Writing, managing, and expanding campaigns.

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15
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12answers
324 views

To document house rules, or no?

Or, how much documentation should your "campaign world" provide? This is a fairly generic (and subjective) question, but there is a genuine purpose behind it: I have a set of "house rules" for Tales ...
15
votes
8answers
21k views

Designing my own D&D Adventure

Currently, I am part of my first campaign of D&D 4E as a player and, I have been having fun. Sometime in the near future I would like to host my own game of D&D with my own adventure. So far ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

Are there any RPGs/settings where a character's class is not chosen but “earned” through their actions?

My experience RPGing has thusfar been limited to Dungeons and Dragons v3.5. As I've grown more experienced playing the game, I've toyed with creating my own campaign settings and am now playing with ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I make a good narrative campaign in Dungeon World?

In my old group we played Pathfinder and I always created "hack 'n' slash" adventures: enter the dungeon, loot, kill, go home. We loved that. But with my new group we're gonna play Dungeon World and ...
15
votes
7answers
5k views

Starting the first game tips? [closed]

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 ...
15
votes
4answers
734 views

Group-wise Combinable Magic Items (each member owns 1)

I realize this isn't the best reference, but there was a show in the 90's "Captain Planet" where there was 5 kids, and each had a ring of power, and it was when they would combine all of them the ...
15
votes
5answers
634 views

Adding comic relief

As a GM, I would like to add comic relief to my sessions. Comic relief is the inclusion of a humorous character, scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension. ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How to design a game for sociopathic characters?

A few years ago, I played a D&D 3.5 game in Forgotten Realms with an evil party. The characters (played by my brother and me) were sociopaths, bent on exploiting anyone and everyone. The game ...
14
votes
10answers
388 views

How do you seamlessly blend inspiration into a campaign?

Often I have campaigns that are inspired by things that are outside of genre and easily recognizable. Lets take Vikings in Space for example. I could have a race of blond haired people with helmets ...
14
votes
4answers
554 views

How to succesfully make one quest naturally lead to the next?

My old GM used to make our quests highly modular and separated. While this had some advantages, it gave the feeling of running through a video game with discrete levels where we just popped from one ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I convert D&D 3.5 to 2nd Edition or older AD&D?

I have accumulated a lot of D&D 3.5 modules and adventure settings, but I play older editions of the game. What is the best way to convert these to an older edition, say AD&D 2nd edition? Is ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

How to go from a humorous campaign to a more serious one?

I am currently running a D&D 4E game. The game started off kind of goofy (we have a thrikreen rogue with glowing blonde hair, an ale-obsessed dwarf battlemind, a ditzy human wizard, and a dwarf ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Is the scope of my campaign too large?

I am in the process of preparing a D&D 4e campaign, which will be my first trip as a GM. It is not taking place in any pre-made D&D setting, but is heavily inspired from the background I read ...
13
votes
10answers
2k views

One-shot sessions as part of a larger campaign

My DnD group only plays perhaps once a month and occasionally one of them won't be able to make it. I (DM) home-brewed our last campaign and, whilst fun, the big story arcs and multiple NPCs did not ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I challenge my players with something other than combat?

So originally I was going to ask, How can I represent hardships for players in game?, however that seemed to broad. Even now, I'm not sure if my current question is too broad, if it is please let me ...
13
votes
5answers
954 views

Advice on setting up a campaign for a new GM? [closed]

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 ...
13
votes
5answers
336 views

How do I resolve the conflict between realism and uniqueness when designing campaigns?

Whenever I am developing a plot-line, location or an NPC, there are two primary factors I take into account: Realism - Locations should be believable (no redundant corridors, random unfitting ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

How to create and run a realistic cult?

I am starting a new campaign in D&D 3.5 using Forgotten Realms, and the main antagonist of the campaign will be the Cult of the Dragon. I have been reading the "Daily D&D" by Ed Greenwood ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

Reasonable stats for a god (DR 25)

I'm constructing a god based on a video game boss to assist a DM friend of mine, which means that ultimately it is intended that the players may (or perhaps WILL) confront his avatar. Given this, I ...
12
votes
8answers
21k views

What could you call medical doctors in a medieval/fantasy setting?

This is a follow up to Medieval Medicine in a Fantasy Setting?. What could you call a medical doctor in a medieval/fantasy setting? I'm thinking along the lines of how an "alchemist" is more ...
12
votes
8answers
9k views

Short ideas for the development of a Call of Cthulhu campaign or brief adventure

Community wiki post. Everyone can add an answer containing a short idea for a campaign, be it an event, a characteristic of the world, an artifact or object, or an NPC character. Fellow masters can ...
12
votes
4answers
331 views

What are some tips for writing a novel from a campaign?

I am sure there are many GMs or player groups out there with this same idea of writing a novel out of their campaign, even if jokingly. I have been GMing a campaign for some years now and I am ...
12
votes
2answers
329 views

What are the pitfalls of a world- and genre-hopping Savage Worlds campaign?

