Writing, managing, and expanding campaigns.

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31
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 ...
48
votes
6answers
4k views

Preventing saturation in a horror campaign

I am currently designing my first horror campaign and what I've come up with so far is pretty dark and gruesome. I worry that if it is gut wrenching the whole way through, eventually the players will ...
15
votes
5answers
3k 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?
11
votes
3answers
770 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
45
votes
13answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I GM and play a PC without spoiling the fun?

We're returning to D&D 4E after a long absence from it, coming back from Savage Worlds since we've really missed HP-based battles and videogame-like logic. However, as we talked about our new ...
24
votes
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) ...
38
votes
8answers
11k 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. ...
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 ...
20
votes
9answers
651 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
5answers
853 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
35k views

Any good premade campaigns for beginners?

Does anyone know of some good premade campaigns for a small (not more than 5) players, all of whom are new to D&D? I want to start them at low level since they haven't played before. I'm finding ...
15
votes
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
522 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
136 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
33
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.). ...
34
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
701 views

Rules system for playing out the details of founding and developing a city?

I want to run a campaign in which the players control individual but influential characters (maybe heads of families), with the main focus of play on the PCs building up a city over time, starting ...
22
votes
7answers
720 views

How can I convey the nonsensicality of a dream world?

Soon I will be GMing a campaign that allows the players to move freely back and forth between the "real" world and the "dream" world. I do not want this to be a secret or try to confuse the players; ...
18
votes
8answers
658 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? ...
15
votes
15answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
453 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there other cooperative world building games like Dawn of Worlds? [closed]

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?
7
votes
3answers
414 views

What campaign wiki - or other collaborative tool - has these features?

I saw the question "Is there a campaign wiki with mobile support" and realized that perhaps I could find what i was looking for with a more targeted question. I am organizing a plot team (for a LARP) ...
44
votes
11answers
7k views

How to ease down the munchkin factor?

I've been playing RPGs since the early eighties and have come to terms with the fact that not everyone enjoys this hobby for the same reasons as myself. I'm into it for the sake of the adventure, the ...
22
votes
4answers
501 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
1k views

“Retiring” a maxed-out party

This question has a specific and a general sense. Eventually, if your game runs long enough, a party will be pretty much maxed out - reaching level caps, wielding top-level powers and abilities, ...
11
votes
7answers
325 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
370 views

Looking for local colour for a Cyberpunk set in Brazil

I have a plot line and with the addition of player characters' background I think I have a solid game planned. However, so far the plot could happen in any odd city in the world. I was thinking of ...
23
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 ...
16
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
634 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
552 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
542 views

How to develop arcs for player characters

If you've got a vague idea for an overall plot arc, how do you go about developing individual plot arcs for player characters (if that's something you do)? I'm running two Savage Worlds campaigns, ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I have a mixed game of nWoD without having a thematic mess?

I'm planning on starting a full-on mixed nWoD game, but I don't know how to avoid having it feel like a fantasy kitchen sink, since that can easily destroy the feel of a game. What are scenarios or ...
10
votes
3answers
768 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
859 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
517 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
289 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
419 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
333 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
277 views

PC vs PC team campaigns [closed]

I've been mulling over ideas for team vs. team D&D campaigns (or any system really), where two or more teams of PCs compete for a particular prize and PvP combat is allowed. All players would ...
2
votes
1answer
310 views

Adding Magi-Tech to 5E

I am going to be running a 5th Edition campaign set in a future of a previous campaign. I want to add "magi-tech", but very sparingly. My question is: Are there any official sources for this type of ...