View Full Version : DM Help New DM Looking for Feedback

2015-11-07, 04:59 PM
As stated, I am seeking some feedback regarding my campaign. I am new to D&D as both a player and as a DM. My friend introduced me and a few other newbies to D&D (he is the only experienced one among us) and has been DMing us for about three months now. We have had about twelve sessions, and so we are all pretty familiar with the rules and mechanics of the game and such. Now, our group right now has our DM, me, and five other players, which comes to a total of six players and a DM. One of our players has a brother and a friend that both want to play D&D (two more newbies), and so our current DM who knew that I had been wanting to run an evil campaign sometime in the future asked me if I wanted to start my campaign a little earlier than planned.

I know that a new player who is DMing for the first time probably should not be running an evil campaign (and probably should not be DMing at all), but I decided to give it a shot. My current DM trusted me enough that I would make a competent DM already, and since he is a seasoned player and DM I trust his judgement. Another point I should add is that I will be DMing for a large group (about seven players), which I know is also difficult for a new DM to do. I have been given about two weeks preparation time (as have all the players for their characters) to make my first adventure and most of the information I should have at this point. I am down to one week of preparation time, since my first adventure will take place this Friday, November 13th (my dreaded superstitious day, which only adds to my nervousness). I only need to plan for one adventure right now since my second adventure will be sometime in January (with winter break and all), so I do not need to worry about solidifying every detail just yet for my overarching plot and world.

That is enough background information I think for my campaign, and now I will go into depth on what advice I would like and what ideas I already have in place.

As stated previously, I am going to be running an evil campaign. Three out of my seven players have given me their character information, and I have asked that everyone get me their information by Sunday at the latest so I will have ample amounts of time to further plan my adventure. So far, these are the characters that have been created (with room for tweaking if they wish):

Sohta & Sohtrop: Both players made their characters twin Tieflings, and as such have the same backstory. I will not go into depth with it, but long story short, they grew up in a town where they were belittled for their demonic heritage and were not cared for by their human father (their demon mother had left them when they were born, if I recall). They were born tiny and weak, with no strength to fight back from their attackers. Their human father was ashamed of them and often hid them from his potential customers, and the two tieflings often locked themselves away in their room in order to hide from the public. One of their father's customers accidentally stumbled upon the boys' room and found them to be a captive audience for his stories of grandeur. The boys looked forward to his visits, since his acts of bravery and cunning gave life to the tieflings who only knew the suffering of their town. As they grew older, they heard one day from their father's conversations that their hero was sentenced to hang the next day for stealing something from one of the town officials (which he claimed to have gotten from slaying an orc village). Devastated by the news, the frail tieflings desired to be stronger in order to save their hero. It was then that the great Baazlebub disguised as a plain woman offered to give them any one thing they wanted. The two tieflings naturally took her offer and wished to be as powerful as their hero. The next day at the hanging, they hid among the crowd and waited for their time to strike. When their hero was about to have the noose secured around his neck, they pulled back their hoods and revealed the swords they had been carrying. As the crowd and the guards stared at them with a growing fury, their confidence began to diminish and their hero was hanged when they ran away in cowardice. Once again, they were visited by Baazlebub (this time in his true form) and he told them he made them as powerful as their hero--a simple human who had a penchant for lies and no accomplishments other than those to speak of. He offered them a new deal: true power in exchange for their souls. They agreed to the pact and were given true strength and other benefits in exchange for their souls when they die.
Details for Sohta and Sohtrop: starting at level 2 because of the character below, and they are swashbuckling class. I will add their stats and other details once I have acquired them (I just briefly looked at their character sheets).

