It’s entirely natural for players to start their Dungeons and Dragons campaign with one particular expectation: I am going to be a hero. Not in a conceited “let me be in the spotlight” way, but in the “we are a party of heroes going to solve the world’s problems” way. Of course there will be players with devious motives who turn out to be anti-heroes, but that’s just the other side of the same coin. In this mindset, players are still playing characters who will solve problems.
These articles are meant to inspire Dungeon Masters with game ideas. You’ll find content to assist you with your campaign preparations.
A feast is thrown in the adventurers’ honor. Merriment and music fill the tavern as various townsfolk join the festivities. A few Nomads share in the revelry with their own instruments and dancing. As the drinks empty and the conviviality fades, the door of the inn flies open. Blustering whirls of snow immediately chill the room. The storm has begun.
Ending a tour of exhaustive travel, your adventuring party crests a frosty hill with the rising sun, an icy gust brushing their cheeks as the fog from the hollow below creeps atop the slope. Down the hill, eastward bound, lighted hearths twinkle through the morning fog. Through a soft flurry in the air, your party spots a dilapidated wooden sign beside the dirt path that names this traveler’s town Bonescrag.
It’s your first session of a grand campaign. You’re the DM, and you want to start the campaign with a bang to keep players interested in the story for months to come. To enable your first session to become a smashing success, I’ve compiled a list of my best ideas for breaking the mold on campaign starters.