Writing, managing, and expanding campaigns.

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22
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I limit my players' options in character creation when the reason why is a spoiler?

I am currently preparing for a game of Vampire: The Masquerade. I've got a plot in the works that involves a Malkavian villain. Given the nature of the Malkavian Madness Network I want to exclude the ...
4
votes
0answers
113 views

What is the cost of returning to Barovia? (Adventure League Season 4, (04-14) Curse of Strahd)

After getting out of Barovia in Dark Lord, what is the cost of going back to Barovia, in terms of GP or downtime, if there is one? This is for D&D Adventurer's League 4-14. After I finish the ...
-2
votes
0answers
140 views

How do I threaten characters who aren't afraid of the usual things? [on hold]

The threat of dying is a fundamental motivator for most PCs (and, frankly, most people in real life). You buy armor so people can't kill you, you buy weapons so you can kill people before they kill ...
2
votes
3answers
136 views

How to allow no-level lackeys access to a secret area/ specially designed demiplane? [closed]

First off, I'd like to give credit where it is due: I was watching a walk through of Jak and Daxter 3, when this occurred to me. Jak gets many special ability that lets him access new areas. The one ...
57
votes
10answers
12k views

Player has arachnophobia: what to use in place of spiders?

I have a player who joined an ongoing campaign; after a session which involved a fight against giant spiders and an anxiety attack, I was asked by said player's partner to remove the spiders from the ...
4
votes
5answers
456 views

How do I enforce laws against powerful PCs? [closed]

I've noticed that players, over time, tend to be a "law unto themselves" taking whatever liberties they feel is necessary for the storyline they're trying to figure out / win/ solve, and can leave a ...
7
votes
3answers
936 views

Give your players characters to play or let them decide for themselves? [closed]

I am starting out as a DM in my third D&D game (first as a DM), and during my time making a world and an adventurer I found out that the characters playing your game (ingame characters of the ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

One of my PCs unknowingly slept with his sister [closed]

So some background: 3 sessions into the campaign, we arrived in Neverwinter and went to the nearest inn. At this inn, one of the barmaids started to flirt with our Paladin. Our paladin had sworn an ...
3
votes
0answers
94 views

Running a Senate Based game? [closed]

Ok here's my dilemma. I've tasked myself with creating an intrigue based senate game. And I'm trying to weave an oh so tangled web to guide the players through while they are trying to thwart or dodge ...
16
votes
3answers
367 views

How to keep track of the current situation in a setting?

When a GM creates his own setting (e.g. two neighboring kingdoms), he details it with important people, political relationships, events and so on. During a campaign, PCs' actions alter the setting's ...
2
votes
0answers
113 views

How to handle multiple main villains in your campaign [closed]

I was hoping to pick your collective brains in preparation for my new 5e Eberron campaign starting in a few months. Most of the blogs/books etc I've looked through look at campaign design with one ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I keep surprising my co-GM when he's playing in my campaign?

I recently started a D&D 5e campaign with my gaming group and one of my friends has decided he wants to GM also. The setting we're playing in is a homebrew setting; I created the general outline ...
8
votes
2answers
347 views

Should I include Fate Core in my Fate world book?

If writing my own game/setting/world (product, for brevity's sake), Should I include the whole Fate Core game in my product, as with Apotheosis Drive X, or should I detail only the modifications to ...
12
votes
6answers
280 views

How would I model a vast range of levels of power in Fate Core?

Let's say that I want to run a game in Fate Core where there are weak little critters, folk, heroes, legendary heroes, and gods, where the intent is that the players can go from folk all the way up to ...
3
votes
0answers
144 views

How to test a Campaign Setting's Content? [closed]

I'm working on a pretty expansive campaign setting of my own right now, and I'd like to test it. The question is: How do I do it? Notes & Details This setting is generic, intended to be adapted ...
2
votes
1answer
265 views

I'm worried the PCs in my low-magic, low-gold campaign can't keep up with the increasing encounter challenge

I'm running a campaign and at the moment. The world in which they live is low-magic (and so the major way to have magic items is to create them), but also the amount of gold they get after each ...
4
votes
3answers
206 views

Pathfinder equivalent of an “Explosive Leash”

As a GM creating a campaign I would like to know if there is a spell, item, or effect official for Pathfinder that can be used to force a badass to work for a group they are utterly opposed to but ...
2
votes
1answer
241 views

Is 'reversing' healing so that it actually does damage a legitimate mechanic for the DM? [closed]

Some time ago we were in a final battle with a end boss for a dungeon. The fight went pretty well in our favor but when the boss hit his bloodied value, our DM described that he emitted a dark shroud ...
26
votes
8answers
3k views

What should I keep in mind when running a game intended to subvert the players' expectations?

