The Sunspears is a role-playing campaign designed for 4–5 players, using the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition ruleset. This is Poetics’ first time running D&D5e but with enough preparation he’s confident that it will be a smooth exploration of the golden lands of Elona, and of the mysteries contained therein.
As with most D&D campaigns combat will be a major component of the chronicle, particularly as all characters will represent the Order of the Sunspears, Elona’s primary peacekeeping force. That’s not to say that there won’t be plenty of opportunity for role-playing and exploration of the setting, for character development and story progression; player choice and agency is important not only to the setting but to Poetics’ goals as a dungeon master.
The chronicle does have a structured beginning, middle, and conclusion, with numerous steps in between represented by story setpieces and key moments. How the characters approach these events and the route they take through them however, is wholly up to the players—the game may have rails, but there are many, many switches and branching paths.
The game will primarily be story-driven, and the general conceit of the chronicle is that all decisions are made to improve and advance narratives, whether those of the game in general or a character in specific.
For party cohesion and consistency within the setting, the following character guidelines are in place for this campaign:
- Available Classes: All classes listed in the Player’s Handbook
- Available Races: Human (base only)
- Starting Level: 1
- Starting Attributes: Standard spread (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8)
- Allowed Alignments:
- Lawful or Neutral
- Neutral or Good
- Secret tongues (e.g. Druidic)
- Vabbi, Istani, Kournan
- Monstrous languages by approval
- All characters will start at the Sunspear training facility in Istan, nearing the end of their education
- Character advancement will be done by milestone
- Characters will levels as specific primary quests are completed
- Plan on gaining around 5 levels total per major chronicle plot arc
The chronicle is designed to be played using Foundry Virtual Table-Top, and a server has been configured for our use, accessible through a link found in this site’s sidebar. Foundry provides a shared battle-map, character sheet tracker, and immersive environment for DMs to create whole worlds, including appropriate lighting, sound effects, and hidden features, and facilitates a truly online gaming experience. Journal entries and quest trackers allow for simple note-taking and never losing story seeds.
The YouTube channel Encounter Library has created a fantastic player-centric Introduction Video for Foundry that is well worth a watch. Before the chronicle officially begins, Poetics will set up a test map players can use to get a feel for the system as well.
All in all, Poetics is very excited to try out Foundry and has installed a number of modules and rule-sets to facilitate The Sunspears. For those interested, here is a non-exhaustive list of additions:
- Dungeons & Dragons 5E ruleset
- D&D Beyond Compatibility Module (for importing characters made in DDB)
- Better Rolls (improves the base rolling mechanics and functionality)
- Bubble Rolls (displays rolls in a chat-bubble next to the respective token)
- Calendar/Weather (for keeping track of in-world time)
- Chat Portrait (to improve the chatbox)
- CritterDB Import (for importing content from CritterDB)
- 5e Extensive DM Screen (because Poetics is new at running D&D)
- Forien’s Quest Log (an easy-to-use quest tracker for players and DMs)
- FXMaster (cool weather effects!)
- GM Notes (Secret item/character/event notes that aren’t visible to players)
- Illandril’s Tooltips (pop-up display of a character’s relevant stats on hover)
- Michael Ghelfi Audio Pack (Michael is awesome and deserves your support
- Pointer and Pings (allows the DM to display their mouse cursor and ping locations)
- Simple Name Generator (for quickly devising region-appropriate NPC names)
- Torch (simple interface for activating torches and other light sources)
- Turn Marker (at-a-glance marker for whose combat turn it is)