This weekend my group is starting a new campaign.

This weekend my group is starting a new campaign.

This weekend my group is starting a new campaign. It’ my turn to DM and I’ve convinced the players to jump into #DungeonWorld .

I’m going to start in media res and have a few ideas of where the next few adventures could go… but I still want to give the players the option to choose what the game will be like.

My plan is to show them these three images I got from googling concept art. Each one represents a different front. I’m adding some notes to each image.

13 thoughts on “This weekend my group is starting a new campaign.”

  1. A few of them have played a few one-off sessions. IMHO, there’s a few who will take to the system’s emphasis on narrative, but others who will miss the crunchy combat of D&D.

  2. Stefan Grambart , I’m looking to introduce DW to my group as soon as we’re done with the current DnD 4e adventure is finished. That’s probably 2 to 3 months from now, so I’ve got some time.

    I’m new to DnD 4e, myself, so I was wondering if you could define ‘crunchy’ for me. Knowing this might give me some insight on how to ease the transition.

  3. Hey Shaun Johnson, by crunchy I’m referring to the strategies involved in D&D 4e; the flanking and pushing, even the combinations of various feats and actions… it makes for much more tactical game (sometimes more like Warhammer really).

    DW doesn’t really allow for that kind of gameplay – or at least not to the satisfaction of players who like to build characters for very specific combat effects etc. Its more of a narrative flow than a tactical one.

  4. That’s more or less what I figured you meant. I think that maybe plenty of maps, – while still leaving some blanks, of course! – especially combat maps will be most helpful in easing them into DW

  5. I’m starting up soon too, also with a group that’s mainly used to 4e combat mechanics.  I think the thing to focus on if you feel you need to “sell” them on it, is that DW allows for a much more free-flowing interaction with the environment than 4e does.  Using nearby objects as weapons, making use of the environment, and team tactics can be MORE common in DW, if the group has that inclination, and the encounters are set up in such a way that lends itself to those sorts of tactics.  Kicking one goblin into another, cutting down a chandelier or grabbing a burning chunk of banquet table to use as a shield all come a lot easier if you don’t have half a dozen skill checks and move-minor-standard limitations to worry about.

  6. Added a 4th option for them… Gladiators! I think this is enough options for my players to pick something that appeals to them.

    That’s a good idea, Scott McCafferty. They won’t get the pleasure of crafting that “perfect” character build, but getting them to focus on interesting uses of the environment sounds like fun!

  7. Before chargen I told the players I was going to show them 4 images. They should silently take a look and then we’d go back to the first and discuss them one-by-one.

    After viewing all four, I skipped back to the first and asked “so what’s this scene about?” I let them talk and discuss it amongst themselves, taking notes the whole time. This was repeated for the others as well.

    Afterwards I asked them to pick one as a starting point for the adventure, but they had a hard time choosing. So I made sure to use key themes the discussed in all of the images.

    Here’s the notes I took:

    Image #1

    Elven ruins, uninhabited, mysterious, magical discovery, exploration, ancient, historical, sorrow, fallen.

    Image #2

    “Court of Assassins”, dark empire, put to task, plots and treachery, the undercity, cyberpunk/steampunk, an arcane evil, return in failure, throne, assassin-king – or statue? Undead, glowing eyes – vampire? Clandestine machinations, dark urban

    Image #3

    War campaign, “Cult of the Dragon”, artificial recreation of a dragon? Investigation, conquest, Order, espionage – a spying cat? A divide of some kind. Inquisition, templars. Religious war. Planning.

    Image #4

    Gladiators in a desert world. Dark Sun, ritual “trail by combat” justice. Civil war decided in the arena? An adaptive people. Fallen Kingdom, or slipping into ruination. hard times. scarce resources. Beyond Thunderdome. spectacle and distraction.

    In the end, they chose to go with #3. We determined that the gods of this world were at war. The skies were filled with shadowy giants duking it out while thunder and lighting clashed both day and night.

    They created characters based on that image and came together as a less-than-scrupulous religious order travelling to the city of Dragonscar to meet with representatives of other religions. The aim was to try and keep the peace between the mortals until the gods had finished their holy war.

    We started bringing in ideas from the other images; The PCs were travelling from their lands in the north (image #4), where the theocracy hold gladiator matches to determine justice.

    For almost seven centuries the undead have hidden behind the walls of their own city – Sangora (image #2). They worship a nameless god and have charged a few of the players (in secret) with the task of routing out heretics in Dragonscar.

    I’ve got three fronts going in the campaign: The hidden elemental lords and their druidic follower who wish to overthrow the gods, the Court of the Undying in Sangora who wish to improve the position of their nameless god, and Morath, the god of opportunities who seeks to do the same.

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