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Part of running a campaign without combat is having characters that are not all about combat but still interesting. The player characters are central to the story, so unsurprisingly their core competencies shape how they solve problems and what problems are important to them. How about a guild of thieves trying to make their way? A cabal of secretive wizards ...


There are several types of mission archetypes that are common to P'n'P games in my experience (and this is not an exhaustive list but it's pretty close to it): Extermination A simple kill-job that has the player characters violently eliminate a particular group of enemies or as many enemies as they can until the mission parameters are satisfied with the ...


Go Play! I haven't played a table top RPG before Do that. You have friends who according to what you wrote, want you to play. Ask them if you can be a player first, or at least watch them play. Being a player isn't the same as being a GM, but since the GM sets the game up for the players, if you get some experience playing you will understand a lot ...


You're right that GMing is not just about writing—in fact, "frustrated writer syndrome" is often a problem that bad GMs have, since roleplaying is a shared creation and sticking to a specific plot is often un-fun for the rest of the players, and doesn't really suit the medium. When writing you control the protagonists, but in roleplaying the GM by ...


Mark Rosenfelder's Planet Construction Kit book doesn't act as a generator by itself, but it gives you step-by-step instructions for figuring out the history of your society.


Dawn of Worlds is a collaborative narrative game in which two or more people portray the "gods" of a fantasy world and create the world's history in three "ages". It's free and fun. In your case, I would simply start in the Third Age. It's possible to play it solo, although it's more fun if you get someone else involved.


The simulationist computer game Dwarf Fortress (http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/) has a 'legends' mode that is, in essence, a world history generator and will also provide an (evolving) map. It is noted for its depth in culture/world details, so it might be a good fit; and our gaming group has used it for world map/location/NPC generation.


Microscope is an rpg that, over the course of play, generates a history. You can use it to create a shared world as a group, and then bootstrap into using it as a setting for a different rpg.


While not specifically ACKS, I have worked examples for each step of my How to build a fantasy sandbox series. The authors of ACKS and I correspond and have exchanged ideas so there are some common issue we both address. In the post there is a link to a PDF Download.


So you're playing Kingmaker, the campaign whose name is built on the premise of building a kingdom. They even created a kingdom-building system and a large scale combat system explicitly for this campaign. At the least, characters can be challenged with the Kingdom component. How are they dealing with the Fae, with the bordering Kingdoms. What people do ...


If you're doing a standard dungeon-delving campaign, there's one tried and true obstacle that is sure to add a little interesting complication to the campaign: Traps Regardless of whether you're running a campaign with rogues who can disarm them, or mages who can dispel them, constructing complicated traps can ensure that your party doesn't just go ...


There is an option that I used once, but requires some work, is similar to something I've seen on Song of Ice and Fire RPG from Green Ronin, make non-combat situation like a combat. Let's explain this: A discussion or a political debate is the use of "force" so it is, in some way, similar to combat. So you have to identify these "social combat" elements, ...


You're right, combat only challenges get pretty boring. So in a long term campaign, it's good to have a bunch of other kinds of things that PCs can spend their time on. These tend to break down into three different kinds of things. Action scenes other than combat Non-action skill-driven challenges Strategy and Diplomacy Action Scenes Other Than Combat ...


Pathfinder provides an overwhelming focus on combat, and what non-combat options exist aren’t very complex or interesting. When I look at a character sheet or a manual, the vast majority of it is about combat options. Even skills are frequently geared toward combat applications, like feinting or demanding surrender. If I've spent most of my time in ...

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