Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

59

I would do the following. Note this is also found on my blog here . Using one page sketch a world or continent mapLabel important regionsWrite one page of background giving no more than a handful of sentences to each region.Pick an area roughly 200 miles by 150 milesGrab a 8.5 by 11 sheet of hex paper. The scale should be so that it represents a 200 by 150 ...


58

Probably the easiest way to avoid forgetting a few key things is to use a physical prop. When you have an important bit of information or a "quest item," write it down on a notecard and physically hand it to the players. You're not "giving away" anything if they've already identified the thing as important by themselves. But now they have a handy reminder ...


56

You've got a blank sheet of paper, and you want to play ASAP. Excellent. This is what I've done successfully: Decide with your players what kind of setting it should be. You can skip this if you're playing in the assumed setting of your game. Otherwise, find out what elements your players want to explore. Should there be firearms? Political machinations? ...


45

I've run a variety of tones of campaigns over time and some could be considered "evil"; in fact currently I'm running a three-year long Pathfinder campaign where the PCs are pirates - not all of them are technically evilly aligned, but murder, torture, rape, slavery, etc. have all come up in the game. Here's how you make it work. Decide on Limits, Within ...


43

This might not be as much of a problem as you think. Why? Because munchkining, minmaxing, optimising, whatever you want to call it - is severely limited in 5e. The main techniques for it in previous editions of D&D involved things which are significantly less effective in 5e. Multiclassing has been crippled by the all-important ability score ...


39

Thus far, the party has tended to follow up more on smaller leads, like interesting caves, a village with a plague, etc., rather than major leads, Why do those leads end up being minor? Can you turn an interesting cave into a major lead? Maybe the cave leads into the massive underground dungeon that was rediscovered. Or maybe the cave has a family ...


39

I've played in and run evil campaigns of various sorts in both 3.5 and 4e (though not 5e, I think my learning will transfer), and run into a lot of problems: My Guy Syndrome comes up a lot, as does a tendency to default to a regular D&D storyline only with more stealing of spoons and kicking of puppies to remind ourselves we're evil. Sometimes an evil ...


38

Most campaigns don't reach their end That's just the way it is. Doubly so for your first ever campaign. You might lose interest. So might your players. You might realize you don't know what to do with them anymore. Life might intervene. Things happen. And that's ok. Fun would still have been had. Memories would still be formed. The world you create might ...


34

Well, for starters, I'd say don't use D&D. It is a game tailored towards violent conflicts, which is exactly what you're avoiding, it seems. Mind you, I said "violent conflicts". No story, thus no game, can exist without any conflict whatsoever. I'm not also saying it's completely undoable with D&D, just mainly... a waste of its design and practical ...


34

Lions and Tigers and Bears... Oh my! I think the number of dangerous creatures out in the wilderness is almost innumerable, so I will just list categories with a few examples. Reptiles Snakes (Venomous or large) Poisonous frogs Alligators Insects Mosquitoes (with or without diseases) Army ants Bees and Hornets Large Mammals Large Cats (Lions, ...


32

From the ever-essential Medieval Demographics Made Easy, I find that: A square mile of settled land (including requisite roads, villages and towns, as well as crops and pastureland) will support 180 people. This takes into account normal blights, rats, drought, and theft, all of which are common in most worlds. From Medieval Manors I learn that a ...


32

It depends. What are you trying to achieve? As the author of the campaign, you have a tremendous amount of freedom to create whatever world you wish to. You don't have to stick with the world created in the books any more than you want to. In many years of playing I have spent far more time playing in "generic fantasy world populated from the Monster ...


32

Option One: Start Closer To The End It's not actually cheating to start at a higher level, and that's a weird expectation that games don't bear out. The inclination to "make those bastards work for it" is not a helpful GM attribute. I really enjoyed playing Feng Shui for the first time when it came out because by specifically allowing the players to be ...


31

Dungeons & Dragons-style Alignment is not cut out for this The characters in Game of Thrones are almost as complex as real people. Real people cannot be put in one of nine little boxes and call it done. Alignment in general is extremely problematic for a lot of games, but this one especially so. It’s just far too simplistic to handle a ...


29

In Sandbox campaigns, what the players are doing is the centre of the campaign. If they do not investigate and stop the fire falling from the sky, then there is a consequence and you should play it out as if real history is unfolding before them. I find that the best way to do this, is to image what the major characters of the world are doing (in shells ...