Many of my favorite works of fiction are either explicitly deconstructive in nature, or at least feature elements or scenes that unexpectedly subvert the audience's expectations. Often these are some ...
13
votes
2answers
335 views

How can I have mystery in a Fate plot?

I am going to run a session for a plot. This is going to be an introduction to RPGs, and what I'm trying to do is to add an element of mystery to the plot to keep the players hooked. The plot goes ...
5
votes
1answer
293 views

Will a C&C Forgotten Realms campaign without elves be unplayable?

I am a new DM. For my first campaign, I am going to kill off the entire race of non-Drow elves, except for the PCs who are the only survivors. Later on, I will be having them discover other ...
3
votes
0answers
95 views

How much detail is enough to start a campaign? [duplicate]

As a new DM and new to the whole pen and paper genre, I am wondering how much detailed should my world be at the beginning of a campaign. For example, if a player wants to create a cleric, I should ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

How to make large number of NPCs manageable to the GM?

I'm planning a game where there is about a dozen important NPC actors, with some more less important ones. "Important" means that even if they are not directly involved in current events, they play a ...
9
votes
3answers
241 views

Managing OOC player knowledge when using one-shot games as a prologue for a longer campaign

I have a situation where our group is a mix of people who are still at University and others have already graduated. Those of us who are finished all have jobs but live fairly close together and can ...
1
vote
0answers
120 views

What are some good resources for designing maps (regional, provincial, dungeon, etc)? [closed]

Alright, I hope this question is narrow enough in scope that it's alright for RPG.SE. What I am asking for is a list of resources such as essays, books, blog posts, articles, how-to's, etc., that ...
19
votes
10answers
2k views

How do I tie episodic sessions together to make larger campaign arcs?

My D&D group only plays perhaps once a month and occasionally one of them won't be able to make it. I (the DM) home-brewed our last campaign and, whilst fun, the big story arcs and multiple NPCs ...
4
votes
2answers
330 views

How Do I Bring PCs into Conflict with Druids? [closed]

My PCs are pursuing a major villain who deals with assorted plant-based monsters, who we'll just call the Queen. Being a manipulative sort, I think she would probably try to lead them towards ...
6
votes
2answers
268 views

Sword Coast weather and climate

To the point: What is the climate of the Sword Coast like? What real world climate region would it fit into best? The more relevant the answer to the 5e FR, the better. If there's no 5e ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

What can I use to give hints about forgotten memories without repeating myself? [closed]

I am building a campaign for my players. I want them to have been experimented on by some evil wizard/sorcerer, and have lost memories of what happened, only knowing that something major happened and ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

What determines how much XP I reward each session?

I know that if characters role play toward their motivation they should get 5xp for it but generally are there any other guidelines for awarding xp regarding combat or story objectives?
30
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I make an overbearing government's unwelcome attention convincing without it dominating screen time?

My players are newly awakened mages (Mage: the Ascension 2nd edition) living in a near future in a metropolis in the European Union which is developing into a surveillance and military state union—a ...
14
votes
2answers
541 views

Way to manage world factions and events

Abstract I have a loosely interconnected world where news travel slowly, but steadily so when a trader from a far off place comes visiting your place, what does he know? Whats his latest perspective ...
1
vote
1answer
218 views

How do you make an interesting game without boring players? [closed]

I just became a sort of DM in which I go through a fun world in all it's glory. How do I make it so people won't get bored and just start killing things, yet also don't become fed up because the game ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

Is 6 groups of fairly established individuals too much for early game? [closed]

