D&D 5E Homebrew Campaigns in 5e

My campaign world is called Hexen (named both after the german meaning and an old fantasy version of Doom, a computer game). The most important country is Nebelmark, a cross between The Empire from Warhammer Fantasy and Nazi-Germany. The fanatical clergy preach that humanity is a superior race. The elves are addicted to Blue lotus and the nebelese emperor buys it in abundance and gives it for free to the elven people, thus making drug-addicts of an entire nation. The dwarves are bribed and the other races subjugated by different means. The last campaign I ran in 4E took places in Thule, which in Hexen is a large prison-island, essentially a giant consentration camp for nonhumans and political dissidents. Despite the fanatical racial hatred, Nebelmark is a divided country. The nobility is plotting against each other and against the emperor, the church is plotting against the nobility and trying to control the emperor, The Zauberhall (mage's guild) is plotting against the church, etc. Nonhumans are tolerated as long as they are the property of humans, which is the opening for player characters to be of other races.

There are still followers of the Old Gods, the deities that were worshipped before Overmennesket (I don't have a good english word for this, the correct german word would be ubermensch), a chieftain that united the nebelese tribes long ago and created Nebelmark. Followers of the Old Gods are basically generic fantasy priests following gods of Might, Fertility, the Sun and the Moon, etc. They have no hatred for nonhumans. There is a clandestine war between followers of the Old Gods, who are outlawed, and The Church.

There are three great campaign secrets in Hexen. My players, having adventured in this world many years through a couple campaigns, know one: The ancient chieftain that united the nebelese tribes, the ubermensch, was in fact half-elven. The second is that this chieftain didn't conquer the other tribes of his own will, but rather he followed the commands of a spear he found when adventuring. This spear, an incredibly powerful artifact, was sentient and created by the devils to fight the demons in the Blood War. The spear was in fact the champion of the devils on Hexen.

The spear recognized the awesome potential of the chieftain and sought to create an empire, Nebelmark, which the devils could secretly control and use against the demons. In the next centuries, after the Five Genocides had laid waste to the nonhuman population of Nebelmark and made slaves of the survivors, the Abyss recognized the influence of the devils in Nebelmark and made plans to infiltrate The Church. Thus the Blood War has always raged within The Church, in secret. Very few priests in The Church know where their spells actually comes from, some are given spells by demon lords, some by devil princes. The vast majority believe their divine magic stems from the Hero-God, the ancient chieftain, but his soul is long extinct.

The third campaign secret is The Dark Veil. This artifact, created by a select few priests of The Church with the assistance of Yugoloths, makes it very difficult for good-aligned extraplanar creatures to enter Hexen and easier for evil-aligned creatures to enter. This artifact is the greatest prize of Hexen, devils and demons constantly vie for it, a century the devils will control it, manipulating the magic to make it easier for devils to enter and more difficult for demons, the next century demons will control it.
 

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the Jester

Legend
My homebrew, which I've set all my D&D games in since mid-2e, is called Cydra. It's a very big world that is set on the inside surface of a colossal air bubble. Several thousand years ago, Chaos won the Great War of Ethics (of which the Blood War was only a small part), defeating Law once and for all, and the world has subsequently fallen into... chaos. The great civilized empire was destroyed about a generation ago and most of the standard races are hanging on by a thread. There's one major city that held out against the hordes of the Six-Fingered Hand, a single bastion of civilization. My next game is going to start there. We'll see what develops!
 

Grazzt

Demon Lord
So with 5e coming out, what sort of interesting campaigns of your own creation are you prepping to tackle?

If our main campaign switches to 5e, we will just convert the campaign as we've done in the past (it started in the 80s). Campaign is low magic, gritty; lots of Elric, Conan, Witch World influences mixed with bits of Tanith Lee is how I've heard it described by those that have played in it or witnessed it or whatever.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
If our main campaign switches to 5e, we will just convert the campaign as we've done in the past (it started in the 80s). Campaign is low magic, gritty; lots of Elric, Conan, Witch World influences mixed with bits of Tanith Lee is how I've heard it described by those that have played in it or witnessed it or whatever.

Very nice.
 

practicalm

Explorer
I've got a world I'm building with the players that we started the playtest with. So far it is a small set of city states with enough trouble to keep adventures occupied. The party is aiming for building their own city state out of some wilderness on the edges. There is a deeper thread among some of their most recent adventures with a few groups of foes preparing for an Elder God incursion. The party is finding out that the dragons stopped it the last time (tens of thousands of years ago) when Dragons ruled the world and now that it's the age of man, the dragon's attitude is that man can solve the problem this time.
 

drjones

Explorer
I have been running a 4E Dark Sun game since the sourcebook came out but modified a bit based on combinations of the older versions of Dark Sun and my own interests. For instance the players just breached Kalaks inner sanctum looking for weapons to fight the invading armies of Urik and discovered that the top floor of his tower was the remains of a crashed spelljammer containing an undead beholder that was once the captain who owned Kalak as a slave. I love that Barrier Peaks sci-fi fantasy :):):):).

