There are few television shows that lend themselves so readily to a Dungeons & Dragons campaign as Supernatural. Whether your playing as the Winchesters or a party of your own design, this world of angels, demons, and things that go bump in the night makes for an absolutely stellar setting for anything from one shot to decade-long adventuring extravaganza. Here’s some tips on how to get started!
When making a themed campaign for your party, consider the style of the show. For Supernatural, Sam and Dean began with one-off monsters that were relatively easy to defeat (compared to what comes later). The boys start by fighting a woman in white, a ghost that targets men. John Winchester apparently believed that a woman in white was a banshee, not exactly a ghost. In either case, ghosts and banshees both have challenge ratings of 4, so they’re probably too difficult for a fledgling party to defeat. Consider starting your party at a higher level to represent the training Sam and Dean have gone through, or altering the challenge rating for the initial ghost encounters.
You also need to consider how you’re going to motivate your group to get together and fight the baddies. In the show, the brothers start traveling around, fighting bad guys because “Dad went on a hunting trip and hasn’t been home in a few days.” So, if you’re starting with two characters, work with them to create some type of connection. If you’re working with more players, find a reason that they all would have a vested interest in finding and helping a person that’s missing. As Bobby says, “family don’t end with blood” so it’s possible some characters may actually be related to the missing character while others will not be directly related, but still family. Remember, Supernatural, at its heart, is a show about family, so it’s important that the family theme remain in your campaign.
It is also probably a good idea to map out your campaign fairly far into the future. In addition to the regular ghosts, banshees, and other monsters, you’ll want to include plenty of demons. Luckily, demons come in all shapes and sizes in D&D, so you’ll be able to pick the right demon for your party’s level. When the party is less experienced, throw in a Dretch (CR 1/4) or two, a few Manes (CR 1/8), or a Quasit (CR 1). These demons would represent the lower-level black eyes. As your players gain experience, have them fight higher level demons, like Vrock (CR 6) or Hezrou (CR 8) to represent Azazel. When your players are high enough, the Knights of Hell can be introduced. Abaddon could easily be a Marilith (CR 16) while Cain makes a wonderful Balor (CR 19). Remember though, Dean and Sam both had magical weapons to defeat Abaddon and Cain. Make sure your players have the weapons they need to succeed!
And then there are the angels. Angels are just as powerful in Supernatural as they are in D&D. However, Supernatural sometimes fudges the rules for angels so that Dean and Sam have a better chance (usually by having the angels not wish to kill the boys until someone who can actually defeat them is there). Michael and Lucifer, the strongest of the angels, would be represented by Solar’s stats (CR 21). Raphael and Gabriel, though extremely powerful, aren’t as strong as Michael and Lucifer, so they might be represented by Planetar (CR 16). Meanwhile, Castiel is simply a seraph, so he would be represented by Deva (CR 10). You may also wish to customize some stats for Cas when he starts turning human or into a god. I would not recommend allowing a player to RP as Cas because, as an angel, he is much more powerful to start than your players are. Instead, consider having Cas as an NPC that eventually joins the party.
To sum up, start by getting your party all searching for an important person to them that has gone missing. As they travel through each town, they must investigate strange disturbances (investigation checks galore!) and fight one-off battles against low-level ghosts, banshees, witches, zombies, vampires, and more. Start introducing low-level demons and gradually increase the challenge. Once your party is high enough to handle a few demons at the same time, introduce the angels and Cas as supposed allies, eventually revealing that the angels are trying to bring about the apocalypse. This should culminate in a great battle against Lucifer (Balor stats). If your party survives, you’ve had an extended campaign that wrapped up with saving the entire world! Then you can consider dealing with one of your party members losing his soul, Cas becoming a god, and the joy of Leviathan and Knights of Hell.
Don’t forget, if your party dies, they can just come back.
NPC death should be fairly permanent, but Sam and Dean have both died multiple times. So, if you have a TPK, don’t worry. If you’re still feeling iffy about starting a Supernatural campaign, check out Matthew Mercer’s DM Tips for roleplaying advice in general.
What character would you want to play in a Supernatural campaign. What monster do you think would be the most fun to fight as Sam and Dean? Let us know in the comments below!
All Images Credited To: CW