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 Any tips for someone building a campaign?
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Jaclyn
Acolyte

4 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  14:43:27  Show Profile Send Jaclyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So I just moved into a group residential housing facility. I found out that a few of the people I live with enjoy D&D and much to my delight, they have a bunch of old AD&D books. Now I have been wanting to play 2.0 for a very long time, and since nobody else has DM'd, that role would fall on me. In the meantime, I will be running the Pool of Radiance campaign since I have the book for it. I would like to put together my own campaign set in the realms while we run pool of radiance. My lore knowledge doesn't really extend much past Salvatore's books, so I'd love to hear any tips you guys have about DMing in general and running a campaign in the realms.

Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1076 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  16:28:39  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First of all, I'm going to say that you don't need to be a loremaster to run a campaign, unless you plan to stick to canon (perhaps playing in an important historic period of the Realms) or are going to write articles for the FR wiki (). So, don't worry about not knowing much of the lore, because lore can have little to no impact whatsoever in your campaign.

That said, I really recommend you to get the excellent "Ed Greenwood Presents: Elminster's Forgotten Realms", an edition neutral book (and one of the best sourcebooks for the Realms ever, IHMO) that can help you with many lore stuffs you may need help with. You can buy it in PDF format at DM's Guild and is pretty cheap. I dare to say that this is a "must get" book if you're playing in the Realms, whatever edition you're playing.

As for the campaign itself, I have read good things about FRC1 Ruins of Adventure "Pool of Radiance". In fact, I'm going to DM a campaign based in Neverwinter that follows the same premises of that book.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  17:40:06  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you are running a 2e AD&D game I highly recommend using the 2e boxed set along with the Forgotten Realms Adventures Hardback book. The latter has amazing information that I use even though I prefer the setting of the Old Grey Box from 1e AD&D.

After that, simply see where your group is after you are "done" with Ruins of Adventure...but to be honest, if you leave things pretty much open for your party while going through THAT module you will have no end of possibilities right in the area of the Moonsea. Phlan is an amazing starting point for so many great adventures.

AD&D for me!
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  19:14:30  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A few more ideas:

Giants Series: There are many thousands of dwarves that live in the Dragonspine Mountains; though later editions after 1e seem to leave this detail out. These dwarves can offer staging areas for adventurers to fight the Red and White Dragons that are known to lair in the area as well as fighting giants and such. If you get your party to a decent level, they can go Against the Giants.

The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief can easily be placed in the lower hills of the Dragonspines. Just say they are raiding caravans around Phlan as well as outlying settlements.

The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl can be in the highest peaks of the Dragonspine Mts.

The Halls of the Fire Giant King can be in the Dragonspine Mountains too. The Zhentarim have Fire Giant mercenaries in The Flaming Tower guarding the Temple in the Sky...so there are Fire Giants in the area. Just say there is a volcanic valley in the Dragonspine Mountains and that solves it.

You could go even further with the rest of that series if you wanted to...even going as far as the Demonweb Pits of Lolth.

To the Dales: while it may seem like a thing a lot of people have done, I've found not many people really have explored the Ruins of Myth Drannor or taken part in other adventures in the area. The Daggerdale series is a good one to go on for lower level adventurers...and if you wanted you could shift the Giant Series to the Desertsmouth Mountains. The Steading then could be in a remote location in Daggerdale with the Glacial Rift and Fire Giants still being in the Dragonspine Mountains and coming down by way of the Flaming Tower into Daggerdale.

The Bloodstone Lands: if your party obtains a significant level, you could find a way to get them into Damara and take part in the Bloodstone line of modules. I've done this in the past by hooking them with an NPC Cleric who performs a Raise Dead on one of the party members...then a long time later a letter arrives seeking a returned favor from the party. The Cleric has been killed, and their son/daughter remembered what their parent had done for the party. Good aligned groups, or even evil individuals who believe in repaying old debts, can be pulled into the Bloodstone Lands this way.

Non-Traditional: If you like old classics that aren't from the Forgotten Realms, you can always write them into the FR. For me, one of my favorites is the Temple of Elemental Evil. I simply place Hommlet in an area and change the name to whatever village I'm replacing with it...or even get rid of Homlet and place the Temple itself as a dungeon somewhere without the whole backstory; but instead make the place something a little different.

