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Questions tagged [campaign-development]

For questions about writing, managing, and expanding campaigns.

31
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I discuss the type of campaign with my players?

The campaign I’m preparing is designed to give the illusion of choice via side quests and an open world (not really open), but with a main story line that will be pushed into them sooner or later. The ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I deliver in-universe written lore to players without it being dry exposition?

I DM for a D&D (5e) group in a custom campaign setting which I worldbuild as we go. One of my players is very much interested in the history and lore of the world and often tries to find out bits ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

How do I make my players solve riots and rebellions in BESM diplomatically, rather than joining said riots to beat people up?

I would like to incorporate stuff like riots and rebellions and such during my campaign where the PCs will have to play diplomat or risk tension growing, and not have them simple join one side or the ...
29
votes
18answers
7k views

How can my villain intimidate my players' characters into submission?

I'm planning a new campaign where the villain will force the party to do his bidding, starting from level 3. The opening will be an encounter with the villain, where he will "ask" them to do not-so-...
3
votes
3answers
146 views

How do I make my campaign feel less linear? How do I make PC decisions Rewarding? [closed]

This is my first campaign as a GM and I feel that I need to give my players more options, or the ability to make more decisions, and sometimes when they make big decisions, I feel like I am not ...
23
votes
9answers
4k views

How can I avoid railroading in a sci-fi campaign?

I run a fantasy campaign and a sci-fi campaign. I always find it much easier to create interesting content in the fantasy world than the sci-fi world. In fantasy, for instance, a dungeon can be many ...
7
votes
1answer
410 views

How do you transition from a one-shot to a campaign?

In previous games that I have both DMed and played, both homebrewed and published adventures, the games seemed to go nowhere. We went into the dungeon, slayed the things, looted the things, and left. ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

How to balance a campaign without a magical restoration

I'm currently GMing a Starfinder game for a group consisting of an Envoy, a Mechanic, two Soldiers, and an Operative. With the Operative acting as a jack-of-all-skills, I'm less worried about mystical ...
-1
votes
1answer
98 views

In a homebrew campaign, how should I set CR for lesser and Boss monsters? [closed]

I am currently trying to make a campaign, and I am steadily homebrewing new monsters, all the way up to the boss at the end. I am aware of how CR works, but unsure how my monsters would shape up ...
4
votes
0answers
146 views

When making a campaign, how liberal can you get with “homebrewing” in 5e? [closed]

Unsure how far to go. If you want to make your campaign really interesting, how far can you go in making new monsters, artifacts, and such? Essentially, should you be able to create entire new ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Does a Huge Object that has already been Animated continue to be Animated if it is Enlarged to Gargantuan?

I'm hashing out a collective of NPC Rock Gnomes who live in a small stone castle shaped like a Huge person, about 15 x 15 x 22 feet, which is the maximum size for a creature of Huge size. This ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

I may be crazy for wanting a completely PvP campaign [closed]

So, recently I hatched the genius idea to design a free for all campaign. After about ten minutes, I said to myself this isn't going to work. Later that month I was thinking about it a little more and ...
15
votes
5answers
531 views

How can I pick my players’ brains for what they’d like to play?

In our group there's me (85% of the time as GM) and two other players. We have played for about three years, approx. 20 times a year. Sometimes we see each other outside sessions as well, we're ...
2
votes
2answers
308 views

How to balance a campaign where the gods are dead, making divine classes infeasible? [closed]

Ok so I’m a new-ish DM. I’m not familiar with the lore of D&D 5e, like I don’t know a lot about gods or the pantheon or anything like that. However, I want to write a campaign where all of the ...
3
votes
0answers
97 views

How to run a diverse campaign without a magic user [closed]

So right now the party I'm going to GM for wants to be 3 Soldiers (vesk, orc, android; sniper, ?, armor storm) and 1 operative (vesk; ghost). No one wants to be a caster. They're pretty deadset on ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I make a “quest chain” not a blatant quest chain?

I'm creating a one shot where a group of adventures get an invitation from an old wizard to get together and play a game with him. This game consists of pushing the players to their moral limits ...
10
votes
5answers
798 views

The PCs are boring; how do I involve them in the story?

