Game Forming: Fantasy Grounds VTT D&D 5e Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

I’m a longtime GM and someone working on publishing adventure modules for the DM’s Guild. While I normally run completely bottom-up homebrew campaign worlds and unique adventures, for DM’s Guild you work in the published setting materials, and the demand is always for the year’s current printed campaign(s).

I will be running a new D&D 5e campaign, the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist materials first to cover from Level 1 to Level 5, and then segue into Waterdeep: Dungeons of the Mad Mage for the Level 5 and onwards dungeon crawl near Waterdeep.

WHEN: First and Third Sundays of the Month, 4pm EDT to 8pm EDT with a possible +1 hour overflow to 9PM if there is Quorum who wishes to press on for the extra hour to come to a stopping point.

FIRST GAME: Sunday April 6, 4pm-8pm EDT


PLATFORM: The game is run through Fantasy Grounds platform. Audio is run through Discord. I have the Ultimate license for Fantasy Grounds, so no purchase is needed - you can use the Demo version of your own FG platform to play.

BOOKS/FG MODULES: I currently have available the core 5e system, Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Xanathar’s Guide, Volo’s Guide, Mordenkainen’s Tome, and the player races from Elemental Evil so all of the variants for every race and class should be available via the automated system of Fantasy Grounds.

PLAYERS WANTED: Currently I have three people committed from my old gaming groups of folks who have played with me for years and in some cases, decades. I like to cap at 8, leaving 5 slots open. First come, first serve, other avenues are also open.

KNOWN PARTY MEMBERS: We have an elf bladesinger, and some kind of bard wanting to join the Harpers. Likely some kind of arcane caster class for the third player because he tends to run that way.

MOOD: I tend to play PG-13 to light R-rating. I expect the players to make getting along with each other somehow in character to be their first and everpresent goal. There is no shortage to the spotlight, but everyone takes a turn. " Cutesy" doesn’t tend to do well for long among player concepts, it’s a group vibe. They like to have enough seriousness for concept immersion and having someone talking with a lisp in a squeaky voice all the time gets grating very quickly to my crew. So. Have ideas, but be willing to adapt if the group needs you to develop in a slightly different direction for party peace. Be serious but keep your feet firmly in Real Life, that comes first. We swear because I’m from NYC, if that’s an issue I can put on my polite cadence but can’t promise the occasional curse won’t slip out.

DISCLAIMER: I am planning on using this as playtesting and to familiarize myself with the published setting for the express purpose of using my experiences in writing and authoring content in the form of unique adventures and materials for sale by myself on the DM’s Guild. The playtest group is not meant for a direct resource, but occasional things might be used for inspiration. All playtesters should be aware of this, and of the fact that there is no compensation for being part of the playtesting group. I will make it so your experience is of a seamless campaign similar to ‘just playing’ D&D with a regular group.

GM STYLE: I like story, and I feel absolutely no need to stay on-book or on-canon, so long as my house rules and departures stay consistent. I like being consistent as a GM and am not afraid to be corrected by my crew when things become inconsistent. This is a game, I focus on the stories, and one of my 25+ year gamers is my rules lawyer who keeps me honest with regards to the system. Rules get taken care of, but I’m free to ignore them, so long as, once again, I ignore them consistently. I reserve GM’s artistic license to fudge things for the sake of story.

LORE REPOSITORY: I use Notion. I make my own maps as needed when not running a published set, and I use Campaign Cartographer. I had it from their alpha version way back in the day. I’m a former graphic designer and have Adobe Creative Suite as well. But for the most part, any shared lore and team chat has been happening via invite to a Facebook Group run for the gaming group.

APPLY AT: You can apply through direct message here, or post reply, or email me at pacio49 -at- gmail -dot- com. Put ‘Waterdeep’ in the subject if you don’t mind.

Good afternoon,

I may be interested.

Good evening.

I am interested in joining your table.

I’ve only played once when I was a kid, but always wanted to play more. Would you consider taking on a noob? I used to have a bunch of the books, so I know how it all works, but never had a group that wanted to play.

I would like to join up if you still have room.

Sounds exciting. I’m interested in joining up.

Noobs definitely welcome. Fantasy Grounds resolves all the rolls. You just have to drop simulated dice on top of the right icon on the map. There’s a small learning curve for the system but it’s simple enough to pick up on. And then from there, it’s using Discord and the shared Fantasy Grounds platform to connect instead of around a tabletop.

We’re dropping down to 1x/month, though. The older game crew needs three weeks a month for something called “real life” apparently, who knew? :wink:

First Sunday of every month. To offset the loss of one session a month I’m upping the time slightly from 4pm - 9pm EDT, with the overflow hour pushing until 10pm if enough folks want it to happen.

Assuming everyone’s fine with that shift, I think we can accommodate the folks who have responded!

@elf_boy, @Chamir, @DreadPilotRoberts, @Attis, and @mothak have the seats to lose them. Send me an email to pacio49 at gmail dot com, Adam is the name, and let me know what you’re interested in playing.

Abilities are not rolled, we’re using a slightly buffed version of the simple stat assignment. Assign the following: 17, 15, 14, 12, 10, 8. (For those new, focus more on answering “what kind of character do you want to play?”)

