This past Friday my group got together and we started a new game of role playing. We’ve been having trouble in the past with long running games, usually attendance and such, but we’re going to try once more to do a long running game.
We’re going to be doing this game in D&D Next (5e). As of now 5e is in beta and since there is the whole “The first rule of 5e is don’t talk about 5e” I’m only going to touch on things that hopefully won’t get WotC angry with me. (If any of my readers are from WotC please don’t be mad, and thanks for reading.) Character creation is pretty close to what other iterations of D&D are. You pick your race, class, and also a background. I did something different and started the group at Level 0. They picked race (everyone was elf but that was due to story reasons and not random chance) and then their background. We ended up with a sage, a blacksmith, a potter, and a guide. The power gaming was insane. Never before have level 0 characters been so beefy.
The PCs got half of the points they were to use for their stats. I did this because the party didn’t know what class they were going to end up with. I had eight classes available; barbarian, cleric, druid, fighter, mage, paladin, ranger, rogue. The monk is in the book but it doesn’t fit the world so I did away with it. I came up with a sort of “Choose Your Own Adventure” esque intro with each PC individually. There were eight possible endings that the PC could work towards and depending on which one they found determined their class. We ended up with a blacksmith paladin, a sage rogue, a guide mage, and a potter druid. Some of those are fairly interesting combos that I wouldn’t normally see in a game.
The intro itself definitely played like a “Choose Your Own Adventure”. I would give the PC a situation and then give them two choices. I realize this is heavy rail roading but it worked out really well for an intro. Everything that needed to happen did and it played out well enough. I would recommend this technique to any DM, but only for intros. Doing a whole game like this would take a lot of writing and I’d think the players would get bored after a session or two.
I decided to go with an original setting by stealing ideas from anywhere I can. (Don’t look at me like that.) Some of my sources for inspiration are the video games Dishonored and Guild Wars 2 and I’m taking a pinch of Iron Kingdoms for some monster flavor. So far I only showed the players their home kingdom. It was mostly typical elf woods. These elves live forever barring some accidental death. The kingdom covers a large forest and has one big city in the middle of it. Non elves are not allowed into the woods. The city is ruled by two sisters. One is the queen and holds the political power in the city while her younger sister is referred to as the witch. She is the most powerful spell caster in the city and is a druid. Druid magic is considered a form of witch craft in the rest of the world but the elves are more enlightened and don’t see it as inherently evil. The rest of the world won’t be so kind. The final thing I threw into the mix as of now is a fun twist on dragons. They aren’t just some big lizard that breaths an element. Dragons are rare and they embody a force of nature. They are more like hurricanes than anything else. The dragon that took the elves home was the dragon of disease. Imagine if Nurgle and a green dragon had a love child. That’s what I threw at the party. It was fun 😛
My next article will go through what happened with the PC’s and the story itself. As I expand on the world I’ll write more articles about this custom setting. Just remember that when doing a big home brew like this, plan your next game night, not the whole adventure. If you focus on getting through a few hours of gaming, and not a few months, your session will be much more developed and better ran. I had a vague idea of what is out side of this now destroyed elvish country but since I knew the PCs weren’t going to make it out of the country till next session I didn’t bother to work on it. I spent more time on what was going to happen and not what might happen.
Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you Friday.