Dungeons & Dragons: 5 Tips To Join An Ongoing Campaign

So, you got invited to join an enticing Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Congratulations! It's time to ready your character sheet and head on to whatever weird world your DM has in store for you. But there is a catch. This campaign has already started, with a formed group of adventurers who have endured tough challenges together, and now you have been thrown into the mix.

Is it possible to enter a campaign like this without causing more harm than good? Of course it is! Even if you haven't seen what happened before, you can still make the best of it and become a major character. After all, not every good character is part of the story from the very beginning. Here are some ways you can get into the action quickly and easily.

5 Have A "Session Zero"

Not an actual session zero, since those happen before the campaign starts, but have a meeting with the players before having your characters meet one another. Especially if you don't personally know everyone at the table.

Fitting in the campaign isn't just your responsibility. It also falls on others to help you fully integrate into the story at hand. So it is okay to talk to everyone beforehand, as well as have the DM talk to you about some events that happened, even if your character is not supposed to know these things. Just don't start metagaming, where you use information your character shouldn't know in game, and it shouldn't be a problem.

4 Talk To The DM About What You Should Know

As previously mentioned, it's important to get some information from the Dungeon Master about what you should already know. And this time, not just you the player, but also you the character. Usually, a character joining in can be a bit complicated for the DM, especially if they have a big focus on making a coherent storyline.

With proper knowledge of the events, you and the DM can focus on making a character that fits the setting, and whose goal aligns with what is going on and the party. This isn't as important if the storyline is not a big deal for the campaign however, so it may depend on the type of campaign going on.

A good point to make during your character creation is how their personality may be. If you fit your character properly in your DM's story, then you'll have plenty of options depending on how the story is going, but in case you're having trouble fitting them, a good option is to make a good Samaritan character. They need little reason to help others and can go right into any type of story.

3 Check What The Party Is Missing

One thing you'll likely learn from your "session zero" is your new teammates' classes. You can see what to expect when it comes to their fighting styles, and you can adapt your character around it, making you fill roles the other players may be lacking.

Maybe the party doesn't have any good support characters. Maybe they lack a tank. Or all the damage characters are martials, and they lack area damage. Not to mention that you can fit multiple roles, being also a party's face for example, or a specialist in something you were already told to be important by your DM beforehand. For example, if the party is fighting against demons, clerics or paladins will always be a good choice. You can see what is missing from this group of miscreants and make your own powerhouse. And hey, if the group is balanced, you can just do whatever you feel like.

This, of course, is not a necessity, as you can always make your characters based on what you want, but helping your future party with what they need is just good sportsmanship.

2 Ask A Lot Of Questions

As the new person in an already formed group, it's normal to feel like a fish out of water. The players know each other, have their NPC connections, know the places and what is going on with the story, not to mention who can be a threat. It may seem obvious to them, but it's okay to stop things to ask them what is happening.

Even if at first that might feel annoying, it's imperative to put you on the same page as everyone else. Besides, it's just a matter of time until you no longer need to ask around everything, so even if it bothers the other players, it will only be a bit during the first few sessions.

1 Consider Better Items

This tip is more for the DM adding the player since they're the ones who decide that, but if you have a new person entering your higher-level campaign, you should consider giving them better items than what the initial equipment has to offer.

Most of your party will have better items that they've found during the campaign, so a new character with basic equipment may be a bit behind compared to everyone else. We're not saying that you should give them full plate and a vorpal sword or other overpowered magic items, but perhaps a +1 weapon or armor (from the options the new player can pick) would be a nice bonus, as well as a bit more initial money, so they can keep up with what is going on. It also shows the character already has a bit of history by having such things.

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