- Absolutely everything you need to get started with over 35 pages packed full of expanded value and easy-to-understand concepts.
- Save countless hours of prep time with printable templates for describing scenes, NPCs, and more!
- Quickly reference thought-provoking prompts and questions across multiple viewing devices
Worry less and play more with The Alpine DM’s Start a Campaign: Your First Homebrew. This book is perfect for beginner Dungeon Masters who want to run their first homebrew game, or long-time veterans wanting to brush up on their skills. Each chapter provides questions and examples, as well as a checklist of action steps to get you rolling.
Covered in this ebook:
- Designing a general story arc
- Creating NPCs
- Describing a scene
- Building a starting location
- Implementing plot hooks
- Adapting to player actions, and
- Where to go next?
Preview #1: Designing a general story arc
Preview #2: Districts of a town
8 thoughts on “How to Start A Campaign”
i want to start magic
Magic is an awesome – yet pretty broad – subject! If you could be a bit more specific I’d be glad to help you out
Hi The Alpine DM,
I wasn’t sure where to put this, given that as far as I can tell there’s no contact info on this site, but your article “Quick and Simple Guide to D&D 5e Damage Types” (Posted on September 20, 2020) has a mistake in it. The “D&D 5e Damage Types and Examples” table duplicates the explanation and examples for Force damage into the Psychic damage row.
Thought I’d let you know as this may be confusing for new players.
Thanks for pointing that out! The site is undergoing a bit of a rehaul at the moment, so apologies for the lack of a “Contact Page”. I must have been tired when re-creating that article and totally missed the Psychic section. I’ll be sure to fix that later this evening.
Im a new player to DnD this year! Quarantine had me wanting to join my friends who play on the reg, and i can honestly say im hooked. ive thought about starting to create a few one shots to start out and want to learn and this site is amazing for that.
thanks for putting this on here its all very helpful!
have a great day, keep safe, stay well!
I feel like a bunch of people got into D&D due to quarantine, which may be one of the few positive things to come out of 2020! That’s awesome that you’ve gotten hooked; I definitely know the feeling haha. You should absolutely create some one-shots! There’s nothing like coming up with an idea and seeing your friends bring it to life. If you have any questions during the process definitely let me know.
Thanks for the kind words, and stay safe yourself!
I wanted to quickly leave you a post to say that your section on how to describe a scene is fantastic! I am still a rather new DM and struggle a lot of times with these type of description. Do you have any materials on how to help engage the PC’s to roleplay more? I find the group I run (7 players total. I know, what the heck was I thinking?!) has a lot of quiet “dead-air” when I ask them what they would like to do next after something happens. No one seems encouraged enough to play it out and I am not sure if I am the cause of that.
I am buying your “Start A Campaign” now, even though I have already begun my homebrew campaign and world about 7 months ago. Excited to read it! Thank you again!
Hey, I’m really glad you liked the section on describing scenes!
So I don’t have any resources specifically about getting the PCs to engage in more roleplay, but I’ll spitball a couple of ideas real quick for ya 🙂
The first thing is to see if roleplaying is even something that the PLAYERS are interested in. Some people just are not interested in sitting around and having pretend conversations as imaginary characters (and of course other people absolutely love it!) So you’ll want to make sure that your players are on the same page. Assuming that your players ARE interested in RPing, there’s a few possibilities as to why they’re struggling to get engaged and have a fully immersive experience. If they are newer players, they might be very uncomfortable with the idea of roleplaying. This might be due to having high expectations from shows like Critical Role and they are nervous about “failing” at RPing or coming up with a character voice. To help take the pressure off of the situation, be sure that you (as the DM) aren’t afraid of RPing and just getting silly and “letting down the barriers”.
Another possibility is that they just don’t really know HOW to roleplay their character. You might want to consider sitting down with each of the players individually and helping to flesh out their character’s backstory and their place within the world you’re creating. As the DM, you can’t expect them to be frothing at the mouth, ready to jump into your world and take the stage as a star. You have to GIVE THEM A REASON to interact with the world. It can be kind of overwhelming (esp as a new player) to have a scene described to you and then be expected to jump in and start making things happen (heck, I even struggle with it still sometimes). Remember that, to your players, things only exist in the world if you specifically describe them and state that they exist. Players aren’t mind readers. To address this, instead of handing the torch to players and getting a bunch of silence in return, I would try having an NPC approach and address a single character. (ie: After settling in to the tavern, *CHARACTER NAME* feels a tug on their robes, and you look down to see a skiddish looking gnome. The gnome then starts a 1-on-1 conversation that could be relevant to the plot.)
There is definitely some amount of responsibility of the DM for keeping things moving. Sometimes my players will talk amongst themselves in character for a while and I can sit back and let them RP, but sometimes nobody really has anything to say (even though I *thought* I presented a good opportunity for RP). In times like this, you just gotta keep things moving. It’s a learned skill to balance between giving the players freedom and giving them guidance. Like any other skill it can be learned with practice 🙂
I hope that helps! If you have any other questions you can send me an email at email@example.com! We can hop on a short video call or something and I’ll try to come up with more advice.
Thanks for helping to support the site and best of luck in your adventures!
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