Writing, managing, and expanding campaigns.

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17
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4answers
340 views

Are there any established “best practices” for teams of GMs creating campaign content?

I maintain a group of roughly 10 players including 3-5 flaky DMs. While looking for solutions to the usual large group problems (maintaining attention, DM overload, slow combat, designing appropriate ...
16
votes
4answers
665 views

How late in history can I set a campaign based in the US without cars and telephones being widespread? [closed]

I'm deciding on my next campaign offering, and I'm dealing with this dilemma: although I prefer, and am best at, running games set in the near-present, one of my players has a mild antipathy toward ...
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
477 views

What would the life of a child be like in a medieval setting?

The basis for an adventure I'm writing is a child. He is extremely intelligent and had a knack for magic at a very young age, but he has a mental disorder (something similar to Asperger's syndrome). ...
16
votes
12answers
355 views

What sort of events provides an impetus for adventuring to become commonplace?

As an example, in the Earthdawn setting, civilization was segregated because of demonic creatures known as the horrors that scourged and ruled over the surface world. The tides of magic that enabled ...
16
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5answers
4k 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?
16
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5answers
3k views

Middle age transportation by river questions [closed]

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 ...
16
votes
3answers
366 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
585 views

Is an ongoing Human Occupied Landfill (HōL) campaign possible?

Back when White Wolf ruled the land of RPGs, they released a really bizarre game called HōL on their Black Dog label. A lot of the game was obviously written as a joke, but I've felt myself drawn ...
15
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8answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
15answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
12answers
326 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
22k 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
4k 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
767 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
656 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? [closed]

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
393 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
570 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
4k 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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
8answers
25k 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 ...
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
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
1k 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
3answers
5k 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
365 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
5answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
333 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
932 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
10k 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
346 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
366 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
6answers
279 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 ...
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
286 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
886 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
2answers
661 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
204 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”

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 of turning the campaign to being more ...
11
votes
7answers
284 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
385 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
348 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
5answers
1k 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
814 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
789 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
354 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 ...