Dungeons and Dragons is soon heading to the big screen with the release of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves in 2023. Fans are going back to some of their favorite campaigns ahead of the film, to relive some of those brilliant moments that they experienced alongside the rest of their group.
Whether it’s an official campaign or something that a Dungeon Master created themselves, the concept of a campaign is the most important aspect of playing Dungeons and Dragons. The most fun quests to embark on involve bizarre, hilarious, and strange narrative beats for the players to interact with.
The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
The Wild Beyond the Wichlight is a more recent addition to the lore of Dungeons and Dragons and an official campaign that has been pre-planned by the creative team at the franchise. It’s whimsical, light-hearted, and bizarre in its concept and its execution.
The narrative focuses on a mystical carnival that only arrives every 8 years. It’s colorful, bold, full of odd personalities, and holds the key to another dimension of discovery. Players will have a great deal of fun with a setting and concept that lends itself to unique character creation.
Ghosts Of Saltmarsh
When players want to create strange backstories for their characters, they require an odd tone to latch on to. That’s exactly what the Ghosts of Saltmarsh delivers, giving players a slightly different atmosphere compared to what they might be used to with their narratives.
Set in on the coast of the haunting Azure Sea, this campaign promises hauntings, sea shanties, and all kinds of pirating mischief. It’s a great base game to build from, sinister on the surface and ominously weird the further a player digs. Drowned sailors provide a few conflicts to overcome!
While the official campaigns are important to touch upon, there are plenty of Dungeon Master-made narratives that are discussed on Reddit. One is based on disappearances. LadyVulcan said, “In-game, people would sometimes just disappear. Anyone could…. But it’s not just adventurers, it’s shopkeepers and townfolk and such as well. And literally no one knows why.”
It’s a novel idea that hilariously takes place to account for when players are genuinely missing from the group. LadyVulcan goes on to say that bizarrely the explanation is a cosmic war that players are getting recruited into, but the comic effect of players randomly vanishing adds a weirdly mysterious twist.
The Star Trek Approach
Sometimes the funniest campaigns can be parodies of pre-existing franchises that players can get involved with. JordanIBLewis said, “Basically copied Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sailing the ocean, contacting new countries and kingdoms, using diplomacy to get them to join the “federation”. Replaced the threat of The Borg with Mind Flayers.”
It wouldn’t be the first or last time that a Dungeon Master utilized a TV series to forge their campaign for the party. But such a setup allows people to utilize the tropes of the small screen iteration, which is weirder and funnier when there is such a clash in genres.
Waterdeep: Dungeon Of The Mad Mage
Monsters are pretty unusual. It’s often underappreciated just how many odd creatures there are in Dungeons and Dragons. But the official campaign, Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage plays fully into the bizarre threats that players often have to face.
Beneath the city of Waterdeep is a labyrinth of a dungeon that is home to all manner of peculiar creatures. Forged by the Mad Mage, the mysteries that lay within the tombs of the Undermountain are exciting to discover and equally odd as their creator.
The Train Of Death
Players truly bring in some imaginative scenarios and Libreska is especially inspired. This odd concept is explained as “Party is dead and they’re on a purgatory-like train that makes different stops in different realities/planes. Made to be like a series of one/two-shots with a big overarching story that fiends are trying to sabotage the train.”
The premise allows the players to visit any number of intriguing worlds, but the very nature of the fact that the party are already dead is pretty fun to play around with. The mystery of why the train is being sabotaged adds a grounded element to an otherwise over-the-top and out-there affair.
Playing as monstrous villains can be fun. That’s why Blue_Harbinger created the compelling campaign where they said, “Each party member belongs to one of the game’s monstrous races. They are tasked with uniting their various, ornery peoples to stand against the encroaching, disciplined, and organized front of human expansion… United, they have a chance – if only Golthrok the Gnarled could stop using goblins as footballs over there.”
Even the description of how that campaign may play out is hilarious, with these factions likely never getting on because of their many differences. It’s easy to imagine how these figures would respond to one another, had they been seated for so-called peace talks.
The Western Lands
Combining genres and pre-existing franchises creates some unusual results. WillofTheCollective talked of their campaign saying, “I’m working on a western combined with gravity falls themed campaign. Small clusters of town in the barrens are where people go to escape everything else.”
The premise is utterly bizarre, with a western backdrop written alongside a Gravity Falls theming. Those familiar with the animated show, they will be well aware of some of the comedic elements that could be woven throughout this ingenious planning.
The Dancing Hut Of Baba Yaga
It’s always a great story when the official Dungeons and Dragons campaigns pull from real-world mythology to craft their narrative. That’s the case with The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga, a set of beats involving the house that is often depicted as having chicken legs.
With the hut itself acting as the underrated villainous monster, it’s no surprise that there are many ridiculous options when it comes to the Dungeon Master’s opportunities when crafting this story for the group. The image of Baba Yaga’s hut and the chaos it can unleash is certainly unusual for a house.
Tales From The Infinite Staircase
Tales from the Infinite Staircase is a classic campaign from the official Dungeons and Dragons team, that involves that exact setting; a never-ending staircase that the party can slowly climb their way up, discovering new locations and beats along the way.
The narrative lends itself to any number of genres and tones, with comedy easily rearing its head in some of the odd scenarios that parties can end up in. The notion of a staircase of infinite opportunities is one of the most open ideas that Dungeons and Dragons have put forward.