Zaerith Vrammyr: a male albino drow (a szarkai), who is planning on passing as a regular elf in the campaign. Since drow society is a matriarchy, he would normally be low on totem pole in his city. However, since he is a szarkai, he is considered chosen by Lolth (their goddess) herself. He is a very powerful figure because of his szarkai status and is summoned by Lolth in order to speak with her on his future. She gives him the task of going above ground in order to create more darkness for her to basically feed off of, and so he goes. Before he left, however, he was tutored in the hexblade class by a mentor and has used those skills in order to commit thievery and murder above ground in various villages. The player plans on adding more details this week and tweaking his story a bit.
Details for Zaerith: level 1 drow hexblade (which boosts up all the other characters by a level). Stats are: STR 17, DEX 17, CON 15, INT 14, WIS 12, CHA 20 (he rolled and 18 and then got a +2 racial bonus). He chose Gift of the Spider Queen as his feat and along with his known languages, he chose his bonus language as Draconic (he is playing a sorcerer in the other DM's campaign and loves dragons).

This is all the information I have so far concerning my players, and so I have created a world and plot that is somewhat more vague than I would like based on this information. I would not like to give away too much information in case one of my players reads this thread, but since I am new I would really like some advice (and I am not too worried about my players finding this thread anyway). This is what I have so far.

My world (I have no name for it yet, so suggestions are greatly appreciated) has been almost devoid of magic for over a few hundred years. About three hundred years ago, a cult of Nerull (or possibly another evil god, but my reasons for choosing Nerull for now will be touched upon later) came into power under the guise of political leaders and kings, and declared that those who use magic are evil and are too deadly to leave alone since they could take over the world. Mages (I will use this as an all-encompassing term for magic-users) under the main king's command were forced to hunt down all other magical creatures (such as dragons) or their loved ones would suffer for their sins (AKA existing). So for over a hundred years, mages drove many magical species to extinction (all information passed down about these now-extinct species has been kept only by magic-users themselves; the general public do not even know most of these creatures existed since the kingdom officials keep magic history under lock and key). However, when they had satisfied their king's demands, the mages themselves were turned upon and resulted in a massive genocide of magic-users. The few smatterings of magic-users that remained were turned into slaves, since the kings and society all noted that magic could not be completely wiped out for they needed it for certain things such as healing spells and other objectives. Slaves are bound with anti-magic manacles or other devices that inhibit them (possibly a master/slave ring) from casting magic unless their owners allow it. Laws have been enacted over the years that have outlawed magic unless absolutely needed, and it could only be performed under the watchful eyes of the kingdom's clerics (more on that in a bit). If anyone is found harboring magic-users (I still need a derogatory name to call them), they are killed brutally along with those they have harbored. Magic-users have become looked down upon, seen as evil, and even become a little feared. Similarly, many "magical" races (such as elves, drows, etc.) have also been killed to near-extinction, but have been allowed to live in isolated areas. For example, in my world I will have it that the drow were forced underground by these humans and that is how they began to live there (somewhat disregarding their "canon" creation story and instead making it fit into the world more). However, the elves were the ones who ratted them out to the humans, and that is why the drow still have a burning hatred for them (although their stories have altered why they have this grudge). The drow themselves created the legends of their creation from the elves and Lolth's defeat, etc. and that has been passed down instead of their exile from the humans. Plain elves (as opposed to drows) have been quarantined to select forests and groves where they live in almost-peace. If anyone has any other magical races please let me know so I can think about how to fit them in as well.

Now, as for the clerics. The (mostly) human kingdoms who have outlawed magic and all that have one exception the magic-using rule: clerics. All clerics have to be human (there are some exceptions, such as powerful leaders of other races, but they are few and far between) since they are a pure race who are favored by the gods and goddesses. Magic is regarded as okay for only clerics since it is their god/goddess that gives them their power, and as such is chosen by them for a better purpose in life. Evil gods and goddesses, as well as gods/goddesses who have a magic domain are also considered "evil" in the minds of society, and are thus not allowed to become clerics (of course, this cannot stop them from being clerics, but they will be hunted down by the kingdom if found out and are forced to hide their worshipping). Clerics of the kingdom (the "official" clerics) are few, and are revered by society since they are their link to their gods and goddesses. The king and other political powers do not have a main or official god/goddess that they advocate, so it is up to society which "good" (allowed) god/goddess they follow, much like any other D&D world. However, society does not know that most powerful figures are indeed run by the cult of Nerull (or whatever evil god I choose in the end).