Most recently I replaced Iuz with Xvim and placed the Temple Ruins only in Sulasspryn on the northeast coast of the Moonsea. In this version, Xvim (a mere Demi-God in my 1e AD&D games) is trying to amass power there before moving on to subjugate Thar and found his own Kingdom to rule. I made Sulasspryn not quite a total ruin and instead made it the Pirate Haven of Sulasspryn and placed the buildings and NPCs of Nulb in the place. As a minor haven for pirates to target the River Lis and pay tribute to Mulmaster I thought it was a good fit. A cutthroat den for the party to work from. I didn't use Hommlet at all in this one, and so the Good Forces in Nulb/Sulasspryn in this I simply turned into Harper Agents who had heard rumors of Xvim being up to something.

I still used Zuggtmoy, but decided that she had instead been bound in the temple by an army of Drow. The Temple's original forces had been severely weakened by the same Drow that destroyed the city; but this event was unrecorded by any "goodly" realms as it happened after 1307 DR. The battle with the Drow happened when Zuggtmoy, in alliance with Ghaundadaur, attempted to attack and defeat the Drow and force their worship away from Lolth. Sulasspryn had actually been the stronghold of Cults to Ghaundadaur and Zuggtmoy sponsored by the Drowsbane Nobles who planned to use the inhabitants to attack the Drow...and this was the real reason the city was destroyed by the Dark Elves who hated the Drowsbane family for the death of Azanza Mizzrym's mother even before the Cult to Ghaundadaur was founded. Instead of having the Drow remain on the surface, I had them withdraw to their subterranean realm and only come to Sulasspryn on occasion to buy slaves from the Pirates.

"Now" (whenever you decide to play), Xvim has approached Zuggtmoy in her prison and struck a deal. He is helping to rebuild the Temple that was constructed in the nearby hills and fill it with forces that can then be used to stand against the Drow and force them back beneath the surface; but then to go on to found a Realm of his own.

Unless a party has played the Temple of Elemental Evil before; they may not even notice that they are in it as long as you change the Upper Level (the one above the ground) into a large hill with massive doors that lead into it...with the two side doors being simply newer entrances carved by newer inhabitants to reach down into the Temple.

2e Moonsea Map

Cave Idea for Temple

There really is no end to the things you can do...it is YOUR Forgotten Realms and doesn't have to be exactly like everyone else's.


AD&D for me!

Edited by - Dalor Darden on 01 Feb 2018 19:18:40
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3170 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  21:16:05  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-The Forgotten Realms Wiki is a good resource.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6626 Posts

Posted - 01 Feb 2018 :  22:42:15  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just have fun using whatever books you happen to have on hand, lol, you can always lookup stuff online in wikis and forums.

Don't rely on Candlekeep's sickly and cantankerous old search genie when perusing the musty scrolls within these halls, instead use the command word site:forum.candlekeep.com within your invocations to the mighty Google search genie.

FRC1 Ruins of Adventure (aka Pool of Radiance) is one of the classics and a popular favourite. Countless fan-made additions exist for it.
But it's a bit of a poorly-written and poorly-organized kludge, and while it's enough in itself to play out a full campaign it also seems to assume the DM has familiarity with a lot of details (from the Pool of Radiance computer game, novel, and perhaps other materials) so it's conspicuously lacking on a lot of vital depth or "setting" information. FRC1 is essentially identical to the CRPG (and there still remains a never-settled controversy about which of the two copied the other). But it's somewhat different from the novel (most significantly in the villain's plot, the importance of various characters, and the location of the pool itself). This last detail is often a sticky point people ask about: the short answer is that most people consider the FRC1/CRPG more "canon" than the novel, but in the end it really doesn't matter.

