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25

The easiest way to do this is to give the PCs a base. Whether it be a fortress or house they own or a village or town they are invested in. From this you can start building up a map around them. The quests could then range from setting up trade from a nearby city so the farmers can grow food more efficiently, to defending the village, to stopping a ...


14

Let the player know your plans as soon as possible You need this player on side, and want to avoid wasting their time with plans for a new character, or worrying about when they next get to play. At least as much as "no need to roll up another character, your character's story will continue". Ask them to keep it secret from other players if it would be a ...


11

There's quite a bit of Yakuza-related material in older sourcebooks. Sourcebooks Seattle Sourcebook (FASA 7201) is an SR1 book, and doesn't have much beyond basic description. It's probably not worth tracking down. Underworld Sourcebook (FASA 7123) is an SR2 book, but considering that criminal cartels are the core of the book, it's got some good data and ...


11

DO stuff... sounds strange right? But, actually it's the fastest way to immersion. When he says "you enter the inn," you make a whole bunch of assumptions about the inn right away: "I saunter up to the bar, slap down a gold piece and leer at the most attractive barmaid." You just fleshed out his inn. Maybe the next player says, "Not me, I pull a chair up ...


9

Wing It This may not be the most technical answer, but I have exactly the same problem as you do. My group can be so erratic when it comes to doing what I think they're going to do as well as the time it takes. I elected to do what you've already mentioned, and write in between sessions, basing what you think off of their last decisions. It helps to keep ...


8

In general, I've found the solution to this problem is to prepare too much, rather than too little. It's easier to say "We'll pick this up next week" rather than "Well, that's all I've got for tonight; who want to play Xbox?" Since you indicate that your strengths lie more in planning than in improvisation (mine too), some specific techniques to help the ...


8

One thing you can do to help your players feel like they are involved in a bigger plot is to intertwine the overarching story with the session-adventures. In each adventure, leave clues to something bigger going on. Eventually, even if you meet infrequently, your players will start to realize there is something more. Don't make these clues subtle, either; ...


6

One way is to try to structure it as an episodic drama. Basically "a TV series, with one-episode plots and maybe 1-5 season story arcs". That is, you limit the size of each session to be an episode, complete within itself, with a start and a resolution achievable within the time needed. Once you've found a suitable pacing, you can then start weaving ...


5

I've been in a few groups where the GM role was regularly passed on, but the main characters and setting remained. My advice would be: Focus on fixing the problem your group is experiencing. If GMs are running 5-10 sessions before running out of steam, then focus on that and don't "oversteer" to swapping GMs each session. One session stories can be nice, ...


4

A game about stealing-- and nothing else-- is a puzzle-driven game. And there is nothing intrinsically wrong with a puzzle game, if this is what you and your player (solo, in this case) both want. It would be roughly analogous to a story-lite or story-free sequence of dungeon crawls, where the focus is more on the tactics of hacking and slashing and ...


4

Megadungeon All sessions start in the village. At any time when not in peril and the party knows the way back the party can declare that they return to the village - this ends the session. If the session time expires before they return, roll on the "What really bad thing happens to my PC while returning to the village" table. Shamelessly nicked from http:...


4

My suggestion would be to keep your through line simple. Consider the Marvel movies. Each has its own plot, villain, focus, and supporting cast. But the primary through line is the infinity stones---the handful of MacGuffins---leading up to the inevitable confrontation with the big bad. These movies are years apart, but we can follow along without having ...


3

I do a similar thing for FFG's Star Wars, I started off running a campaign but it became difficult to keep it going due to scheduling conflicts, etc so I changed to running a series of loosely-interconnected games called Adventures on the Outer Rim. I have found the easiest way to keep the different games connected is to use elements that are shared between ...


3

Try to have some notes on rough ideas, have random encounters ready, One group a friend of mine ran. The party reached the huge Dungeon doors leading to the main quest, They were Metal possibly Made of Mithril. They took them off their hinges and sold them in the nearest town. Then set up a river trading setup running their purchased barges up and down ...


2

Similar to the 'Wing it' answer, but not quite the same. Introducing, prepared winging it. Don't prepare "what is going to happen", because this can change when the players do something you don't expect. Spend this time instead preparing "Who is nearby, what motivates them?". This is constant and the players can't mess it up. So to take an example. Where ...


2

You can change the type of prep you do, and think more in terms of preparing the region around the party, and the world, and being ready to handle most things the players might do, rather than preparing adventures and sessions per se. If you can prepare regions of your world so that they are fun and interesting to explore by themselves, then you don't need ...


2

In all honesty it sounds like your GM is a bit in over his head. There are 2 things that you should do there. As stated already by Z.MOE you can help him by formulating out your actions with details imposed there and try to get him to react. Although as it sounds it could very probably be that your GM is not experienced enough for that approach. In this ...


1

The "Do Stuff" approach is probably your best option. But build on it in the direction that you want... First, decide to play your character like it is all in your head and then let him decide if it is or not. Don't even tell your DM that you have decided this, just go with it. That way if he is never going to stick to his campaign, it doesn't matter. It ...


1

The Essential Requirement for Adventure is Conflict In most campaigns the conflict is obvious: "Here there be monsters". For your campaign you need to invent something a little different. Just stealing stuff does provide some conflict automatically. The PC has to get around guards, pick locks, fence the goods - but these are fairly static challenges that ...


1

For me the big challenge was management of real time. Especially since people who can only play infrequently are often people who can only spend a fixed amount of time for a session. Since each adventure absolutely must end by the end of the session, you need to have some in-game resolution for things like running out of time in the middle of a large ...


1

I know this question is old, but I feel somewhat compelled to answer it, because I feel that I struggled in this way as well when I first started playing RPGs. I had no idea what kind of character I wanted to play, so I usually loosely based them on myself, which was boring. However, I was lucky enough to play with enough people with genuinely interesting ...


1

I feel that you should only ask people to roleplay something if there's a meaningful choice for them to make. If you've already decided that "new character joins the party" is the outcome you want, then don't ask them to roleplay making that decision: it will feel artificial and wooden to them. Just tell them what happened. Here's what I do when a new ...



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