First Time Home Campaign Creation

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First Time Home Campaign Creation

Post by Jasoninohio »

Greetings everyone! I am starting out my first home brewed campaign and i could use a critique of my story layout. I thank everyone for taking the time to look over this outline and giving me your feedback. I am not starting my campaign for a month or so, so I have time to make changes.

Two hundred years ago a group of adventurers defeated an arch-lich. They stole all of his treasure, but some of it had a curse. When the adventurers died, the curse took effect, turning them into undead. The remaining servants of the arch-lich sought out the tombs of the adventurers in order to turn them loose on the country. The lich may have been destroyed, but he would have his revenge.

Group consisted of Fighter, Mage, Rogue & Cleric. Fighter is the first tomb (see description below). Rogue tomb will have lots of traps & he is turned into a specter. Mage tomb will have cross-planar component. Lot of Elemental enemies. Mage turned into Wight. Cleric corrupted & turned to evil. High level undead in tomb with perhaps Dracolich as pet/controller.

The Fighter had a fort built on his tomb to honor him and protect local traffic, but was overrun by monsters when teh undead servants came to corrupt the fighter. Now it is filled with goblins & hobgoblins.

First part of campaign
Level 3 or 5 characters
Hired by local magistrate to clear out abandoned fort overrun with goblins that prey on merchants and farms
Goblins led my core of Hobgoblins, who are advised by undead from inside mountain.
Undead advisor is from tomb inside of mountain.
Tomb of adventurer who became a lich due to curse.
Map in final treasure showing locations of fellow knight’s tombs.

Ambush on way to fort by Goblins
Assault on main gate of fortress with Goblin archers & some sort of tamed beast (RUST MONSTER)!!!!
Clearing and exploration of keep
1. Clearing two guard towers by gate – Goblins with Hobgoblin leader
2. Clearing old barracks & commissary – Goblins with Hobgoblin leader
3. Clearing officer’s quarters & armory – Hobgoblins with Hobgoblin Boss & undead advisor runs to basement
Clearing of dungeon/prison & discovery of cave opening to tomb - Hobgoblins with undead minions
Caves leading to tomb filled with wild animals/lots of spiders (using spiders from Dungeon Denizens.
Main path leads to Necropolis and side tunnel to spider den w/ special weapon (possibly an intelligent weapon with side quest)
Entry to necropolis guarded by animated guardians
Exploration of Tombs
1. Three or four chambers leading to crypt filled with undead from the new Open Grave book
2. Clues that Lich was adventurer noble who was buried with mummified servants, now monsters
3. Final battle with Lich and mummies
Treasure room with tainted artifact and clues to other tombs.(possible coin golem encounter)

I will of course adjust monster levels up and down as necessary depending on how they players do at leveling up/surviving. This is my first draft of the campaign, so please feel free to tear it apart and help me build it back up. I have players who have been doing D&D for 10-30 years in some cases, so I want to give them a wild ride.

Thanking everyone in advance for their help,
The meek shall truly inherit the earth, because that is where they will be buried.
DJ LaBoss
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Re: First Time Home Campaign Creation

Post by DJ LaBoss »

This sounds really good - you have put lots of thought into the background of the campaign.

Just be ready for your PCs to take unexpected turns - you can make plans, but you can never really predict where your game will go!

Best of luck! Post updates if you have the chance.l

be well,

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Re: First Time Home Campaign Creation

Post by finarvyn »

I agree that the basic ideas you've outlined are pretty neat. I also agree that the players typically won't follow a specific outline, and if you "encourage" them too much they might not gain full enjoyment of the campaign.

My approach is typically to have general sketchy notes for several cool places and to drop hints and rumors about them, letting the players actually decide which to pursue. Of course, I'm not generally trying to plan too far ahead and prefer an improv of details along the way unless I have a specific module I'm trying to run.
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Re: First Time Home Campaign Creation

Post by Hamakto »

I know this is a while ago, but I figured I would chime in here right quick:

When I start a new campaign, I usually start a new campaign world to go with it. I know people will say... WOW that is a great deal of work. But in fact, it does not take a long time to create a new and unique living world that grows with the party. For me, the creation of a new gaming world is to provide a framework for the party to experience and enjoy themselves. By NOT defining everything from day one, you leave yourself with many areas to 'fill' in the blanks with.

What I do as a general rule is review modules, old issues of Dragon magazine, etc... for broad campaign ideas. Or come up with something unique.

In a campaign that started 10 years ago (it has now finished with a different rotating DM). I had a cool concept that the world was starting to slowly freeze. Ten years ago, the world was more tropical but now the temperature is slowly dropping. It was going to be a back ground event until they finally (after traveling and hearing rumors) discovered that there was an ice island near the equator. They had to investigate that (after level 10).

I laid the early groundwork for a Gith invasion (from a Dragon Magazine article).

Placed a few of my more favorite modules in the world so they would exist if I ended up DMing w/out having time to prepare something custom.

Determine if there will be any wars in the regions... the location of a few nearby dragons for background flavor in the inn. And create a list of 20 or so rumors (true and false) to drop in the inns. Some may not be used for years, but it will build depth in a campaign.

And setup a list of 10-15 re-occurring NPC's and Villains that will be long term in the campaign. This list was just a starting point and as the campaign evolved they picked up different enemies and/or befriended a previous villain.

The point I am trying to make is don't define everything in detail more than a few sessions in advance. Lay groundwork for the big epic adventures, but let the party guide themselves along and let them build the world for you by THEIR actions.

I had an adventure setup where they had to meet a Baron. They did not know they were going to run into him, but they were just traveling the world. When they got to a crossroads, it really did not matter which direction they took... they were going to run into the adventure hook. All I had to do was move the location of his fiefdom to fit on the road to the N,E, or S on the map with a quick note.

If I had a fully developed world, I would of had to lead the party along a specific road to get that adventure started.

So the last thing I would like to say... Give the party at least the illusion of free will whenever possible. The easiest way to do that is to not set your campaign into stone and always have a backup adventure if they don't take the bait.
Blood Kings
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