I'm going to DM my second campaign as an experienced DM. I already have the main lore all planned and also the initial events that will (or maybe won't) happen.

I know it will be pure fire at the beginning but I fear that at some point in the middle it will get a little boring like my previous (actually current) campaign. In the current campaign, the pc's lost interest in the main subject of the mission and start craving more for side-quests, fillers and any piece of side-lore and combats other than the main point of the campaign.

In the next campaign, the PCs will start in a cloud of mystery, and the lore will unfold in pieces in front of them. At some point it will be all clarified and they will have to set a mission for themselves, and they'll probably do, so there will be a long way chasing their goal (and this is the part where it gets boring).

I want to know how to keep the main mission alive during a long period of distractions in the adventure? (traveling, side quests...). And i don't think i want to make the villain or his lieutenants visit the group multiple times or something like this. I want to know how to keep the pc's engaged during this mid-game long run. (i hope that it's specific enough now)

How do I keep the players' interest in the plot during an extended campaign that allows for exploration, Player Character freedom, and side quests?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi there, and welcome to the site. Please take the tour and visit the help center page. Please add a system tag to your question so we know what system you are DMing, and please add a bit more detail to your question so it's something we can answer. We're not a discussion forum so we don't do open-ended suggestion questions. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2017 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this require more clarification? Or can this be reopened due to the edits? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2017 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


To start, First go though the Same Page Tool, answer the questions based on your new campaign and then present it to the players. See if they're interested, and if not, work with the players to make the "Game" that you'll be playing something that they all agree on. [Please note that you're not supposed to mix and match answers]

Secondly, take feedback from your players about what excites and motivates them and their characters to add bits and pieces to the main 'mission' that will interest them.

Add a sense of urgency that prevents them from being unfocused, and if they do go off track, don't punish them, but show them that there are things that will happen if they neglect their 'mission'

Lastly, I would try to avoid fleshing out your campaign to the end. Maybe what you wanted to be the end isn't as cool or exciting as what the players will come up with during play. Let them branch out. Table Top RPG's aren't novels that players are playing a character in, but instead they are collaborative stories that utilized the DM/GM as an arbiter. Give them the agency to make their own stories, but be clear about boundaries.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. Well, about the campaing itself, i think the story is something they will engage on, but i always give them a prologue one week before we start, so i already know if they get interested or not before it starts. 2. This tip is great, i will probably apply, i think my first campaing would'nt fall into boredoon if i've done that 3. I used this sense of urgeny in my other campaing and it was not a good idea, because that way the pc's can't explore the cenary 4. the only things i planned are the initial events, i don't know how the campaign will unfold, and even less how it'll end. XD \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2017 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds like you're on the right track then. Once you've had 3 or 4 sessions, get a sense of how the characters are interacting and what's motivating them. Then with that information, do what you did at the beginning of the campaign and plan out some other events. Let them do their exploration, but if you know where they are going, add some exciting events just as you did at the start of the campaign. Let things unfold and keep things fresh. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2017 at 15:06

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