Hellfrost/Realms of Cthulhu mashup

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Hellfrost/Realms of Cthulhu mashup

#1 Postby ferret » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:09 pm

I'm looking for folks interested in helping me out with a little side project I've been tinkering with for a few weeks now. Realms of Hellfrost, maybe?

The basic idea is this: start with a modified RoC game set in modern times; modified in the sense that instead of Elder Things or Old Ones being the main antagonists, it is the White King, Thrym. This works especially well since the Hellfrost pantheon is based on real-world mythologies and there have been ice ages in the distant past, which we can reinterpret as previous attempts to bring about the Fimbulvintr.

The campaign would essentially be three mini-campaigns tied together by narrative. Players would have the option of carrying their characters over from campaign to campaign, or creating brand new characters at the start of each phase of the campaign.

Part I - The Cult of Thrym
The first third of the campaign would look very much like a traditional RoC game. In fact, GMs would be encouraged not to reveal the true nature of the game (as well they should, this is, after all, a Cthulhu game). Perhaps the modern worshipers of Thrym do not refer to him by that name. Or they're not worshipers at all in the traditional sense, but rather activists driven to extremes in an attempt to undo the damages of global warming.
Whatever the case, as the adventure progressed, the players would see mounting evidence of the cold-natured aspect of their enemy: frozen corpses to investigate, cold-fire wielding cultists to defeat, and creatures summoned from snow and ice to face.
This part of the campaign would climax in a ritual to bring Thrym into the world and bring about Fimbulvintr. If the cultists succeed, the world is blanketed in ice and all life as we know it comes to an end. If the players succeed, Fimbulvintr is thwarted and Thrym is barred from entering our world...but victory is not complete.

Part II - The Blizzard War
The tone of the campaign switches dramatically as we enter the second phase of the campaign. Investigation and heroism take a back seat to the one-and-only goal: survival. For the opening chapter of this part, watch The Day after Tomorrow for inspiration. This is a classic end of the world scenario. The players are faced with surviving in a world where Science and Reason have taken a leave of absence.
Rearrange the map. Draw a line across the middle of the country. Everything north of that freezes to death (sorry Canada!) or moves south in a hurry. If you live in Europe, think south Europe, maybe north Africa.
Once the PCs have escaped the encroaching glaciers, it's time to reveal that humanity is no longer alone. Thrym may not have entered our world, but his legions did. Frost Vampires rise and other forms of undead rise from all those that succumbed to the cold. Frostreavers, men driven mad from the cold, start to grow in numbers and plague the land.
As the country struggles to recover, even greater threats emerge: frost giants, frost dragons, and hordes of orcs swarm and besiege a beleaguered populace.
All is not lost, however. The fact that Thrym violated the Compact did not go unnoticed by the gods, who start taking steps to counter Thrym. This is the in-game reason to introduce magic and other supernatural elements to the game. PCs would find themselves receiving divine visitations, being imbued with divine power to fight the enemy as the first priests and paladins of the pantheon returned. Or, they could be among the first to discover the threads of magic now radiating down from the moon and become the new elementalists.
Finally, the players would discover that not all who came with the blizzards are evil. Toward the end of this phase of the campaign, the other races would be introduced: elves, dwarves and engro. The hows and whys would have to be worked out, but alliances would need to be formed (the enemy of my enemy).
This portion of the campaign would end with the players uniting the forces of good, overcoming distrust and racism, and bringing the fight to the enemy. I imagine frost dwarves fighting alongside marines, supported by helicopter gunships and fireball-flinging elementalists.

