Writing, managing, and expanding campaigns.

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62
votes
19answers
7k views

I'm creating an original setting for D&D—where do I start?

Creating a new fantasy setting for D&D is daunting but I don't want to use one of the published settings. I have a blank piece of paper in front of me and a whole world to create. My friends want ...
26
votes
9answers
1k views

How do you discourage “player knowledge” as a GM?

As a trivial random encounter is winding down, a player thinks "That was too easy... The GM wouldn't give us an encounter that doesn't give XP," and starts searching for hidden bad guys or other ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Are there any good websites which have story hooks and plots points for campaigns? [closed]

Are there any good websites which have story hooks and plots points for campaigns?
43
votes
6answers
2k views

Preventing saturation in a horror campaign

I am currently designing my first horror campaign and what I've come up with so far is pretty dark and gruesome. I worry that if it is gut wrenching the whole way through, eventually the players will ...
11
votes
3answers
558 views

Adapting literary works into RPG adventures

Beowulf is a classic tale which has been translated many times and has had many film adaptations. Seamus Heaney's new translation and Frederick Rebsame's translation are good starts if you have not ...
18
votes
3answers
767 views

Good resources for travel times?

What are some good resources, on or off-line, for determining clear travel times for: different methods of travel (eg: foot, horse, vehicles by period and type, etc) different terrain types ...
27
votes
9answers
2k views

What qualities are important when creating a fantasy RPG campaign? [on hold]

Creating custom game play content for a group can be challenging for even the most experienced GM. Understanding how your group members' play and understanding what they want to experience is ...
33
votes
13answers
752 views

How do I help my players not get caught up on smaller plot points?

I just finished having a conversation with one of my players, and was led to a question I'm not sure I know how to answer. I'm running a sandbox campaign (D&D 4e, if it makes a difference) where ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Starting the first game tips?

I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to start our very first session. Everyone, counting the DM, has yet to play the game and we are not exactly sure were to start. Our PCs are: Drow ...
11
votes
5answers
590 views

Advice on setting up a campaign for a new GM?

A month or two back, I bought the GURPS Basic Set with the hopes of GMing a campaign at my school. I'm fairly familiar with the rules and general concepts by now (GURPS is very well documented), but ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the best first adventure to run in D&D 4e?

I am very new to Dungeons and Dragons 4e. I recently picked all the necessary books and surprisingly low priced pound of dice from eBay. I have also coaxed my friends into giving it a shot while I ...
31
votes
11answers
1k views

What are some dangerous non-fantasy creatures?

We're running a fantasy game where the adventurers frequently travel through the wilderness. Too many of the threatening encounters they have are with fantasy creatures (like goblins, orcs, etc.). ...
15
votes
15answers
2k views

What are some interesting ways to structure a random encounter table? [closed]

The standard tables I've seen have been basic 'Wandering Monster' tables where you roll some dice in order to generate a random encounter. I'm sure many have taken this concept further, but I haven't ...
31
votes
8answers
3k views

What are the essential features of a successful evil campaign?

Until this point, I have demanded that my players not build characters with evil alignments, as I am familiar with how to design campaigns and adventures around "good" or "redemption" themes. ...
21
votes
7answers
622 views

How can I convey the nonsensicality of a dream world?

Soon I will be GMing a campaign that allows the players to move freely back and forth between the "real" world and the "dream" world. I do not want this to be a secret or try to confuse the players; ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Middle age transportation by river questions

I am playing in a medieval fantasy type setting and am trying to determine travel speeds when people are traveling on rivers. This is similar to this previous question, but that question really only ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there other cooperative world building games like Dawn of Worlds?

I found Dawn of Worlds on the web and got the PDF of it. My group tried and loved it. I was wondering has anyone else worked with this very novel system for cooperative world building?
22
votes
4answers
362 views

How do I construct an individual session as part of a larger campaign?

