Books

Setting up a Dungeons & Dragons campaign

I have created a world for my 5th Edition players based on the old Dungeons & Dragons Gazetteer series in the world of Mystara shown below.

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World of Mystara

It was written for the old Dungeons & Dragons rules set:

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The BECMI boxed sets for the Original Dungeons and Dragons game

This is know as the Basic Expert Companion Master Immortals (or BECMI) ruleset. Known mainly for the the following differences vs Advanced Dungeons & Dragons:

  • Class and Race were the same
  • Levels went up to 36
  • Spells were not as complex to cast
  • Weapon Mastery
  • Skills (though AD&D 2.5 incorporated some of this)
  • Gemstone dragons
  • Ability for Hero’s to join the pantheon of Immortals (instead of Gods, the world was governed by Immortals with the powers of gods)
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Rules Cyclopedia compilation of BECMI rules

The Rules were all condensed into a single volume called the Rules Cyclopedia which is an good resource having the majority of the rules from the five different books, omitting the Immortals rules (for future release as “Wrath of the Immortals”) and removing the world references and adventures present in each boxed set.

I have run this world for 30 years, in every version of Dungeons & Dragons and this is how I have changed the setting to make it my own for 5th Edition based on player choices and how things have turned out in games. With discussion from the players we wanted to get everyone out of their comfort zone and experience different characters and races that they would not normally take.

The concept for this campaign is as follows:

  • Each player has a character in each Gazetteer (country) of the setting.
  • They can’t choose the same class twice.
  • The need to choose different race options.
  • They need to choose different subclass options that have not already been used in the campaign.
  • They cover the first 4 years of the campaign world from AC 1000 to 1004 and each year gives them a character level.
  • They get a random item roll on the treasure table each to share amongst themselves and 500 gp for each game year completed.
  • Using 5E ruleset and published books by Wizard of the Coast
  • All half-races are sterile and come from magical or divine intervention, each Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Tiefling or Aasimar is unique and a dead point on their family tree.
  • Dragonborn are the littermates of a dragon born to be their servants
  • Unearthed Arcana to be allowed with GM permission only

It is expected that they will have 4 to 8 sessions in each of the Gazetteer regions and learn the fluff of the countries in the setting and along the way while getting a feel for each of the character options. The first one went a little overboard and tested out some of the other rules including training and other downtime activities.

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The region of Mystara called the “Known World” where the Gazetteer series is based

The Gazetteer Series are as follows:

  • GAZ1 – Grand Duchy of Karameikos
  • GAZ2 – Emirate of Ylaruam
  • GAZ3 – Principalities of Glantri
  • GAZ4 – Kingdom of Ierendi
  • GAZ5 – Alfheim
  • GAZ6 – Rockhome
  • GAZ7 – The Northern Reaches (Kingdom of Ostland, Kingdom of Vestland, and Soderfjord Jarmdoms)
  • GAZ8 – The Five Shires
  • GAZ9 – Minrothad Guilds
  • GAZ10 – The Broken Lands
  • GAZ11 – Republic of Darokin
  • GAZ12 – Ethengar Khanate
  • GAZ13 – Shadow Elves
  • GAZ14 – Atruaghin Clans
  • GAZBOX – Empire of Thyatis / Empire of Alphatia

Once they have completed the tour of the “Known World” region they will then start on the “Wrath of the Immortals” campaign with characters taken from all of the completed mini campaigns they participated in. This set does include the possibility of characters achieving immortality, though it does describe the immortals in the setting better than all the previous supplements.

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The Wrath of the Immortals set and storyline

Information on this setting can be found at the following:

Next up is GAZ1 – The Grand Duchy of Karameikos and how its has changed for my 5th edition setting.

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