Campaign Achievements in Dungeons & Dragons
What is a campaign achievement?
It is a predefined goal that the players must achieve in-game. In video games, for instance, a player may earn them just playing thru the game, but some can only be earned with very specific circumstances, thus giving the player some sort of self-satisfaction, or a way to impress other gamers with their “gamer score”
Today we will discuss how achievements can be constructed to be added to a D&D game by being enticing, meaningful for players. Oftentimes, achievements are used to convince players to go out of their way to do things they wouldn’t normally do. This is a great way to figure out what is important to each player.
The goal is to increase player loyalty, motivations, and interest in the campaign in addition to adding a new layer to their fun. I love when players come up with extremely creative solutions to problems or come up with a unique solution, or just go out of their way to have a “cool” moment. Achievements can encourage that sort of behavior.
Achievements can be helpful outside of the game as well. They are a great way to generate plot hooks and quests. We will be going over some achievements from scribd.com, but include players by asking them, what kind of cool achievements they would like in a game. Keep in mind, achievements can only be earned by a player once.
Headhunter: Decapitate 30 enemies
Can’t keep me down: Recover from 0 hp 3 times in a single encounter
Does he look like a bitch? Successfully interrogate an NPC
Play Four Quarters: Show up to 4 consecutive gaming sessions
Prop Master: Bring a campaign-related prop to a session
Doing it From Behind: Kill 10 enemies with a sneak attack.
You Got Me Monologuing: Take advantage of a talkative villain
What are you, psychic: Mix player and character knowledge.
Get on with it: Talk out of character for a full minute.
This...IS...SPARTA!: Kick someone off a ledge to their death.
Imperial Marksmanship Academy: Miss with a ranged weapon 3 times in a single encounter.
ULTRAAAA COMMBBOOOO!: Pull off a successful combo attack with 3 or more characters
Come with Me if You Want to Live: Be the last survivor of an encounter.
Alternative awards for badges!
For those who forget to, or don’t often use the inspiration system, this technique could be a valuable asset, as you could time the inspiration system to achievements as well. Below is a few samples of other rewards that could be given out as token rewards as well.
Regain hit dice
Instantly heal 1 hit dice worth of HP
Regain the use of one ability that recharges on a short rest
You can impose disadvantage on an attack roll against you as a reaction
Gain an auto success on 1 skill check
Ignore the effects of the next trap that hits you
If you would be dropped to 0 hp stop at 1 instead.
This may not be for every table, but if used correctly, could add a new level to your game, dnd or otherwise. Remember, to be successful the achievements must be interesting and meaningful, either by using samples that we’ve provided or something you’ve come up with yourself. Consider how achievements can be used to encourage players to engage in tasks they do not normally do.
Unearthed Tips and Tricks Monthly Magazine! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure
D&D Character Concept: The Chiropractor
This character worked hard and studied to be a healer of sorts. He developed techniques for manipulating pressure points around the spine. Applying great pressure thru the back or other points around the body, allows this character to control the flow of energy in the body, forcing the body to focus its recovery to certain areas of the body, allowing the wounds to recover at a rapid pace.
Works best with touch-based spells and features such as cure wounds. The UA Monk Tradition Tranquility - allows something very similar, and fits well with bone-breaking martial arts.
D&D Monster: Bang Babies
New Cantrip Booming Blade
Replace shortbow with Frostbolt or frostbite cantrips.
This is a little simple when it comes to monster alteratives. But the idea of locking a target in place with booming blade, then folowing up with their nimble escape to run away is a great way to punish characters for giving chase. Never mind that you can either slow them down or impose disadvantage on attack rolls with the frost spells. Let the chase begin.
D&D Encounter: Gnomish Flying Contraption
From: Twitter: Snickelsox
A stolen gnomish flying machine has been terrorizing the land, killing from the air. Your team is tasked with collecting the supplies to build another machine and appointing one of your group to hunt down the villain. The gnome warns, this may be a one way trip.
D&D Magic Item: Battle Barding Amulet
Prereq - beast companion
This red wooden amulet hangs from a vine-like necklace. The amulet itself has the ancient elven symbol for comrade engraved into it.
When activated, a wild green flame-like nature energy surrounds your animal companion, increasing their defenses as well as their offensive capabilities.
As a bonus action, you speak the command word, unleashing the ferocity contained in the amulet.
The beast wearing this amulet gains the following effects for 1 minute.
Gains resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage.
When it makes a melee weapon attack using Strength, it gains a bonus to the damage roll equal to your proficiency modifier.
It becomes especially swift in its movements. When it makes a melee attack against a creature, it doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn, whether it hits or not.
This effect can’t be used again until the next dawn.
D&D Dungeon Master Tip: Video Clips
You can use video cut scenes with a voice over for great introductions
Entering a new Major city - add a bit of history and known information to your overview
Fortune telling - You can cut together an ominous fortune for the PCs
Scrying - A powerful wizard could show information in the form of a magic mirror or scrying pool(video)
D&D Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick: Mending Master
Mending is a powerful cantrip, more than most know. Let's look at some powerful examples of this fantastic cantrip.
Repair broken arrows and armor:
Repair weapons damaged by oozes. Including the modifiers.
Repair a damaged locks
Secret Stash: Break a wooden object and hollow it out, place the object you want to side inside, cast mending to seal around the hidden object.
Secret Password: Break an object in half, give one to each person, to confirm the person who returns is the one who left, use mending to try and repair the item.
Anti cart theft: Break the wheels and bury the pieces a ways away. Just mend them back, when ready to leave.
Repair damaged art to increase its sale value.
Rogue Immune Handcuffs: Pesky rogues causing problems? Have a smith create a pair of handcuffs with no lock. Then break parts of the rings off. Mend them on an enemy. Can’t pick the lock.
Extraordinary Expeditions is a collection of modular adventures designed on a flexible framework to be easily tossed into any fantasy setting. Scour the Desolate Wastelands for the lost library of Zenith Athenaeum. Save, escort, and protect villagers as they seek a safe haven, while two towering titans do battle. Venture into a village completely overrun by monstrous creatures from the Far Realm. Complete with adventures, maps, and monster stat blocks.
One of the best parts about any roleplaying game isn’t just the fantastic battles. It’s the memorable locations that they take place in, and the interesting NPCs that our heroes encounter. Our goal was to build a project that included all these great points. With Crit Academy’s expertise in 5th Edition and Arjade Productions’ masterful knowledge of 3.5 rules, we believe Extraordinary Expeditions will hit on all these points and so much more.
Keep your blades sharp and spells prepared heroes!
*Crit Academy is an Affiliate of Amazon, DMsguild and DriveThruRPG*