There are tons of pre-made Dungeons and Dragons campaigns out there.
You could play the classic Curse of Strahd if you're looking for something in-depth, or - for one-shot lovers - explore one of the brief Candlekeep Mysteries. You could even jump into one of the fantastic unofficial adventures made by the community - DM Dave is a great source for these.
I love coming up with fun plots that either I or my career-DM boyfriend can throw at our usual player group, even if I know I'll probably never use them. So, I've decided to share them with the world!
If you want to run your own campaign from scratch, you might need a basic plot idea to get you started. Here are some really fun - and very easily adaptable - plot outlines you are more than welcome to steal and use for your own game.
The Mysterious Escape
Your party is relaxing in town when suddenly, a guardsman bursts onto the scene and begs them to help locate a recently escaped criminal mastermind. They're offered a hefty reward from the local lord for the criminal's return.
They can follow the leads - a wake of people who've been attacked by the new and unsettling monsters now roaming the roads - all the way to the most remote town in the country, only to find the criminal mastermind already hard at work raising an army of the Undead.
Only, something's wrong. When they finally defeat the mastermind, he only laughs. That's when they realize something much larger has risen to take command of the army - a lich king!
If you and your party like epic battles and political intrigue, then this will be great fun for everyone.
What's My Name Again?
Your party wakes up after a night of revelry to find a new member has joined them in the blackout. No one's sure who they are, least of all them - they can't remember where they're from, what they do, or even what their name is.
The stranger is determined to find out who they were but won't tell anyone why. If your party decides to help them, they slowly learn that the stranger is marked with a holy symbol burned into their chest and that this is one of the gods trapped in mortal form, being punished by the rest of the pantheon for taking a special interest in their party.
The only chance they have of returning them to godhood is retrieving the Helm of the Gods, guarded by a devout monastery far in the wilderness. And they need to work quick - a divine soul isn't meant to be housed in a mortal body, and their new friend is fading fast.
This game would make a PERFECT level 1 starter, as you've got a built-in strong DMPC.
Trials of the Gods
The party is forced together by a town whose once-in-ten-years Festival of the Gods has unfortunately fallen exactly on the day that all of them were visiting.
Captured, imprisoned, and chosen to participate in this dangerous gambit, the party will have to figure out a way to survive - either by playing to win or working together to escape.
If they decide to play through the trials, they'll face various life-threatening puzzles and huge monsters chosen as sacrifices. At the end of the trials lies a temple, where zealous believers will attempt to use them as vessels to bring the gods to the mortal realm!
Will the party learn that this is a conspiratorial hoax from corrupt politicians to get rid of rivals, or will they really face the possibility of possession by a god as their "reward"?
That's all up to the DM.
Before You Go
Now you've got three awesome campaigns to expand on and fill with fun player characters, NPCs, homebrewed MacGuffins, and unplanned hilarity.
If you do plan to use them, though, can I make one request? Please let me know! I'd love to see what other DMs do with these ideas.
Now go forth and destroy (or save) the world.