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My First Dungeons and Dragons Campaign: The Song of Best Intentions

Why should you care?

I am a 28-year-old college graduate with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Professional writing. A mother of two young girls, an active member of my church, and practicing ESL teacher, it’s easy to say that I may be a little busy. But that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to craft my own adventure campaign, to show those in similar situations that you can do it, and it will be amazing. Or at least it will be amazing for the dungeon master; your players will have to fight their way to survive (insert evil laugh).

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, crafting stories and worlds from between the lines on the paper. I’ve also played D&D for 12 years on and off. Several times I would get into a game only to move or have a schedule change that prevented me from participating. I’ve always absolutely loved playing, but no one ever wanted to be the Dungeon Master, so our groups wouldn’t play. I joined a D&D Discord server and joined a campaign, then realized you didn’t need to be in the same room, state, or even continent to find players.

Preparation

My campaign is (planning on being) an epic adventure spanning several continents and quests. I started with the end goal and then flipped all the way to the beginning by having it begin with an innocuous little quest that pulls them into the grander storyline. I created a Discord server for my campaign, and we will be playing over voice on there.

The reason I say planning is that it really depends on what my players end up doing. I have the grand plan, but if all they want to do is take down the King of Thieves, I’m going to need to rework my plot a bit to make it more relevant.

I’ve sourced parts of my campaign from various things. I borrowed part of the map of Exandria from Critical Roll for our starting area (Nicodranus), but other than keeping the names, I am completely reworking the world to my specifications. I found encounter ideas on Tumblr, monsters on Pinterest, and purchased the core Dungeon Master’s Guide for 5th Edition. I’ve watched several tips and guides on Youtube for being the best Dungeon Master I can be, and I hope I do not let them down.

There are so many sources one can utilize!

The Premise

Each of these characters, along with several other adventurers, receive a call for aid from the small coastal town of Nicodranus. The call for aid tells that the ghosts of long ago have been wandering around the city and coming from all the way up the mountain, when centuries ago the goddess Melora sealed a great beast away before it destroyed their town. The beast was sealed deep into the mountains that overlook the town itself. The Mayor fears the seals on the beast are becoming weakened or that the beast is breaking its way out of the seal. The players are the fourth group that has attempted this quest, and the half-frozen and terrified bodies of other adventurers lay around the local inn as proof.

Meet the Players

Nia Moonwhisper: A pink-haired half-elf bard that is the eldest of five children and a twin to Lander. Her mother, a well known human wizard, and father, a drow rogue, were part of a great adventuring party that traveled the continents, freeing captives and slaves all around. From the large city of Zadash, she abandoned her parents’ antique and oddity shop to go searching for ancient Dwarven artifacts herself. She also has a peculiar black falcon that has a white beak and white feet. What is she really looking for?

Viscount Manfred Fisar: An aging human warlock who heard music so beautiful it drove him to the edges of his sanity. Manfred hails from his own fief of Fisar, and after disease and a fire that took not only most of his land and workers, but also his wife and three children, Manfred has accepted that he is the last of his line. He has left his fief in the hands of the trusted Rosegroves while he seeks out glory for his house and seeks to chase the patron of the lingering music that leaves him empty. His traveling vassals are the two younger Rosegroves, Misha and Mila. Will he find the source of the lilting tune that haunts him?

Dr. Buer A Wollf: A human alchemist turned field doctor who hails from Novogrod, a city of miners and coal workers, Buer travels the lands in search of medical healing, not including magic, which he is terrible with. He suspects he found disfavor with a god when he began healing the near dead, and Vecna (Goddess of the Undead) has called for his death, not only to cease his healing, but to recruit him into her ranks as a proper necromancer. He travels with a cleric named Janus so he may heal the decidedly unholy patients they come across, but as a Keeper of Sarenrae, Buer knows how to treat any number of ailments with potions rather than spells. How long can he avoid the clan of Vecna?

Molli Lux Howthe: Daughter of the former Mayor of Nicodranus, this half-elf girl has a quick hand and a snotty attitude. She was dropped on her father’s doorstep by an unwanting elven mother and raised in the small seaside town of Nicodranus. Her father showered her with gifts, and she grew up with an attitude issue. The suspected murder of her father shook both her and her brother Larz, and this beautiful and misguided girl turned to thievery. The siblings were brought in by an elven Elder named Dame Edith who loved them and showered them with hard work on her small garden plot and shop. Molli is determined to find who killed her father, led only by a tiny locket found at the crime scene. Will she find the smiling woman in the locket?

Larz Howthe: This blue skinned half-orc barbarian served much the same fate as his sister by being dropped on his father’s doorstep from an unwanting mother. A huge and broad specimen, Larz quickly realized that his barbarian roots would never truly leave him. Shy and quiet most of the time, taking apart watches and putting them back together, Larz hides a deep rage inside of him, always calling him to violence. His sister inspires his good, but what if his call becomes too loud like it had already done one before?

Bran Helder: An Aasimar Paladin of Sarenrae and an honorably discharged soldier from the Tanreath Army, Brand Helder struggles from his own inner demons. The only time he’d dozed on duty resulted in his entire caravan of 40 men being killed and Bran being spared as a thanks from the monster. Bran holds the weight of all his friends and comrades’ deaths heavily inside of him. His kind soul shines through, though something always lingers of sadness on his face. Will he find the beast who killed those he loved?

And it begins!

Our campaign began April 6th and will operate every two weeks on Saturday evenings from 7PM-12AM EST. I will be posting an article every couple weeks with updates! If there is enough interest once we get started, I may livestream the sessions. Things I could use some help with:

Can I get some suggestion names for NPCs?

What about Inn names?

And suggested themes you’d like to see?

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