Nordic D&D with rails

This is a campaign idea. Not actual right now, as I have other games to run and play in. But maybe some day. The structure is inspired by a Chronicles of Prydain campaign by Eero Tuovinen for D&D 4.

  • Setting: Pre-Christian Nordic countries, with lots of mythology and folklore included.
  • Characters: Start at first level. Most are humans; at most one non-human, and you have to tell us which source that comes from. Some character classes are restricted and many have particular ties to the society; paladins are holy knights that from the Christian Europe, wizards have the same origin, no monks, a bard might be a skald or a tietäjä, a barbarian is probably a berserkr, and so on.
  • Ruleset: Probably D&D 5 with light modifications.
  • The game is railroaded: I offer a few adventures with their rough level and you choose one to play. The adventure is a preplanned sequence of a number of scenes with maybe four to six encounters (situations where players make decisions and which might turn out badly or well), with possible branching. An adventure can be successful or a failure.
  • No involuntary character death: This is a rule. Your character can not be permanently removed from play without you, the player, explicitly asking for it. The stakes in the adventures will be something else than death. You might be stuck in Tuonela or Hel, or imprisoned by a mountain troll, but you won’t permanently lose the character. Liberating the character will be a possible adventure, as might escaping under their own power be.
  • Voluntary character death: If you are in the middle of an encounter and decide that this is so important you are willing to risk the character, say so. You gain immediate short rest and inspiration, but now you can die, should you be reduced to zero hit points or affected by suitable monster abilities. The death will be permanent if it happens. If you declare it between encounters, you gain inspiration and the effects of a long rest, but now you can die during the rest of the adventure, and you can’t retreat from the adventure; you have to see it through. It is a strong statement.
  • Resting: Short rests between encounters (exceptional difficulties might make them impossible). Long rest only between adventures.
  • Character stable and new characters: You can have several characters, and it might be clever to do so. New characters start at first level, but of course bounded accuracy keeps you relevant, lack of character death removes the risk and the trivial experience cost of the first few levels allow you to earn them fairly quickly.
  • Optional rules: Feats are not available under character advancement, but there are quests to learn them. Same with multiclassing.
  • Backgrounds: Heavily customized and probably a work in progress throughout play.

The point in such a game would be to enjoy the mythology, folklore and culture, and the interaction of the colourful characters with them. Low level adventurers would involve trolls and other monsters, witches, travelling, neighbour hostilities, going viking and honour of women and men. Higher level adventurers would involve travelling to other worlds, meeting and maybe fighting gods and giants and deciding the fate of the world.

Nordic D&D with rails