In Search of Adventure
Adoraith: The Age of Sail is the third campaign (Ad1 & Ad2) arc that our gaming group has undertaken since 2003. The two previous campaigns were set in the same custom world, each with a rich history woven from past campaigns and adventures. These campaigns featured a classic good vs evil struggle in which the heroes were the only hope for the good people of Adoraith.
Having spent the better part of 9 years with the weight of the world on their shoulders I decided that it was time to develop a campaign for my players that was focused purely on adventure and exploration. That’s not to say that there won’t be the need for selfless heroic acts. No Dungeons and Dragons Campaign would be complete without acts of Heroism. However, this time the fate of Adoraith will not hang on the actions of the heroes.
As the name suggests, The Age of Sail is a campaign that has a focus on ocean travel and adventure. To facilitate this, I specifically designed the lands to allow for easy access to practically any position on the map by ship. Large expanses of seas and oceans surround the new continents of Adoraith and the lands themselves are crisscrossed by rivers large enough for ships to traverse.
Any DM who has tried to flesh out a custom world knows just how difficult it is to do. The people, places, and cultures all need to feel unique with their own histories and motivations. For this reason, I have often mixed custom material with barrowed sources. In the case of the Age of Sail I have taken elements of the Savage Tide, Shackled City, and other published sources that are rich in detail and integrated them into the world. This allows me to plug the players into a setting thick with personality while I continue to develop the custom parts of the world in the direction that the players seem to be heading.
This may be the most challenging campaign I have run thus far. For the first time in my nearly 30 years of DMing, I am dropping my players into an open world where there is no great foe to foil. No cataclysm to halt. No overwhelming story line they must follow to the bitter end. The world is their oyster and they may travel seeking riches and fame where their hearts desire.