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Started a new campaign.


I just started a new campaign last week. So far just two players. I am using Dungeons and Dragons 5E. I am old time player so I am very familiar with most stuff back in the day and my goto back then was Dungeons and Dragons 2E.
Ok, as to how I got the game started was just have some ideas of where the players are starting and are at.
I notice when I started reading the 5E DMG (important) is that I designed my world so far is pretty much what the DMG guide mentioned, Gods oversee the world, much of the world is untamed, the world is ancient, Conflict shapes the world's history and the world is magical. Pretty spot on.
I named my campaign The Ancient Lands.
I remembered some things on improv while gaming and it was coming back to me.
I try to keep things simple.
For prepping, I have tons of random tables I got and printed out into a spiral bound book I made. The tables are from RPGDrivethru.com. Much of it free. Also links online. I put them into bookmarks on my chromebook. I right click on the bookmarks and open all at once when I am about to start a session of gaming. I also use a lot of 3x5 cards for ideas and stuff I get during times I am not gaming. The Lazy DM has good stuff I think as well.
Make lists of names if you have time or I would just grab them from my book of tables.
Online links to what I am currently using besides Campaign Logger.
Fantasy Calendar
Fantasy Name Generators
Google Keep

Starting the game, I started with action. The first pc was next to a farm on some business when he noticed a goblin with a lit torch run into a barn. The other pc woke to smell of smoke, (he was in the barn sleeping in the hay). With that I just let them do as they will. I have no storyline planned. I have nuggets of stuff here and there I can put into the game as I need to. I just wing it. Players do something and I give them what is happening. Players will do what they want and I just plant things in front of them or to the sides as they go along in the game.
I do have some set encounters planned. But they are very flexible. Unless they are tied to a specific place and/or time, these encounters (just a name, description, items, purpose) can be put into the game when I want and mostly where I want. I think I called them Floating Encounters.

For the most part I just wing it.
But writing things down is the secret sauce to this and I am happy I subbed to Campaign Logs.

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Wizard of Story
Wizard of Combat
Borderland Explorer
Interesting beginning!
D&D5E fights are not hard to understand, but how proficient are your players with the setting and system?

Did I say I love goblins? I really do.
So, how did it play out? What did the players do? Did they find out why the goblin wanted to burn the barn? How did other NPCs react to this?


The dragonborn sorceror was in the haystack the goblin set on fire. Used Ray of Frost to hit the goblin which also put out the fire. The human paladin came up behind and grabbed the goblin by the throat which knocked it out. The farmer saw the last part of the battle and asked what was going on. The PCs explained what had happened. The farmer said there was a 100gp bounty per head for goblins. The paladin didn't want any part of slaying the unconscious gobbo as it would be dishonorable. The dragonborn wanted in on the gold. The farmer said he would take the goblin over to his chicken head chopping stump and do the deed and would share half of the bounty. With the deed done they went into the nearby village of Homm and found the sheriff where they got their gold split in half between the sorceror and the farmer. Then the paladin asked if there was any trouble going on in town. The sheriff mentioned that someone dug up four graves from the graveyard the other day. They were of four men that died the week previously at home. After some rather meticulous investigation (the players had lots of questions) they deduced that the four men were poisoned somehow. With the goblin threat ignored, for now, they went to the graveyard and found wagon tracks going off to the east. They gathered supplies and followed the tracks. A few days later, the tracks eventually led them to ruins of a castle where they found the four bodies in back of a wagon with a horse nearby munching on feed. There was no immediate sign of anyone. The PCs discovered that there was a door in one of the buildings that was brand new. It appears thick, iron bound and with an imbedded lock. The PCs take the wagon and horse and move it outside the ruins. They didn't know the corpse-thief was sleeping inside. They decide to wait. Evening comes and they see the door open and close but they don't see anyone. Granted it is dim light so they could have attribute it to the darkness. They were unaware the corpse-thief was wearing a cloak of invisibility. The heard gravel crunch as something or someone was moving slowly about. After a few minutes, the door opens and...I waited for a response of the PCs for a moment, and the door closes with an audible click. The PCs decide to take the cart and horse back to Homm. The corpse-thief follows them about a half day or less after them. They get back to Homm and tell the sheriff everything that went on. The sheriff is down to a few guards and could maybe spare 1-2 for going back with the PCs to the castle ruins. The sheriff mentioned that he sent word to the town to the south that he needs more guards, village of Homm hasn't got much going for it. There was no reply but if they send a contingent of guards it would probably be a day or two before they arrive. If they arrive. The sheriff has no way of knowing if they are coming or not as the messenger hasn't returned. So while the PCs are turning in at their place for the night, a door opens by itself. The paladin noticed but didn't react and pretended to be unaware. He waited as the floorboards creaked as something was inching closer. Suddenly the paladin lashed out with his shield but missed. Combat ensued. They managed to take the corpse-thief down and got some loot including the cloak of invisibility, a key, a few vials of unknown liquid (poison) and a few vials of antidote (labeled antidote) to the poison that the sorcerer was suffering from being stabbed in combat with the corpse-thief. On the body was also found a note, the gist of that the corpse-thief was to get some strong bodies for them as they will be returning in a couple of weeks and it was signed with the letter C. The PCs think they are dealing with a necromancer. They go back to the castle ruins and try the key on the door. It opens and find a single large room with an ancient altar to some unknown deity but covered in blood. The inscription on the side of the altar has faded with time and is currently unreadable. They find the belongings of the corpse-thief and bedroll in one of the corners of the room. They plan to lie in wait and ambush the necromancer when they get back. That is where we left off in the session.
The paladin player has played before mostly with 2E. The dragonborn player is brand new, had a difficult time understanding modifiers vs score. And what the dice were. I got some more play aids to help out next session. We are all brand new to 5E. The world is a homebrew setting of mine. So I am discovering stuff along with the players as we go, but I don't tell them that. :D