I'm acting as the GM for a grimdark game called Pandemonio that a friend of mine discovered. I'm relatively new to being a GM and definitely new to being a GM of grimdark. We've not yet had our ...
1
vote
0answers
92 views

Rebuilding Solland? [closed]

The GM for our group has told me that now that my character has finished Paths Of The Dammed, Barony Of The Dammed, The adventure (name forgot) from The Bretonnian Sourcebook, Terror In Talabheim, ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

In Fate, how long should the break between the Worldbuilding Session and the next session be? [closed]

I'm going to run my first game in two days, and I'm going to spend the entire day with the two players I'll run it with. I plan to have a brainstormy worldbuilding session first, to figure out what ...
2
votes
1answer
277 views

How do I get my PC's interested in the Hoard of the Dragon Queen? [closed]

I have Hoard of the Dragon Queen and I'm concerned my new PC's are going to be bored. What do you do as a GM to keep players interested? Real players Player charcters (Unfortunately we just rolled ...
34
votes
17answers
4k views

How can I have a campaign where not everyone shows up to each session? [closed]

I'm starting a D&D (5e) club at my school. As most high schoolers don't show up to every club meeting, how can I account for this in creating parties? The club will likely have 20+ members, so ...
11
votes
5answers
826 views

How can I discover if players would react positively to a change of tone for a game without them knowing of the change?

I'm currently running a game of Cyberpunk 2020 for a couple of friends. Things are incredibly silly so far and the group seems to really like it. To get an idea of what I've run them through so far: ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

“Empty” areas for me to add in an adventuring hub near the Sword Coast?

My setting is going to be near the 5e Sword Coast. My story is that the Sundering has brought back a creator race from Abeir, and I want them to have a presence south of what used to be Maztica on ...
5
votes
2answers
957 views

Campaigns are unsatisfying when made-up or slow when pre-written. How do we fix that? [closed]

We have tried to get started playing D&D three times and each have not worked out how we hoped. Our first DM made up his own story and we played about 5 sessions. It was very fun, but the ...
8
votes
2answers
412 views

Running a D&D game in the afterlife

No, I'm not referring to suggestions about playing D&D after I die. I'm referring to playing a D&D campaign with a plot centered on the afterlife. Particularly, the concept of a petitioner in ...
7
votes
2answers
281 views

What is a spell, curse, or illness that's long-lasting enough to drive a campaign?

Alright, so I want to make a villainous witch to be the villain that starts off the plot for a campaign. I want her to hex a beloved noble with either some format of permanent sleep, or impending ...
37
votes
9answers
6k views

How to run a campaign for intelligent players with idiot PCs?

I've just started a pathfinder campaign, and all of the players have taken intelligence as their dump stat. This is causing problems, because usually I depend on knowledge checks to determine what ...
7
votes
2answers
779 views

How viable is a party of only arcane casters?

I had a campaign story idea where the PCs were students at a prestigious magic university undergoing training to become guild-registered adventurers, with the caveat then that players could only ...
8
votes
1answer
212 views

What is the general pace of advancement in Monster of the Week?

I've picked up Monster of the Week (Revised edition), an Apocalypse World spin-off, and I'm excited about running it, but I'm concerned about how fast characters advance. It only takes 5 experience ...
2
votes
0answers
242 views

Games with dynamic combat system [closed]

I'm building a campaign around CAPCOM Monster Hunter videogame, I only know 3 games, D&D (3.5e, 4e,5e), Roleage ( a spanish d100 game that has a duengeon siege progresion feeling), and Anima: ...
1
vote
0answers
245 views

How can I make a Pathfinder campaign like the Monster Hunter video game series? [closed]

I was thinking about how one would go about making a Monster Hunter (the video game) style campaign for Pathfinder, but I have a small number of problems. Figuring out CR for "Monsters" to fight (...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

Are PCs supposed to start a game knowing each other, and if not, how should they meet?

I'm currently putting together a D&D game and I have most of it worked out. The only part about it that I'm still a little unclear on is whether or not the player characters should know each other ...
6
votes
3answers
368 views

Is there a “campaign background” story system or method?

microscope is a historical fractal story system that I've used successfully to generate background worlds for several campaigns, what it does it does very well. What I'm looking for is something ...