I have started running Tomb of Annihilation a few weeks ago.
We have six PCs, with only five regular players. The game club we are playing in has a rule that we have to accept one newcomer in addition to the regulars, so the sixth PC is a spare.
The characters are starting at level 5. A couple of related reasons for this: first I don’t want them to be too low level when they start meeting the real threats, and second I would like to keep the campaign short enough. My last two campaigns taught me that aiming at longer than, say, one year is probably not realistic, and we are only playing twice a month.
Players have access to most of the choices in the PHB and in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide; I only forbade battleragers, bladesingers, drow, tieflings and dragonborns as I wanted to keep the campaign at least somewhat human-centric. This was not hugely successful as only the spare PC is actually human.
I also gave the players a few guidelines as I wanted them to live in or around Baldur’s Gate and to have already been in contact with Syndra Silvane. We also had a session zero when we worked out how who had met whom.
So, who are the PCs?
- Prune Long-Peton, stout halfling monk. She is running an orphanage in Baldur’s Gate.
- Prut, forest gnome diviner. He tries hard to deal with his ability to foretell things that happen around him.
- Elyaswe Lacrinis, wood elf ranger. He mostly sees himself as a cartographer.
- Erevan Naililan, wood elf druid and wilderness guide.
- Olga Trollin, hill dwarf cleric of Sharindlar.
- Sandro Banedas, human (Tethyrian) fighter, knight in exile and mercenary.
Sandro Banedas is the spare character. I intend to keep him around as a mostly passive NPC if and when we don’t have our sixth player. One of the ideas I have with him is that each player who runs him should add a little something to his backstory. It has worked for the first two sessions, I hope to keep it up in the future.