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Caught in Galen Approaches...

Caught in Galen is approaching. I’m nervous and excited about it. Every week, I’ve been running a session zero with a different player. All of them have gone well and there’s only one remaining before the altogether session zero. With every session, I’m learning more and more about each player, even though I’ve already played with all of them before. When you play D&D alone with someone, you really see how they think and what they enjoy, at least in the context of their current character. Thanks to this, each session is helping me prepare the burning sandbox that Caught in Galen will be, one step at a time.

In between each session, I’ve been building out my array of tools for this campaign as well.

I created a region guide that details the campaign, the central tension, some iconic NPCs, and the starting point, following the advice I laid out in this article from last year. 

I’m keeping track of a campaign compendium, a spreadsheet that stores information on each session, all NPCs in the campaign, and stats on every session. I wrote an article on that this year — it is my most popular so far! 

I’m writing an in-depth campaign journal. Each entry in it briefly retells the story of the individual sessions. Currently, it is up-to-date with both prologue sessions and all the session zeros.

I have a personal in-depth dramatis personae in which I keep information about all the NPCs — ones the characters have met and ones they have not met. There’s mostly secrets, flaws, and future plot ideas squirreled away in there.

I am also building a campaign canon glossary. Within are all the terms that appear in the actual campaign, from people and places to artifacts and orders. I might write an article on it in the future. We’ll see!

I also wrote out the grim portents and level outlines of Caught in Galen, alongside its six truths as advised by Sly Flourish’s Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master. I like how it made me think about the future and what might happen. I know that D&D is extremely malleable and many of the plots and places I planned out won’t appear, but it was interesting to think about what could be.

In addition to the aforementioned parts of Caught in Galen, I’m constantly creating characters, writing lore & history about the city, building on Eldar, and thinking about the campaign’s villain.

Each day, the campaign draws nearer. I ended a long campaign two weeks ago; I’m about to end another in a few weeks. I have mixed feelings about the situation, but ultimately, I’m excited to begin Caught in Galen. It’s the next saga in my world, it’s a new group of players I think will mesh well together, and, potentially, a stellar story to retell to all of you. Each session zero went very well. Jason Urso met with a peculiar sapphire dragonborn who shared some of his goals regarding aberrations. Roy of Riverside slew a ravenous undead rat and learned about a new opportunity. Luna faced down her past and prepared to pursue a better future. Ignus Rinas protected those he cares about and struck a deal with a helpful human. Only Flux’s session zero remains, along with the group-wide session zero. I expect both will go as well as the rest.

As I said, Galen approaches. I hope you’re all ready for the greatness that’s about to unfold. I'm off to conjure up an interesting and innovative way to kick off the campaign.

Until next time, stay creative.

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