Writing, managing, and expanding campaigns.

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7
votes
3answers
869 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 ...
34
votes
10answers
3k 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 clues....
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
412 views

How can I break world building down into something manageable? [closed]

I find building an "off the rails" world to be a daunting task. I'm trying to find a process to make it more manageable for my NWOD games, kind of like "Agile" process does for developing software. I ...
3
votes
0answers
83 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
535 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 ...
47
votes
9answers
17k 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. However,...
36
votes
12answers
14k views

With the lifespan of elves, would you ever encounter a low-level elf?

Elves and other races have hundreds of years to get good at what they do — is the expectation that NPCs of these races would mostly be of high level? How do I build a campaign setting that makes ...
15
votes
3answers
353 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
266 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
112 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
567 views

Is there an undead-heavy adventure that takes PCs from level 1 to level 20? [closed]

Is there either a single adventure or a collection of linked adventures that meets the following criteria: The primary foes are undead creatures. The adventuring sites include maps. The adventure ...
8
votes
2answers
335 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there any resource for side quests with which to fill out one's campaign? [closed]

Earlier I was helping to make a list of side quest ideas. Nothing like "defeat Arthur and obtain Excalibur." More like "rescue damsel in distress." Really simple stuff which is more like side quest ...
3
votes
0answers
142 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
254 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
196 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
231 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
327 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
290 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
94 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
227 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
245 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
329 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
725 views

Where can I observe a world's creation as it happens?

The Adventurer Conquerer King System has specific and detailed instructions on how to map and detail a setting for use in play, and I'm trying to get the hang of them. Unfortunately, not having a real ...
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
109 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 ...
38
votes
7answers
4k views

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

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I plan a TPK finale that doesn't look planned?

A campaign I was GMing in the past abruptly stopped because of stuff IRL, with characters trapped in a tower in the center of a city that is being destroyed by a huge demon. When the group gets back ...
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 ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there an effect on player's reaction to treasure when raising the value of gold relative to other coins?

In fantasy games related to D&D the currency usually follows the 10 cp = 1sp, 10sp = 1gp pattern. This is convenient and fairly logical, but in my play throughs gold just didn't have much weight ...
1
vote
1answer
210 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
92 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
202 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
90 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
150 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
274 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
482 views

How do I create and use NPCs that actually matter?

My players love to interact with my NPCs in my Savage Worlds game, make friends, allies, enemies, make characters fall in love, etc. But I always end up with either bland NPCs that don't matter much ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Role playing/plot focused one shot sessions

I am faced with a challenge with creating a one shot session for a couple of friends. From experience I can see that it is difficult to indulge players into setting, plot, world, characters in a ...
9
votes
3answers
527 views

What can I have the players do in my surreal horror scenario?

I'm gonna have the vast majority of my campaign take place in a large strange misty forest and I'm not gonna have any friendly human NPCs around too explain things. Here is the premise: After a ...
16
votes
3answers
582 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
votes
4answers
764 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 ...