Slaves of Troustar sets each player out on their own path. Each starting player discovers a poster inviting them to travel to Ac Rumb and join a party for adventure, fame and fortune.
Top Secret Note: When players first meet they will know nothing of each other and barely be able to tell what their companions look like let alone their race, class and background. This means that there can be no game Zero for the players and the Dungeon Master.
Instead, preparation for the game starts with a short correspondence between players and the DM. I recommend that after you receive a reply from the initial invitation you take some time and take a look at the map and history to place characters in the world.
Before the game, players are sent an invitation. The invitation contains a poster that their character finds and some further details on character creation.
Try an get the invitations sent out at least a week before you start your game. This will give you some time to prepare some of the characters backgrounds. Also make sure you get your players to respond to your invitation ASAP.
In the image above you can see a copy of what I sent to my players. If you click on the link you can get a larger version and see what fonts and background links I use. This is a copy of the text in the poster:
GREETINGS YOUNG ADVENTURER!
Looking for a life beyond the dreary torments of home?
Looking to make a name for yourself in the world?
Discover new worlds!
Prove your worth!
Become a hero of the realm!
Make haste to the great capital of Vesluvia. The mighty melting-pot known as Ac Rumb.
Commence a journey like no other! But be quick. Our party meets at the Butcher’s Arm on the Eve of the [add your day of the month you will start your campaign] day of The [add your month] month.
Along with the poster I sent an out-of-game email briefly explaining character creation requirements and what will be in the game. This is the message:
A Quick Note
In this world there are no characters with the ability of flight. Just stick with the 5e players handbook, please. No expansions. It would hurt my head hole too much.
The nature of this campaign also requires players to be aligned somewhere along the spectrum of good. This does not mean people can’t have a life of crime or for whatever reason indulge in some other shady dealings.
You will have no knowledge of each other until you meet in the Butcher’s arm. So please keep your character creation a secret between you an me until we start the game.
As adventurers ,you know you must work together to survive and thrive. There is a good chance that being too much of a lone wolf could get you killed.
Remember too, as Young New Adventurer’s you have next to no life experience outside the microcosm of your village, bar, monastery or farm. If you have some background as a sailor, then you might have spent some time on a coastal fishing tub or as a ships boy on a coastal trader. You haven’t travelled far and taking up this offer from the poster you found is your first true chance for adventure. In short, you will be a level 1 noob.
You haven’t been to the mighty multicultural city of Ac Rumb but you know if an adventure is going to start there its bound to be an experience of a lifetime.
All races are welcome in Ac Rumb and the capitol’s location is a crossroads of many races and cultures.
Expect epic battles, unsolved mysteries and great secrets.
Adventurer, choose your Race, Class and Background from the 5e player’s handbook (no need for a full character sheet yet) and you will receive as little history of the world as you would know it to help fill out your character. Remember, you are not preparing your character sheet yet. Just giving me the basics.
Backstory and Second Brief
Once your players have sent you a brief outline on their Race Class and Background, you can place them in the world.
At the Start of the players backstory they receive:
Thanks for joining the campaign. Before you continue reading, take a look at the video on why your character should suck.
Your Low Level Character Should Suck -Dawnforgedcast
After reading the below information, please create your character sheet before the start of the game. Remember, don’t share your character information with the other players.
When writing your brief for your characters, give them a little information on the following three aspects:
You in the World
Here, describe where the player’s character comes from and give them a rough area of the physical location. Use the player’s background ideas and incorporate them into how they came by the poster inviting hem to Ac Rumb and why they are setting out on their adventure. Tell them some information about the world that they might know from their perspective.
What does the player’s character know about Ac Rumb and the Vesluvian empire: Gossip from traders, some descriptions of the physical layout of the city, some of the political goings on in the city, snippets of the history of Ac Rumb as it relates to them.
Also try and provide a bit of conflicting information about Lord Vecevious. You want to make them wonder if he is a goodie or a baddie.
Your Story Begins
Imagine your player has set off from their homeland or disembarked from a long voyage. They find the poster inviting them to the Butcher’s Arm and they finally decide to venture to Ac Rumb. From which direction did they approach Ac Rumb? What do they see as they approach? How do they respond to the sights, sounds and smells of the metropolis?
WARNING!!!! Describe their approach to the city. But NOT them finding the Butcher’s Arm. Player’s will be captured before they get to the pub. Players will not know about this until the start of the game so keep it a secret ya big mouth!!!
Below are some examples of the letters I gave my players starting the campaign. Click on the links:
- Wood Elf Ranger Outlander
- Forest Gnome Wizard
- Half-elf Water Monk
- Rogue Human Assassin
- Barbarian Human Fighter
- Dwarf Barbarian Outlander
Some of my players didn’t end up playing due to work commitments, while another left the game to return to his home country leaving me with three players. After the summer I had four more players who wanted to join the game raising the numbers to seven. These players came into the game after the original party’s dealings in the village of Turm:
- Half-Elf Bard Sage
- Human Paladin Soldier
- Wood Elf Ranger Outlander (Yeah! Another one!)
- Wood Elf Hermit Druid
Once you have sent out your Second Briefing and Back Story All you need to do is get ready for the first chapter.
Next – Chapter 1 – Ships and Shackles