Inspirations for my dwaf-only campaign

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.

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A brief prologue

After a couple of years blogging in my native language (Hungarian), I have finally decided to give it a go and write an RPG blog in English, so this is a short introduction of what there is to come.

I have been playing RPGs for more than ten years now, mostly being the DM, but every now and then I get the chance to play as well. On this blog my aim is to summarize the sessions I have on both sides of the screen, and also to write down some thoughts about dungeon mastering, systems, or just whatever that comes to mind.

One of my main focuses will be my brand new campaign I am currently preparing, hoping to bring it to my players in January 2016. It’s a dwarf-only campaign under D&D 5th Edition, in the kingdom-continent of Draekath. Currently I’m sketching up handouts for my players, most already completed and shared with them by now, the only one remaining is the biggest chunk of all (of course).  It’s not the easiest thing to design the full geography of a continent-sized campaign setting, that’s the biggest obstacle to tackle so far.

Right now I am a player in two campaigns, a very welcome change after years. One is a Star Wars Saga Edition campaign, which has been rolling for a year now, the other one we have just started, that’s a Warhammer Fantasy 2nd Edition game. I will try and summarize the latter’s sessions, there is no point recapping a full year’s gaming from the other, but maybe I will write a “Lessons Learned” post about that, there were some interesting things which are worth mentioning.