Mmm, can you smell it? It’s 2016 and that new campaign scent is on the breeze! If you’re like me, the classic settings for Dungeons & Dragons just don’t get you as excited as some more unique settings might. So come along, let’s explore what new and interesting campaigns await us!
Hiers to Ruin
Things aren’t right across the country –evil is stirring in all corners. The only ones who can quell the coming troubles are the princes of the realms scattered across the country. Elves, Dwarves, and Men alike must set aside their petty differences and join forces. When the players create their characters, you should work with them to develop where they come from, and what those places look like. Identify what their threats and agendas are, and why these heroes were chosen over their brothers or sisters.
By the end of character creation, you’ll have 3 or 4 interesting and hopefully vastly different realms, as well as many personal threats to the players. Now the campaign can start! Why were they called? Perhaps only royalty can slay the leader of this new threat, or maybe the king that rules over all the realms is slowly going mad, and now it’s up to the princes and princesses to bring the king to justice.
Many campaigns take place over huge distances; spanning mountains, forests, and vast plains alike… but what about the most dangerous biome of all? An enormous city! Think of the hustle and bustle of the market streets lousy with pick-pockets. Picture the large spires and high gates guarding the wealthy districts. These ideas certainly aren’t anything new, but when you dedicate your time to coming up with the names of districts and neighborhoods, instead of those of distant elven towns, you might realize it’s a deep and rewarding experience! Populating a city with rich NPCs and creating fun encounter spaces feels pretty fresh and new compared to the dusty old dungeons or snowy ruins we’ve all seen before.
The characters could have been summoned to this town from all corners of the country to help clear the city of gangs and fanatics. Perhaps they’ll bring medicine for a local cleric in hopes that it will help cure the disease that’s overwhelming the poorer population; only to find out he is wanted by the corrupt city guard.
The Days ’til Our Doom
In a typical Dungeons & Dragons campaign, the players are the only thing that can stop the oncoming apocalypse –but what if it’s already too late? What if those who were supposed to save the world had failed? The big baddie got their hands on that amulet of power, and now the world is doomed. The players have little hope to save anyone, let alone survive.
You may think this campaign has an inevitable end, but you may be surprised which directions a campaign like this can go: from an exodus from this universe to another non-doomed one, to a classic Hail Mary move to stop the big baddie.
Take a look at our Pinterest for some visual inspiration, and comment below with a unique campaign ides of your own!