Yes - this is homebrew

Before anyone complains about this being “non-canon” D&D, understand that the Hard Start concept is not “canon” D&D from the get go. There will be a lot of home-brew content in this campaign, starting with how characters get rolled up, and how characters find their way into their respective classes.

Some key points.

  • This is a low-magic campaign. Yes, there are gods/goddesses. No, you haven’t really heard of them. No, you won’t be able to start as a wizard, cleric, sorcerer, etc… but that doesn’t mean these things don’t exist.
  • The start of this campaign might seem a little slow. However, I’m basically kicking off a story, rather than a D&D module, and you folks are the main characters. Together, we’re going to create a world, populate it with characters, economic activities, new legends and quite a large number of dead things.
  • This is not a hack and slash campaign. There will be opportunities to do some dungeon crawling, and there may be some pitched battles, but the core tenet of this campaign is everything wants to live, procreate, expand its consciousness and have more than it had before. This applies to everything from the lowliest goblin peon up to dragons and Gods.
  • You won’t be able to select a background. You will all be 0-level slaves, who are children of slaves captured by a pirate nation and put to work. The hardships involved with this will mean that natural selection will primarily favour humans and half-humans. More exotic races will fail to survive the trials of enslavement, or will have found ways to escape without sticking around to breed new slave children.
  • Most importantly, I will be using the core 5E ruleset as a set of guidelines. Not everything in the rules will be on the table, and some things not in the manuals will be injected into the game. There will be a mature crafting system for one. If it enriches character depth, there’s a good chance I will consider it, but please don’t come at me saying “But the manual says XYZ”.
  • The most important rule in this whole campaign will be to reward anyone who can answer the question “Do your actions enrich the character or the story?” with an honest “Hell yeah.” Character — and through the interactions and experiences the characters undergo — is king.

Yes - this is homebrew

Adelaide Hard Start - D&D5E + homebrew JayAitch