Lauralandilas, Neutral Good Qualinesti elf
A messenger and avatar of goddess Mishakal. Long time ago she was a Qualinesti elf and dedicated follower of her goddess. Now Mishakal has resurrected and transformed her into angel-like supernatural being, who gives guidance and aids the player characters in secret and behind the scenes. She cannot directly interfere with going of things as it would violate the ideology of Gods of Light about the freedom of will and it would draw attention to her which would endanger her cause. Only in the case of utmost emergency will she directly confront the players and interfere.
Mishakal does not oppose progression per se, but she is worried that things are happening too fast and are getting out of control. The people are not ready for the powers that the new sciences can provide. Once again people are abandoning their faith in True Gods and beginning to worship false ones which in this case are science, technology and steam engines.
In this campaign, Lauralandilas represents the nature and the more humanistic world view as opposed to the materialistic and scientific world view.
Nikola Tesla, Chaotic Neutral Human
A well-meaning but obsessive inventor. His intentions are not evil but his ideas are way too radical and ahead of his time. In this campaign, he represents the creativity and the somewhat over-positive naivety of those who believe in the ultimate goodness of scientific progression. He is a tragic character who is torn apart by two forces: his desire to do achieve good and yet his selfish ambition to make history, and his blindness to those who are aiming for dominance by the use of his machine.
Nikodeus, Lawful Evil Vampire
A thousand year old vampire and the leader of the semisecret Chemosh-worshipping Vampire Cult of Palanthas. He has no intentions of following Tesla's dream of "free world" but intends to establish a totalitarian world government with the help of Tesla's machine. He is selfish, inhuman and evil and is ready to use whatever means necessary to achieve his goals.
In this campaign, he represents the dangers of advancing scientific progression only for the purposes of commercial profit and without any ethical restraints.
This item has been published here with permission from the author(s) and may not be reproduced without permission. This is a fan submission and its contents are completely unofficial. Some characters, places, likenesses and other names may be copyright Wizards of the Coast.