Writing, managing, and expanding campaigns.

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What are some good resources for designing maps (regional, provincial, dungeon, etc)? [on hold]

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 ...
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10answers
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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 ...
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2answers
171 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 ...
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2answers
312 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 ...
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2answers
698 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 ...
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1answer
103 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 ...
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1answer
84 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?
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5answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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11answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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250 views

Way to manage world factions and events [closed]

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 on that ...
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1answer
171 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 ...
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9answers
14k 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. ...
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0answers
88 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
84 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, ...
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1answer
131 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 ...
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1answer
224 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 ...
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6answers
456 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
504 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 ...
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3answers
554 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 ...
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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 ...
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17answers
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How can I have a campaign where not everyone shows up to each session? [closed]

I'm starting a D&D (5e) club at my school. As most high schoolers don't show up to every club meeting, how can I account for this in creating parties? The club will likely have 20+ members, so ...
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7answers
1k 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) ...
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4answers
334 views

Would GURPS be a good choice for a non-magic, 19th century tech level, roleplay focused campaign?

As the title says, would the GURPS system be a good choice for a non-magic campaign that has a tech level roughly equivalent to earth Europe's 19th century and a focus on roleplaying rather than ...
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5answers
731 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: ...
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1answer
161 views

“Empty” areas for me to add in an adventuring hub near the Sword Coast?

My setting is going to be near the 5e Sword Coast. My story is that the Sundering has brought back a creator race from Abeir, and I want them to have a presence south of what used to be Maztica on ...
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2answers
605 views

Campaigns are unsatisfying when made-up or slow when pre-written. How do we fix that? [closed]

We have tried to get started playing D&D three times and each have not worked out how we hoped. Our first DM made up his own story and we played about 5 sessions. It was very fun, but the ...
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2answers
323 views

Running a D&D game in the afterlife

No, I'm not referring to suggestions about playing D&D after I die. I'm referring to playing a D&D campaign with a plot centered on the afterlife. Particularly, the concept of a petitioner in ...
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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 ...
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2answers
267 views

What is a spell, curse, or illness that's long-lasting enough to drive a campaign?

Alright, so I want to make a villainous witch to be the villain that starts off the plot for a campaign. I want her to hex a beloved noble with either some format of permanent sleep, or impending ...
32
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7answers
3k views

What to do when a great idea comes too soon?

As a GM, often a fantastic ending to a campaign comes to me before I start it. In the Star Wars universe, I picture the heroes stealing a Star Destroyer from the Empire or, in D&D, I picture the ...
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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 ...
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9answers
6k views

How to run a campaign for intelligent players with idiot PCs?

I've just started a pathfinder campaign, and all of the players have taken intelligence as their dump stat. This is causing problems, because usually I depend on knowledge checks to determine what ...
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2answers
681 views

How viable is a party of only arcane casters?

I had a campaign story idea where the PCs were students at a prestigious magic university undergoing training to become guild-registered adventurers, with the caveat then that players could only ...
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9answers
8k 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 ...
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1answer
160 views

What is the general pace of advancement in Monster of the Week?

I've picked up Monster of the Week (Revised edition), an Apocalypse World spin-off, and I'm excited about running it, but I'm concerned about how fast characters advance. It only takes 5 experience ...
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8answers
2k views

Overcoming setting complexity paralysis as a GM

The problem What are the best practices to overcome that certain “complexity paralysis” that may strike a GM when trying to learn and immerse himself in a setting that has a lot of intricate ...
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0answers
202 views

Games with dynamic combat system [closed]

I'm building a campaign around CAPCOM Monster Hunter videogame, I only know 3 games, D&D (3.5e, 4e,5e), Roleage ( a spanish d100 game that has a duengeon siege progresion feeling), and Anima: ...
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0answers
186 views

How can I make a Pathfinder campaign like the Monster Hunter video game series? [closed]

I was thinking about how one would go about making a Monster Hunter (the video game) style campaign for Pathfinder, but I have a small number of problems. Figuring out CR for "Monsters" to fight ...
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3answers
693 views

How to manage play in a zombie RPG pre outbreak

I am planning on starting my newest campaign about the end of the world: a Zombie Apocalypse, with the game starting before the outbreak has occurred. Every zombie RPG I have encountered so far has ...
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3answers
353 views

Is there a “campaign background” story system or method?

microscope is a historical fractal story system that I've used successfully to generate background worlds for several campaigns, what it does it does very well. What I'm looking for is something ...
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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 ...
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2answers
219 views

How can I keep the Cthulhu mythos new and mysterious to experienced players?

I am currently preparing a Call of Cthulhu adventure, and am hoping to be able to play the game on a regular basis in the future. But I am having concerns about keeping the mystery in the game from ...
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2answers
247 views

Cthulhu Campaign - How to create a more satisfying climax?

I'm in the midst of creating a campaign for my CoC group. By now, most of the material we played basically came down to these endings: a) Run away and hope whatever it was doesn't follow you ...
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1answer
353 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 ...
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5answers
2k 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 ...