Matt’s First Campaign <—Click the Link to get all of Matt’s campaign files as a zip.
Hey there everyone. I wanted to share with you my own campaign that I run off the podcast with a different group of players. While it might not be safe for Ben or Sam to go over their DM notes, it is safe for me to go over mine for any would be DMs that might be listening to the podcast.
Please feel free to steal any ideas for your own and use this as a DM toolkit for making your own games.
The world: The natural world’s last great war was hundreds of years ago against the hoards of invaders from the Elemental Chaos. The natural world’s species were able to close off the boundaries between the worlds and power was divided amongst three families.
The Players: Lucius Grimlock (Tiefling)- A child of a branch family that was born with an incredible gift of magic in a world where machines had taken over. His family slaughtered by the main family, Lucius was spared due to his friendship with the child of the Main Family’s leader. Lucius was sent to a distant estate where he learned of the family’s dark history. He has returned to gain power and overthrow the head family.
Adeen Sorrow (Tiefling)- An orphan (unbeknownst from Lucius Grimlock’s clan), Adeen had a troubled youth for being different from the other children and having demonic blood. She grew up to become a cat burglar in order to survive. At one point, she tried to become a waitress and leave her past behind her. One day, the same child who had befriended Lucius gave her a purpose to life by being her confidant and provider. She knew of love from the main family for the first time in her life and her skills as a cat burglar and informant were used to great benefit. Years later, she learned of a tiefling (Lucius) who was plotting to potentially kill her employer and the only person she considered family. She is currently working to assess his actions and prevent harm to people she cares about.
Tinder Brightwood (human)- A youth from a far away land that trained animals for battle, Tinder used his animals abusively for his own gains. One day, his body was genetically fused with his animals and he gained control of natural powers never conceived of by a human. This bond with animals and nature was a poison to Tinder’s abusive spirit and he has left his country in search for a way to rid himself of this curse. Tinder was forced to avoid contact with major populous as he was prone to changing into an animal himself, only somewhat under his own control. His journey forced him to steal for survival and he was caught by an Elf who runs a tavern. Tinder is working off his debts to this elf while struggling to find his escape from this genetic mutation.
The Plot: The overarching story is that this party comes together to rescue a man, only to find out the very family Lucius and Adeen are involved with are breaking the boundaries of the Elemental Chaos and the Natural Plain. The party will fight off an invading elemental presence in a world suddenly thrown into the dark ages. With the elemental creatures free to manipulate the animals and landscape, and technology ruined by elemental shifts, the party will need to find a way into the Elemental Chaos and close the rift once more.
Battles: My players are new, so I decided to allow the first level worth of battles be relatively simple. Rests in between gave the players ample time to recover and allowed them time to roll play to prod the world and each other for information. They have just become second level (due to the elemental infusion in their systems from the rift) and will gain powers based as if the elemental shift had changed them. This will explain to these players why their characters are more than the average person and why they must be asked to stop this world collapse.
In the second level, with new powers, heartier characters, and the players asking “is this all” from their first level battles, I have decided the players must engage in a lot of battles between cultists, elemental mephitis, and giant elemental spirits in the span of a day in order to test their limits. The players should feel at the end of this next session that the elemental spirits are dangerous, and it will take resolve to battle these creatures.
Ending section: I really enjoy writing my stories and believe that characters should feel they are more than just the typical adventurer. I am learning much better roleplaying for my own characters in Pumpkin Spice and Lightlessness by forcing myself to act as multiple NPC’s with different objectives and personalities. I think that if any player feels they are stagnating in their campaigns or cannot find solutions to problems, try running a mini campaign or a one shot. Players will surprise you with questions you had never thought of and it will teach you to think on your feet.
While my World Tour campaign might be me teaching my friends how to play D&D 5e, they have also been teaching me how to approach these fictional worlds with new eyes and millions of questions. Please take a look at my background notes with more details and the first two sessions worth of story written out in order to help you make your own campaign!