Our group just finished Lost Mines of Phandelver and I'm preparing to run Storm King's Thunder next. There's a lot of background story/information as to

why the Giants are uprising (i.e.breaking of the Ordning),

but how much of that story should I tell my players?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you talking about before character creation, or during the first sessions of play? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 3, 2017 at 22:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What SSD says, do you want enough details for player buy-in or something else? \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Apr 3, 2017 at 22:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Near the first sessions of play. Trying to decide what their buy-in/motivation would be...crafting some homebrew adventures before they start Storm King's. Expanding on the hooks that bring them to the first town in the adventure (5th Level from Phandalin) \$\endgroup\$
    – Fogcutter
    Apr 3, 2017 at 23:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ If they've just finished LMoP, it should be easy to get them to one of the starting points of SKT using the plot hooks suggested in the book (an urgent mission for a character in Phandalin, for example). \$\endgroup\$
    – Apocalisp
    Apr 3, 2017 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


None of it. Let them find that out in-game. There are lots of characters through whom you can convey elements of the background story to your players as they play through the adventure.

That is how I ran it and it worked pretty well. A big part of the beginning of the adventure is for the players to figure out what is actually going on.


At the end of LMoP, your PCs should be level 5. From the book's perspective, this means you can drop them right into Chapter 2: Rumblings. Page 231 of the book has several possible adventure hooks, but frankly, anything that gets the characters to nearby Triboar will be sufficient for getting the story kicked off.

If you look at the map from LMoP, Triboar is literally the "next town over", so there should be any number of reasons to visit. Once they've dealt with the Giant attacks on Triboar, they get offered some number of quests that have them wandering this part of the Realms. Depending on what happened in Phandalin, there is a lot of opportunity to weave in the PCs existing motivations with the progressing story line.

The book is designed to "evolve" the story for the PCs as the whole thing progresses. If the PCs get blindly dragged along for too long, Harshnag and the Eye of the All-Father do a lot of exposition.

Note that SKT is a big adventure in a large sandbox. Most adventures have the caveat that you should read the entire book before running it. This book has so many threads that I would recommend going a step further.

  • The DM's Guild has a great "Guide to SKT" that gives a good overview and also organizes data that is otherwise spread across the book.
  • The book has several call outs to Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. If you want to add flavor to individual locations, this will be useful.
  • Prep regional locations as appropriate. Some googling will bring up lots of Realms history associated with many of the places listed in the adventure. You should be able to find maps and significant NPCs for these places.

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