Part III - Icerise and Beyond
The final phase of the campaign begins with the forces of Thrym retreating north and a mile-high wall of ice forming behind them.
In classic fashion, as soon as the immediate threat has been removed, everyone turns on everyone else. With victory comes the realization that what little arable land remains will need to be shared, not only with the surviving humanity, but with elves, dwarves and engro. There would be plenty of mistrust to go around.
Amid the chaos and uncertainty, the agents of Thrym seek to gain a foothold, to sow discord, to lay the groundwork for the next war. Maybe this was Thrym's plan all along. Draw all the forces of good, all the races, to one world, where he could crush him under the ice.
Typical of a legendary-rank campaign, the players are operate now on the global level, negotiating treaties, sorting out the complex reality they are faced with.
When the time is right, the players discover a massive blue spike jutting up from the earth like a spearpoint deep within the Hellfrost. This of course is the source of Thrym's power, the sustaining power of the unnatural cold. To save the world from perpetual winter, they must deep into the Hellfrost, enter the spike, and destroy it from within.

If you're interested in helping me develop this idea further, please post here. I'm using this synopsis as a framework; you know what I know. No idea is off the table. Naturally, my focus at the moment is developing the first part of the campaign. Everything we need is either in the Realms of Cthulhu book or in the Hellfrost setting. Each of the three phases could be as long or as short as you like, depending on your play style and the preferences of your players. I know my players really enjoy a good investigation, so I'm going to really develop the first third of the setting.

Thoughts are as always welcome!

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#2 Postby Drue » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:14 pm

reminds me a bit of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Misrule_%28series%29

love the concept -- what sort of help are you seeking?

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#3 Postby ferret » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:38 pm

Thanks for the link. I'll give the series a looksee for inspiration.
The first third of the setting is pretty straight-forward. A copy of the books in question would be good, though come to think of it Agents of Oblivion would work just as well, too.
Next, we'd need a series of plot-point style adventures, starting with some foreshadowing and culminating with the ritual to bring Thrym into the world.
I don't have a fixed amount in mind, but 8-12 should be sufficient to develop the story.

For the opening adventure, I'm thinking of a good old-fashioned murder mystery, which the party is called upon to solve. Odd thing, the corpse being frozen solid and all...

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#4 Postby Sadric » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:25 am

sounds interesting...
I would somehow put a few years/even a decade or two between part 2 and 3.

You mention the Gods as source of power. I think you mean the Hellfrost Pantheon? How do you handle the earth gods? A delicate subject.

How do you handle spy satellites (espeically in relation to the spike of partIII). Is there a storm day and night that cover the whole area?
Even from Radar/Laser imaging technic?

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#5 Postby ferret » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:50 am

I think about five years would do the trick. Close enough to keep the same characters if the players were so inclined, but far enough to allow some growth in the setting.
Of course, if you were playing with an entirely new set of characters, there's no reason you couldn't make it ten years or longer.

Correct, the gods are the pantheon from Hellfrost. In this case, aspects of the old Nordic gods. As for modern religion, personally I'd just ignore it unless a player specifically wanted to incorporate it.
Otherwise, you could say that all the gods, modern and ancient, were part of the Compact and since a deity from the Nordic pantheon is causing all the trouble, that particular pantheon was tasked with dealing with it.
Or, hell, throw in another source book (Solomon Kane) and get some old-school righteous fury going on!

As for the satellite, I'd say just go with it. Yeah, it be easy enough to say that Thrym took it down, but maybe he doesn't really understand modern technology all that well. This is supposed to be a blending of modern technology and the fantastic, so give 'em a dang satellite, I say.

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#6 Postby SeeleyOne » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:01 pm

This looks like a fun conecept . I only got Hellfrost a few days ago, but I do have Agents of Oblivion. I do not have Realms of Cthulu, although I have considered it. I have not looked into Solomon Kane much, though/

I like the subtle joke to such a setting. The Old Ones can also be called the Cold Ones. It also makes me think of what might happen in the Monster Hunter International series (if it continues? No idea on if there is a book after the third) by Larry Correira.
Just about every kid today wants to be Batman, Spiderman, or Superman. Maybe if we were better parents they would not want to become orphans.

To be evil is to live backwards

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