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Building a D&D campaign is a lot like writing a series of books. First you have to start with the overall series goals before you dive into the details. In this episode we come up with a new campaign story that will play out like a 5 act play or 5 book series.

This is Part 4 of a multi-part podcast series.

Part 1: 10 Business Lessons Learned in Roleplaying Games

Part 2: Interview Players for Your D&D Campaign by Playing Board Games

Part 3: Picking a Genre and System for your RPG


Key Takeaways

  • Feel free to steal ideas
  • Snowflake method
  • Campaign Hook, one sentence
    • elevator pitch to sell players
    • location, goal, obstacles
    • “Several primitive and diverse tribes have assembled their leaders and heros to determine how to pacify the primordial spirits which have been devastating the area.”
  • Campaign Hook, one paragraph
    • “Across the all lands where the springs and tributaries feed into the mighty Nelgenzes River, the primordial spirits are angry. Earthquakes, blizzards, tornadoes, floods and wildfires which were once rare are now more common and deadlier than ever. Crops have been destroyed, herds of animals scattered and killed and entire communities have been wiped out. The primitive and diverse tribes that populate the region have assembled their tribal elders, warchiefs, shamans and scouts to determine how to pacify the spirits of earth, fire, air and water from their frequent episodes of wanton destruction.”
  • Big Picture Summary (secret)
    • Here + There + Resolve
    • Us + Them + Resolve
    • Secret 1 + Secret 2 + Secret 3
    • 4 disasters/dilemas + ending
  • 5 Parts of the overall story.
    • Part 1: The tribes nominate their champions who must figure out how to work together to discover leads, track down information, survive the brutality of elementals and protect their people from nature and each other. Cooperation.
    • Part 2: Resolution to learn about areas beyond Nelgenzes. Is everywhere affected? Can we relocate? Exploration.
    • Part 3: The heroes discover an advanced civilization in a far away land which is very different than Nelgenzes. Rich in magic, manufacturing and longevity, their metropolises are a wonder to behold and feel extremely alien. The people are very homogenous. Reflection and Adaptation.
    • Part 4: We learn that the overuse of magic and natural resources to try to control the environment and life expectancy of this civilization has created an imbalance in nature which is resulting in the devastation in the Nelgenzes Valley.
    • Part 5: The heroes must decide on a course of action. Should they destroy or limit magic which will adversly affect the metropolis? Should they migrate and integrate their tribes into this society and learn to master the magical arts? Is there another way to restore the natural order? Resolution.

Resources Mentioned



Chad's D&D Campaign

Get access to my custom D&D campaign resources and find out how to play with me in my personal campaign.

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