campaign story

First Time DM Tips

Tip 4: Pacing & Repair

It is difficult to get a handle on pacing, particularly when first starting out. This is something that there is no single solution to, as it will vary depending on your players. If you are concerned about the pacing in your storyline, review a few key questions:
Do I feel as if the story drags, or is going by too quickly?
Do my players seem to feel their characters have accomplished what they need to accomplish in the time they have been given?
How are my story hooks being revealed in relation to the story? Are too many or too few already being revealed? Is there a plot reason for this?

Do not be afraid to implement ways to amend any current campaign issues. This could include (but is not limited to), adding another hook or arc to keep the story moving (or so that you have something for later), retconning in-character time to be less or more depending on need, or editing unrevealed details about the world or story. Your characters will take it in places you may have never imagined.

Nobody here?

I got permission from everyone involved to send this.

During my very first D&D campaign awhile back the story setting was there were two guard captains that controlled the city, with the evil one controlling the majority of the guards which is why our party was hired by the council of heroes and the good guard captain to mitigate and hopefully stop his influence. The catch was us being hired was a secret until he was brought down. Over the course of the campaign we had several run-ins with the evil captain, and each time he almost killed at least one party member if not more. He actually succeeded in killing two pcs. Throughout the campaign many moronic things happened like the barbarian elf running naked through the streets in an attempt to cause a distraction for the rest of the party and the dragonborn cleric convincing most npcs in the poor districts that he was the second coming of Bahamut because he could use heal spells. By the end of the campaign there was a civil war in the streets of the city with us being trapped in an abandoned shack with the evil captain right outside with a dozen guard-knights threatening to kill a friendly and very helpful to us dwarf npc if we didn’t come out.
Evil Captain: Come on out, or short and stout gets it! I know you’re in there!
My Half-Orc Fighter: Uh…I would like to persuade him to leave? Can I do that?
The DM: Sure. Roll persuasion.
*Rolls Nat 20* Alright what do you say?
Half-Orc: Um…no we’re not!
Evil Captain: If you’re not in there, who’s talking?
Goblin Bard: I would like to persuade him as well.
DM: *sighs* Roll persuasion. *rolls Nat 20 plus 8 points in persuasion* *DM sighs yet again* What do you say?
Goblin Bard: The only person in here is me, your grandmother! And I’m very disappointed in you David! (The evil captains first name)
DM attempts insight check for evil Captain that has an ungodly amount of insight skill points *rolls nat 1* *DM sighs again*
DM: Dave is so distraught he drops his gear and as he walks off you see him taking off his armor as he goes home to rethink his life choices. With no leader the evil guards quickly surrender. Congratulations. *DM sighs*

some notes i’ve been taking on DMing, culled from various sources

Plot & Campaign:

  • Don’t think of yourself as being “against” the players. They aren’t playing “against” you. They are playing against the world and situations you pose to them, but you should be on their side.
  • Similarly, don’t think of the campaign as “your” story that you are telling to the players. It is a story that you are telling together. They affect the outcome of it as much (or more) than you do. If the players find a way to ruin your carefully crafted plot, let it go. You have to accept not getting your own way all the time the same way that the players do.
  • That said, have contingency plans in case the PCs kill or ignore your plot hook, find a way to bypass your carefully created puzzle, or successfully charm your final boss into not attacking them.
  • Use up your most fantastic ideas - don’t hoard them for later. You never know how long a campaign will last, and you might never get to those cool scenes and setpieces you were saving.
  • Utilize recurring NPCs. It’s less work for you and gives the players someone familiar to look forward to seeing (or resent intensely.)
  • Give the players a nemesis - someone or something working against their efforts, even if that is not a “villain” per se.
  • Have descriptions ready for locations and NPCs, but don’t over-describe. Give them enough details to build a sense of atmosphere without requiring them to draw the scene.
  • Have a set of possible random events ready to go, and periodically roll to see if any of them happen, to keep your players (and you!) on your toes.