Now, here is where the real plot comes in. Since magic in the world has been severely limited and most has been expelled from the world, the gods/goddesses of the magic domain have been drained of their power over the course of these three hundred years. This is from both lack of actual magic circulating the world and from a lack of worshippers (also the former contributes more to this than the latter). One of the greater goddesses, Wee Jas, has summoned these band of heroes in order to restore magic to the world (and, consequently, her). However, these PCs are going to be lead to believe she is in fact their enemy (more on this will be covered later). She will force these adventurers to restore magic to the land under her command, which will unite the band of characters somewhat and make them aid her plan. I will describe how I plan to do this when I discuss my first adventure. In the meantime, I will describe more on Wee Jas and the state of the world I am planning. Wee Jas has allied herself with the other main magic gods/goddesses, who are Boccob and Corellon Larethian. All three of these gods/goddesses are summoning their own band of worthy adventurers to bring magic back to the land and once again rise to their former positions of power. They are in need of this power in order to fight back in this war against Nerull (and whatever his allies are, most likely Lolth at least). I have chosen Nerull as the evil god because of his on/off relationship with Wee Jas, which I found might be a reason for his "hatred" for her. By him diminishing her power, he is able to "dominate" her (sorry for the weird phrasing) and gain her affection through intimidation and force. For this, I am also assuming Wee Jas' more stable relationship with Norebo will be threatened and thus he will be her ally as well. Now, while this war rages between these select gods/goddesses, the "good" gods/goddesses will be preparing to strike a blow to all these parties in order to gain more power and hopefully end some of these warring gods/goddesses. The warring gods/goddesses have no idea that these plans are being made, and thus will become apparent more towards the end of the plot after our "hero" PCs solve some of Wee Jas' quests for magic restoration. I have some vague plans on what quests could restore magic to the land, like recovering a supreme magical artifact from each magic god/goddess (Wee Jas, Boccob, Corellon Larethian, as stated above, and possibly Norebo) or freeing magic-user slaves, or increasing the magic gods/goddesses worshipper count, or finding near-extinct magical creatures/races and recruiting them to fight (such as dragons). These are ideas that I can work upon in the future, so let's take a step back and look at what I have planned for my first adventure.

All of the PCs wake up in an entirely dark room of a castle (the castle will be named "Castle of the Vampire Queen," explanations later) and even those with dark-vision cannot see since it will be magical darkness. Each PC will eventually find themselves chained to one other person in the room with magical manacles which they cannot break. Since there will be 7 PCs, I have added an eight character (an NPC) to be chained to the remaining PC (this will also help in case my players are stuck and I need to speed the adventure along, or if they are going to quickly and I need to hold down the brakes). One of the players (the one chained to the NPC) will notice there is dried blood staining his clothes. When all players are awake, an apparition will appear before them and say they must complete a few trials in order to be returned to the outside world. Since they are chained and cannot leave without completing these "trials," the PCs will be forced to cooperate with each other under this situation (which can be something difficult to do in an evil campaign). All of these trials are designed by Wee Jas, and therefore I decided to implement some "foreshadowing" for later events. Each of the trials will relate to some of her domains, such as magic, death, and law (maybe vanity if I can come up with something). The first trial I will give to the PCs will be to locate a magical orb in one of the branching rooms. Once they are in the designated room, however, they uncover piles of childrens' corpses and little else. They will quickly realize that the magical orb is inside one of these children's bodies and they need to dig through over a hundred corpses in order to find it (this will introduce the new players to search checks, maybe some spell usage, and possibly fortitude saves if I want some bodies to be diseased). Now, there are two main possibilities for this trial to go: they will manually search through these bodies, or they will use a "detect magic" spell to locate the magical orb (or maybe even some other possibility I cannot think of right now). In either scenario, this will turn out to be an easy trial. However, somewhere along the lines they might feel and eerie chill in a certain spot in the room. A spectre of one of the children (or maybe multiple) will appear, and a fight will begin! Another introduction to game mechanics for the two newbies. Once defeated, the spectre/s will go to the afterlife (Wee Jas, particularly) and the party can continue onwards.

