D&D General When my campaign went to the dogs ...


Just as every Dungeon Master has a personal style for running the game, so too do we often have a “signature”—a small element that runs common in many of our campaigns. Something that seems to crop up regardless of the other elements in the story.

Me? I love dogs. Without me specifically planning it, I’ve included dogs as a significant element in the last three campaigns I’ve run—including a streaming game from 2018 that’s still viewable online.

More recently I’ve put together a campaign that includes a few friends from my original game group going back to the 1980s, a heavily modified version of my published adventure A Delve In The Cave. As written, there is an NPC named Vaughn who is a ruthless vintner who incidentally raises and trains mastiffs, who guard his property fiercely and loyally.

In the second session of our campaign the party decided to track some goblin bandits back to a ruined keep they were using as their base of operations, and Vaughn offered his personal guard dog—a huge and well-trained brute named Caliban—to assist the party.

r/dndstories - When My D&D Campaign Went to the Dogs
You can see him over on the left being a very good boy.

This was a one-time thing, meant to keep the party’s rough combat capabilities the same as six-person group, since another player was going to be joining the following session. But it turns out that the group liked having a big dog with them Very Much, so when negotiating a new contract with Vaughn, the party wizard insisted they get a puppy from the most recent litter.

Enter: Shovelface. It was never part of my original plan, but the group not only obtained a 9-week-old mastiff puppy, but they took it with them into a dark and scary forest.

For your enjoyment, you can check out the decisions and rules I used when incorporating these dogs into the game: Puppies & Passageways

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