Planning a West Marches Campaign in D&D 5e

Recently I mentioned in my article about the D&D 5th sandbox that I am interested in the Western March campaign. (de)Luckily I had the chance to play D&D March 5th for a Western March campaign that turned its back on a stupid joke in my girlfriend’s band.

The original idea was that everyone would play D&D together, but this game involves about 10 to 12 people. Of course not everyone can doper session , but I already said and I repeat:DMing for everything that quickly becomes difficult and slow for more than 6 players. So we decided to make the game freer.

The Western Marches is just a style of play where the players decide what they want to do and when you all play. As soon as the group is ready, you leave with your adventure and entertainment game.

There is no schedule and no time, and as you get older it becomes much harder to stick to a schedule. In my opinion, this is the biggest attraction of the western hiking races.

In this campaign we also have several DM’s, which means even more flexibility. Anyway, it’s a quieter game, so the door is open to anyone who wants to participate in DM sessions.

That’s enough from me. If this seemed like a fun time, you could try playing your own game on the West Marche. Let’s take a closer look at what this means and how you can design your own campaign!

Elements of the western campaign steps

Here is a big debate about the definition of the Western marching campaign., As with most board games we have decided to develop and adapt some of our own rules. If there is one thing that is the most important part of the Western marching campaign, it is the way the meetings are planned.

The most important rule is that there’s a reason why your character wants to go on an adventure. First and foremost, you want to avoid creating characters that are not well connected to the group. When you play a game, you come to work together.

  • Each PC has a reason to work with the rest of the group. Don’t be an idiot.
  • Everyone starts at level five. (On the first level we’ve played enough).
  • You can minimize the stats with 4d6k3 and use Point Buy if you don’t like the result.
  • The players decide what they want to do in the next session and bring the group together.
  • The DMs decide whether they want a comprehensive size limitation.
  • Computers use leveling and all computers have the same level, no matter how often they play.
  • There’s no party. Players decide where and when they want to play and DM will start the game for them.

To be honest, these are pretty standard D&D rules. The difference lies mainly in the coordination of some DMs and different groups of actors.

Ideally, each session should be an independent adventure or a single shot. I’m not sure we’re very strict about that right now. Personally, it is usually difficult for me to build a dungeon in one session, but I think it will be a big challenge and a big learning challenge.

Thanks to Sp4cE-PiR4Te.

The Hex map is very useful for identifying the large number of trips to the Westermars. Ready for Sp4cE-PiR4Te.

Planning meetings

I would like to say a little more about planning a session in the Western Mars, because it is so unique.

There’s no party. Instead, the party shall be formed at the beginning of the meeting. Of course there is a reason why you work with different people, for example as a member of a large adventurer guild.

In addition to being part of a changing group of adventurers, your sessions will not always take place at the same times and on the same days.

There are actually two things to plan your next session at the Western Marches. The first one is a target in the game. The second is the place and time of the game.

We did it because of disagreement .We have a string where we can talk and play about the game in general at our next session. People can say where they want to go and form groups.

As soon as the group forms a DM, your group goes on an adventure. Everyone has fun, gets to know the world better, collects experiences and treasures.

After the session, your players may have a better idea of where they want to go. The cycle repeats itself when they explain their intentions, and other players join in when they have time and interest in the adventure.

Honestly, it’s very simple, and I really like this kind of promotional games. I can prepare in my spare time, because there is no deadline. Plus, I can always play a game where another DM works. It’s a real win-win situation for me.

Campaign preparation


I’ve discovered that it’s always very complicated to write a legend. This is always useful for DM because it can help you understand how different characters behave or react and how the world you create is structured.

In practice, however, players can be touched or missed when dealing with the background, especially at the beginning of the campaign. I find that for most groups maintaining and understanding the legend is more of a slow burn.

What you’re saying is you’re not planning a typical campaign. The games of the Western Marches have an exploratory character. The legend is a great background that will have a great impact on the campaign.

My advice is to at least make a painting or a sketch. It should contain a detailed list of important dates and events and you can share them with your players. They can dive directly into the game or refer to it if they invest more in the game.

It was also a bit easier to write legends with different DM’s and our players were called back. We’ve used the global anvil for the collaboration, and so far it’s worked pretty well. It is very dense, although there are so many different possibilities. Honestly, to my taste, he may have too many possibilities!

Seat 0

I’ve already talked about how and why you should start session 0in advance. I support this idea and with a good conscience we have tried to get everyone on the internet to do it. Unfortunately it was almost impossible with such a large group.

Instead, we decided to talk about everything in different focus groups and used our conversation to keep an overview. Then we generalized the rules of the game, created characters, etc., and attached them to the text string so that everyone can see them.

In fact, it was the same as Session 0, but it was done in a few days and in several discussions. It’s just very difficult to get more than 12 people together and count the numbers.

General planning

The art of Lawrence Mann.

Tracking hooks are important for any campaign. West runs the action mainly depending on exploring the world around you. The Art of Lawrence Mann.

It’s always important to plan your world, create maps and define the main theme of the game. For the Western marching campaign this is even more true.

You should at least have a rough idea of what each major city or town has to offer. They need to know which political, economic, social and military issues are still topical.

All this information is extremely useful for planning your games. The Western Walks games are mainly devoted to research and discovery. Players should have enough problems to get started. It also makes the world livelier and more interesting to explore.

I also advise you not to create too big a world. We’ve certainly bitten off more than we can chew, so to speak, but I’m sure after the first session, when people invest a lot more in the game, we’ll pick it up.


As I said before, ideally, your efforts should be independent. It doesn’t matter how long your sessions take, how long you reach your goal and the job is done. This can be difficult and may be somewhat limited if you do a session lasting 3 hours or less.

In fact, I would probably say that 3 hours is the absolute minimum I would have spent on a race in the Western Marche if the group wasn’t willing to split the session into 2+ days. In such a short time, role-playing and difficult searches.

Creating quests should be the last thing on the campaign checklist. Players dictate what they want to do and investigate, and you can’t force them to do anything just because you have a task.

Instead, throw clues and hooks and hope they catch them! Maybe they find a treasure and know it comes from a certain part of the continent. So they have a reason to explore the ghost mine you’ve become attached to.

Basically set up a few quests, but don’t force the players to do them. Keep them ready and keep generating as players dictate what they want to do in each session. Don’t forget to plan your sessions so that you have enough time to prepare, if you haven’t prepared something in advance.


There will certainly be some problems to make the game work in the style of Western marches. The biggest will fill the rest of the world and create enough quests to keep people busy with each session.

One adjustment I was expecting was shopping. I’ve had whole sessions I’ve spent with the city and shopping.

It can be fun, but if you’re planning an adventure and expecting a session like this, it would just suck to go shopping. We’ll probably ask you to do all this between sessions so we don’t waste any time.

I’m excited and I can’t wait to play such games. I’ll certainly keep talking about it and talk about what I’ve learned from my own experience.

If you liked what you read, don’t forget to read my latest review for all the official D&D 5th books!

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