Anyway, my crew are totally hooked on 5e so far, the idea of going back to several hour level 16 4e fights is dire and there will not be parallels for everyones character in 5e for a while so I think I will just switch to a sort of vague Forgotten Realms. If I am going to do generic fantasy world might as well use the one that's already there and some players have fond memories of. But I will be making it harsher, more Athas. Maybe in the wilds around the ten towns? Oooo, I could brew up my version of the events in Pool of Radiance.. then again that plot was pretty weak.
 

Redshirt

First Post
I had originally talked my friends into doing a one shot of the 5B rules a couple of weeks ago. While looking through the threads here I came across one in which someone posted that their old campaigns were so tough they started out dead in a ditch. A perfect mystery to start a short game.

Then when one of my players was rolling up his elf wizard the part of the sage background about the letter from a friend got him to write up this long background (he loves to write) of an old friend who traded riddles for 20 years. One day his friend sends a letter that was total gibberish. Upon investigation he finds out the friend had died 2 weeks before the letter was sent.

This was for a one shot game. (Love my players :D)

Now they want to turn it into a campaign and we haven't even played once yet. So I have the party waking up on a battlefield with no knowledge of how they got there or who the other party members are. The wizard has a big mystery of his letter written by a dead friend.

First game is Friday night. I have no idea where this is going to go but it'll to be a blast.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
At the moment, my group is playing a 5e conversion of Age of Worms which will probably finish sometime in 2016. That gives me plenty of time to work on a Spelljammer style campaign. I am working on having three main story lines that will go on simultaneously. One of which will be the infiltration of society by Warforged skinjobs.
 

drjones

Explorer
At the moment, my group is playing a 5e conversion of Age of Worms which will probably finish sometime in 2016. That gives me plenty of time to work on a Spelljammer style campaign. I am working on having three main story lines that will go on simultaneously. One of which will be the infiltration of society by Warforged skinjobs.

That sounds fun, I read Age of Worms but never got to run it. Is the conversion just swapping monsters out so far?
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
That sounds fun, I read Age of Worms but never got to run it. Is the conversion just swapping monsters out so far?
The conversion includes swapping out creatures, named NPCs, magic items, and DCs of traps and checks as well as balancing encounters.
  • Where a 5e monster already exists, I just use that. Otherwise, I use the 3.5 version, keep its ability scores and equipment for the most part, assign traits, attacks, armor, resistances and vulnerabilities all based on what it had in 3.5. Then I bump the hit dice by about 2. Then I select a CR and XP that feels right. I have a feeling this will be much easier when Basic is updated on August 8.
  • Named NPCs are created using character creation rules.
  • Magic items are adjusted to fit the playtest/starter set feel of items. Wands only have 7 charges and recharge each day. A rope of climbing or handy haversack is mostly unchanged. A potion of bull's strength or cat's grace only gives +2 to an ability instead of +4, resulting in a +1 instead of +2 modifier, to fit better in bounded accuracy. At first I made all masterwork items +1's, but I now realize that was a mistake because there are just too many of them. I would now say all masterwork items are just regular items.
  • Traps and check DCs are lowered to the Easy = 10, Hard = 20 scale.
  • Each area has an encounter level. I have taken that level, looked at the 5e encounter building guidelines for the Party level, and added monsters accordingly. As an example, a room has a 3.5 encounter level of 4. Encounter Level described a moderate difficulty encounter for a party of 4 of that level. In the 5e version, the EL 4 room gets 150xp worth of creatures per character. This helps keep the difficulty higher for the Age of Worms encounters that are scaled far beyond the party's level. In 5e encounter building table, the moderate difficulty at a higher encounter level translates into a harder difficulty at the party's level.
Once all the core books are out, this process will be much easier because there will be less guess work, and the monster manual will have most of the creatures I will need. Many more magic items will most likely be spelled out. Project: Morningstar will have a character builder that could be used for named NPCs. If a DM has the time and willingness to do a bit of guesswork, I could say to start such a campaign now. Otherwise, the final of the core books comes out in only 3.5 months. A DM could easily run Tyranny of Dragons and then pick up a project like this when Tyranny of Dragons was complete.

Once all of the core books come out I will go back start working on a conversion kit for Age of Worms. Things that are in the core books will be referenced by page number, and custom stuff will be written up with a conversion. I will probably post this to here and Paizo's forums.

We are finishing up chapter two in about 2 weeks. It will have taken us 2 months per chapter so far. We meet every Wednesday for about 3-3.5 hours with one week of playing a different game at chapter breaks. At this rate, we will finish in April of 2016 after around 340 hours of game time. I originally found out about Age of Worms because someone sent me a scanned pdf of all of the relevant stuff from the dungeon issues. I have been purchasing the pdfs from Paizo as I prep each chapter, so the cost has been spread out. Each chapter only costs $5 ($3 during their sale), and lasts for about 28 hours. One of the things I love about this hobby is that it can cost less than $1 a session for a great evening of entertainment for a group of friends.

EDIT: The other thing that is probably going to have to change is going from leveling up based on XP to levelling up at set points in the story. Leveliling up by XP given by the encounter building worked up through the getting to level 4 by halfway through chapter two, but I don't see how they will get to level 5 by the end of chapter two through experience. So it is probably going to be better to just forget about it.
 
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