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The way I do this is with revelations. Basically, plot twists that act as way points, changing the players' understanding of the situation incrementally, acting as a chain of connected accomplishments that also inform next steps. In programming parlance, it's a linked list. Each location has both a value, and the address of the next member of the linked ...


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Lead With the Cool Stuff You don't have a system tag and you're posing a question that spans genres, so I assume you have freedom to choose a system. So choose a system that empowers your choices and start with awesome. Systems like Fate Core and GUMSHOE assume competent PCs from the get-go. Some systems let you scale your PCs to the plans you have, like ...


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Your problem is that you have a certain end in sight, but don't have control over all the agencies that need to come together to reach that end. The exact same situation exists in much smaller scales, for example if you have an encounter where the players need to get past two guards. You plan out a whole back story, where they go and talk to the guard's ...


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I get conflicted intentions here. You want to start "low-level" (which can mean many things) and you want to see the heroes reach this epic ending. So you want both the epic journey and the super cool finale but you're impatient. Forget the "low-level = beginning" paradigm of video games (and usual games) In Star Wars, no major character on screen is level ...


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I get the sense that you have a very specific story you want to tell. I do hate giving this advice, but if you have a beginning, middle, and end in mind, perhaps you should write a novel instead of running a game. It will be more artistically satisfying for you, in those cases. However, if you really want to run a game that meets a particular end, some ...


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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 ...


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A major principle of Agile is iterative development. In this case, your stakeholders are the players; they're whom you're building for. You have built-in timeboxing based on your game schedule; you know you need to deliver the next chunk of the world by the next game. Create enough of the world to run a single session. Everything else should be vaguely ...


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When writing, it might help to go breadth-first rather than depth-first. That way, you get an overview of what it is you're going to create. Say your first pass results in a few sentences about the premise for the campaign, some bullet points for each relevant location and three lines for each of the five most important NPCs. While jotting this down, your ...


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This is a tricky one, because as you've expressed in previous questions, it's often hard for you to get buy-in when it comes to even the less esoteric elements of World of Darkness gaming from your group: "How can I encourage the use of Willpower?" "How can I get my players to 'do their homework'?" (defined as learning their characters' specific rules or ...


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Agile only works if you have a goal (at least, a way to clearly assess your project). Even if it's off the rails, try writing down some central ideas of your world. Come back to your initial inspiration now and then and see if the current output matches your vision. Use conceptual graphs and maps to help check consistency. Start writing and don't worry -- ...


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Yes, Spycraft Did with the Shadowforce Archer Campaign Setting Published in 2002, the Shadowforce Archer setting for the original Spycraft role-playing game--originally published by AEG now published by Crafty Games--had an online (now offline) Threat Center into which the Game Control--the game's name for the game master--would enter the results of a ...


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For my campaigns I prefer complex storylines with lots of twists and mystery. The strategy I outline below can be adapted to a large-scale world building style game or a small self-contained 1-2 month campaign. It's adaptable since you build up complexity as you go. Lastly, this approach allows you to build your world and your story simultaneously which, in ...



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