Adventures in the New Age
Currently the goal is to save the city of Fort Arbor Knoll. Beset on all sides by constant bestial raids this once great fort city has been beaten down into a mere thorp of hardy survivors.
Making matters worse is the strategic placement of this once-city. It is still the best strategic location in the area to dominate the countryside from a hilltop fort. Several factions have set their own plans in motion even as the PCs are struggling to put an end to the raids and restore this population center.
Made by myself and incorporating as much breadth of canon D&D material as a member of our group asks for this is the continuing campaign of my unnamed homebrew world.
That’s not entirely true though, it has a name. In my notes and files I’ve called my world Benworld for years. We just dont’ think of that as its name when we’re playing in it.
My world is sketched out on blank white paper with named dots for population centers, arrowed lines for mountains and valleys, and larger text denoting things like forests, hills, plains, deserts swamps, etc. I once had it hanging on the wall with each of its 16 pages nestled in their own plastic sleeve and each sleeve meticulously tacked to the wall.
This campaign has been a work in progress for Six years (from 2003 to 2009) at present. There have been flying monkey swarms, epic characters, homebrew monsters, and DM faux pas galore. Past PCs have built strongholds, roads, cities and even new planes some of which survived my invented histories to this day.
We’ve gone through several playgroups both super casual and semi serious. Each time a playgroup has dissolved, for whatever reasons, I have about a year of down time gathering a new one. Between playgroups I tend to ‘age’ the world. There have been roughly three of these ‘agings’ so far.
First was the Age of Legends way back when we first started playing. There were DM fiats galore, multiple DMs, overpowered artifacts, super fast leveling, too much gold, and about ten epic characters (if memory serves). It was a rough time, but only in retrospect.
Then came D&D 3.5. The world got its first makeover. It went from a one page compass rose map to a sixteen page monster. Parts of the old world got broken up and redistributed across the new one so that if the old players ever returned they would still have some points of interest and reference.
Then came D&D 4E. The original worldmap got lost. Luckily there were digital scans and, after those were printed out, the pencil mark details continued to spread. The biggest change this time was the scale. Things needed to be farther apart and so distances gained a greater multiplier.
Through it all I have striven to learn, to practice, to get better at that intricate dance that is DMing. I consider the fun to be most important. Before any member of the campaign does anything I believe they should ask themselves whether what they’re doing will be fun for themselves and the group. I’m still learning this and so can they.