Random Tip: Begin your campaign with a by-the-numbers story arc.
My office 5e campaign just wrapped up it’s first major story-arc. There are still threads that can be followed up on, and there are indications of a greater threat in the world of Edhenon– but we came to a satisfying resolution on a goal the players have spent four levels trying to accomplish.
The arc was pretty generic: The characters were attempting to join an adventuring guild in the city. There were side treks and mini-missions involved in that, but everything was built on gearing for their initiation event.
This required very little brainpower as Dungeon Master- Generic bad guys, generic macguffins, generic “Help us!” situations.
Over the last few months of play, the players have been able to learn about and fine-tune their characters personalities and their wants*, and I’ve able to quietly absorb all of that information. Now, as I’m setting things up for a second major arc, I’m filled to the brim with ideas on how to make their lives more interesting, and the consequences more personal.
The training wheels are off, and I can now hurt much more than the characters’ HP.
(*Player Pro-Tip: What your character wants is so much more important than your backstory. I’ve seen players fill up pages with backstory, and no idea of their personal direction forward. Don’t be that player!)
You guys. Heaven is a place on earth… And it’s called the Haunted Games Cafe in Fort Collins, Colorado. Wonderful snacks, atmosphere, selection, and staff. My shield-maiden and I stayed there for like, four hours drinking coffee, eating popcorn, and playing games from their expansive game library (which is of course free to use). Could not have been happier to spend an afternoon there, which was packed with people playing Magic, and Pathfinder, and just picking games off the wall just like we were. If I could I’d be there every day! If you’re in the area, go check it out!!!
The Deck of Many Things is a lot of fun. It’s tempting to almost anyone; and why not risk it? Everyone loves the deck, until half of the party draws Donjon. So I present Basalt’s Nerfed Deck of Many Things. Yes, less risk means less fun, in a lot of cases. It also means that this version of the deck is suitable for lower leveled parties, and people less inclined to take risks. What’s the worst that could happen?
Edit: @hackmydungeon has brought up a great point regarding the Avatar of Death. I’m now working on a weakened version of it.
More Dungeons and Dragons! Our party for Curse of Strahd. We got from the top: Jase the Druid, Sigurd the Runeseeker, Demelsa the Wild Mage and her albino familiar, Lady Krea of Myth Drannor, and Aldor the Eldritch Knight. We all have terrible curses after rising from the dead, but we’re loving it.