Another twist: after every trial, the PCs (and NPC) will be chained to a new person. This is for clues concerning the last trial (the actual court trial).
The second trial will be to defeat a few zombie troglodytes (CR = 3, compared to party's 3.2). Naturally, the party will face a lot of undead in the first adventure since it is created by Wee Jas herself. The zombie troglodytes will begin attacking the pair of the PC and NPC rather viciously, keep that noted. Once defeated, the PCs will be free to move onto the next trial.

If there are any ideas for a vanity trial, I would absolutely love to hear ideas! As stated, I am a new DM and I do not know if my first adventure will be approximately five hours long (the preferred time). If anyone thinks this fourth trial would be necessary, please let me know!

Anyway, on to the last trial. The PCs will enter a room that has eight podiums next to each other in a semi-circle, facing an ornate throne. If the PCs do not go straight to the podiums and instead search the room, they will find that it appears to be a court room and that the throne has a disheveled skeleton sitting on it. When they approach the podiums, their manacles will be locked onto them and force them to stay at their stands. The skeleton will be reanimated and act as the court's judge. He asks the question, "Who among you has slain all the inhabitants here?" Thus begins the true roleplaying aspect of the adventure. The clues I have sprinkled into the adventure all point to the NPC, naturally, but I will create the idea that is could be one of the PCs by handing out sticky notes to the players informing them of all they can remember during their time at the castle. Clues that I currently have that indict the NPC of these crimes (more would be welcomed!): the PC chained to the NPC at the start will have blood-stained clothes from when the NPC hauled them around while they were unconscious and murdered the children in the adjoining room, and the PC chained to the NPC in the second trial was being attacked (but it was really the NPC the creatures were after). If used, any PC that uses a sense motive check on the NPC's words during the trial could find out he is not being entirely truthful in his claims. As the trial progresses and PCs lock onto their suspect, the skeleton king will interject and ask what the PCs plan on doing to the culprit. This could lead to the culprit's imprisonment, disablement, torture, or even death. This will give the PCs' villainous sides time to shine and also distinguish what kind of character they will be for future situations. Whatever they decide to do, they will be herded to the next room.

This is the final room of the adventure and will only consist of a cutscene and a few skill checks. When the PCs (and possibly the NPC) arrive, they will notice that it is a large room that has the door behind them, and six coffin-like objects arranged standing up in a semi-circle in front of them. The coffins will be up a set of stairs so that there is distance between them and the PCs. The only light in the room will be from ceremonial candles in the same pattern as the coffins' semi-circle, which are powered with magical fire. Between the coffins and the PCs will stand a beautiful elven man, clad in what seems to be clerical armour and wielding a holy symbol (knowledge checks in religion will attribute it to a god/goddess the PC has not heard of before, since the magic domain gods/goddesses have not been made known to the general public and those that have heard of the names only know that they are considered evil). Each male PC will be asked to make a will-saving throw at the sight of the man. Only males will make this throw because (unbeknownst to the PCs), the elven man is actually an aspect of Wee Jas and her sheer beauty will paralyze them. If anyone rolls a natural 20 on this throw, they will still be paralyzed but will be rewarded with a +1 to any will-saving throw in the future once a day. At this point, the PCs will hopefully be very confused as to why their male (probably straight) PCs are awestruck over this man's beauty. The elf man will descend the stairs towards them and spout all this typical villain nonsense, such as why he has brought them here and what his motivations are. Then, he will threaten the PCs and once again ascend the stairs towards the coffins. Each one will open up and reveal each PC's dearest loved one inside (there are six since the tiefling twins' loved person is the same). The elven man (Wee Jas) will tell the PCs that he has their loved ones hostage and will torture/kill them if they do not obey his commands (those loved ones that are dead will have been resurrecting by Wee Jas for this purpose). This hopefully will prod the PCs into following the elven man's commands for the duration of the plot until they are strong enough to challenge him again, and will keep the party together as they bring magic back into the world. If a PC does not care for their loved one enough to obey, the elven man will reach out a hand and spiritually "grab" the PC's heart and hold it in his hand, saying he will then kill him instead. When all PCs are goaded into carrying out this man's orders, their magical manacles will break and they will wake up in a random area of the world together. End of the first adventure.