Rules & Rolls:

  • Like in improv theatre, go for the “yes and” (or “yes but”) response to a player’s idea rather than a “no.” If the rules don’t specifically ban a player from doing something, let them do it. If it’s especially game-breaking and stupid, this is a great time to say “yes, but” and come up with a fun consequence.
  • Don’t stop everything to look up a rule. If you can’t find or figure out the answer within a minute, tell the players how you’ll do it this time based on your best guess and look it up for the future. Alternatively, if you aren’t sure what the rule would be for what a player proposes, just let them roll a d20 and add a relevant modifier to it versus your best estimate of difficulty level.
  • Don’t assume that a failed check means “nothing happens.” Failures can be as eventful, interesting, and story-driving as successes.
  • Calculating small currency amounts, weight encumbrances, and rations is incredibly boring for everyone. Decide ahead of time whether you want to just ditch those elements (within reason - if you are being kind to the players by not making them weigh out every item in their inventory, they should be kind to you by not claiming they are carrying a whole refrigerator.)

Rewards:

  • Pay attention to what motivates your players most (treasure, money, challenging fights, puzzles, stories) and use that to guide your campaign ideas. Let them tell you what carrot will lead them through the plot.
  • Make a note of what your players mention wanting out of the game experience (a certain kind of adventure or scene, an item) and find an opportunity to reward them with it.
  • Come up with a set of treasure/advanced weapons/other loot-ish rewards specific to each player. Whenever they are dungeoncrawling or getting rewards, roll to see which items they receive at that time.

Players:

  • Provide opportunities every session, if possible, for each character to use their skillset and playstyle, so that they don’t feel like the sidekick in someone else’s adventure.
  • Encourage the players to make themselves a “battle sheet” in addition to their standard character sheet that lists all their skills and spells (in their own words) and how it works, so that they understand their own potential and remember to use them! You are there to help them out if they aren’t sure of a mechanic, but encourage them to take ownership of their own character’s abilities.
  • Cliffhangers aren’t actually great ways to end a session (in case the campaign stalls out there, or a player drops out), but you can end with a new situation arising or a hard question to ponder, giving the players something to think about and look forward to returning to for the next session. 
  • Pay attention to the players’ welfare and condition as much (or more) than to their characters. If they are stressed, unhappy, or angry about something in the adventure (or something another player is doing), you should be ready to moderate that as much as you would moderate an in-game rule.

Hey Voltage fans!

Remember that “something big” we mentioned? Well, it’s our new pay-to-play app, Love 365: Find Your Story!

We’re sure some super sleuth fans are already curiously eyeing the Japanese version, so we’re here to answer your burning questions about the English release and what it means for you and your beautiful ikemen!

Tap on “Keep reading” to find out more!!

Keep reading

6

More D&D AU stuff, this time including some big illustrations with backgrounds! I started with the one of Pidge as I was trying to figure out what kind of story the campaign would have, which lead to the idea of them getting their main weapons from dungeons. 

Everything else I thought up from that point is (for the most part, though not including stuff alluded to like character backstories) in Shiro’s little bit where he’s talking to himself. 

The biggest difficulty with writing what the campaign would be like is the fact that the campaign’s story is supposed to be something that Shiro is writing. So it’s a scenario of “I don’t know if I want to make whole new characters for this AU, but if I use in universe characters as NPCs in the campaign would that be weird from the perspective of the group and Shiro?” 

I decided to use Haggar as an antagonist character and Ulaz as a side character, just because I can see it being reasonable for Shiro to have characters based on them. Mainly just as something he used as inspiration from his own life experiences and whatnot. 

And I also decided to revise Lotor’s outfit a bit, just cuz I wasn’t entirely happy with the original one I had.

Other minor things are Keith possibly multi-classing, as well as Ulaz being a multi-class character. I saw someone bring up a good point of Keith not really seeming like the wizard/magic type and was more suited to a fighter class. Tbh I kinda agree, but I still wanted to have the option of him having some magical capability. Then I remembered multi-classing is a possibility. So I decided to go for multi-classing fighter/sorcerer. 


Like my art? Be sure to check out my Redbubble store!

Nail Polish

The witch blew on her nails to speed the drying of the polish. “Ought to do it, methinks.”

Each finger sported a different color and corresponding power — luck, strength, the ability to detect lies, the ability to remove poison from liquid, and “chaotic,” as a nod to the troublesome nature of adventuring. This has saved her life more than once on previous campaigns.

Reading Movie Scripts To Get Better At D&D...

Hi Guys and Girls,

After watching a lot of movies and getting back into reading, I’ve realized how movie scripts can help you get better at writing your stories…

Movie Scripts are great at describing the scene, with audio and visual descriptions that can create some amazing imagery.

And by writing my stories like movies, I’m able to create great stories that can stay well within the 2 hour mark of a D&D Session.

So, sometimes on this page, you may see a random script or two pop up, whether the original script for some of the greatest movies, to the weird and wonderful scripts from the more “unusual” writers…

So if you like reading and movies, and D&D of course, then take part in suggesting scripts…

And this is personally something I do regularly and enjoy doing, so if you want to see more and read some weird, wonderful and really amazingly written scripts…

…then leave a Like, Reblog for fun, or leave a Comment or Suggestion!

So, this has been short, but thanks for reading!

And remember… HAVE FUN!!!

Korrasami Fanwork Positivity Campaign Round 2 - Winner!
Story: A Second Glance: At Twenty Years by Valkrez

They decided on a life together, but what would that entail?

(Read it now on Ao3!)

Artist: @Ansdrela - aka the beloved Drakyx! She’s been around for ages creating some of the best on-model art we have, and I’m thrilled we could snag a piece from her! :D

Thanks for your patience folks, but I knew it would be worth the wait!

Thanks everybody for donating! And from all of us in the fandom to all the creators who give us life–thank you for doing your thing!

Unconventional Love

DM: You arrive at the Fine Flask Tavern, put your feet up, and the waitress takes your order.

*DM places trinkets on board to represent NPCs*

DM:
•An Orc is filling up drinks at the bar (Pet Rock)
•A family of Gnomes is playing darts in the back (Small Beads)
•And a handsome Ranger is that putting up his tired feet up near the fireplace (Dime)

Paladin: Is he good looking?

DM: As it happens, yes.

Paladin: I’m going to seduce him.

DM: You haven’t even met the guy.

Paladin: He’s a dime…literally and figuratively.

-When the Paladin turns on the charm

So I recently started a new campaign with my group. Here’s the gist of what went down.

The first session had a Monk, a Fighter and a Chameleon (a 5e Homebrew of a 3.5e class) who got drafted into helping out a military fort defend against bandit raids while they recruit more soldiers.

The first few nights they get attacked by bandits and archers being led by a strange mage demanding the fort’s captain “return his property”. This guy had a bunch of fire spells and never stuck around long enough to actually do much in battle other than throw some spells before teleporting away.

Now I had this whole story planned for how I intended the players to find out about the captain’s little secret, but the Monk misread some of the clues and thought the signs were pointing to someone impersonating the captain so he decides to punch him right away and call him out as an impostor. (not to mention, he rolled a Critical Hit and managed to blind the guy with a single punch)

Fortunately, the fort had a mid-level cleric who had Zone of Truth prepared (to find out about the captain’s secret) and Restoration (to heal his eyes) and after some forceful interrogation, the players found out that the mage who’s been attacking the fort was actually a red dragon and the captain had stolen some of his eggs, aiming to raise an army of obedient dragons. After this got revealed, they got into the final fight that was supposed to be all intense and climactic but the Chameleon rolled three critical hits back to back and instantly decapitated the captain’s head.

All in all, it went pretty well. Not sure if I’m gonna keep using that critical hit chart considering we rolled Nat 20s like two dozen times in five hours.

We are slowly building the world of a past campaign.

Context: We recently started a new campaign with the same group of players who were playing in the campaign we just finished. The current campaign takes place in the same world, but like 200 years in the past, before the events of the old campaign. The party (Half-Elf Wild Magic Wizard, Human Fighter who was raised by Orcs, Incubus Druid who was assigned to be our babysitter, Yuan-Ti Rogue) has just gone through a ridiculously silly dungeon to farm XP and get gold and somehow ended up back in the bar in the town. Only the Wizard and the Rogue(me) passed the will save to realize we were still in the dungeon.

Wizard: (As I’m trying to figure out what the heck is going on with this bar) I’m going to go to the bathroom to try and look for anything weird.

DM: Okay, you walk into the back hallway and see several doors-One medium sized male door, one medium sized female door, one medium sized ambiguous door, one large door, and one small door.

Wizard: I open the medium male door.

DM: You walk in and instead of seeing the usual latrines you’re used to, you see what looks like a modern toilet with the porcelain and the handle and everything.

Wizard: I inspect this weird contraption!

DM: As you’re looking at it, you toggle the handle and flush the toilet. You’ve never seen anything like this, so you’re pretty freaked out.

Wizard: I start tearing apart the toilet and scream, “SHOW YOURSELF, TINY SORCERER!”

The rest of us hear him and, while the Druid tries to contemplate his existence and the Fighter picks fights with the bar patrons I go to check on him.

Rogue: What is wrong with you?

