Building Adara

(C) 2020, JJ Shaun
The Happy Harpy

I’ve spent the past week or so looking for ways to introduce the player characters (PCs) to the homebrew Dungeons & Dragons campaign I’m creating. I have a place to start them out—the Happy Harpy Inn—and a destination if they play it out to reach the Great Evil.

As I build this campaign, I’m also researching various YouTube channels, podcasts, and other online sources of creation material. Watching YouTube and listening to experienced Dungeon Masters (DMs), I realize that I use a lot of DM best practices already. I just used basic common sense.

The Internet has a ton of information on not only how to build a campaign, but ways that a busy DM can maximize their time and minimize their effort. A simple search for “free d&d modules 5e” yields almost 200,000 hits. I’m sure that I can find a few simple adventures to get low-level PCs started. I bet I can find even more that I can modify to fit my world, and more importantly, tailor into my campaign.

The time suck in using material that’s already been written is in finding something that fits what I need. I won’t use an entire adventure or module to make the story work, a scenario can work to link significant points of action. As the PCs traverse the land, I’ll build more of the continent, and we’ll uncover the lore together.

Even though this fantasy land has been in my imagination for decades, I haven’t dug into the lore or history like I could have. I know which regions hold what kingdoms, but not a lot about the conflicts that have arisen over the centuries. These are things that I need to give thought to as I imagine this land called Adara. I don’t want to give any spoilers, because I think some of my prospective players read this blog.

One of my next tasks is to build the pantheon. I introduced one deity in a previous campaign we played a couple of years ago. I still need to flesh her out. I’ll use the Dungeon Master’s Guide to help create the rest of the gods and goddesses of the world, it usually has good ideas.

I want to stick to the core rulebooks as much as possible because we’re trying to teach my 10-year-old grandson to play. He’s a rules kid, so I’m hoping that if we follow the core rules, he’ll catch on easier. We can introduce house rules later.

Now that I have the Happy Harpy pretty much complete, I can move on to some of the other areas that will need detail. I have a couple of quests I’m working on. I need to create maps and finish the exposition before they’re ready to play.

This will be the beginning for my intrepid players, and it’s an ambitious project for me. It will be a learning experience for all of us, thanks for coming along for the ride.

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