29

Pacing The key to a good horror game/movie is the pacing; if the characters are constantly in peril and exposed to horrific things then it will become bland. From my Cthulhu games I've found keys to this are: Build up Slowly lead the players into somewhere dangerous, use mundane things to build tension like smashed glass, scrawled notes, lightning blasted ...


28

Write the story as if the characters were not there. Make sure that all your NPCs have motivations, goals and personalities. This is what would happen if the world was run like clock work. This is your story. Now, add the characters into the mix. Let the story be modified by what the characters do. The NPCs will react, and depending on their ...


28

Tell your player to suck it. Your world works how you want it to. Neither of the critiques you cited from your powergamer make a bit of sense at all. "That's a 1e monster it wouldn't be in a 3.5e world" makes me doubt his sanity - people have ported absolutely every monster forward, and what edition they have rules for is totally separate from whether ...


28

Tell them that the side campaign ends with an epic, glorious, TPK. Making your players co-conspirators in the shape of the finale means that they will help you drive it to that epic conclusion. There's no value, in the scenario you describe, to making a TPK a surprise or look unintentional. Save the energy that would be spent on smoke and mirrors designed ...


27

Wolves I have torn more than one group of adventurers to shreds with wolves. Wolves are smart team-hunters. They harry and feint. They wear groups and individuals down. They work together and coordinate their attacks. Make them spend a night or two being howled at all night. Make sure to use whatever rules your system has for fatigue. Don't neglect the ...


26

I see a lot of insightful comments in the answers here; but, I think that there is a key element that hasn't been explicitly. PCs get angry when something that they like is threatened. Players get annoyed when something that they like is taken away. The best way to engage your players is to threaten something dear to their characters, and give them a ...


26

As a roleplayer who dislikes playing for stats, I loved it when the GM introduced an eggtimer. Players only got a limited time for rules discussions, swapping spells & checking/discussing rules and had to just plough in there and get stuff done. Oddly, the more munchkin-esque members of the party seemed to consider this a part of the crunchy numbers ...


25

My recommendation is to work from the other direction; instead of taking the mortal population and extrapolating how many vampires "should" be there, start with the number of vampires you want to have and decide how it is they survive on a fief that's overtaxed. Use the 50K-100K as a figure of stability; once you get twice as many Kindred in there, you've ...


25

As a long-time V:tM and V:tR fan, I have always thought the 1:50k and 1:100k ratios were unimaginative, unrealistic (well, as unrealistic as a game involving vampires could be) and poorly thought out. In fact, I generally think any set ratio of vampires:humans is arbitrary and silly because ratios fail to take into account numerous real world factors. For ...


25

Use a very strong central theme and mood. Think of your campaign as if it was a TV series held together by these things, as well returning props, characters, places etc. Use a strong, universal antagonist, possibly an organization that has agents from all the various supernatural factions as well. Even better if your party are members / helpers of the same ...


24

Even though the players are the center of the campaign in a Sandbox, they are not the only cause of action in the world. They want to investigate the village with plague. Let them. Meanwhile the fire raining from the sky continues (and unlike videogames, does not go into a static point of no extra destruction until the players show up). Maybe the Fighter ...


23

Start with what you know you and your friends like. You should establish a basic setting and campaign focus, depending on the themes you know your players will enjoy. Decide if its going to focus on combat, investigation, exploration, etc, and if the setting fits or inverts that style of play. For example, a campaign that takes place in Rome during the ...


22

I would say that you want to have a sort of reverse-donut shape for the detail-level of your campaign: Lots of detail at the top levels, lots of detail about the areas surrounding the players, and not as much in between. Think about how the information will be used by the players. Obviously the lowest-level stuff (inside-out) is vitally important... That's ...


22

Two things come to my mind immediately: Artifacts in the original AD&D DMG like the Rod of Seven Parts, and an extension of artifacts that I used in a D&D 3.5 game. Hopefully you'll get some ideas that will work for your game. The AD&D artifact route is fairly straightforward: as you get more pieces of the artifact together, you get access to ...


22

Location. They will live near a water source, and probably near their fields... Neolithic hill forts are fairly common. It's a walled village atop an artificial hill, built on the floodplain. It may also have a cistern and/or a well down through the motte/tel. Walls are likely wood, possibly also dry-fit stone for part of the height. I can tell you from ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible