Hello lovely people of the internet, thank you for stopping by. Today I want to start on a new series of blogs that will be all about my D&D campaign that I’m currently running. The blogs will cover all of the sessions I’ve already run so my players won’t get any spoilers. If you like these blogs and want to get more “behind the scenes” information then consider joining me on Patreon!
This is my first ever attempt at being a Game Master (GM) for any table top role play game (ttrpg) and I decided that since I’d played Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) twice and my friends had all been playing for years that would be the system we would use.
So following the advice of my friends and other GM’s I follow online, I organised a Session 0 to talk to my players about what they wanted in their game and what they didn’t want in their game.
It was really fun and informative. I showed them the map of the island the adventure would be taking place on (an island that I’ve made up called Zak Island) and asked them to pick out any locations that caught their eye.
I also explained that Zak Island has a peculiar superstition about still bodies of water and that pretty much everyone on the Island feels that still bodies of water are not to be trusted.
We then chatted about character ideas and worked on how the characters would all know each other to be able to start with the party already together. Initial ideas were for the party members to all be Wizards and from the same Wizard school or to all have been studying at the same college. After chatting for a while the idea of all being orphans that were at the same orphanage was put forward and from there I started to add my own touches. It wasn’t an ordinary orphanage, it was one that had been founded by a retired adventurer and extremely rich Lord. It’s entire purpose was to collect promising orphans and raise them to be epic adventurers.
The players were all very excited by this and so that’s the backstory that we went with.
My players chose the characters:
A Druid Firbolg called Manao.
A Monk Kenku called Hu.
A Paladin Aasimar called Illidan.
We also decided to make a home rule that all Kenku knew sign language and due to that it was very common for people of all races to also know sign language. Just to make role play a little less arduous and to keep conversations flowing.
I had also decided that in my universe everyone had a “pet” so each of the players chose a pet to go with their character.
Manao chose a dog and called it Ning. Illidan chose a songbird and called it Elatis. And Hu chose a Raven that he called Huat.
And that was Session 0! From that point I began working on all of the behind the scenes information and my players got excited to see what kind of world they would be playing in.
When Session 1 arrived we were all very excited, I had even hand drawn a battle map for the fight and I had made over 20 Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) for my party to interact with if they wanted to (I probably went a bit overboard but I was excited).
This was the introduction they got for the session:
“It’s the start of the day and you’ve all been invited to a meeting with the Head Teachers at lunchtime, they’re finally going to tell you about your graduation test. If you pass this test you’ll be given permission to go out and start your own adventure.
It’s a big day, with no idea what the test will be. It’s been hard to prepare for it.
So, before you head to the meeting, where are you and what are you doing?”
By this point I’ve also given them a map of the town/region they are in, which is called Minthell Town,/Region along with the names of places and NPCs that they would know from having grown up in the town.
Our party decided that before they had their meeting they would ask around the people they knew that had already graduated to see what information they could learn. So they headed to the local Tavern/Inn – The Hardy Mutt. Once there they found Manao’s friend Keone, a Half Orc with an energetic personality that always enjoys a good time. They tried asking Keone what her test had been like but she struggled to remember exactly what it had been. She was fairly sure that it was either somewhere quite dark with lots of small creatures they had to fight or somewhere quite bright with monsters to fight…
After chatting with Keone and not getting very far it was time to go to the Head Teacher’s office and get their test details!
As they entered the Head Teacher’s office they were greeted by the cheerful smiling face of Ms Enndolynn Drake – a human with short straight red hair that’s began to grey – and the slightly more stern but still friendly face of Miss Gluronk Steelsplitter – an Orc with long wavy blonde hair and bright blue eyes. The party was then told that their test would take place later that night and that they were to meet the teachers at the Paper Temple at 9pm. They were told that they would have to defeat some adversaries in order to prove they were ready to go out and face the world.
After getting the details the party went to gather supplies from the communal supplies that the orphanage provided. They gathered torches and nets and prepared their weapons and armour in their room.
As they finished up their preparations Hu’s friend Betty’s pet spider dropped down on Hu’s head. After greeting Karma (the spider) Betty stepped into the room to say hello. The party chatted for a bit and Betty wished them luck on their test, saying that she was just waiting for her friends to agree it was time and form their own group to then take the test, so she was sure she’d be following them on their adventure very soon.
With their preparations complete and nothing left to do but wait, the party headed back to The Hardy Mutt to get some food and settle their nerves before the test. As they relaxed, Illidan took the opportunity to join with his friends and perform on “stage” with them (earning himself a few coppers). But before too long it was getting dark and it was time for the party to begin their test.
As they made their way to meet their teachers at the Paper Temple their friends and neighbours cheered them on and wished them luck. The graduation tests had become something of a public event over the years and everyone always did their part to cheer on the young orphans as they went to face their tests.
When they arrived they were greeted by the Head Teachers and Kyris Higgs – a Hill Dwarf – the Religious Head of the Paper Temple. They were told that they were to enter the town’s graveyard and defeat the creatures that awaited them inside. Once they successfully defeated the creatures they would have passed their test. Anxious to get started the party moved into the graveyard, the large heavy wooden gates closing behind them and limiting their light. Luckily the party was prepared for the dark and began setting out torches and casting light on their items.
The party quickly spotted a hand crawling towards them, successfully capturing it in the net they had brought and beating it until it stopped moving (they had declared non-lethal damage and continued to do so throughout the fight which meant that they didn’t kill anything). The party then made quick work of going through the graveyard and finding the Crawling Claws (the hands) that were loose and looking to attack them.
After defeating 10 of the Crawling Claws the party paused in front of one of the storage sheds that the Crawling Claws had been seeming to gather around. Once they opened the door they were face to face with a purple skinned Tiefling with long pink curly hair. The Tiefling immediately held his hands up and let the party know he was part of the test and they didn’t need to attack, this however did not convince Illidan.
Illidan bopped the Tiefling on the head before Manao and Hu could stop him. Which got him a very annoyed glare from the Tiefling, who then introduced himself as Rowan Amaim. He explained that he too had once been an orphan at their school and that now he traveled and worked as a Necromancer, providing undead helping hands for those that could pay. The Head Teachers had asked him to come back and bring Crawling Claws for the party’s test and so here he was.
As the party exited the graveyard with Rowan the Head Teachers and Mrs Higgs greeted them excitedly and let them know they had successfully passed their test and that they were to come to the Head Teacher’s office in the morning to make it official.
With the test over and the party successful they all went back to The Hardy Mutt to celebrate and drink with their friends. Waking up the next morning feeling just a little bit rough but still full of energy from having successfully completed their graduation test. Now all they had to do was go and make it official!
Back in the office of Ms Enndolynn Drake and Miss Gluronk Steelsplitter the party received their “Graduation Pack”. They took the pack back to their dorm room to open and to plan for what they would do next.
When they opened the pack, they found it contained:
- 3 x 50ft Rope
- 6 x Candles
- 1 x Sturdy Leather Bound Journal
- 1 x Inkpen
- 1 x Tent (fitting up to 4 people)
- 1 x Potion of Healing (2d4 + 2)
And that was where we ended Session 1.
Check back later to find out what happened next!
And as always, Stay Safe & Be Happy x