Sunday 14 March 2021

Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Inspiration

 Welcome back to the Vault once more! Hobby time has been pretty limited this week; I've played in the weekly 5th edition D&D game and the players have been plotting an upcoming battle (which I must blog about some time), but I really haven't felt any motivation to pick up a paint brush.

Having been a player in a regular game for almost a year has got my creative juices for D&D flowing again, and I've been toying with a few ideas for a new campaign/adventure setting. Nothing serious beyond some initial notes (a kind of mood board) at this point, but I'm thinking about committing some effort to it.

So a Dark Ages Arthurian-esque Albion campaign with plenty of opportunity to explore related mythology and influences:

  • Last vestiges of the preceding Roman-esque civilisation.
  • Invading Viking inspired Raiders/Settlers
  • Seelie and Unseelie Fey 
  • Undead from the Shadow Realm

Not a lot of originality so far, but plenty of fun and something different to the usual D&D medieval backdrop. 

Why mention this now? Having written these initial notes some time ago my recent media consumption has brought the project to the fore again. First up is the (quite frankly amazing) Valheim PC game:

Because who doesn't want to adventure in the shadow of Yggdrasil the World Tree?

I've also read the last of the Bernard Cornwell Last Kingdom novels, and started re-watching the TV adaptations. These are great stories set in the time of King Alfred and the years after his death; Saxon against Viking, Old Gods against Christianity. All grist to the mill for this little project.

Uhtred of Bebbanburg and his band of followers are good inspiration for a D&D group (albeit in a low magic setting); I'm particularly fond of Hild the Nun who trains as a warrior; a D&D cleric if ever there was one!

I've also been re-reading the old 3rd edition Scarred Lands Excalibur source book; this is full of excellent source material for such a campaign. Whilst my current play group are using 5th edition, a lot of the material is easily ported from the previous rules.

So for the moment this is a thought experiment, and will provide something of a welcome distraction if nothing else; we'll see if any of these seeds take hold and turn into something more tangible. What's providing hobby inspiration for you all at the moment? Let me know in the comments below.

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