And after a week of Avengers: Endgame (no spoilers in this post), we’re finally getting back to some D&D. This time we’re looking at the Character Race of Dragonborn. Dragonborn, are a bit like tieflings or other races where they get some heritage from something […]
Time to make a huge game. I think that there are a lot of interesting things that you could do with this idea, including something a long ways out there, which is have it played with multiple groups.
In this game the different planes, fire, earth, prime material, hell, abyss, fey wild, and everything else, they are all being beset upon by an outside force, a massive massive outside force that is probably controlling one or some of them already and having them branch out against the others.
So in this game you pick different realms, probably fey wild, Sword Coast, Eberron, and whatever else you want and you start playing games in each of them where there are forces, maybe the elemental plane of fire and the abyss have been overrun by whatever this great force is, some evil deity most likely, that is bending them to their will. Have the players then deal with the threats showing up in their worlds.
Build this story up for some time that something is wrong in the abyss or the plane of fire, but don’t really let on that there is a big bad guy, think that it’s something smaller that is causing the unrest. Eventually have this dark force and their own army also show up in the realm. And here is where you might want to have one combined game for all the groups to spring the big reveal on them. Have this force s how up on all of their planes, and they all get transported to some pocket dimension or something like that where this being is controlling everything from. Then have there be a prophecy, but not one of those impossibly vague prophecies, but something something as specific that they basically have to find the pieces of Voltron or some god killing weapon, or even Dragon Balls.
Then you split back up and make the games take similar paths, but searching for this thing in their own realm. And they shouldn’t really be able to interact with the other realms. Once each group has found their piece of the weapon, come back to together for a final epic battle.
I’d really recommend doing a set piece for this epic battle. As I think having loads of monsters around that the players aren’t really fighting, but are kind of set dressing, but there should be some generals that each group of players need to take out to fight their way to the evil deity. Then some players are going to have to do a challenge to get the weapon assembled while the others are fighting off all sorts of monsters. The big thing is that they can’t do damage to this deity without the weapon and the weapon is a one shot kill. So once they’ve gotten the weapon assembled, and you can do some interesting things with that, like them having to cast spells, deal with things in their minds that the deity might be doing to them, more than just roll a dexterity tinkering check. The other players can then be fighting off hordes and hordes of monsters, and make it cinematic and let them hit more than one thing with a swing, so minion type monsters that just pop, but also can pack a punch if they actually get to attack.
Then once the weapon is ready, take your DM control back, and basically narrate what happens. I wouldn’t let it kill the deity, something that kills a deity besides another deity is too powerful, but it could banish him to a prison dimension, where he had been banished before, but had escaped from, or had been banished for a million years. The weapon should fall apart and Dragon Ball it out of there in it’s separate parts.
That’s where the campaign ends. I would pitch this when you are starting out in sessions zeros as an epic game that is going to be fought for the fate of all the planes. Hopefully every group will be in on the game, but really lean into that this is going to be bigger and more epic than other games. Also, with that, really let the players be heroes. As a DM, you should try and avoid having characters die in this game. Also, try and limit plane hopping, I’d maybe allow conversation to happen after that mid point of the game, but traveling between planes might be locked down by either the evil deity, or by good deities to prevent the spread of the evil deity. Definitely make this game big, and I also wouldn’t make this game all that long. Power level your characters up, getting them to the mid levels by the mid point of the game, and then let them have level 20 for the epic fight, But this game doesn’t have a ton of variety, so having them level up fast, almost as chosen ones, would make the characters seem really powerful.
I also know that I said, don’t kill off the characters die in this game. The last session, that is out the window. If a character actually die dies, that’s fine, that’s the epic end, in fact, there should be a chance that everyone dies. At level 20, if it seems too easy, have plans to bump up monsters, add in different tougher monsters, add in lair effects and other hazards for the players, make it difficult on them, make them use up resources to get to the final skill challenge, and make them use resources there. Maybe the weapon needs some magic items put into it to power it, make them spend stuff that they’ve got. Maybe they need to load some spell slots into it, take away resources, and make them spend resources to get there, this should be tough. I’d give the deity a way to interact with them throughout the whole battle, so they might be fighting the deity’s generals, but the deity is also causing them problems with large area effect spells and stuff like that, make it work for what you need, even if it “breaks” the D&D rules.
So what do you think of this game? Do you think it could be cool to run something this epic, or is it too simple and combat focused?
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!
I’ve talked with Dwarves and Elves about how they were inspired by Lord of the Rings. But there aren’t any Halflings in Lord of the Rings. There are Hobbits, obviously. So how close are Hobbits to Halflings? Very close, Halflings are the fun loving, food […]
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go…
We all know about dwarves from such classics as Snow White and more so Lord of the Rings. Really, Lord of the Rings is the basis for so much of Dungeons and Dragons, because it is the basis for so much fantasy in general. Dungeons and Dragons has built upon it, to really build out the dwarven structure of society that you don’t really fully see in Lord of the Rings.
Dwarves tend to live in a pretty rigidly structured society, and that’s one of the defining features. I think that Wizards of the Coast recommend that dwarves are lawful in their alignment. This comes because dwarves are generally part of a large family group and so you have certain family expectations to live up to.
Dwarves also live for a longer than human life span. It’s not as long as elves, but dwarves still live for several hundred years. Instead of taking that time out to go adventuring, they are going to be working on honing their skills to create their masterpiece, whether that is some ale, sword, piece of armor, etc., that work is how you’re going to get recognized as a dwarf in your society.
Even with that, dwarven society is rigid. So while you can probably work your way up the societal ranks by creating a masterpiece, the amount of time you have to work on that is going to be low if you’re in a lower rung of a family. However, being in a family is very important, you could also call it a clan, though they are generally set-up as a family group from ages ago. If you are clanless, you are an outcast who other dwarves really look down upon. You’d be hoping that someone will invite you into their clan so that you can have some standing in your life.
