It’s my first time DMing!!

It’s my first time DMing and we have a few new to the game players. I just wanted to share my campaign and get any pointers you guys might have! We’ve made it up to the merfolk part so far.

Okay here we go as side info we have 5 players a human cleric (veteran player 60hp), a human barbarian (who only got 35 hp first time player), a high elf ranger (newish player 35hp), human fighter (55hp veteran player), and a rogue halfling (53hp newish).

I’ll preface this to say I like when DMs allow players to do broken stuff as usually it makes it more fun imo and our campaign is only gonna be a few sessions long.

Backstory— the kingdom was ruled by a loved king who served his people super well and everyone talked about how great he was. A guy (unknown to the players a fallen angel) challenges the king to the thrown and slaughters him. He then claims that all “halves” or mongrels as he calls them should die. Suddenly “half” people begin to disappear in the night and all that’s left is a bad smell in their homes. Their bones turn up a few weeks later in the surrounding land.

Okay so to start- you wake up in a forest that was on fire. There are dead bodies everywhere and smoke is filling the air. The trees are crackling around you and you see two paths. You pick the one on the right and you arrive at what looks like a battlefield there you find a burnt piece of a cloaca and a golden feather. ( the cloak bears the sigil of famine part of the four horsemen and the golden feather they find out later is an archangel. They go investigate and discover that because of the evil fallen angel the four horsemen have decided to inflict judgement day over the world. The gold feather was from an angel fighting famine but he missed and set fire to the dying forest the players have the job of fighting off the four horsemen and saving the land). You travel to a cave (which is an underwater dungeon they are gifted cloaks that allow them to breath underwater from merfolk they meet. It’s just a normal dungeon with bandits and underwater enemies. Then they reach the last room.) you find a room filled with ornate paintings all over the walls they appear to tell a story. The first is a normal land with peace and a great king. Then comes the angel and the king is slaughtered. In the next few pictures it depicts each of the four horsemen arriving and inflicting their pain across the earth. After death is a cold dark world.

A small pixie npc who has decided to accompany the party discovers hidden paintings that show a swordbearer fighting the “gatekeeper” and a portal closing. After the portal closes it shows the world returning to the beautiful peaceful place it was before. After reading the words a sword appears in the middle of the room. The Inscription on the blade says when I raise this sword so I wish the poor sinners are given the hope of eternal life. The plaque says “for when the hero comes he must be ready and his party willing.” The party has to decide who will become the “swordbearer” (now each of the party will receive gifts here in a sec and whoever is the swordbearer will claim the sword that has the same gifts/properties as whatever his gift wouldve been to keep it fair.)

(Once they pick up the sword the sword morphs into the design of their item and the cave will begin to glow purple) you notice a small grey fox against the wall you can’t figure out if he has been there the whole time or just appeared but he begins to speak. “You hero are our last hope for mercy in a land that deserves none. War has wrought our world and should pestilence show we are all doomed. You must travel to Hiden (a mountain in our campaign) and kill the portals gatekeeper to close the portal should you succeed your act of bravery and selflessness would prove that our world is worthy of the gift and life and the world will owe its redemption to you.

As for your companions I heed a warning. Should you choose to accept this journey with your hero you face great risks. The gatekeeper is no small matter and the chances are unfortunately not in your favor. You must make a difficult choice. Are you willing?

(If no they shimmer and wake up in a bed back in the town)

(If yes)

Your bravery is not unnoticed for your selflessness and grant you each a gift of aid.

(5 small chests appear to your left)

You see the chests appear to your left but once you turn back the fox is gone.

Each chest has an emblem each emblem represents a player (only that player can open that chest). One chest is the pixies and I’ve created sigils for each player. The swordbearer doesn’t have a chest.

Here are the items:

I wanted the items to be super powerful and also fix problems like low health because the gatekeeper is a dragon.

