GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

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Ikoma
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GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby Ikoma » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:13 am

I’m in the early planning stages for an upcoming campaign. (Emphasis on early.) The main bad faction is the Wyld Hunt - a group of four fey warlords who will invade the realm and be the ultimate villains. In an effort not to retread certain tropes, I don’t want to reskin the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Instead, I want to name them after the four seasons in an attempt to have the players underestimate them - at first. When the party first hears of Lord Spring, I want them to think he’s a pushover and maybe even a good guy they can redeem. Then, when they finally meet Lord Spring, I want him to be terrifying. So I need negative expressions of the four seasons. Summer is easy: oppressive heat and drought. Winter is easy too: brutal cold. I could use some help with Spring and Autumn.

My current thought is that Srping causes Con saves against crippling allergies. Maybe torrential rain and flooding. But Autumn has me stumped. And I could always use more ideas for the other seasons.
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Re: GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby Lord Foul » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:11 am

Two things spring to mind (pardon the pun) for autumn.

First is the plant-based feature of fall, where the leaves wither and drop off and any lingering fruit rot on the branch. Something involving rotting and withering decay could work here.

Second is based on the behaviour of aminals preparing for the coming of winter, such as bears eating excessively to build up body fat for hibernation. Perhaps the ability to instill a feeding frenzy on any local wildlife could create some fun for the party.

For spring, the time of new growth, the ability to cause plants to grow quickly and entangle or strangle people could be a nice touch.
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Re: GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby [red] » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:21 am

My quick ideas:

Spring = rebirth = necromancy
Summer = heat, rampaging wilderness growth
Fall = decay, crippling, shriveling, dryness
Winter = cold, darkness, death
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Re: GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby Glorious_Leader » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:34 pm

Spring is infestation. The dead weeds begin to spring back to life. Spores fill the air and spread sickness, allowing the spread of fungus. Insects and vermin come surging forth and explode in population. I would make Spring into a blight themed villain. I'd really play with pollination and fungus as a big part of their identity.


For Fall, I'd emphasize the diminishing of daylight. Darkness, sapping of life, etc.
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Re: GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby Vinnie_Vidivici » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:49 pm

Lifelong Great Valley of California boy chiming in, here. I grew up near Fresno, and live near Sacramento.

Autumn—particularly after a summer drought—is the season of implacable wildfire. The so-called Camp Fire a few miles from here killed nearly a hundred people and destroyed 2/3 of the city of Paradise. The worst damage took place over the course of a single afternoon.

Winter doesn’t bring snow, here. But between the infrequent rains, when the air grows still and a couple of nights are clear and cold, you can expect the fog. Epic, apocalyptic, Barovia-level fog, blanketing everything for days or weeks. Fog so thick it’s common not to be able to see the color of stoplights, or read the numbers on a house—which is bad, when you are a paramedic trying to find someone who needs your help. But that’s in the city. If you get out into the surrounding farm country, a common practice was to creep up to an intersection because if you went too fast you’d miss the stop sign. Once you stopped at the edge of the intersection, you turned off your motor and radios and rolled down your windows. If you didn’t hear another vehicle approaching, then you started up again, with every light as bright as you could make it and your siren wound as tight as it would go.

That being said, there is one things I love about the fog. It muffles sound so much that the usual background of street noise, and neighbors, is absent. And, valley fog requires still air and an inversion layer (cold, heavy air acting like a lid on the bowl of the Great Valley, trapping warmer, water-saturated air underneath). It’s so still that you often can’t hear anyone else at all, and the inversion means that it’s really not that cold.

Anyway...I hope that gives you some ideas.
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Re: GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby zircher » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:44 am

A more elemental take, spring brings hail storms and tornadoes and autumn brings frost and electrical storms.

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Re: GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby Joep » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:06 pm

A good way to look at it is to take the characteristics to the extreme.
Autumn is truely the season of death. Leaves fall, flowers wilt, and many animals die as food becomes scarce and everyone is hoarding for the upcomming winter. This might inspire themes of death, gluttony (in competition of food), decay.

Spring brings new life, awakening of animals and plants and spores and pollen. Themes could be overabundance / overwhelming, allergies, constricting growth, poisonous flowers and berries.

Nice concept for 4 antagonists. Good luck, and please let us know what you decided upon.

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Re: GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby BottledViolence » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:13 pm

Spring is chaotic, one day it's pushing 70, the next there is snow, and the whole time everything is a swamp with all the mud and muck.

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Re: GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby Ikoma » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 pm

Thanks all for the suggestions. It's all mulch in the GM brain at the moment. I'll let you know what gets fertilized.
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Re: GM Brainstorming: Negative Aspects of Each Season

Postby Ikoma » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:37 pm

Update: While perusing DnDBeyond for other purposes, I stumbled across the Eladrin from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. THESE guys are going to form the core of the Wyld Hunt. Already CR 10, I'll probably just either add 20 class levels OR blend them with a lich or other legendary type foes.
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