DnD: How to Run Campaigns in Bright Spots

When it comes to Dungeons & Dragons, a campaign parameter comes in many forms. From the magitech-heavy Eberron in the apocalyptic desert of dark sun, every Dungeon Master has their favorites. One that always seems to capture the very essence of J&D is the Light Points parameter. This setting is an incredible mix of swords and sorcery, balancing high magic with the ferocity of the natural world.

Often considered the traditional J&D setting, Points of Light has the typical swords and sorcery, with a mix between high and low fantasy. Maintaining this balance can be a difficult task for a DM, but when used correctly can provide players with an incredible experience reminiscent of the traditional Dungeons & Dragons setting. Swashbuckling adventures and fascinating ancient environments will have something for every type of player.


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Understanding light point adjustment


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Points of Light takes place in a world emerging from an inter-dimensional cosmic war. Let us briefly explain: the Gods, creators of life, opposed the Primordials, creators of elements. When war threatened to destroy the world, nature itself gained sentience in the form of primordial spirits, the awakened essence of natural phenomenon, often revered by those of Druidic persuasion as spirits. ancestral.

These primordial spirits worked with the gods to banish the primordials to the Elemental Plane, and the gods took up residence in the Astral Sea. This means that the gods, although present, are largely absent from the world. The Primordials are still plotting to return, but it is the Primordial Spirits who have the real control over the world.


Nature has reclaimed most of the landscape, bringing danger and darkness to the wilderness. The only hope for the civilized races of the world lies in the great cities that stand like light in the darkness. Hence, the points of light. However, this does not mean that cities are happy and benevolent safe zones. Rather, the opposite is true, as political corruption runs rampant around the world, with tyrants taking advantage of the sorry plight of the people.

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D&D Playstyles in Points Of Light


As can be seen from the above, when it comes to running a Points of Light campaign, there are primarily two types of settings the party will end up in: urban and wild. Both work differently from each other and should be treated as opposite poles.


In urban areas, most of the campaign should focus on the conflicts that come from within the city. Typically, this involves corruption, politics, and social issues that plague a city. While some towns are peaceful, many are ruled by powerful nobles who know that people won’t leave town because there are no other places they can go.

Wild areas, however, are very different. While traversing the wilderness, the campaign should focus on survival and caution. Monsters and beasts roam freely across the world, and adventure is often seen as a hopeless cause. Every day outside the walls should feel like a fight for players’ lives, as the uncivilized world is cold and indifferent.


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Urban campaigns in points of light


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When working on an urban campaign, it’s important to keep in mind the world the players live in. Because travel and relocation are such risks, corruption is not only possible, but endemic. Nobles and tyrants ruling cities are no pushovers, and low-level characters need to be especially on their toes.

While the nobles are no Count Strahd, the city guards are not the low-end weaklings. Monster Manual. They must regularly defend the city against monster attacks and hordes on a regular basis. At lower levels, characters must strive to avoid the wrath of the ruling class or, if they are more amiable, attempt to negotiate with them. If you stop a nefarious political plot, emphasize to players that the mission is secret and revealing their identities could cause trouble. For minor crimes, leaving town could be a way out, but for major crimes, expect dangerous bounty hunters or even other adventurers to chase the party.


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Wilderness campaigns in points of light


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In many J&D games, the journey is treated as a rapid stepping stone between two destinations. There may be one or two combat encounters, but if not, the party can be sure that it is the destination, not the journey, that presents the danger. This is not the case in the Points of Light setting.

Instead, it is absolutely necessary to emphasize survival and navigation. Primordial spirits still linger and are as fickle as nature itself. This means wild beasts, monstrosities and fairy creatures roam wherever they please. Many are territorial and don’t care about intruders. Due to the influence of the Primal Spirits, the Feywild and the real world overlap in many areas, which can cause trouble for unwary wanderers. Nowhere outside of cities is safe, and that’s something that should be hammered home at the party.

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Most dungeons players encounter should be overgrown relics or abandoned temples. They are often symbols of the primordial spirits’ endless will to reclaim anything that is not actively used or shows worship of the gods or primordials. In order to tie these themes together, players must often encounter harsh weather conditions, encounters with monsters and wild beasts, and monstrous races that have clung to whatever fragments of civilization they could find.

When it comes to tackling a bright spot campaign, it’s important to keep in mind the wild and brutal world that exists outside of cities. Cities, while safe relative to the natural world, are their own kind of problem. Because of this balance between urban and wild difficulties, it can be used flexibly with a party to satisfy both those who focus on RP and those who love combat. Switching between these two can create a unique gaming experience that captures the heart of Dungeons & Dragons.

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