This last weekend I came to a sudden and awful realisation: I hated the campaign that I had spent hours and hours creating and had just started with my group. I couldn’t bring myself to prepare for the weekend’s session. I dreaded having to run yet another game in that world. This loathing of the setting that I had put lots of precious spare time into led to massive writer’s block. The group were assembling in front of me around the table and I had nothing prepared…
We have just come off playing through The Temple of Elemental Evil using the AD&D 1st Edition rules and we were all really excited about getting our teeth into D&D5e. To celebrate the event I thought that I would leave my usual campaign world behind (a setting I have been using and building sense the early 1990s) and try something completely different. I hadn’t wanted to fall into old habits and trot out all the tropes that the group were all too familiar with. Jokes have been appearing about my certain idiosyncrasies and I wanted to try and get out of the rut I was in.
First step was going to be preparation. I put lots of hours into preparing the NPCs, the major buildings in the city where the party were starting, the factions in the political scene. I was carefully documenting everything in wiki pages on Obsidian Portal making sure to link everything up so that players could really use it as resource. It turned out to be really invigorating to try out new ideas and concepts. I tried really hard to stretch myself in the planning stages. I was convinced it would all work out. It would be a great campaign – one we’d talk about in the years to come.
Well, we still might, but as the huge failure that it was.
So, Sunday night came along. The players were sitting around the table, dice in one hand, character sheets in the other. I felt so guilty. I had to look them all in the eye and say “I can’t do it. I HATE the campaign I’ve created.”
To my great surprise they were fine with it. They offered lots of support and were genuinely really nice about not having a session to play through that night. We all got to talking about what we could do instead of playing through the failed campaign. It was at this point Duncan suggested (and Paul piled on straight away), why don’t we all build a bit of the world? We would all contribute a portion of it.
This struck me as an amazing idea. Dwayne immediately suggested that we go one step further – why don’t we ask everyone who reads our site to write one or two sentences about a place, an event or a person. This was an even more exciting idea. Here was a chance to crowd source an entire world.
What we are asking
Leave us a comment. One or two lines that expresses something about a place, an NPC, an event or a feature of the world. We will try to incorporate everything that we can. To help us, try not to include anything too specific as to the culture as this might hinder it fitting with the overall setting.
We are aiming for low fantasy, gritty medieval, highly political, and violent. Anything else, up to you guys.
Years ago a young monk called Marcious climbed the top of the highest mountain near his monastery. When he returned the next week he had aged 80 years saying that he had been living with the spirits of the mountain.
Yovik is an innkeeper of the Five-legged Donkey Inn. He’s an old, pessimistic philanderer who waters down the beer and wine.
Near the town of Ventrous you can find a well. Anyone who has been lowered to the bottom of it when the three moons align has been fully healed of all ailments.
To the South of the city of Harmsburgh there are a series of wooded islands. No one dares visit them as they are haunted by spirits that will consume your flesh as you stand before them too scared to move.
It is said, “When the planets align a great catastrophe will strike each and every nation.” The planets will align next year.