Giants have emerged from their strongholds to threaten civilization as never before. Hill giants are stealing all the grain and livestock they can while stone giants have been scouring settlements that have been around forever. Fire giants are press-ganging the smallfolk into the desert, while frost giant longships have been pillaging along the Sword Coast. Even the elusive cloud giants have been witnessed, their wondrous floating cities appearing above Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate. Where is the storm giant King Hekaton, who is tasked with keeping order among the giants?

The humans, dwarves, elves, and other small folk of the Sword Coast will be crushed underfoot from the onslaught of these giant foes. The only chance at survival is for the small folk to work together to investigate this invasion and harness the power of rune magic, the giants’ weapon against their ancient enemy the dragons. The only way the people of
Faerun can restore order is to use the giants’ own power against them.

Please note: this is a D&D AL legal campaign. PCs must be built using AL guidelines, which can be downloaded for free here.

Now, about your GM… I have been GMing off and on (mostly on) for over 15 years. I have run more D&D than anything else (alot of 3.5, some 4E, and alot of 5th edition), with Dresden Files RPG (and other FATE games) coming in second. I do NOT subscribe to the thought that any single system is the best system. Instead, I believe one should match the system and the setting together.

Over the aforementioned decade of GMing, I have learned that a D&D campaign is a cooperative effort both on the part of all the players as well as the DM. We have an unspoken social contract. After reading an article about a formal contract here, I think it would be worth discussing what players are looking for before we start play.

To start that discussion, here are two thoughts…

1) Electronics at the table: Please avoid excessive smart phone & tablet use during the game. Playing other games and engaging in other conversations is rude to the rest of the table. It also wastes time as the group will have to stop what they are doing to explain to you what you missed. (This is true even when your PC is 'absent' as the group loses the option to say, "we tell him what we learned.") Using a device or computer for books, character sheet, dice, or anything related to the game is perfectly acceptable.

2) Assumptions are not my fault: If your PC makes an action based on an assumption, that’s too bad. Years ago, I stopped listening to, “But if I knew…” and the many variations of that statement. If you are not sure, ask a question. If you honestly feel that I made the mistake, make a note of it, and bring it up after the session. We’ll figure something out then. Otherwise, we will continue with play with the action having occurred. That said, I do not believe a GM should withhold information that a PC would have simply because the player did not "ask the right question". I will always try to inform you of facts your PC would know. However, as I am human and as prone to errors as the rest of the human race, you should always feel free to ask questions as I am always happy to answer.

In terms of style… My philosophy is that a DM should be "tough but fair". My chief priority is to entertain you. I believe that players receive the most long-term satisfaction when they know they have earned everything they have. Because of that, I actually believe I do a disservice if I pull punches. On the other hand, I do not want to TPK the party. I will endeavor to walk that line carefully. I ask two things of you: 1) That you accept responsibility for your PC's actions. This is meant to be a difficult module, and you may need to run away (It is up to all of you to determine when you can kick someone’s ass and when they can kick yours. Not every encounter will be appropriately matched to the party’s level. So, don’t expect to get the same array of challenges all the time. Some will be easy and some quite difficult. Some will be much worse than that, so talking is sometimes a good option. Think of it this way… I Report; You Decide.), and 2) that you trust me when I say that I am not out to get you. In the same vein, I trust that players are at the table to entertain each other and me.

On the non-combat side of things, I feel that many fights should be optional. I like the idea of people role-playing their way out of having to fight. On the other hand, I also like people picking a fight because it seems like the “in character” thing to do. Ultimately, I suppose that what I like the most is seeing a player make a decision in-character and sticking to it. Either way, the XP is the same.

With regard to rules, I try to be reasonable while following the RAW (with some exceptions). I do this as I feel predictability & constancy with the rules is a benefit to players as they know what to expect which lets them plan ahead.  So, please feel free to ask for clarifications sooner rather than later. I am happy to answer questions as I want the game to be as successful as you do.

Anyhow, if you made it this far: Thank You. This entire page is far too long, and I appreciate your taking the time to read it.

Storm Kings Thunder

mrroderick JessicaNettles Thomas_Cage gmhitchcockpe ToddBallentine