I just started running my first D&D campaign, and I've run into this problem. I want the story to go to places that involve the PCs personally, and help the players feel more invested. One player'...
4
votes
2answers
396 views

How can the DM ensure that starting PCs survive until the plot needs them to?

The campaign I'm imagining needs the 5 original level 1 PCs to… live for 13 years to the day after the campaign's start date, and… each be at least level 11 by that date. Over the course of their ...
2
votes
0answers
575 views

Rise of the Runelords with D&D 5e [closed]

A long time ago, I GMed the first chapter of Rise of the Runelords. Back then, we used Pathfinder as the system. Everybody loved the campaign. Unfortunately, our group disbanded, because we couldn't ...
32
votes
4answers
4k views

How can player characters get by with daily necessities during a delve into Hell?

Recently, one of my players (a barbarian) had to make a pact with Lady Fierna of the 4th to avoid losing one of his friends. He agreed to offer his soul to the disposal of Lady Fierna after he dies in ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

How can I involve a PC's backstory in a campaign that's set exclusively in a distant or foreign location?

I like my players to have a firm idea of their characters' backstories, and I like the idea of being able to draw on these (NPCs from the past showing up unexpectedly, etc.). However, in our next ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

I Need Help Generating a Table of Effects [closed]

I am writing a one-off campaign that involves an illusion where if the character dies they come back with a random affliction, such as "convinced they are invisible." I want it to be primarily ...
0
votes
1answer
244 views

Where to get players/DM's to review my campaign ideas/plot? [closed]

I am a new DM on DnD 5e. I have DM'd a bit of Lost Mines of Phandalver, and played some DnD. But recently, I created a new campaign for my players. I made a map (thank you, Gimp), created a ...
42
votes
12answers
11k views

Should I change the entire campaign to please one player?

So, I'm running my first ever dnd campaign - and I'm having a blast doing it. I've found a really great group of players, who are really accomodating to my newbieness, and I couldn't be happier with ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I reveal the Big Bad only by foreshadowing, without the reveal being too early or late?

What I plan for my campaign is to drop hints about some greater evil, and whenever my players reach the natural point of realization, have them go off on a search to stop it. I wanna do it naturally, ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

How to subtly railroad players to go in a certain direction?

Now I know that railroading is one of the cardinal sins of DM-ing, along with hard rules changes to fit your needs, and sloppily homebrewing every other custom rule. However, right now I feel like my ...
23
votes
7answers
13k views

How to make sure the players escape but feel like it was because of their wit?

Setting I'm preparing for my first time as a DM in D&D 5e (as a player I have gotten to level 4 in 3 campaigns so I have a good grasp of the game, in my group everyone wants to have a go as DM ...
2
votes
1answer
989 views

What can I do to make a campaign harder? [closed]

I'm running a homemade campaign for a 2nd level paladin, a 1st level sorcerer, and a 5th level fighter. I was rolling for random encounters, and satyr attacked. They dealt with it in 2 rounds. I ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Post-Act Survey or Same Page Tool

I have been running a campaign for some time now that is winding its way down to finish what I'll call "Act I". Soon my group will take a break from my campaign to let someone else DM and I'm ...
6
votes
1answer
292 views

How to measure property awarded as treasure

I want to award property and land as a reward for a set of adventures. I'm creating a campaign in 5th Edition, and I want to follow the treasure per level guidelines. I know I can measure the building'...
7
votes
0answers
880 views

Running a duet campaign and adjusting difficulty [closed]

I am now venturing, for the first time, as a DM and would like to start a campaign for my girlfriend. I have played D&D for several sessions (some 15?), but I am far from being experienced. ...
4
votes
2answers
450 views

Can campaigns require PCs to have a certain backstory?

