My main inspiration to create a dwarf-only campaign for my players was the “The Dwarves” Saga from Markus Heitz. The guys were really glad to hear that I was thinking about running such a campaign, since dwarves are the most beloved race among us by far.
There is nothing new under the sun regarding originality, I shamelessly stole a lot of things from here and there, which I felt suited my campaign and help estabilish a great atmosphere. So just a few sources I had inspiration from:
- Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: mainly the visuals of Moria and Erebor from the films, plus the basic concept of the homeless dwarves from The Hobbit
- World of Warcraft: dwarves with guns, how cool are they?
- Markus Heitz – The Dwarves Saga: the clans, the strong sense of honor and clan duty, the classic rough and tough image of the dwarves
- The Campaign Bible from Chris Perkins for his Valoreign Campaign: I found its structure and style perfect to create my handouts for the players, also a great checklist for me as a DM
- My players: finally I found a group of players who inspire me in many ways! They are interested in the campaign immensely, ask questions, pamper me with quality, well-written character stories. They induced a lot of ideas for the campaign, a great example is the presence of technology. At first I had no intention of using firearms, gunpowder, steam, etc. in the campaign, but they convinced me to give it a go, and now I wouldn’t imagine the setting otherwise.
- Lost Mine of Phandelver: Wave Echo Cave sounded like the perfect new home for my players’ dwarves and their people, it has everything that makes their new kingdom unique. There is a trademark feature (the echo of the water hitting the stone), and also a magic item (The Forge of Spells) which can be an amazing source of quests/conflicts later.
I also go and save every image, photo I find remotely relevant to my ideas or dwarves, so I will have a very wide range of visual inspiration as I go on in designing encounters, new places, etc.
For me, music plays a major part as I sit down in front of my laptop to write, it helps me focus more and shut my environment (street noises, wife, dog) out.
Coming up next: I will introduce my campaign setting, the continent-kingdom of Draekath, sharing some issues I had during its design, and some thoughts on my style of campaign building.