And I think that’s one of they key points, dwarves really like order in their lives. A dwarven adventurer is going to be seen as a bit of an outcast from normal dwarven society and might have troubles coming home again, if they just up and left their clan. However, clans will most certainly send out dwarves to adventure to help maintain stability, to spread the word of dwarven deities, and to look for some great treasure that would be the centerpiece for the clans standing among the other clans.
Mechanically, dwarves are slower than other races such as humans and elves, but their make up for that by having a bonus to constitution. You really get the double down on constitution with some of the dwarven sub races which get more HP per level on average than other races playing a similar class. Dwarves also have advantage against being poisoned, and even if they do end up being poisoned, they are poisoned less. You also gain some proficiency with various tools and weapons to start, so if you are playing a class that wouldn’t get access to some weapons, you now are going to have access to them.
But let’s talk about some Dwarven backstories…
My clan is the black sheep of clans. We generally deserve our reputation. Our clan is known for employing shady methods of gathering trinkets. If something goes missing in your clan, it might show up in our clan a generation later, I’m not saying how it got there, but it might happen. I, with my particular set of skills, got asked not just by my clan, but by the clans as a whole to head out into the world. The older generation said it felt like there was some changes on the wind that might be an issue for us. They were possibly also tired of me taking their stuff.
Alignment: Lawful Evil/Lawful Neutral
I miss my little blacksmithing shop. It was a quaint little place that gave me peace, but I can’t ever see it again. I was kicked out of my clan for a misunderstanding. I had started to build up a name for myself and go up in the clan, which was getting on the nerves of some of the family members who were closer to the main family. I was set-up on day when one of the nobles staged it so that I thought I saw an assault in progress. I snapped and used my smithing hammer and killed a dwarf before they could stop me. The whole issue came out, and while the noble was punished, for my crimes I was exiled. Now I’m searching for a treasure or something that will get me back into my old clan so I can go back to my black smith shop.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral/Lawful Good
Background: Guild Artisan
All praise Moradin, the god of Dwarves who heats our forges and makes our armor and weapons strong. Brothers and Sisters who have fallen away, I am coming for you. My clan has sent me out from our sanctuary against the ravages of the underdark in a time of need when the Drow and Duegar attack. I am coming when I can to bring you back to your faith and stop whatever or whomever is driving you away from your faith. That was the letter that I sent out two years ago, I’ve been on the road every since. I know that just showing up as a lowly member of Moradin’s church will not grant me an audience with someone so fully corrupted. I seek a way to show Moradin’s power to them.
Alignment: Lawful Good
Dwarves are an interesting race to think about and give good role playing opportunities if you lean into some of their traits. I didn’t talk about the rivalry/dislike between dwarves and elves, because I did in the elf article last week.
Have you played a dwarf in a D&D game? How have you built your dwarf up?
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!
I figured I’d go next for playing Dungeons and Dragons and talk about playing the different races. Previously I’ve done series on classes and backgrounds, but there’s another piece to your character creation, and that is picking your race. For this series, I’m going to […]
I’ve done a lot of in depth posts on the different backgrounds and classes from the core book, and I’ve done some posts on building out characters before, but I wanted to come up with the simplest way of how to create a character. By this, what is that smallest area that you need to align your character with to have a good character for a game?
One thing you’ll see that I’m not going to be talking about is backstory. I think that a good backstory can make it easier to role play, give the DM a bunch of story hooks, and give you a more rich character, but that isn’t needed for building a character for a game.
What I’m going to recommend is that you start by understanding the campaign and make a character that fits the game you’re playing. If it’s a heist game, making a paladin with AC 22 and stealth of -2 is going to cause issues. Same with a more social based game, just because you have this great half-orc barbarian idea doesn’t mean that it’s going to fit into a game with a ton of social situations when the half-orcs favorite word is supposed to be smash. This should all really be hashed out in a session zero where you come with your ideas for characters and the DM comes with their idea for games and then you figure out what game you want to play and with that, what character idea you can use.
Next, you’re playing in a game with one or five or more players, so build your character to not be Batman. I know what playing the character that can do everything, but the more people you have, the less you need the rogue who dipped into bard to get all the expertise. Make a character that is good at what they are meant to be good at. If you want to make the rogue character, focus on stealth and deception and slight of hand. You don’t need to be better at Arcana than the wizard is just because you can be.
Now, that does sound like you could end up creating a character that isn’t fun for you to play. Maybe you want to be to tools monkey who knows a bit of everything all the time. That’s fine, but then leave of combat. Which is what Batman forgot to do. But for the final piece of advice, play a character that is fun for you, but is also fun for everyone else to play with. Let’s go with the Rogue example again, just because you can steal from the paladin doesn’t mean that you should steal from the paladin. And maybe your paladin is all about being that thief, but at least make it then that he respects at least some of the members of the party enough to not steal from the party. You can certainly try and steal from shops still, but the party is off limits, because when you steal the trinket that the paladin has written a massive backstory for, they are going to be pissed.
And that’s it, it’s a bit of a shorter article. Sorry for missing yesterday, I was out sick. But those are the three things, really two, just with one split out between mechanics and role playing. But this is the simplest level of creating a character that you’re going to have fun playing, and that is going to fit into the campaign and be fun to play with in a game.
Now, this is a bit simplistic, hence the 101 added to the end. I am going to continue until we get up to a graduate level course, just remember that all the information for building a good character is going to build off of one another, so starting at the graduate level course isn’t going to do you that much good.
Have I missed anything important for the extremely basic how to create a good D&D player character?
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!