Writing, managing, and expanding campaigns.

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10
votes
2answers
384 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 ...
32
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.). ...
18
votes
8answers
587 views

How do I create a sense of mystery about magic?

Magic in so many games is something mechanical and fully understood. Assuming I control the setting (and have a group of players willing to try new rules), how do I make magic something mysterious? ...
22
votes
4answers
441 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
516 views

What would clever creatures do to protect their lair?

(This question is for fantasy worlds like in D&D and other such games.) Usually, as the adventuring party goes up in ability, they end up facing stronger and more powerful characters. Let's say ...
17
votes
8answers
423 views

What's a good method for making cultures differ?

Just read through a great question (on getting players to play in line with their characters' cultures) and it got me thinking: What do you do to make the cultures in your setting differ? Let's say ...
12
votes
4answers
272 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 ...
33
votes
7answers
2k views

Pre-modern farming: What percent of the population is in agriculture?

I'm running a premodern setting where the characters will be involved in local administration. Assuming no magic, how many farmers does it take to support one non-farmer? Any statistics/estimates ...
28
votes
7answers
5k views

How do I run a successful and engaging campaign without combat?

I'm thinking of starting my own campaign with a few of my friends with me as DM, primarily because I wasn't extremely impressed with the campaign my friend was DMing. When I started thinking about the ...
7
votes
3answers
409 views

How to play a Templar Knight

I am looking to create a character that is a member of a monastic order of Templar Knights. The game setting is a historical one set around the 1200s. Thus, I am looking at source material for ...
11
votes
2answers
216 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
344 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
644 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
247 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
629 views

How to write in-character introduction to new players for a new game background

So, I have this uber cool game world and I want to run a super cool game in it. It should not really matter what genre for this, but let us assume it is fantasy. Instead of either a long conversation ...
6
votes
6answers
220 views

Any good resources for would-be authors of a line of gaming products? [closed]

Were you to move into authoring RPG material, where would you go to for advice? I am thinking of publishing a whole line of gaming products. However, I am not adverse to hearing more focused ideas. ...
19
votes
7answers
600 views

Speed up campaign development

I'm making a campaign, and it's going fairly nicely. However, I found out that my group is able to meet this week, which I didn't expect. So instead of having 9 days to find time to prepare, I have 2 ...
16
votes
3answers
396 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). ...
26
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
585 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 ...
35
votes
8answers
2k views

What ways are there to anger the PC's without angering the players?

Since I got so many good ideas on my last question, here's part 2: What ways are there to really anger my PC's -- give them that sense of unbridled rage and fury -- without pissing the players off ...
17
votes
9answers
565 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
396 views

Any mechanics out there for developing and maintaining a spy/information network?

I have a player who would like his character to begin developing a network of people in the towns they visit. For lack of a better phrase, and because it seems that would be the most likely mechanic ...
7
votes
3answers
917 views

Are there any tools for creating a campaign from scratch?

I am toying with the idea of writing up a custom campaign from top to bottom. Are there any tools out there for this sort of thing? I'm thinking of an editor that allows you to insert the stuff ...
13
votes
5answers
285 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
31
votes
11answers
498 views

How to get better feedback from players?

OK, we started a new campaign yesterday and I really want to take quality feedback from my players. When I ask, "How was it? Do you like it?", I generally get some vague answers like "It was good, I ...
6
votes
3answers
350 views

What system or sourcebooks should I use to run a pre Roman, Celtic Britain campaign? [closed]

Someone I know, wants to run a campaign in Celtic Britain. He normally uses Pathfinder but is looking for something more appropriate to the background.
42
votes
13answers
950 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What information is available for the town Fallcrest?

My next campaign will have some town adventures. I'm looking at the Fallcrest town detailed in the Dungeon Master's Guide. Before I get too far into it, I'd like to know if the town has been ...
14
votes
10answers
358 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
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 ...
11
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
591 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
694 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
683 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 ...
8
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?
11
votes
7answers
305 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 ...
9
votes
10answers
845 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
574 views

What makes a good pitch for a new game?

What should make up a pitch about a new game to a prospective group of players? What does a good RPG pitch entail? What should go into the case for why a game should be played (and why that GM is the ...
23
votes
6answers
875 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) ...
22
votes
10answers
3k views

What alternative models exist for Vampire populations in WoD?

The official WoD sources say that a vampire requires between 50,000 and 100,000 people to support them, giving an upper limit of about 50,000 vampires in the entire world. I've always found this ...
11
votes
3answers
340 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
12
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 ...
19
votes
3answers
977 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 ...
15
votes
12answers
313 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
697 views

Sword of Truth 4e Setting

Has anyone seen or heard of anyone working up a Sword of Truth series 4e setting?
7
votes
4answers
646 views

Does anyone have good examples of an Adventuring Guild charter?

I'm planning on using established guilds as npc rivals. The player characters start out as nobodies, in some cases as slaves, and will eventually have the opportunity of starting up their own ...