It is, in fact, better to mix things up and move them around a bit, it personalizes your campaign and it makes for more interesting/unexpected challenges when players already know the story. I've DM'd this module several times, always with some kind of "twist" to keep my jaded/cynical/paranoid players awake and alert with their poisoned daggers held at the ready. I like turning the various "boss monster" encounters into epic mini-module quest things in themselves, it makes them memorable and gives the players milestones towards a sense of accomplishment. I do everything and anything I can to keep scummy little Cadorna and his ever-growing allies/minions out of the line of fire - I've learned that my PCs instantly recognize and hate him, then attempt to kill him at first/every opportunity - so Cadorna is kept as an often-visible but never-vulnerable target for their hate. Maybe your players will react to him quite differently, lol. I like to tangle up other mini-modules and regional events, but this sort of global background stuff can be an overwhelming workload which doesn't meaningfully improve the campaign. Most often it's best to offer generic clues or hints or rumours of bigger things to those who want to perceive them, but leave the specifics vague and unknown - player speculations can basically do most of the hard work for you, nothing you invent and describe can possibly rival the worst imaginings their synergized paranoia can brainstorm in its place.

I offer a random collection of vaguely-relevant scrolls (in no particular order) which you might find informative or inspirational: (at least if you search for keywords like "Pool", "Tyranthraxus", or "Cadorna", lol)
please help me
Maps for Pool of Radiance module
Way of the Powrie
Pools of Darkness
Weird questions
I need some volunteers from Candlekeep
Stupid question time... (a large and rambling scroll, search for "Gold Golem" or "/Ayrik" on pages 15 through 17)

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 01 Feb 2018 23:21:24
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Jaclyn
Acolyte

4 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2018 :  11:21:03  Show Profile Send Jaclyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really like the "Elminster's Forgotten Realms" PDF suggestion. I will 100% be picking that up next month not only to more familiarize myself with lore, but to help me craft my own campaign in the setting. I am looking to start my campaign either late this month or early next month before my players' interest wanes too far. One of the events that I would really enjoy playing through, and I think I will have my players go through is the time of troubles. I think this would be a great follow up and second campaign for them to play through that, especially since I'm going to subtly hint that they should have magic and clerics for the destruction of undead. I'm not trying to be particularly evil with trying to get a bunch of magic users and clerics together and then after they complete their campaign force them to go through a period of time where their magic becomes unpredictable and undependable, but I think it would be an exceptionally fun setting to be in, and after going through the first campaign my players should have enough experience with how I DM and how things work that they would be more comfortable coming up with creative ideas on how to deal with those issues. If I have at least one cleric in the party I think it could be a really compelling time for them because they could go meet their deity face to face. I know very little about the time of troubles currently, and will have to do research on the subject while we run through the pool of radiance, but I feel confident that I could find some way to link the two. There's a lot of possibility there, I could have one of the clerics seek out their deity and drag the rest of the party into wars surrounding them as they try to live through this era. Ultimately I'm putting the cart before the horse since I haven't even started the first campaign, but it doesn't hurt to have plans laid out for the future and if I happen to make any mistakes with the lore, none of my players are gonna know since they're all pretty novice players and very new to the setting. When I get things started off proper I'll start a new thread here to chronicle my players' exploits through their campaign.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2018 :  06:32:18  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would also HIGHLY recommend The old Grey Box (1st edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting) - its just one solid mass of campaign ideas. Its probably extremely hard to find - I don't even know if you can find a legal pdf anywhere. The pdf is rough though; they used to color the pages to give them 'flavor' - made them seem like old parchment. It makes them difficult to read in pdf format now.

But its just one page after another of glorious detail and plothooks (edition be damned).

The Volo's guides are also all pretty amazing.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1076 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2018 :  08:28:11  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If this one is the OGB, then is available at DM's Guild. And is pretty cheap, actually. Isn't that Dud Onahorz?

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31303 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2018 :  09:33:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

If this one is the OGB, then is available at DM's Guild. And is pretty cheap, actually. Isn't that Dud Onahorz?



That is the OGB and Dūd Onahorz.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3000 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2018 :  15:19:55  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed that is a worthy $9 purchase...

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3000 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2018 :  15:20:48  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FR Adventures is another excellent book.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31303 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2018 :  16:49:41  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brimstone

FR Adventures is another excellent book.



That was the FR sourcebook that first really got my attention. It wasn't my first, but it was the first one to make me really appreciate the setting.

And the FRA was one of the first pdfs I bought, as well -- back when they were all sold thru Paizo for $4 a piece.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 05 Feb 2018 16:51:11
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