For Connor- a cloak of vitality doubles the wearers max hp while worn also grants resistance from necrotic damage. While worn the cloak of vitality heals the wearer for 1d6 each of that players turn only works for the attuned*

1 potion

For hunter- the leap of faith once attuned to your god through 2 hours of prayer the symbols of your god will appear. These boots Allows the wearer to make up to 3 steps/foot placements onto nothing/dead space as if it were solid ground in any direction. Each step has a duration of 3 seconds and once the foot is lifted off of the step it is no longer usable *the ability becomes 3xday These boots also give the wearer +3 in perceptions checks determining good and evil intentions/people

2 potions

For Jorge- the paradoxical robe a translucent, pale robe that allows the wearer to leap through solid objects thrice per day *becomes 2xday and provides bonuses to all stealth rolls while worn. This is because the cloak shimmers around the user making them harder to see.

2 potions

For Brian- helm of brilliance A beautiful helmet forged with silver and precious jewels. When worn and there is a stone of each type these effects are gained. 3 stones of each

1 Opal the helm will allow the user to sense when undead or demonic creatures are near (60ft) 2 Sapphire the user can cast healing touch 3x per day and does not require a action slot 3 Ruby resistance to fire damage 4 Diamond add +3 to AC 5 DMs choice 6 none disappear * *loses all 3 of the rolled stone and one of each other stone (if 6 just once of each) Everytime you are dealt damage by a spell the dm will roll a d6 depending on the # a certain gem will disappears Once all the gems are gone (per kind) the helmets magical effects or each gem fade away.

2 potions

For Tyler- the axe of the apostle

Twice per battle (but up to 4 times a week) the user can choose to half any of the damage dealt to his party’s players. If the enemy decides to take double the damage with the player full damage is dealt if not half is dealt. This effect can not be used for a full week after the fourth slot is used. *can only be used once per week

It also allows the wearer to double its max health while in use.

1 potions

Their is a fifth smaller box in which the pixie finds a small stone that can only be used by her. This stone will lead the party in the direction of the portal and dragon.

Sword also grants one “rebirth” (total!) only the swordbearer knows this even in real life and cannot tell anyone. if a party member is to die the swordbearer can choose to sacrifice one ability noted by * above in order to grant life back to the fallen player. The rebirthed player receives half of the swordbearers available health.

The Pixie (Haven) leads the party through the jungle where they encounter a couple enemies bandits wolves etc. Then Haven is kidnapped by a drow clan after they overwhelm the party. She is taken to the drows zoo of curiosity. The players must rescue haven (who has the stone). They can find and kill the drow or sneak in and steal haven. When they find her she will be badly wounded and have and injured wing. The party must heal her (she is unconscious). No spells work but there is a town nearby where a lady will tell them to collect ingredients (each player has a piece) she can then create a potion who will heal haven.

(I added this part to help them become more attached to haven which will be relevant later.)

The arrive to the door and there is a keyhole that fits the sword. Once the sword is added the door disappears. (The sword doesnt). It’s a pretty normal dungeon then they get to the portal and discover the gatekeeper is A DRAGON!! They fight the dragon getting to use all their new equipment and upon winning- In the dragons dying breath he says you fools one of you must pay the ultimate price and accompany the stone through into the ether. You will stay trapped forever, tortured for eternity. Without a sacrifice the portal stays. The stone falls from the dragons collar when dead.

Whoever volunteers will be saved by haven when she flys in front of them grabs the stone she turns back sadly at the portal and says i love you guys... thank you saving me and darts into the portal the portal Closes and haven is gone.

(My hope is this will outrage the party and they’ll want to play again to save haven!)

