So, in this entry we’ll consider the first of the main things you need to write your first adventure.
Where are you going to set this brand new adventure?
So, where do you plan to set this new Adventure?
Obviously if this is an existing game you’ll have your setting already decided, but if it’s a new game, you have a few choices.
There are quite a lot of pre-published settings, the majority of them came from my favorite system the 2nd Edition. It doesn’t really matter what system you plan on using because there are tons of add on books you can use.
I have listed a few examples below but there are so many settings you could use.
Dragonlance is probably the best setting for beginners and traditionalists. The most popular Dungeons and Dragons books, “The War of the Lance” take place in this world. It is a pretty straightforward world in which any manner of character could thrive. It has an amazing history, and plenty of hidden secrets. Perhaps the best reason for Dragonlance is the Draconians, which are basically mutated hybrid dragons. They are some of the most fun bad guys to meddle with. My first games were set in Dragonlance and it still has a lot to offer.
Ravenloft is perfect for fans of anything dark. This is a world of undead, horrors, and darkness. This is an extremely difficult campaign to run, as every area has its own rules to live by. There is a lot to know, a lot to have at your fingertips, and not a lot of combat. This is the ultimate role playing setting, which requires creative ways to survive.
The Forgotten Realms well known, I’d describe it as one of the classic sword and sorcery settings, its very well developed. A good setting for people to play in as there are maps for everything, Ed Greenwood must do nothing other than make this world! The problem is everyone knows Drizzit and Elminster, they know the Gods war, and they all want to go to Shadowdale or Waterdeep.
Planescape is an alternative setting, it takes a powerful group of player characters to survive, but Planescape is the most limitless setting. It is all about other worlds and, the multi-verse. There are seventeen planes detailed, and plenty more to be explored. Each one is endless, full of the most powerful creatures, constant war and struggle for supremacy, and plenty of magic. Anything that can be imagined can be found somewhere in Planescape.
Planet AD&D even has its own fledgling setting called Ankhur, a world of Pirates, Tall ships, long forgotten temples, entire Islands of Gnolls, even Flying Gnomes. I’m part of the design Team so I’ll obviously suggest this as a world to consider, you can read more about it here
That’s just a few examples, there are quite a few pre-published settings you could use, the decision is yours really.
Of course you should also consider is your players, what do they like or dislike? If your players get into the idea of a swashbuckling seas adventure, you will want to pick a very different campaign setting than if they enjoy Arabic or desert-based adventures.
How much magic and magical items and magical weapons and magic armor do your players like to see in their game? Do they enjoy in-character’ opportunities, or are they more likely to want to do the traditional kill it and take its’ stuff’ play? Do they want to be heroes? Or do the want to be flawed heroes? What races do they want to play? You need to be sure that the Player Character races they like exist in that setting.
The second step is to decide how much help you need. Your campaign will be uniquely yours, regardless of whether it takes place in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting or in Ravenloft, the demi-plane of dread. If you want to do very little preparation on your own, choosing instead to use pre-written D&D modules, you need to be sure those are in print and available.
Of course if you choose to be adventurous, you can create your own home-brewed campaign setting, complete with gods, races, classes, geography and history of its own. Be prepared this is lots of work, but worth every second when you players explore YOUR world!!
Next Time I’ll discuss what plot you might want to consider…