This is all the information I have right now for my evil campaign, and here are some of the conflicting ideas and questions I have.
Assuming I have a cleric in the party that is not human, this poses a problem related to their backstory since in this world only humans and esteemed powers of other races are allowed to become clerics. This is even more problematic is the cleric is of an "evil" god/goddess.
Any magic-using PCs in the party will probably have conflicting backstories with the world setting, since they would have been forced to hide or be a slave in this world.
I have two "solutions" to this problem. One solution is that before my first session (I mean literally right before we start), I will explain the state of the world and some backstory on it for the players and then they will automatically have to adjust to fit that world. My second solution is that the PCs have come from an alternate version of this world where magic is still abundant and magic-users/magical creatures are free and alive as well. They were then summoned to this world by Wee Jas in order to save it, which is why they find themselves here. Both solutions have flaws, but also good roleplaying fodder. If they PCs do come from this world, they will have to change their behaviour in order to be discriminatory towards magic and magic-users. If they are magic-users themselves, they will have to be used to hiding what they are and be cautious in using magic. This is my favored solution right now. The only flaw would be conflicting backstories or that the players might not adjust to the world's consequences. The other solution would introduce a lot of learning elements for the PCs as they struggle towards adapting to the new world, but there might not be a strong urge for these PCs to want to save a world they do not live in (I could fix this by saying their world will be replaced by this one if they do not restore the magic here).

I also would love feedback on how to improve my first adventure, and also ideas to expand upon in my world! I will add to this thread as I get my other players' character information. I do want to include character-specific missions in the future as well, and some backstory reveal moments. That is why I have not gone too much more in-depth with my world yet. The last thing I would ask is that if anyone reading this finds my first adventure too boring! I want the first adventure to be a memorable, fun, and dynamic one since my next session will not be until January and I want to prove myself capable enough of being a DM. Thank you to all those (if anyone) who have read this entire thing and please lend me some advice!

2015-11-08, 12:13 AM
Just going to add onto my post with some more information in order to keep my post afloat. At this point Wee Jas is fairly limited in magical power and uses most of it in fighting the war. Her magical power in the first adventure is enhanced because it is her castle, the Castle of the Vampire Queen. Many generations ago, her legends were altered as they were passed down. Since she was the Ruby Sorceress, many attributed that to the blood-lusting of the magical creatures known as vampires. And since she is ruler of death, the tales turned her into a vampire queen that reigned over an amy of the undead. That's just some background history on the castle. Nevertheless, those that worshipped the "vampire queen" gathered in this castle and when Wee Jas' power diminished enough she took over this castle as a sort of home base for her party of heroes.

I'll just continue to post here my DM experience and any other information I have on my world over the course of my campaign. I'm looking for any feedback on my world and adventures, specifically, and not advice on how to DM. Thanks, anyone reading this! :smallsmile:

2015-11-08, 05:18 PM
UPDATE: I've found an appropriate "vanity" challenge in the first adventure, which I can cut out if needed in case the players take too long on the other parts of the adventure. For the third room, they will enter and will see nothing but hundreds of mirrors and the door behind them. Once the players look into the mirrors, a doppelgänger of themselves will climb out of it and begin attacking them. Enter combat! However, they will quickly realize that these doppelgängers are not really taking any damage from their blows, and when someone makes a low roll they will instead attack one of the mirrors. Smashing the mirrors is the only way to damage these beings. Only, the doppelgängers are only tied to a few mirrors out of the hundred (with each mirror wrecked that it is attached to bringing its HP down by 1/3), so they will need to break a lot of mirrors (which will prove to be quite fun).

2015-11-09, 11:06 AM
You clearly put a lot of effort into your setting and opening, so good job. You won't be caught unprepared for the early session, until the PC's do something wild of course.