Normally, the player creates every aspect of their character, but what if the campaign requires the player characters' backstories to have certain elements? Like for example in the computer game ...
7
votes
0answers
252 views

What games other than Ars Magica encourage Troupe play? [closed]

Troupe play is a specific style where the group is encouraged to collaborate in creating and running the game. There's often more than one GM, players often run more than one character and, indeed, ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How should I request a PC sacrifice for the best ending to a campaign? [closed]

The scenario: The BBEG is preparing to unleash a sealed monster and devastate the civilized world. The seal has already been weakened by prior actions. The PCs engage the BBEG as the campaign finale. ...
15
votes
2answers
6k views

What are all the ways a player can get to the Astral Plane?

I am planning a campaign where the characters must travel to the astral plane several times, though each subsequent time they lose one of the means to do so (i.e., Astral Projection spell, through the ...
6
votes
3answers
358 views

How can I give one of my players a powerful plot-device weapon without making the other players feel left out?

I am building a custom setting that is medieval fantasy (technology level is almost steam engine) where some pieces of ancient technology (ours) can be found. Players' weaponry is based off the ...
7
votes
5answers
702 views

How do I create a sense of science about magic?

Based off of this question. Magic in many games is considered well-understood, but ill explained (hence 'magic'). Assuming that I control the environment and have a mild will to bend mechanics, how ...
50
votes
10answers
10k views

How can I use powerful NPCs without overshadowing the player characters?

I’ve been playing P&P for years and have taken my first tentative steps into DM’ing over the last year, mostly leading One-Shots. I am also a passionate world-builder and so I jumped at the chance ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How to reverse the Balance card from a Deck of Many Things? [closed]

At the end of the last story arc, I gave my players the chance to let their characters draw from a Deck of Many Things. I told them beforehand that this could mess up their characters and the whole ...
1
vote
1answer
290 views

Would it be a bad idea to make a joke campaign? [closed]

I want to DM for a group of friends that have had minimal amount of tabletop role-playing experience (two sessions of a D&D campaign and three sessions of a Dungeon World campaign, both DM'ed by ...
32
votes
20answers
6k views

How can I best implement a recurring villain when the players are not opposed to killing? [closed]

I am writing up a campaign for D&D4e that I will be playing in a couple of months and, though I do not have the storyline 100% all thought out, I know the general tone I am going for already, and ...
3
votes
0answers
265 views

How to handle low-magic, fantasy banking? [closed]

How would you handle the transfer of large quantities of gold in a low-magic, medieval fantasy setting? I'm am running a campaign based on a homebrew variation of Pathfinder in which magic use ...
7
votes
4answers
620 views

How can I transform my script into a campaign?

I have the idea, the script is written and it looks like a sci-fi novel. Now how can I make this world "playable"? Do I just put a few players' characters into the scene where a series of actions are ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Where to share RPG adventures? [closed]

Is there a good place to share some RPG modules that I've made? There's no IP information. Combat information is generic and things like magic item treasure are randomly generated. It's based in my ...
4
votes
2answers
262 views

Help with defining which Mage the Ascension faction most likely in an assassination [closed]

After waiting for years for the right moment, I'm finally about to start a short Wraith the oblivion campaign (hopefully. Last time I started what I wanted to be a short campaign it lasted more than ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I satisfy two groups who want the same quest in a West Marches campaign?

I recently started a West Marches style game because of our group's increasingly deteriorating attendance. We still wanted to play when we get a chance to get together but not everyone will be able to ...
1
vote
0answers
681 views

Would it be a mistake to run a monster campaign the first time I DM? [closed]

I would like to run a scenario where the players have humanoid monsters as characters, such as orcs, goblins, kobolds, trolls — basically anything that doesn't have game breaking abilities. Would it ...
5
votes
4answers
606 views

How many (loosely linked) layers of story are managable for the players? [closed]

While plotting the course of our "campaign", picking up adventure or story ideas, I have come to a point where multiple plots interleave. But not in the classic, homogeneous "adventure -> story arc -> ...
27
votes
8answers
6k views

My players want a tighter narrative, but have wandered off course. What now?

I started a new campaign yesterday for a smaller group of players that are new to pen and paper roll playing games. Before we started actually playing the players and I were talking about how P&...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

What would be the best way to capture a storm giant? [closed]

I am building a campaign for my group and one story idea I am toying with is to have an island cult who are keeping a storm giant captive and forcing him to create bad conditions, in order to wreck ...