I’m a new GM and this will be the first campaign I’ve run. I’ve had a world in my mind for a while now and have spent the last year or so off-and-on fleshing it out. Long-story-short it is a ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How to effectively run a sandbox campaign in a weekly 2hrs timeframe

Premise I'm a relative new GM who only run a 2 years long heavily railroaded fantasy campaign that went south for various problems and that I decided to drop. Now I started to run a sci-fi sandbox ...
12
votes
2answers
270 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
745 views

How do I make a large organization of villains memorable or likeable?

I'm currently preparing a levels 1–30 D&D 4e campaign based on the .hack// games, where players become trapped inside an online game where a sentient program plans to become God. My main ...
12
votes
1answer
175 views

How to effectively combine Ars Magica's Agent rules with Reign's Company rules?

This question was originally posed hypothetically in this Answer and ensuing comments. I am attempting to do something very similar to this as seen in this Question. In that question I am looking ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Turning a Campaign Evil Leads To “Problems”

Prologue : So, the campaign I'm running right now has a noble-kinda purpose. To kill the Evil Witch and save the world etc, you get the point. As a plot twist I am thinking to turn the campaign to ...
11
votes
7answers
272 views

How can I revitalize an open sand box campaign?

Our group has an open sand box campaign going on for more than 2 or 3 years now. It's something we all love, have grown quite fond of and we all got attached to our characters. The setting is set in ...
11
votes
3answers
835 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
370 views

I'm building a science fantasy settlement in a harshly extreme environment; how do these guys survive without natural resources?

In this setting, people are living in isolation in what is effectively a dungeon. Dungeons are usually built with an ecology in mind. Standard answers to common questions such as "Where do clean air ...
11
votes
7answers
341 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
976 views

What other undead paths are there for immortality?

I am developing a campaign were the party is tracking down a group of ancient powerful mages. These mages would have undoubtedly sought undeath to extend their existence and I didn't just want them to ...
11
votes
5answers
730 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: ...
11
votes
2answers
538 views

Ideal small town adventuring hub in Forgotten Realms

I will soon be starting a new 5e campaign. I am in need of a small to mid-size town to use as the hub for the entire campaign. My current plans are to use the Forgotten Realms setting. I would love ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How to handle player run taverns?

Inspired partly by this question I have noticed that the natural progression of my campaign has led to a path that could potentially land my players with the oppurtunity to take ownership of a tavern. ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Any sites or periodicals dedicated to campaign ideas/concepts?

Like many GMs, I'm perfectly content to sit around and think up new ideas for campaigns or one-shots (with only about 10% of these ideas ever making it to the table). Also like most, I really enjoy ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Good Lich Resources

I'm trying to develop a plot were a cult leader is trying to become a lich. Do any of the currently published D&D 4e books provide any canon for this?
11
votes
4answers
229 views

How far do you go with custom rules before you have a new game?

We are working on a setting with low magic for Pathfinder, and we initially started out on creating lots of custom rules to go with that. However we found that the more rules we created, the more we ...
11
votes
2answers
604 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
274 views

Do I need to stat out & measure everything?

I am preparing a session that contains a fair amount of absurdity. Many of the creatures and situations that my players will encounter will probably not be encountered again. On the one hand, I know ...
10
votes
3answers
548 views

How do I make a story based campaign revolve around a megadungeon?

I'd really like to make a more story-heavy setting in my next fantasy campaign, but I also love megadungeons. What is a good way to use a megadungeon to tell a story instead of as a place for ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I emulate TV Shows with only 2-3 main characters?

I watch a lot of TV. Probably too much. Shows like Buffy the vampire slayer and Firefly have a whole slew of characters, which is perfect for a gaming party as you fill in the slots to the point you ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Game of Thrones (D20/Tri-Stat) vs Song of Ice and Fire RPG: which has the most substantial setting information?

Of these two game lines for the Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, Game of Thrones by Guardians of Order, or Song of Ice and Fire RPG by Green Ronin, which contains the largest amount of ...
10
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
316 views

What should be in a players' campaign overview document?

I'm running my first campaign, which will take place in Eberron. I want to put together a campaign handout for the players, to be kind of like an intro to the world, a run down of what to expect in ...
10
votes
2answers
490 views

Managing plots with multiple simultaneous GMs

I'm working with some fellow GMs to prepare a campaign in which we each host separate groups of players, but in the same shared world. This means that the actions of my players might actually ...
10
votes
2answers
521 views

Atmosphere of alienation and horror — halloween game

It is Halloween soon and I am planing to run a horror game featuring zombies. Lots of zombies. In fact, hordes of zombies. The setting is akin to Walking Dead than Shawn of the Dead and set in the ...
10
votes
2answers
295 views

What kinds of considerations can be made in a base building campaign?

My Edge of the Empire game has shifted focus away from traveling around taking odd jobs as the group has joined the Rebellion formerly. They have asked that I slow the pace of the game down so they ...
10
votes
1answer
352 views

How to build a flexible and scalable system for PCs' NPC organizations? [closed]

Background: I am preparing to run a campaign using Dark Heresy Second Edition. Although this is nominally an investigative game, several key non-combat mechanical systems are either anemic or missing ...