I like your setting, and I think it can work for an evil campaign. Be flexible on the outcome, including the fact that the PC's might support wee jas, and maybe not be evil. Also, is evil required/good alignments banned? A mixed party is asking for trouble. Even an evil party is asking for trouble. You also have characters being made in a vacuum, not 100% on your setting.

I strongly recommend a session zero, where the players openly discuss their characters and your setting so they fit the world and each other. There is nothing wrong with a CE cannibal barbarian, or an LG peacenick paladin, but mixing the two is asking for trouble and should not be done unless everybody is open to what may happen. Even with evil campaigns, a LE cleric of a deals/contracts deity is probably not going to find it funny when the CE rogue pickpockets the person they are using diplomacy on, and pump the rude little twit so full of negative energy their eyes pop out of their head. The players that have already cooked their characters can keep them and tweak the details.
The PC's are going to be chained together against their will, and forced to work together early on. This is good, as it will probably bind the party, but make sure they can grow to halfway like each other so that they will stay together afterwards. Most good players do this automatically, but you sometimes get that rogue agent who wants to go chaotic lone wolf solo. Don't allow chaotic lone wolf solos, or anything else that will be an obvious non team player. Also, work out on how evil the party wants to be. Is this full brutal babykilling murderhobo? Cloak and dagger secrecy? Anything that is too brutal and off the table like rape and killing children? For the most part, evil games play the same as good games but the methods differ. Honestly, if the party is a bunch of non humans and/or magic users, I don't blame them for becoming evil-it sounds like the humans are total jerks in the setting, and after being hunted down for existing(incredibly evil) they are not wrong to want to kill them back.

Magic users, particularly clerics, are going to have an interesting role in this world. make sure the PC's understand that(again, session zero) so nobody casually casts a spell in public and gets killed. Evil religions are almost always secret anyways, so being an evil cleric should not be too much of an issue. Saying non humans are not allowed to become clerics might be the law of the land, but doing it in secret makes it even cooler. Particularly for your secret evil god cult etc.

Be ready to control your table-7pc's is too many IMO, and if you let things get bad they will. You can easily have 1-2 personalities steamroll the group into doing things, or have unique snowflake do everything on their own and split time. Also, limit table talk and side conversations. Use the take 10 and take 20 mechanic liberally. Have a sheet of a few key stats(bluff, sense motive, perception) so you can give out passive take 10 checks to the players. Let them know they almost always get a take 10 on a passive check so they don't roll perception every 5 feet. Make players roll damage along with the hit dice, and group similar rolls. If a player can't start describing their action in about 10 seconds, skip their turn. If a player does not know which spell to cast, skip their turn. If a player is trying to figure out how a rule works in combat, skip their turn. If a player is not paying attention, skip their turn. Combat is already long and grindy, so cut all the corners possible.

The only other advice for your setting is to have multiple clues for each puzzle. You did well on the NPC being the guilty one and multiple clues, but have more. THe three clue rule states that if you have 3 clues, the PC's miss the first, ignore the second, and misinterpret the third. Then by some leap of logic, they figure it out.

2015-11-09, 05:30 PM
Firstly, thank you for answering! I really like your feedback, and it definitely useful. My campaign PCs are required to be all evil, in some form or another (CE, NE, LE). Therefore, I will not have to worry about conflicting alignments very much and the players themselves have already dealt with the problem of pickpocketing rogues in the other campaign (which they despise), so they've all grown out of that phase for the most part. I currently have everyone's (except one player) backstory, and none have chosen a cleric or a magic-heavy class, surprisingly, which works well for my campaign. All have chosen races other than humans, so there will not be any conflict there either (and might unite them against them).

We have not explicitly gone over what to ban from the table, but from what I have gathered, everything is okay in terms of violence and gore. Rape might be off the table since I myself would be uncomfortable about it, as would some others. That's all we probably will ban though. Killing children we already did in our "good" campaign, so I think it is perfectly fine in my evil campaign. We shouldn't have many issues with maturity levels on content, which will solve that problem.

