You Arrive At A Tavern...
These are often the words that open any Dungeons & Dragons campaign, or in some kind of variation: you wake up in a prison cell, you rouse yourself from your sleep on the ship, et cetera et cetera. However, while those five words might initiate your campaign, where do you go from there? How do you build a campaign from that first one-shot or from that introductory sentence?
In September of 2009, Wizards of the Coast released the Dungeon Master's Guide 2 for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, one of the most criminally under-utilized sourcebooks of any edition in my mind. A great deal of this book was strictly dedicated to building, developing, and maintaining campaigns, as well as content like skill challenges and high-tier play for paragon (11th to 20th) level characters. However, what this book is focusing on is providing you tools on how to build and sustain your first D&D campaign.
Taking bits and pieces from the DMG2 and reimagining them - along with some thoughts and ideas of my own - I hope to assist and aid those folks I often meet who say "I want to play but I don't know how to begin," or "I want to DM but how do I start?" Below is an outline of how this book will be divided.
One: Campaign Structure
Two: Player Characters
Three: Nonplayer Characters
Four: Making Encounters Count
Five: Story Expansion
Six: Ending The Campaign
These six chapters are built to help you move chronologically through the process of building and designing your first campaign. Within each chapter there will be subsections going into more detail on certain aspects of campaign building, all hitting on important parts of creating and forming a sustainable story for you the Dungeon Master and your players. Always remember, the core of any campaign is building a collaborative story with your players, not your want to have a god complex.
Included with this supplement are NPC and campaign tracker sheets to help you manage and develop your campaigns!