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So, over the last few months, I’ve been playing D&D again, and it’s been the best thing. Since 5th edition first released, I’ve only dabbled in it, occasionally running games for some of the local teens (though usually only a couple of days out of the year). I’d only gotten to play in a couple of one-off sessions, never really going beyond the basics.

Then my in-laws mentioned the possibility of a game. Between D&D Beyond and Skype, it’s workable for us to play together, despite being scattered around the world (though timing is a trick).

Now I’m playing a bard for the first time ever (I’ve been playing 3.5/Pathfinder since 2006, but never had the chance to play one), and I’m having an absolute blast. V and I are playing gnome twins, a bard and a warlock. It’s been a great way to connect with my brothers- & sisters-in-law, and get to share our mutual love of D&D.

I don’t usually play spellcasters or support characters unless I’m running the cleric, and that makes Valcryn a pretty new role. It’s fun learning how to best utilize his blend of inspiration and other buffs/debuffs. It has ended up especially hilarious since he’s not the face of the party, with that role somehow falling to my brother-in-law’s human fighter, who has both lower charisma and strength than the gnome bard.

It feels so good to be rolling dice as a player again, y’all. But of course, I’ll be getting back into being a Dungeon Master soon too. We’re going to be working on teaching the children to play 3.5, so that they can appreciate where we came from, and how we got to here.

“Grab your lucky d20, folks, because things are about to get dicey.”

My friends and I are nearing the end of our latest Dungeons and Dragons campaign, and so we’re turning our thoughts to the future of our gaming sessions. Since it’s been a while since the last time I ran a game, I decided that I would take it upon myself to serve as the Dungeon Master for our follow-up game (we take turns so that nobody gets completely burned out by running a campaign every week).

Now I’ve been a fan of pirates for a long time.

In case you hadn't guessed...

In case you hadn’t guessed…

And the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and the One Piece manga and anime have served to inspire further ideas. So when it came time to come up with something new for our D&D group, there was really only one logical decision. Pirate campaign it is!

We tried to do one of these before, and it was fun, but the group got too big and unstable. This is going to be an invitation-only thing, because with what I have planned, there’s going to be enough going on with all of the NPCs I’ll be running. Right now, it’s in the development and research phase. I’ve attempted to learn from the mistakes of our last attempt, and so I’m putting as much forethought into it as I can.

Influences: As I’ve mentioned, the two big influences are going to be the Pirates of the Caribbean series and One Piece, with maybe a scattering of Terry and the Pirates and Treasure Island (and as much real history as can possibly be crammed down my players’ throats).

Setting: The primary setting is going to be Faerûn, though I’m open to expanding out from there (namely because I love Warforged, so there will be at least some connection to Eberron), probably via Planescape (because I’ve already toyed with the idea of setting at least one session in the city of Sigil). Most of the shipboard action will take place on the Trackless Sea, and it gives me a lot of room to add some details of my own.

Rules: We’ll be running a hybrid rules system, utilizing our favorite aspects from Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 and 3.5 rules and Paizo’s Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. We’re accustomed to a certain level of character power, so I’m having everyone roll a gestalt character as per Unearthed Arcana.

Additional House Rules: All characters get max HP at each level. Spellcasters DC’s for spells are determined by their remaining highest spell slot/prepared spell (this way a 20th level wizard’s fireball spell is far harder to dodge than an 8th level wizard’s). We tend to waive racial requirements for prestige classes as well.

So yeah. I’m going to be spending a lot of free time building NPC pirates and related characters for a while. Goal is to go some time in January. In the meantime, I’m open to any suggestions.