Starting a new 5E campaign: The Onnwal Rebellion

This Friday, I’m beginning a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign, the first homebrew campaign with the new 5E campaign system. As with my other homebrew campaigns, this will be set in the World of Greyhawk. However, I’m going to run the campaign in an area of the world I haven’t visited before: Onnwal. I’ve already written about a few of my early thoughts for the campaign, but with the campaign so close to starting, I’d better actually get my act together and start designing some adventures!

The first session is likely to consist of a fair bit of character creation and detailing of the background for the campaign. I’m hoping to run a game that involves a fair bit of role-playing, and I believe that the best way of encouraging that is by having the characters be invested in the setting: they have connections to each other and to the NPCs around them. Will there be action? Certainly there will be – I’m the DM, and this is a D&D campaign – but I’m hoping for a more role-playing and story-based campaign than some of my other “find the nearest dungeon” campaigns have been.

Back when I ran a Serenity campaign, I structured the campaign like a TV series: 13 episodes, some single episodes and some double-parters, with episodic plots and an underlying campaign arc. I’m going to see if that structure works for this campaign. I’m not going to insist on following the structure if the campaign isn’t working, but it’s an interesting method of telling a story in a role-playing game.

So, the first session that is actually an adventure (which might be this Friday, if character generation goes by quickly) will see me introduce the home village, have a few interactions, and then bring in a raid by the Scarlet Brotherhood for a good “action” start to the campaign, and likely bring up a couple of plot hooks that will drive action into the next session.

Onnwal is primarily Humans (Oeridian), Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings, so to give some differences to the regular D&D campaign, I’m going to limit character choices to just those races. Character classes are also likely to be restricted – Warlocks and Monks, in particular, give the wrong feel to this game. (The monks will appear as major enemies).

I’m going to spend a little time writing up some brief capsule descriptions of some major NPCs before Friday, and then we’ll see what we can brainstorm into being then.

Onnwal has languished under the Scarlet Brotherhood’s thumb for a generation – but a rebellion is brewing!

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