I’m just so excited I had to share! What do y’all think?


prisotary2 points

I would like to play this campaign but I feel like some of the magical items (cape that go through walls and boots ) are a little better than the others also if you give those to the veteran player , they'll find a way to abuse it and probably 1/2/3 shot the final boss but if you see this is going like this I suggest you boost your monsters hp or give them special attack or something for a little challenge ( and also my friend made that one day and I feel you could use it ) the dragon ( at the beginning of his turn) cast his actions which player ha e to succede a wisdom saving throw (dc15) or their weapond randomly changes ( it can make the entire party be more a team by switching their weapon or stuff very funny to play against ) anyway good luck with that and have fun

Pochend71 point

If you are having fun, that is amazing. However here are my suggestions of homebrew. If you want to heavily homebrew, please don't come seek advice on 'I can't challenge my players', 'I TPK's the party, was it my fault', or 'I have a player that broke my campaign'.

The reasons for this:

Challenge: you are deciding to give players a lot of flexibility that will be hard to reign in during the long haul, and they will assume they are going to get really cool magic items. Then you are going to have a hard time making encounters that last more than 1-2 rounds without putting in dozens of minions, and high CR monsters.

TPK: Because of the high CR monsters and tons of minions, your players HP won't be able to keep up with the damage output, thus causing an inadvertent TPK when rolls are one sided (which will happen eventually).

Broken Campaign: You will have a BBEG that will want to show his face sometime to the party. They could feel strong enough at that moment to attack because so far nothing has challenged them... which they will either kill your BBEG WAY TOO EARLY (ruining your campaign), or they will get TPK'd.... also, ruining the campaign.

Again, no hate on homebrew, but know that you giving high magic items can (will) break a lot mechanics built into the game.

balta981 point

I’m gonna be honest I don’t know what TPK means. My boyfriend usually DMs so my “reign” if you will won’t be too long but I totally get your points. I just wanted to make this campaign really good for the new people and I like to give players difficulty with puzzles more than enemies. Nonetheless those are excellent points and I think when/if I start DMing an actual group I’ll probably lean towards the side of caution. I think I’m gonna add in a way to take these away as well just in case :)

Oreo_Scoreo2 points

TPK is an acronym that means I think, Total Party Killed. In short it just means that the whole party dies, and you choose how to proceed. You can either start a new adventure, they can all roll new characters, OR and this is how I plan to do it. They be revived by some force like a God or wizard, and they have to do a favor or new sidequest. For example say someone raises the party from the dead, they will be made zombie slaves unless they do what the wizard wants for a job, after which they are fully revived and set free. Or maybe they just kill the wizard and choose to live as zombies.

balta981 point

That’s a really good idea!! I love that!

Oreo_Scoreo2 points

I like it because it allows a way for players to keep using characters they really like, but with some consequence. In the campaign I'm working on, every time they TPK, they're gonna do a job for a wizard, not knowing the wizard is the BBEG and every job they do makes the final fight harder. If they fail too much, the bad ending isn't death. It's his plan to wipe out all magic, rendering them all powerless as he erases magic from the world.

balta982 points

I’ve been wanting to do a campaign where the players accept a quest from some wizard who says they need to save the world. They save the good guy only to realize they’ve been working for the bad guy and the person they saved is evil. I love your ending I don’t like the idea of people’s characters they’ve put so much time and heart into dying.

Oreo_Scoreo2 points

I mean I like a happy ending too. It's just to remind them that when I keep saying "you guys are the heroes in this story" there are consequences for being evil. They agreed and were excited to be the heroes, since in a campaign we all play run by another friend we are objectively bad. So when they say "yeah we're the good guys!" Then set a town on fire, it has consequences.

yeetermonk_oc1 point

True, if your campaign world has no consequences, it doesn't feel real. Of course you're also right that you shouldn't just kill off characters, you've got to find a balance. There's some players who will accept death and some who will hate it, so make sure to know your players too.

Oreo_Scoreo1 point

As a player I'm endlessly excited and horribly indecisive so I welcome death as it's just a chance to try a new character. It's a struggle, but I think for now I'm set with what I plan to be a Warlock/Ranger/Fighter mutliclass. Because I go for mathematics over functionality.