Allowable alignments: No evils, no Chaotic Neutrals. Have some kind of moral compass, please, and don’t believe the Dark Side, have you ever tasted goblin-baked cookies? If you want a character who has secrets the irony is that in order for us all to help you play that,we need to know what they are! LOL.

Discord invite info to follow in a future post.

Welcome aboard!

Is multi-classing allowed?

I also wish to know^

You begin at 1st level. Your stats are assigned 17,15,14,12,10,8 before character race modifiers. Assuming you meet the rules for multiclassing, you will be able to multi-class as you go. But since we’re starting at 1st level, you make those choices as you go and see how the party evolves as a group/what makes sense given the experiences on the adventure trail.

But yes. Anything in the core rules is open. Anything in the expanded rules is open. The only stuff I don’t generally allow is the website Unearthed Arcana experimental stuff. We have more than enough options in all the books in terms of races, class variants, backgrounds, Faerun/Sword Coast-specific options, and I also have Ravnica, the Magic crossover for the plane of the sprawling fantasy city, so there’s races and background options in there.

So long as you fulfill the alignment restrictions, since I have Mordenkainen’s Tome, I’ll allow Githyanki and Githzerai characters as well (but you/we need to explain it well enough, and there’s no wiggle room on the “no evils, no chaotic neutrals”).

Genasi (elemental/djinn humans) also available. Drow welcome. We’ll figure out canon lore as we go if we don’t know it crowdsourced.

One thing… if you choose to play a kenku, I expect that you will embrace the challenge fully. I will ask you to ONLY communicate vocally to other characters using movie quotes, song lyrics, pop cultural references, advertising jingles, commercial taglines, etc. from real life pop culture. Kenku are the perfect mimics, but they mimic the whole thing. They don’t generally form unique sentences, they just select a snippet of what they’ve heard (a/k/a pop culture references and/or famous literary or movie quotes, even though they’re OOC we all agree that to our characters they translate properly to IC references of tavern songs and plays etc.) which expresses something close to the sentiment they are trying to convey. It is entertaining if done well, and a regular source for Inspiration points if you take it on and can accomplish it as a character.

Other than that, enjoy the character creation and development process however you like. The best plans never survive the first encounter anyways, but by all means, enjoy the dreaming up process. :slight_smile:


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Oh, cat people.
I play Elder Scrolls Online and I play a Khajiit. Cat people to me are forever painted with the Khajiit brush. Sorry. Not going to try and reinvent the wheel now. In D&D 5e lore, the cat people are called the Tabaxi, and they’re kind of like the Ewoks in that they live in a jungle with impossibly tall trees and build treetop villages, using their claws to assist climbing and swinging tarzan-like from the vines. They also hail originally from Maztica, the Meso-american cultural port-over of Mayan and Aztec ruins and rain forests. So, a bit more like arboreal jaguar cats than the savannah-inspired leonine khajiit.

So for house rules, the Tabaxi (and if they’re coming from Central American mythos then the ‘x’ is pronounced as a ‘sh’ sound, so ‘Tabashi’ spoken) do indeed come in the jaguar variety… AND the khajiit varieties. On the borders of the highland desert plateaus there’s savannah climate up in the heights. And that’s where the Khajiit varieties come from. Feel free to graft on another cat person interpretation if you like. Just own it. But if you want to play a leonid and you know the language and customs of Elder Scrolls khajiit, that counts as legitimate lore in my book just because it’s easier than trying to keep them separate now I’m going on 50. :wink:

If you want a flying race you agree to allow situational claustrophobia to give you a -2 modifier in certain events. Like being underground for more than 5+Wis modifier in days without seeing the horizon or the sky. I’ve allowed an Aasimar or Tiefling to have wings, but they’re retractable so not as strong for precision flying. More extended gliding, slow turns, etc. And they have to construct special armor and clothing to allow for the retraction. Indoors retraction is expected in polite ground society. But feel free to write yourself one of those.

Factions - the adventure is specifically set up to introduce everyone to the main factions of Faerun which might interest you. Dragon Heist will allow you to join a faction as part of the adventure questing. While it is not required by any means, there are rewards based on renown and the option for additional faction quests which if done will help in leveling.

Also, for the first module, Dragon Heist, I will be using the Milestone method of level advancement. It means that when you achieve certain goals in the plot progression options, you gain a level at that specific time. This ensures that everyone will arrive at level 5 together at the end of Dragon Heist, assuming you survive.

You can feel free to revise, adjust, or even reroll completely your character from game to game during Dragon Heist. The notion is to find something that works with you that you enjoy so you can stick with that concept from start to finish for the second module, Dungeon of the Mad Mage.

Multi-classing is certainly an option. I personally find that it’s better to coordinate a little bit with the other party members and go deep into a concept specialization, usually within a single class, knowing that the other party members have the other roles covered by their similar deep specialization, and rely on teamwork to fill in the gaps, instead of trying to be a broad jack-of-all-trades. That said, I have seen several players take a multi-class to ridiculous extremes and end up mighty in their own way at the end. So play what makes sense to you. I will put everyone in touch with each other as players so you all can coordinate.


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Thinking Hexblade / Pally