Help us build our next Campaign World

help-us-create-our-campaign-worldThis 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.

Examples

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.

DriveThruRPG.com

About RupertG

RupertG has been playing roleplaying games ever since he discovered Dragon Warriors at the age of 12. Since those days he has played many different RPG's, collected not insignificant Dwarf and Tomb Kings armies for Warhammer Fantasy Battles and even worked as a games designer in the heady days of the late 90's building a CCG. Now he runs a gaming blog and is a participant in the Grand Gaming Experiment
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  • sy matt

    Olu crystals are rarely found in these parts now days, but in the past they were gathered and taken to the town shrine. These worthless gems was the only way the locals believed they could honour their gods. Decades later and thousands of crystals now adorned the shrine. Maybe this is the reason the shrine now floats 25ft above the town and a wooden stairway had to be constructed.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      Hahaha. Awesome. Love it.

  • sy matt

    It’s has been said that the old lake ferryman is a wanted pirate.
    Yeah right. You ask him!

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      Interesting…

  • Gashren

    Few miles from the metropolis of Hagran there’s a monumental and suprisingly detailed statue of an ancient dragon. It was standing there for centuries now, and noone knows how it actually got there.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      Awesome… Thank you!

  • http://www.lostkingdom.net Lost Kingdom RPG

    The hidden cove at the north edge of the island glitters green and blue during every full moon. It is said that whoever is drawn and heads towards the light disappears only to appear again days afterwards naked and miles away.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      Ha! Should be fun…

  • Gashren

    Owner of the “Rumbling Rock” Inn – dwarf Tharni Strongarm – is rumored to be important person in local Thieves Guild. And he never lets anyone except his family members in the cellar…

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      A quest!

  • Gashren

    Alex Eckrock, captain of mercenary group called Burning Rose, is a large, middle-aged man with a good sense of humor.

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      I can see this guy featuring in our campaign

  • Dirk the Dice

    The Arena of Tangurn, on the border, where nation states converge, has been the site where scores have been settled for centuries. Feuds, disputes and wars have been resolved by highly regulated battles on the Arena floor.

    The newly appointed Duke Brio, an eccentric heir to the Arena is rewriting the rules … a manticore? A newly discovered labyrinth beneath the Arena? How does his family respond to his changes to the traditional regulations? More importantly, how should the nation states respond to the change in jurisdiction?

    • Dirk the Dice

      I should also mention that the Gladiators are unhappy too. Brio has exiled the caste of Virgin healers who served the Arena – why? where are they? and what are the Gladiators going to do about it?

  • http://www.holimoren.com D Dean Boom

    If you guys want to have your campaign set in my world of Holimoren(www.holimoren.com) , I can send you the notes 😉

    All fun aside, here’s my contribution: The five Guild Knifes, daggers really, are the heraldic badges of the heads of the five major Thieves Guilds that control the criminal elements of the region. Elements that have come out of the shadows and are being more active, more aggressive, more violent. Rumor is that one of the knives is missing, with a second used to kill the owner of the missing knife, sparking this outrageous lawlessness.