I've been GMing/DMing on and off for years. I prefer playing. Mainly because when I run a game, I'm more a fly by the seat of your pants kind of dm, and it works sort of.. My problem is that, while I ...
11
votes
7answers
275 views

What should I read/watch for information about the 1930s United States? [closed]

I'm currently writing a Trail of Cthulhu campaign, in which Investigators travel across the United States in the 1930s. To get inspiration for the scenarios, I read books and watch movies about ...
7
votes
4answers
334 views

Looking for local colour for a Cyberpunk set in Brazil

I have a plot line and with the addition of player characters' background I think I have a solid game planned. However, so far the plot could happen in any odd city in the world. I was thinking of ...
7
votes
3answers
318 views

What campaign wiki - or other collaborative tool - has these features?

I saw the question "Is there a campaign wiki with mobile support" and realized that perhaps I could find what i was looking for with a more targeted question. I am organizing a plot team (for a LARP) ...
18
votes
7answers
839 views

“Retiring” a maxed-out party

This question has a specific and a general sense. Eventually, if your game runs long enough, a party will be pretty much maxed out - reaching level caps, wielding top-level powers and abilities, ...
9
votes
2answers
383 views

What collaborative mapping software would meet my needs?

Background I am the head of plot for a boffer LARP that runs monthly. A given game has anywhere from 10 to 50 players. We have around 5 people that run plot. I need the entire plot team to be able to ...
8
votes
3answers
382 views

How to develop arcs for player characters

If you've got a vague idea for an overall plot arc, how do you go about developing individual plot arcs for player characters (if that's something you do)? I'm running two Savage Worlds campaigns, ...
17
votes
6answers
595 views

Am I designing my campaign setting to be too specific?

I'm a first time DM (3.5e), and, being a passionate writer, I decided to create the entire campaign and campaign setting myself. It's been good fun, and I have about 12 pages of (elaborated upon) ...
15
votes
8answers
1k views

How do you keep PCs from killing each other when 1 or more is evil?

I'd like to run a more mature themed campaign, along the lines of game of thrones. In that story, several of the main characters have an evil alignment. I'd like to do something similar to this ...
10
votes
7answers
471 views

Software for diagramming branching campaign plotlines

I'm looking for something that simply allows me to connect nodes for different progression paths throughout the campaign, and that will let me connect them in arbitrary ways so that I can connect two ...
5
votes
2answers
309 views

Point buy/structured system for cooperative 4e campaign building?

Our group is currently building a campaign world (one nation per player) for the Pillars of the State campaign (as suggested in the DMG2 somewhere around page 170). Today we encountered the "problem" ...
5
votes
4answers
264 views

How to avoid the feeling of railroading in my campaign pregame?

This question is related to my other question. Please see that one for campaign background, rather than me repeating it all here. I don't want the players to feel "trapped" and forced into a ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

PC vs PC team campaigns [closed]

I've been mulling over ideas for team vs. team D&D campaigns (or any system really), where two or more teams of PCs compete for a particular prize and PvP combat is allowed. All players would ...
17
votes
9answers
496 views

What ways are there to convey loneliness and betrayal in an encounter?

A little background: I am designing a campaign that largely takes place in the mind of a twisted wizard. The wizard was shunned and exiled from his home due to a physical disfigurement, and after a ...
15
votes
3answers
16k views

Any good premade campaigns for beginners?

Does anyone know of some good premade campaigns for a small (not more than 5) players, all of whom are new to D&D? I want to start them at low level since they haven't played before. I'm finding ...
10
votes
1answer
150 views

Playing a pregame, how to keep sense of continuity in campaign

My players and I are currently playing a "pre-game" for a whole campaign I have written. I want the players to be aware of the "how did it get to be this way", so I make them play two games 4000 and ...
9
votes
10answers
776 views

What RPG worlds/systems work best together in crossover combinations? [closed]

I'm curious: What RPG worlds have you combined most successfully in a crossover setting as a GM? (Or what was the best crossover that you played as a player?) My best experiences almost always ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Custom Race Creation for D&D 4e

The Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide provides a few examples of how to adapt monsters into full-fledged PC races, but they're limited to only a few options. Are there any resources or other ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

How to adapt a 3e community-building system for a larger-scale use in a 4e game?

This question is a follow up to Point buy/structured system for cooperative 4e campaign building?. I've found a system that is quite close to what we want/need, but there's a catch: it's for 3e and ...