D&D 5E Starting a new 5e campaign... TOMORROW!


First Post
I am starting a new 5e campaign tomorrow, with a new group! Two of the players are from Meetup, one is a friend from another group, and the fourth is a friend-of-that-friend.

The players and I met for a beer a few weeks ago and discussed what the campaign should be about. I proposed modeling the campaign world on Mesoamerica after the fall of Tenochtitlan, with the invading government trying to keep a tenuous peace after their bloody conquest. The players liked the idea! We can elves, halflings, and orcs as the native empires, and humans, dwarves, and gnomes as the invading forces. We also decided there should be Game of Thrones style political alliances, treacheries, and dramas. Fun stuff!

Since that meeting, I've had Winter Break (yay being a teacher!), so I've had time to write up a big, meaty campaign world guide and outline a whole bunch of dungeons.

The first adventure is tomorrow! I'm including a powerful demon-capturing artifact, a parade turned violent, and a giant toad hidden in a pile of bones. I'm also introducing the tense relationship between the foreign government and the native peoples, a pompous rival aristocrat who is after the same goals as the characters, and a powerful shadow dragon who will reappear every five or six adventures.

I am very excited!

Does anyone have any good first-adventure stories to get me even more pumped?

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My 1st adventure was over 30 years ago and all I seem to remember was my brother and father both were killed by gnolls and my elf was blocked by a gate in some tunnel. I was going to flee, but the players thought I should save them, so I came back and was killed as well. The DM's friend came as well, but was a higher level monk or such frozen in a statue. we came to the room, but nobody touched the statue to activate him. We all died, but the next week we got the red boxed set and a few local friends to play with my dad as the DM.

A good 1st adventure of a campaign I started was when I gave each player a handout and a map of the region. Each character had a few bits of knowledge that may or may not come up in play and a few locations on the map that others do not. One character was a sailor and had several islands and suspected location of treasure along the coast. His contacts were in coastal towns and were mostly tavern people and dock workers. The elf has some forest areas fleshed out and a few contacts in local towns that included a NPC ranger and sage who made potions.

Each of the players liked this and the work on my end was not that much more. I saved a copy of each set I gave to players so I could reference them to tie things into the campaign.


Magic Wordsmith
My first adventure was back in the 80s. I was a magic-user with one sleep spell and a quarterstaff. I was the only player so I hired an NPC fighter to keep me safe. On our way into a ruined castle, we were attacked by a carrion crawler. The fighter died and my mage soon followed.

The ensuing 25 years is kind of a blur.

I was ten, forced to play a dwarf named Dweeny which was a pre-gen made by the DM (it sucks being the youngest at the table and your brother's the DM). Our first dungeon delve was the ruined castle found in the Red Box set for Basic DnD. I remember killing a giant Bee. Every character I made for next several years after that was named Eagle Eyes.


First Post
I love these stories.

The very first adventure I ever ran was for my brother and my dad from the AD&D box set. They fought a giant frog. That is all I remember.


First Post
My mother DMed my first adventure in 2nd Ed when I was 10. I played a Halfling Cleric. A year later started DMing. My first adventures were horrible, but 18 years later I have gained dozens of friends and have shared even more stories with this hobby.

Don't stop, and don't forget the point is to have fun :)


First Post
I've been blogging about my game, which just started a few months back. Brand new campaign. My first homebrew in four years, my own setting, and going full sandbox.
It's been fun.

Session 0
Session 1

Oh man, I have always loved Sandbox campaigns! I've tried running a few, but I haven't had the time commitment (nor the player commitments) to keep going. I'll be following your blog!

8 hours to go until game time.


Hope you have a fun time! Sounds like a neat campaign - own that is ripe for C1 - The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan - at some point.

My first adventure as a player (back in the late '70's) involved leocrottas. They successfully lured the entire party into an ambushed as we were leaving the dungeon. It did not end well for us.

No good stories to tell, but Mesoamerica is my area/historical period of interest. Keep us updated with how this campaign goes! I'm working on my own Mesoamerican-themed settings/rule sets :)


First Post
My first adventure was run by my oldest brother, when I was about 5 years old, with another brother and his friend also playing. I still remember it.
It was "The Secret of Salt Marsh" from 1st Edition (AD&D). We rolled characters, then played in the same session.

We got to the Carrion Crawler fight at the start and never got any further because my brothers started fighting because my oldest brother gave my other brother a derogatory nickname for his character and kept referring to him that way.

Your campaign will be better, I'm sure.


Lord of the Hidden Layer
I built a one-shot dungeon for my son's first time playing D&D (used Basic rules).

I converted a Zelda dungeon because he had had a blast going through it. The BBEG was a dragon skeleton and its breath weapon was a string of knuckle bones. We both found out that stacking magic weapons and magic armor makes you VERY tough for Normals to fight.

He enjoyed the conversion and 'borrowed' my 4e rulebooks to create his own character.


I'll only say that for an adventure for nothing but level 1 PCs to seriously consider having CR 0 creatures as opponents and a "boss monster" or CR 1/2 or 1 as the final monster.

Like a jackalwere or two and a pack of jackals. The magic-users can take on the jackals while the martials take on the jackals. And maybe those without magic can light a flask of oil on fire or use a torch or something to damage the jackalweres. There's an AL adventure for lvl 1 PCs that does that and it's pretty balanced. Starts off with the two jackalweres, adds 3 jackals at the end of round 2 and three more jackals at the end of round three.


First Post
Well that first adventure took an unexpected turn!

The dice heavily favored the enemies, and three out of four characters were taken down. The cleric managed to drag the warlock to safety, but the enemies captured the other two characters. I was worried it would be a downer for the group, but they're super pumped to come up with a strategy to rescue the other characters next session!


First Post
Sounds awesome, there's nothing like the energy and excitement of laying out a game world for your players and watching things unfold. You mentioned you're a teacher (so am I) and I think teachers (and coaches) tend to make good DMs because just as in the classroom, you're trying to keep people interested and invested, to use and challenge their abilities, you know the value of preparation and organization, and you have a good grasp of the progression of a game and campaign.

My first game was with my buddy Gary and his older brother John. Encountered a party of satyrs...I misunderstood the term 'party' and though it was a celebration:p (of course, I know now that with satyrs, it could mean both).


Lord of the Hidden Layer
but they're super pumped to come up with a strategy to rescue the other characters next session!
Draft a simple "jail" that happens to be near to a temple.
Before the rescuing PCs arrive, the captured PCs get to listen in on the conversation as a Priest lets the Guard know that the traditional gods will be more than happy to be given a taste of 'the nectar of the gods' (blood, but he won't say it outright) again. The Priest has some mundane considerations he can exchange - GP, an artwork carving, very fancy dinner suitable for nobles, or a nice non-scratchy undergarment.
This will give them a sense of being under a time limit, even if they really aren't.

Epic Threats

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