Wizard: I’m trying to find the wizard behind this contraption! Watch! *flushes the toilet again*

Rogue: *shocked, but too tired and busy trying to figure the illusion out to give too much of a damn* You…I don’t even care… *walks back out into the bar while the Wizard continues trying to find the magic user he’s convinced is making the toilet work*

DM: (OOC) So, by the way, this is where Brinna gets the idea for the Toy-Rey she showed your other characters in the old campaign, your stories of this bar bathroom.

100 Mutants & Masterminds Session Ideas

One of my favorite RPGs is the tabletop game Mutants and Masterminds. This clever take on the classic medium of heroism serves as one of the most diverse scenarios for both DMs and PCs. However, with so much freedom, it can be sometimes overwhelming to find a scenario that will catch the attention of both parties. Based on my own experience, it’s best to contain the game to one-shot campaigns, but you also need to take the time to shake it up if you’re playing it in the long term. So without further do, here’s a list of session ideas that I’ve either field tested, or always wanted to try out. Enjoy!

Keep reading

and now back to your regularly scheduled dnd recap

My DM and I had so much fun doing our prequel session with our characters that we just had to do another, and boy was this one a wild ride

  • after pondering the subject for a long, long while, it was finally decided that our rogue talks in a bad russian accent
  • rogue: *in a jewelry shop looking at some earrings*
    • wizard: don’t even think about it
  • rogue: *calls wizard over stone of far speech while doing a stakeout* hey, want to here a joke?
    • wizard: *sighs* yeah sure
    • rogue: your life *hangs up*
  • we were on the stakeout to capture and interrogate the owner of the jewelry store later that night. when she left the shop, our rogue started doing her Rogue Shit™ and crawled over buildings to get to the shopkeeper. Just as she was above the owner, she called my wizard on her stone, said “hey, watch this >:)” and took a flying leap off of a roof – however she failed her roll, missed the shopkeeper, and did a huge belly flop on the road instead. 
  • it was basically that scene from Moana, except instead of water, it was concrete
  • shopkeeper: should i call the cops, or an ambulance?
  • later after we learned that the shopkeeper was getting her magic floating crystals from some shady thieves, we tracked them down to their campfire, where they had a bird person tied up. my DM never intended for her to be this way, but that bird ended up being an absolute fucking badass, because the second we cut her loose she sliced a kobold clean in half with her metallic wings
  • while we and the bird person (her name is gilda) were fighting off the thieves, our rogue failed every one of her rolls and didn’t hit a single person. she never shut up about it for the rest of the adventure
  • gilda: if i find reason to believe that you cannot be trusted, I will not hesitate to throw you off of the temple island and into the ocean
    • wizard: that’s fair
  • for our first trial getting into the temple we had to fight a dragon. at one point it bit our rogue and knocked her out. my halfling wizard then jumped in between the two of them, yelled at the dragon to leave his friend alone, and shot it in the eye with a nat 20
  • that’s the power of friendship bitches
  • old owl wizard: this will be a challenge of magical prowess. tell me, who of you is your spellcaster?
    • wizard, clad in bright robes and the biggest hat you’ve ever seen: take a wild guess my dude
  • wizard: *sees stone hydra statue in the middle of a huge room* okay stand back everybody i know what to do *casts Mage Hand and pets the hydra’s nose*
  • i rolled a nat 1 while trying to shoot the hydra with my crossbow and ended up hitting gilda, who luckily was fine because she had a lot of HP. our rogue, however, was not as fine when the same goddamn thing happened to her the very next turn
  • guys he fucking killed her in one shot
  • and then died 2 seconds later
  • this is why you need a healer in your party
  • anyway after gilda deus ex machina’d us both back to life with her endless potion supply, she handed my wizard two of her metallic knife feathers, told him to aim for the eyes, and then picked him up and threw him at the hydra
  • and then guess who rolled
  • a nat
  • fucking
  • 20
  • long story short that bitch is dead and i don’t think i’ll ever do anything as cool as that in a dnd game ever again
  • after that we got to the floating city inside the temple and my wizard had a magic nerd heart attack at the sight of the place, and completely forgot about our rogue, who was being hauled off to the hospital because she was still recovering from when he shot her by accident
  • wizard: RAVEN COME DANCE IN THE GAY FOUNTAIN WITH ME
  • temple queen: please be careful with those crystals, if you drop them they will explode and destroy the whole city
    • wizard:
    • queen: lol just fucking with you