If by chance you caught my previous article on adventuring in the planes of Magic: The Gathering you will know that my Commander group plunged into the world of Innistrad with Dungeon and Dragons 5th Edition. Some of the highlights of these sessions was the knowledge of the plane as well as the flexibility of the 5e into making things fun and enjoyable. This was our 5th time working through Army of the Damned and by the conclusion I atleast found the whole experience invigorating.
Our experience with MTG D&D was cobbled together using the Army of the Damned adventure as well as free source material including Planeshift: Innistrad. The entire act of hacking together an adventure in anything not entirely supported rests on what feels the most comfortable and what makes the most sense. In Innistrad playing an elf, lorewise, doesn’t make sense so one has to make the best they can do. This is why I still hold fast to the opinion that 5E is a wonderful system to hacking and running a medieval fantasy. Not only does it allow one to play between the lines, it also allows the DM to reskin monsters to suit the flavorful adventure. If people are having fun then you are doing it right.
Without giving away too much, Army of the Damned sees a story of love, revenge, and a horde of zombies. IUt sees a collection of popular names like Avacyn, Griselbrand, Grimgrin, Ludevic, Markov, and The adventure is artfully written to include a variety of activities including exploration, slaying, barricading a town, diplomacy, planning, and of course puzzles where no puzzles should be. The players took on characters based on MTG cards from the Innistrad set which wasnt required but was made a house rule since it was interesting. Delver of Secrets, Silverblade Paladin, Somberwald Sage, and Borderland Ranger all make for a great party set to adventure in the gothic worlds of Innistrad. Aside from a few changes in terms of pacing and reskinning the final “thing” to Thing in the Ice, the entire adventure was played without any hiccups.
One of the smaller supplements at the end of the adventure was hooks to continue a campaign throughout Innistrad including plot points to go to other areas including Gavony, Nephalia, or Kessig. As a DM, seeing these things gets ones imagination going and soon there is a year’s worth of material planned you will never get to since you did that with all of the other things. For being a free adventure, Army of the Damned was not only a great adventure for introducing people to D&D but also a fantastic exploration of one of the most easily adaptable settings for D&D. To be honest, this adventure even though it only ran through a speedy 5 levels, could be stretched out in terms of planning up to double digits. Army of the Damned stops at level 5 but with some crafty planning, could be extended with extra campaigns.
Based on this adventure, my Magic group is set to do another campaign using Zendikar as the settng. there is little int he way of actual material written for this campaign aside from the Planeshift Guide but I am sure we will hack our way through. With as much knowledge as the group has regarding the lore and with enough adherence to the hazy rules, I am sure we will have a blast.