First of all TLDR below and sory for the long post. So, I’m a fairly new DM and a D&D player. I didn’t even play any TTRPG before but I always wanted it so I decided to become a DM in November.
After learning the rules and watching crap ton of YouTube videos (shoutout to Matt Colville and his Running the Game series, he is incredible and helped me immensely in this journey) I decided to run Sunless Citadel for our first kinda tutorial campaign, we didn’t start with LMoP because one of my player played it before. But honestly prepping for Sunless Citadel felt like a chore rather than something exciting. I believe there are two reasons for this, the first one is that English is not my first language and reading through dungeon descriptions was not particularly helpful and it felt like I was trying to memorize a book. Second reason was I didn’t even played D&D before so some of my players were waaaay more knowledgeable in the universe than I am which made it hard for me to establish a bigger narrative than just storming some random dungeon. For example learning gods and lore about forgotten realms while trying to work on the campaign was really arduous and when one of my more knowledgeable players says something about the universe that I have no idea about made me feel lost in this cumulative vastness of DND lore. After finishing sunless citadel, which was really entertaining, I decided to take the risk and make a homebrew campaign with a Homebrew world. Long story short I created an archipelago world that is inhabited only by halflings, tieflings and humans with Greek deities and Diablo evil lords with a map made in inkarnate. And I’m using Greek deities just because I felt like rather than learning all those ‘similar’ deities using the ones that already we knew was better. After that I kinda vaguely defined other political forces and chose a starting island for a Gnoll/Pirate/Evil campaign between 2-8 levels probably.
Yes, prepping the setting took a month of my free time but now I really feel like I’m free to adjust the campaign for my parties’ needs. On top of that I can create world changing events that can introduce new races, new continents, new planes and put my players in the center of these big events. And the most awesome part is since the setting itself is new, all of my players contribute to worldbuilding. For example my kensei monk just introduced his own monastery that is inspired by Bleach anime with his special katana that can unlock some powers along the way and even after this campaign that monastery will continue to exist and probably have legends about a swordmaster that defeated the evil. Yes I could do all those things in a prewritten campaign and a prewritten setting but now I feel more free to do these things.
We played our first 3-4 session and it was a blast. The game itself is much more entertaining and intriguing for both my players and especially for me. Btw please note that I’m a writer by hobby and creating ‘worlds’ and ‘stories’ are not really new to me but if you are passionate and willing to put some effort it is definitely worth it.
TL;DR: Already established realms are vast and rich with lore but sometimes this vastness can overwhelm new players and DMs. So, if you are up to the initial challenge, even with a limited scope, homebrew settings offer so much more fun and opportunities for everyone.
- How to deal with players who don’t even show up to your sessions.
- Yawning Portal questions from a new DM
- I just let a player who wasn’t having fun change their character mid-campaign, aka. don’t be afraid to make big changes for your players to enjoy the game.
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Unpopular Opinion: Homebrew Campaigns are way more easier and comfortable than using existing modules/settings for a completely new DM/GM" specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
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