Luckily, no one chose a cleric (and I highly doubt my last player will), but most do worship evil deities, who are outlawed. This they will have to do in secret, if they so wish (none of my players are particularly religious anyway). Magic won't be much of a problem either when they find out about the setting.

I do like the idea of limiting combat turns like that for our rather-large group. I will be sure to let everyone know ahead of time that combat turns will go be very quickly, except for the first session so the newbies can get used to it. Take 10s I might also use more frequently in this campaign, as per your suggestion. Everyone rolling for every check can take up a large chunk of time. I might even cut back on the number of times a listen or spot check will be needed.

I will try to include more clues, and I have already come up with the NPC's backstory and such so that why he did it makes complete sense (and it will build up the evil factor a bit more). I was thinking that the NPC used to live in this castle, before Wee Jas claimed it once more. He and his wife stumbled across it when searching for a place to stay for the night, and they found it home to several followers of Wee Jas. Since he and his wife are humans, they had been ingrained with the idea that them worshipping a magic deity was evil, and so the husband slew them later that night after they had been given hospitality. His wife did not know this, since she was sleeping, and her husband told her that he had chased them out of the castle. And so the couple began living there for a few years when they tried to have a child. The wife could not get pregnant for all these years, and so she decided to take in orphan children instead. They accumulated quite a few children (reaching somewhere in the hundreds after a while) since they had enough space and supplies in the castle to accommodate them. Eventually, the wife did get pregnant. When the time came for her to deliver the baby, she died in labor. The husband was struck with an insane rage that the baby had killed his wife, and so he killed it too. That is when Wee Jas took over the castle, putting the husband (and the children) in a deep slumber while gathering the heroes there as well. The husband woke up first before the "heroes" and slew all the children that had caused his wife to die (in his mind). The undead that appear to attack the heroes later on will also be the followers of Wee Jas he killed, and therefore Wee Jas wants the trial in order to get justice.

2015-11-09, 08:01 PM
Firstly, thank you for answering! I really like your feedback, and it definitely useful. My campaign PCs are required to be all evil, in some form or another (CE, NE, LE). Therefore, I will not have to worry about conflicting alignments very much and the players themselves have already dealt with the problem of pickpocketing rogues in the other campaign (which they despise), so they've all grown out of that phase for the most part.

You are welcome. As far as conflicting alignments, the difference between L and C is as big as the difference between G and E. Evil kills other evil all of the time-LE and CE are constantly in a power struggle. I don't think it will result in total hell breaking loose, but beware that L and C can be plenty conflicting. You have a lot of things set up in this castle to highlight the roleplaying aspects of alignment and backstory, so expect some (constructive) conflict and disagreement.

It is good that you have addressed those things- that is a large part of DMing, considering the potential scenarios that will happen when your world and the PC's mix, and when the PC's mix with each other.

I really like your castle backstory and setting-should be interesting and depending on what the party does you have enough material for multiple sessions(maybe). Also, to make sure all of your backstory and writing is not lost by the PC's just mindlessly running through the scenarios, make sure to describe it or act it into the scenes through an NPC. It is uncommon(but does happen) where PC's will use skills and roleplaying to get more setting and world information that does not directly relate to them. All of that beautiful detail could easily become lost. Having it be part of the clues is good, but it works equally well just to have it as "texture" for the environment. Things like- the carpet being a drab, faded purple, looks unused in years. Or the furniture in the study is rich mahogany and appears to be excellently cared for. PC's are more likely to interact with textured items, and it helps you get the setting and story into the game.

Micah Watt
2015-11-09, 08:17 PM
Ari - you've clearly put a lot of thought into this. IMO that is the best stepping stone to a successful game.

I agree with Geddy - run a session zero where the players talk to each other about their characters and motivations. I've played in several 'evil' campaigns that have come apart (not necessarily violently) because the characters work at cross purposes. Evil is selfish, so it's harder to get natural co-operation. Give them a reason to work together.

The other thing I'll say about 'evil' campaigns is don't stifle the freedom you've just given the players. Let them cut loose a little. Most players don't have the desire to take things 'too far' in my experience, and being the bad guy can be a lot of fun for a short campaign.

Good luck