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Last month I wrote an article about how I’d combine Spelljammer and Eberron—a space race to reach the Ring of Siberys and the moons. I was so intrigued by the idea that I decided to run the campaign for my Patreon supporters. If it sounds interesting, there’s still time to get on board—I’m running the second session next week!
Each month, I run an online Eberron session for my Threshold patrons. The story and the characters are persistent from session to session, but the players change each time. I run the session at a different time each month, to ensure people in different time zones have a chance to play. Once a time is set (patrons are currently voting on the time for this month’s session!) I pose a creative challenge: last month it was tell me which character you want to play, and what they’re leaving behind as they go into space. The rules of Patreon won’t let me pick players randomly; as it is, this creative challenge gives me material I can work into the adventure itself. All patrons have access to the edited audio and video recordings of each session.
While only five patrons get to play in each session, I do what I can to give all of the patrons an opportunity to influence the story. I run one adventure each month; between sessions, I post polls on Patreon and occasional interactive story hours on the Threshold Discord that allow everyone to shape the future of the events. Oh, and did I mentioned that there’s a Discord channel where I discuss the campaign and Eberron in general with patrons? One of my favorite things about TTRPGs is how the story evolves over the course of a campaign, and I enjoy finding ways for bring that experience to this format.
Not everyone has time to watch every episode, of course. To help with this, there’s a campaign website that maintains descriptions of all the characters and summaries of all previous sessions—both short overviews like the one here (spoiler alert for Siberspace session 1!) and more detailed breakdowns. And, of course, patrons have access to exclusive previews of upcoming books, like the recent preview of Medusa Characters from Frontiers of Eberron: Threshold, as well as helping to shape the short and long articles I post on this site… and determining the amount of time I have to spend on them.
Now the valiant Dragonhawk crew is preparing to venture beyond the Ring of Siberys. If you’d like to join them, check out the Threshold level of my Patreon!
In November I’m going to start running an online Eberron campaign set in Threshold, a border town that lies on the edge of Breland and Droaam. Between then and now, I’m going to go through the same process I would in running any campaign: working with the players to establish the cast of characters and important elements of the story and campaign setting. The players are my Patreon supporters, and it’s on Patreon that I’ll hold the polls that determine the ANSWERS to the questions I’m raising. But I thought I’d post this first piece here, for anyone who’s interested in my process.
As we begin this story, we know one thing about it: it’s set in Threshold, a newly founded town in the western edge of Breland. We’re in the shadow of Droaam, and there’s the ever-present threat of raids. But there’s byeshk and Dhakaani ruins in the mountains. There’s merchants and diplomats happy to have a final mug of Brelish ale before crossing into the land of monsters. Dragonmarked houses are considering investments; House Orien is here, working on the western rail. It’s rough, it’s dangerous, but it’s a fountain of opportunities.
The question is: what are we doing here? We know where this story is set, but what kind of story is it? Are our adventurers here to protect the town? Are we dreaming of the treasures that could be hidden in forgotten ruins? Are we soldiers in the service of the Brelish crown, or are we reporters here to cover the story of western expansion? In practical terms, what I’m looking for here is a group patron. I want the adventurers in this story to know one another and to have a reason to be here—to identify if this is a war story, a tale of exploration and adventure, or something else entirely. Choosing a group patron will help me plan my initial adventures, and it also helps to provide basic guidelines for the characters. If the adventurers are a squad of the Westwind Raiders, they need to feel like a unit of soldiers; while if they’re a team of reporters for the Sharn Inquisitive, they’ll want a very different set of skills and abilities.
So here’s the patrons I’m putting on the table.
These are just a few of the possible themes for a campaign in Threshold. Adventurers could be working for the Boromar Clan of Sharn, establishing an outpost for this criminal syndicate and seeking to punish Droaam for the actions of Daask. They could be agents of the Twelve, sent to represent the interests of the Dragonmarked Houses. They could be spies seeking to infiltrate Droaam. But the five campaign ideas I’ve mentioned are ones that I feel comfortable running… so these are the five that I’m presenting to my players.
if you want to help make this decision and help as I continue to develop the campaign and the characters, join the Threshold tier on my Patreon. If not, hopefully this was an interesting peek at my process as a DM!