I have been running a home-brew campaign for around a year now and it has been a fun and enjoyable experience for both myself as a DM and for my group, who are a mix of veteran players and some newcomers who have been wanting to try it for a while.
My group consist of six players: a Half-Elf Bard, a Half-Elf Warlock, a Wood Elf Rogue, a Warforged mulitclass of a Rogue and Monk, a Dragonborn Monk and a Human Paladin. The Wood Elf Rogue and the Human Paladin were the new players and since I was only a new DM at the time, I wanted them to have a good first experience with D&D and were more lenient about their requests for their characters (as long as their requests were reasoanble and not to the point of being unfair to the rest of the group). This will play into the later section of this story.
As I spoke to the players about the backstories of their characters, the Human Paladin decided to go with the Urchin Background as she liked the idea of having a pet mouse accompanying her on her journey. She requested that since she was a Paladin, her pet mouse would also be a Paladin to a certain degree, and we came to an agreement that he would be a Paladin by name but wouldnt have the same skills that she had aqquired during her years if training. He did wear Plate Armour, a small sewing needle as his weapon and he could have his own attack rolls (this was my lenient side being pulled into play). This is how Steven the Mouse Paladin was brought into the game.
The campaign began with the Players going to a festival in the human capital of Caranor where the new High King was going to be crowned. The Players meet unintentionally through Steven, who was lost in the crowd of people during the celebration and the Human Paladin asked the other Players to help her in finding him, which brought them together without the awkward introductions. Once they found the Paladin Mouse a Hobgoblin Legion (a large host of goblinoids led by one Hobgoblin Warlord) began to siege the city and the group makes a run for it, successfully managing to escape on rowboats towards the wilderness.
Moving further into the story, the group learns that there are three Hobgoblin Legions attacking the Human Kingdoms and their allies, attempting to break the moral of the Humans and their military forces. The group had taken refuge in the town of Elderway, a large coastal town prodimantly filled with Tieflings, and were tasked with locating the Prince of Caranor before he was captured by the raiding Hobgoblin Legions. During these events the Human Paladin was making sure to care for her mouse companion, buying a small makeshift bed for him to sleep on during their journeys along with making sure that he was protected during their battles.
The group managed to rescue the Prince and escort him safely to Elderway but after spending a day of rest the same Hobgoblin Legion that had attacked Caranor was now sieging Elderway, leaving the group with no way out this time. The group decided that they were going to face the Hobgoblin Warlord in a duel and if he agreed to it, his army would have to disperse if he lost the duel. After a series of persuasion rolls and the use of spells the Hobgoblin Warlord agreed to the duel and faced them all in combat.
I rolled very poorly for the initiave for the Hobgoblin Warlord, his turn being the second last in the initiative roll. The Half Elf Bard was the last one in the initiative roll after him, but before the Hobgoblin Warlord was none other than Steven the Paladin Mouse. As the combat ensues the other Players roll extremely well for their attack rolls, rolling an 18 or higher for their attacks and getting high amounts of damage done in a single turn. When it reaches Steven's turn the Hobgoblin Warlord is looking tired and broken as he is down to 9 HP.
Steven rolls an 18 on his attack roll and goes to attack with his sewing needle, which I classed as a longsword. The player of the Human Paladin rolled for Steven's damage, which was a d10, and she rolled 10. After sitting there, completely gobsmacked at this result, proceeded to explain in detail how Steven, a small mouse clad in metal with only a sewing needle as a weapon, managed to run across the arm of the Human Paladin, leap into the air and strike the face of this Hobgoblin Warlord as he began jabbing his eye with great force, bringing the lifeless body of the goblinoid leader to the ground.
The army of this Hobgoblin Warlord looked in complete confusion and fear at this small creature that managed to bring down their mighty leader in one swift movement. Steven let out a terrifying squeek that caused the goblinoid army to break moral and run for their lives, winning the defence of Elderway. Everyone in the town, including the group, were amazed and baffled at this victory and out of character my group are laughing hysterically.
Ever since this defining moment Steven has become a beacon of heroism and bravery, becoming the mascot of the group who later called themselves the 'Mouseketeers' in his honour. My group are now on a crusade with Steven to defeat the remaining Hobgoblin Warlords that had attacked them, with Steven and his Human Paladin friend gaining their own army of goblinoids to complete their task. This story was a cool example of how even the smallest of creatures can topple the greatest of foes and that Hobgoblins should never underestimate their opponents, especially when that opponent is Steven the Paladin Mouse, the Mighty Defender of Elderway.
Now many other DMs and Players will look at my lenient decisions at the start of this campaign and think that what I did wasn't a great idea, and since then I have made adjustments to Steven, but it is because of my decisions that I have this awesome story to tell and at this moment in time my players are loving this campaign and love their mascot Steven leading them to victory.
I hope those that have read this have enjoyed the story and it has inspired them to add a little creativity to their character creations and be more open to small additions to the backstory of their players.