Geek Part III: The Homebrew
November 8, 2011 8:36 PM Subscribe
Help on building an investigation-based, long-form D&D Homebrew campaign.
posted by Navelgazer to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (24 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
So I've been playing 3.5 for a few years now, and would like to try DMing an idea I had. I've DMed before, for white-wolf, but never D&D, but I know the material pretty well, and will have a co-DM who knows the books backwards.
My inspiration was to do a noirish, Veroinca-Mars-style campaign, with a large mystery arc, but with each session more or less acting as a stand-alone mystery unto itself. So, for instance, the party will begin, at least, as a low-level sort of detective-squad for the city of Ravens Bluff, which recently suffered much war and strife but has returned to peace and enormous prosperity and greater infrastructure for all upon the return of their victorious Prince(ss). As the game goes on, it will become clear that this Prince(ss) made some deals they didn't quite understand in order to bring about the peace, which have led to a massive and secret slave-trade of magic-users into the galleys underneath the palace, with a powerful devil behind it all and the possibility of massive upheaval and wars should the truth ever come to light.
In the first session, however, the party would be investigating he attack on the city's champion archer on the eve of a major tournament, leading through several possible leads until they find the right guy. Etc. There will be things which come up which will seem fairly meaningless at the time, but which will prove later on to be very meaningful indeed. (for instance, that the guy they got was a patsy whom they unwillingly delivered into slavery, and that the attack was actually a message sent from a pissed-off city-state they started cutting out of the trade.)
My questions here are pretty vague. Basically:
1. What tips do you have for building homebrew adventures?
2. How do you keep the players on track in an investigatory campaign without railroading them?
3. How can you make sure they remember minor clues?
4. What are some organic ways to bring combat into such a setting?
Anything else you can offer.