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 [5e] A 0-level campaign and where to start it?
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3414 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2017 :  00:54:22  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Well met scribes! So I'm thinking about running a quick campaign where the PC's start at 0-level! I'm using 5th Edition but taking some liberties from another RPG called Dungeon Crawl Classics (aka DCC).

Character creation is simple:

Stats 4d6 (drop the lowest) down the line. No rerolls or changing arrays or anything like that. The stats will change slightly depending on race but otherwise you get what you roll.

Occupation this roll (d% roll) determines race, starting trade good, and the tool you're proficient with (1 weapon).

Hit Points roll d4 and add Con modifier (minimum 1 Hit Point).

Proficiency Bonus Normal starting PC's in 5e get a standard +2 to Skills, Saving Throws, Weapons, etc they're good at. Our 0-level guys get a +1 to their preferred tool. Thats it.

So this is designed, in part, to be exceptionally difficult. The good thing is that the players can have multiple ones going into the adventure. So you dont have just your Jon Doe but Steve, Larry, Dougan, and Marci too. Each PC will have no less than 3 characters for the adventure.

Now that they have their PC's ready, they need a place where their heroics are needed. I've created an adventure for them involving a burial mound that the dead no longer find rest in. An unknown force has awoken the entombed and has set loose a deadly ghoul thats ravaging the countryside. 3 people have gone missing including the Mayor's son.

So I need a place where there's a small town that doesnt have a lot of soldiers to take care of these sorts of issues. It's up to these farmers and miners and bookkeepers to find the Mayor's son and save him if he can.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30290 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2017 :  02:53:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Something like that could be damn near anywhere -- and wouldn't necessarily show on any maps, either, unless they were really focused on a small portion of a particular region.

I'd say we need more info about where, geographically, you plan on going from there, and what you plan on adding into the mix later, before determining the best starting point.

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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3414 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2017 :  06:39:29  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Something like that could be damn near anywhere -- and wouldn't necessarily show on any maps, either, unless they were really focused on a small portion of a particular region.

I'd say we need more info about where, geographically, you plan on going from there, and what you plan on adding into the mix later, before determining the best starting point.



You're right and bring up some very good points. I plan on adding firearms to the campaign though they're still largely regarded as unnecessary and rare but cropping up more and more. I also plan on adding an undead theme as the main antagonist is a Necromancer using burial mounds, barrows, and known battle fields to perform his raising undead rituals and honing his skills.

Thr campaign is centered on the PC's as commoners turned heroes so the threats need to still start off small like wild animals, maybe Kobolds and Goblins but still devoid of a larger military presence, otherwise they'd be taking care of the situation.

As for the overall plot, there isnt one yet as I thought of thr campaign this evening. Im all for doing more sandbox style despite the difficulties that entails.

I'm also open to ideas and thoughts. I feel the Sword Coast is a good location but I'm pretty sick of it. The Moonsea is another, however that's where another campaign of mine is located. Cormyr has a stronger military presence, which sort of makes the PC's presence unnecessary. The Dales? The Lake of Steam? Amn amd Tethyr?

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Misereor
Learned Scribe

135 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2017 :  10:00:10  Show Profile Send Misereor a Private Message  Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
The campaign is centered on the PC's as commoners turned heroes so the threats need to still start off small like wild animals, maybe Kobolds and Goblins but still devoid of a larger military presence, otherwise they'd be taking care of the situation.


Well, whatever you do, you should take power levels into account.
As you already touched upon, for the challenges to be genuine for the players, you need to plan your geography.

There is a reason the blatantly stereotypical adventuring party starts off in a small village surrounded by wilderness, and eventually make their way into the wider world. It is easily designed and the threats are credible. Excellent return on the investment for your GM time.

The Knights of Myth Drannor from Ed's campaign started off in Eveningstar and Shadowdale.


What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger, in a later edition.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14187 Posts

Posted - 15 Sep 2017 :  21:18:38  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yarthrain, in the 'Backlands'. In the middle of nowhere (both literally and figuratively), and yet, still 'on the map'.

You can pretty-much go anywhere and do anything from there, after they're done with the 'local problem'. All major geographic options are left open to you (Sword Coast, Cormyr, etc), and yet, you can stay in that area (The Backlands) and have fun in Sunset Vale (maybe help expel some pesky Zhents, etc), travel to Candlekeep for some info (as you just did RW ), etc, etc... and still far enough away from 'important places' for them not to give a crap.

Plus, you are literally surrounded by some excellent adventure locales, like the Marsh of Chelimber, Serpent Hills, Evereska, The High Moor, etc, etc.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 16 Sep 2017 05:40:44
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3414 Posts

Posted - 18 Sep 2017 :  22:21:22  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Misereor


quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
The campaign is centered on the PC's as commoners turned heroes so the threats need to still start off small like wild animals, maybe Kobolds and Goblins but still devoid of a larger military presence, otherwise they'd be taking care of the situation.


Well, whatever you do, you should take power levels into account.
As you already touched upon, for the challenges to be genuine for the players, you need to plan your geography.

There is a reason the blatantly stereotypical adventuring party starts off in a small village surrounded by wilderness, and eventually make their way into the wider world. It is easily designed and the threats are credible. Excellent return on the investment for your GM time.

The Knights of Myth Drannor from Ed's campaign started off in Eveningstar and Shadowdale.



Good suggestions. I read the first book in the Knights of Myth Drannor series but it was some time ago. It definitely gave a great intro as to how commoners turn to heroes. And I'm actually thinking of sticking to a small village for the most part. Maybe going a few miles in the surrounding woods and area but staying local and thus, delving into the possible political side of this village too.

As the plot unfolds I'm definitely taking ideas from the Walking Dead. This town, which I may place in the Backlands as Markustay suggests, is sort of secluded. They pay a ransom of sorts to the Zhentarim (kind of like the Saviors from TWD if you've watched the show) and give them tools, trade goods, grain, etc for basically not killing them all and things are copasetic with their town but then there's this undead issue going on and grave robbings etc.

Going to sort of turn into a Dr. Frankenstein who's working for the Zhents and is trying to create a Flesh Golem for his work, using Necromatic energies etc. He's first testing out ways in which animation works with the undead (thus the zombies and a Ghoul) and also taking things from graves, burial mounds, barrows, etc. for more nefarious things.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3414 Posts

Posted - 18 Sep 2017 :  22:24:23  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Yarthrain, in the 'Backlands'. In the middle of nowhere (both literally and figuratively), and yet, still 'on the map'.

You can pretty-much go anywhere and do anything from there, after they're done with the 'local problem'. All major geographic options are left open to you (Sword Coast, Cormyr, etc), and yet, you can stay in that area (The Backlands) and have fun in Sunset Vale (maybe help expel some pesky Zhents, etc), travel to Candlekeep for some info (as you just did RW ), etc, etc... and still far enough away from 'important places' for them not to give a crap.

Plus, you are literally surrounded by some excellent adventure locales, like the Marsh of Chelimber, Serpent Hills, Evereska, The High Moor, etc, etc.



That's a pretty excellent location. I like that the group can branch out and investigate / explore without being involved in huge regional affairs. Our current adventure (16th, going on 17th level) is dealing with the heavy effects in Elturel and the fall of the Companion and expanding into the all-out war between the Shades, Myth Drannor, and Cormyr (before Shadovar's collapse).

So a small, pretty straighforward campaign of survival and exploration is a nice change of pace.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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