Creating a Campaign
The world you create is the stage for the
adventures you set in it. You don't have to give more
thought to it than that. You can run adventures in
an e pisodic format, with the characters as the only
com mon element, and also weave themes throughout
those adventures to build a greater saga of the
characters' achievements in the world.
P lanning an entire campaign might seem like a
daunting task, but you don't have to plot out every
detail right from the start. You can start with the
basics, running a few adventures, and think about
larger plotlines you want to explore as the campaign
progresses. You're free to add as much or as little detail
a you wish.
T he start of a campaign resembles the start of an
adventure. You want to jump quickly into the action,
how the players that adventure awaits, and grab
their attention right away. Give the players enough
information to make them want to come back week after
·eek to see how the story plays out.
\"hen you first start building your campaign, start
-mall. The characters need to know only about the
city, town, or village where they start th e game, and
perhaps the nearby dungeon. You might decid e that
the barony is at war with a nearby duchy, or that a
dista nt forest is crawling with ettercaps and giant
piders, and you should note these things. But at
the start of the game, the local area is enough to get
the campaign off the ground. Follow these steps to
create that local area:
- CREATE A HOME BASE
ee the "Settlem ents" section earlier in this chapter
;"or guidance on building this settlement. A small
·own or village at the edge of the wilderness serves
a fine home base in most D&D campaigns. Use
a larger town or city if you want a campaign with
rba n adventuring.
- CREATE A LOCAL REGION
- ee "Mapping the Campaign" earlier in this chapter
:or guidance. Draw a map at province scale (1 hex=
l mile) with the home base near the center. Fill
n the area within a day's travel-about 25 to 30
:niles-of the home base. Pepper it with two to
:our dungeons or similar adventure locales.
. -ill area that size is likely to have one to three
additional settlements as well as the home base,
so give thought to them as well.
- CRAFT A STARTING ADVENTURE
ingle dungeon makes a good first adventure
'or most campaigns. See chapter 3 , "Creating
dventures," for guidance.
A home base provides a common starting
.ocation for the characters. This starting point
might be the village where they grew up or a
ci -that attracted them from points beyond.