Tips & Tricks

How to make your own D&D campaign

I’m really into roleplaying, as some may know. Now, there’s the amazing world of D&D, Dungeons & Dragons. Those who watched Stranger Things know what I’m talking about. Now, you can make your own campaign and I’m here to tell you how!

What’s D&D exactly?

The core of D&D is storytelling. You and your friends tell a story together, guiding your heroes through quests for treasure, battles with deadly foes, daring rescues, courtly intrigue, and much more.

Three pillars

Writing a campaign is built on three pillars:

  • The world
  • The players
  • You
White Dices on Brown Wooden Table

The world

You need to start small. When writing your campaign, you write the world and the NPCs that live in it. Your players write the plot. You write the situations and encounters they’ll find themselves in, but it’s your players’ actions that fill in the rest. As you build, ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s the surrounding area like? What are some exciting destinations that the players can visit?
  • What are the politics of the area? Is there a king? Is the onslaught causing trade to break down? Is there a civil war?
  • What NPCs can drive the story forward? What villains can stoke anger? What death of a beloved NPC can you use to break hearts?

The players

It’s as said before your world, but their story, something they want to play out in your imaginary world. And reminder: the campaign is at its best when the players go off the rails and do something out of the blue. What’s important is to have a talk session. Before you officially play your first game, have everyone sit down and talk about their characters. Let them figure out how their characters know each other. Give them time to think about their characters’ personalities, traits, and flaws. Next, ask for feedback. Always ask what was the best thing and worst thing about today’s session? Use their answers to improve and build your story around what they want. Third step is to be flexible. Your players won’t always do what you expect them to. In fact, they’ll rarely do. If you find out that some enjoy getting loot, throw in a heist or an ancient ruin to explore. If they enjoy combat, put them in the middle of a huge battle. Last but not least: let your players shine. You’re working with a cast, so to speak. Make sure that each character has something that you can play with, and switch between them liberally. You’ll keep the players invested by keeping their characters invested.

You

Make it easy for yourself, it’s supposed to be fun. The key is to work smart, not hard. But remember: organisation is king. You can have a million great ideas, hooks, and NPCs, but if you can’t find them in the heat of the moment, they are useless. You can use Word, OneNote, Excel, whatever pleases you. And always keep a box with you that contains the following:

  • D&D Rulebooks
  • Notebook
  • Maps
  • Dice
  • Monster Tokens
  • Item Cards
  • Notecards
  • Dungeon Master’s Screen

Love, Deem/Skye Lewis ❤

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