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What does a campaign setting "need"?

Remathilis

Legend
What are the elements you "need" to have a successful campaign homebrew?

Maps?

Gods?

New Races?

New Monsters?

Planes/Cosmology?

What level of detail do you need for a "typical" D&D game? How much do you have? How much is too much?
 

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EricNoah

Adventurer
In addition to what you indicated, I would like to see more examples of how the pieces are put together. A "typical" adventure for the setting -- who might the bad guys be, what are the "dungeons" like, what are typical rewards/treasures, etc. The toolbox approach is great but don't forget to show me some samples of how it all goes together.
 

random user

First Post
Really all you need for a good campaign is players that are satisfied. If your players want a lot of detail, then you will need to provide that. If your players are content with knowing that seemingly inconsistant lore exists in your campaign, then you don't need to fix it.

For me, personally, I would like to see a campaign with no "hidden" rules (like if the spell teleport doesn't exist in your world I would like to know that before I decide what character to play.

I would like to see a consistant world, or, at least, if there is an inconsistancy, that there is a reason behind it (I don't need to know what it is, as long as it is indeed consistant).

I guess I'm pretty easy to satisfy. Maps are nice, gods are nice, etc etc but none of them are "necessary" per se from the get-go, though you'll have to create them eventually. I think the more work you put in, the more immersive the experience will be.

When I started by homebrew, I started with a creation myth and a starting city and a new (unplayable) race. I had a rough map of the continent, and we started creating characters from there. That's all we had when I started. Oh, and a change to the way magic items can be created.

The cleric started asking about the gods, so I created the gods. As the party started venturing out from the city, I started adding towns and other landmarks. As of today, I have most of the starting territory mapped out, but nothing except starting cities for the other territories.

I don't think you can have too much, but you may have to much to present in one sitting. If you have a lot of material, I would end each session by saying, "I think the political section is going to be important next session, you may want to read up on it," or whatever part is going to be relevent soon.

Again though, if you have any weird rules (like not allowing scrying, not allowing 10' reach weapons, etc) you should make sure those are all known right from the onset.

That's just my 2cp
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Hm. Let's see, for a successful homebrew...

Maps aren't strictly required, but they sure as heck help a lot. Besides helping you keep things internall consistent, a player's map goes a lon way in helping the players know how geography and politics mesh.

Gods per se are not required, since the core rules don't require them. Religion has been a centerpiece of human life for time immemorial, though, so some serious outline of the religions are called for. This may mean some basic details of gods, what they stand for, and how folks go about worhipping them.

New races and new monsters are, in my mind, even less required. You can have a perfectly acceptable game using the core rules.

Cosmology is only required if it plays an integral role in the operations of the world. You can have a perfectly good game without ever leaving the home plane, so details of other planes aren't required.

What is required, and not mentioned above, is a solid description of how verious pieces interact. The politics of nations, how races (new or old) interact with each other, and with the monsters. The roles that follks with adventuring classes tend to play in the society. The makeup of cities, who is trading what with whom, and so on.
 

Tortoise

First Post
As with adventures, only on a grander scale, you need at least these and perhaps more ingredients:

Nifty places to go, nasty things to kill, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and other feelings that are out of the ordinary, and things to overcome that will challenge the characters and their players. Much of it comes down to description and grows from there.
 

WayneLigon

Adventurer
Remathilis said:
What are the elements you "need" to have a successful campaign homebrew?
Notes about tone and style. If this is a grim-and-gritty campaign where everyone is a member of a mercenary company that's been betrayed by their former master and now all have a price on their heads, I need to know that so I don't create Zoocoo, the flighty gnome bard.

At least one map of the local area for the players. Approx climate, what the major terrain is like, how advanced the cities are.

If any changes have been made to the basic rules, I need to know that. Same with races, classes, etc. Basically, inform them of any flavor changes beforehand. Otherwise, I'll assume the basics flavor of the PHB.

I need to know what gods are there. This is a major thing for me. At least, we should know something about their domains and the way their clergy interacts with the general populace.
 
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Trainz

Explorer
If you want a map, but have ZERO skills in designing them, I recommend surfing the weeeb to find one. You can then modify it to suit your needs

ONE IMPORTANT THING if you do this: these maps are the property of their designers. If you do as I suggested, make sure the modified map doesn't leave you gaming table, and if you do post it on the weeeb, you MUST get the owner's permission first. I have one such map that you can use if you want:
 

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Woas

First Post
I think one of the most important things for a campaign that nobody has mentioned yet is:

Time

Making a good campaign is like making a good wine. It's not called HomeBREW for nothing. It needs time to develop its unique flavors, textures, colors, etc. Campaigns aren't run in 3 sessions. Not even in 10 or 20. It seems like the best campaigns that I've heard of are years old. They have seen the life and death of dozens of characters at all levels.

Many people get illusions of grandeour about campaigns (myself included) playing out scenes an encounters in your head sometimes if you are really interested in the topic. People will write stories, draw maps, roll up NPCs, create artifacts, draw up gods and goddesses, invent races and monsters to add flavor to a campaign, but unless there is time for the campaign all these usually add up to time wasted. It has happend to me and I'll admit to it.

So just remember. When you sit yourself down for 3 hours to write up stuff for your world, think about how much time this campaign is really going to have.
 

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