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0. Do your players want this, too? If you haven't discussed a different playstyle I think they're reasonable to still expect the "sporty" style you were previously playing. That's why I think--even one session in--a change like this would be equivalent to starting a new campaign: same setting and same characters, but different game. If you have not had ...


60

For your players Use other solutions Intelligence is only one of 3 mental stats, and the one that refers mostly to book-learning, puzzling, connection-making and thinking stuff through. However, lacking it doesn't make you a bumbling fool; it makes you someone who solves problems in other ways. For example, if it's crucial that the characters know who ...


43

Let the Baby Bird Leave the Nest Having rotated a campaign through many GM hands, the least disruptive thing we found was to not worry about it. Your turn at the helm is over. Our group has multiple people that like to GM. We created a world we really liked and want to continue exploring when it is someone else's turn to run a campaign. We decided that ...


41

On definitions Technically, one-shot can mean different things to different people. It doesn't always literally mean a story that can be wrapped up in one session (though that is usually the goal). However, it does always refer to an adventure that is shorter than a full campaign which can vary greatly in length. For the purposes of this answer I will be ...


34

Recently in my campaign the party wanted to wipe out a large, well established, group of gnolls which took us into combat-as-war. How I handled it was: Step 1: Discuss Combat-As-War with the party When the party was beginning to plan their attack I had an out of character conversation with them about the differences between combat as sport and combat as ...


34

You're right, these three things are key to a true West Marches campaign: 1) There was no regular time: every session was scheduled by the players on the fly. 2) There was no regular party: each game had different players drawn from a pool of around 10-14 people. 3) There was no regular plot: The players decided where to go and what to do. It ...


33

Given that the DM seems to dislike the idea of a change of cast, you are not feeling like playing this character like you're playing it now and your friend seems uninterested in changing his ways to let you have fun (but at least the DM seems cooperative enough), I'd like to suggest something that worked for me in a World of Darkness campaign I've been part ...


24

Talk to your GM in private First step first. Call him in private, and give him feedback. Try to not be vague, actually point out what you didn't like, with examples that happened in game. If possible, also give a hint of what you were expecting, by saying how you would handle this if you were the GM on that situation. Don't be afraid about "losing a ...


24

The Real Problem: Your Character Has No Stake There is an open question about the game world (does magic exist?) which your PC and the other PC have staked out opposite sides of. The action of the game so far revolves around the investigation of that question (and genre conventions suggest the answer will be yes) To be honest, this is not a good situation ...


23

There are several things you can try to improve your experience with this game. That said, they all come with one big caveat: Do not approach this by telling your GM that he's "doing it wrong". There are a lot of different styles of GMing and playing, and even if the GM is using one that you personally don't like, that doesn't mean it's wrong or objectively ...


21

Erik's answer is a great general solution to your problem, but there are a couple of specific tactics you can use here as well. Put Your Eggs in More Baskets Right now, you're relying on a single skill or small group of skills in order to give your players information about the game world. This is naturally going to lead to situations where nobody has the ...


20

Absolutely. Apocalypse World (AW) is tonnes of fun to play for a single session, but it was actually designed for long-term play. The full possibilities of the character-development mechanics require several sessions to unfold. There are three common lengths of Apocalypse World games. Single session. These are fun, as already mentioned. This is a good way ...


20

Sometimes the game you are playing simply isn't the game you believed you signed up for. Happened to me few times, see first paragraph here for an example. You talked to the DM and to the fellow player and it changed nothing. I believe they are trying; at least from your description we can assume good faith on the DM side. What you can do now is to talk to ...


19

Your level is about how much experience you have so far. It says nothing about where you are in the story. Consider the Lord of the Rings. At the beginning of the adventure, Frodo is a beginner, level 1, just starting his career. Aragorn, however, has been in many stories so far (even if we don't see them ourselves). When he joins this adventure, the ...


17

Finally, I had also thought about some kind of virus which would make robots turn against humans, in a society were security bots are the norm. I find that the best plots are engendered by taking elements of current events, exaggerating the causal themes, and inserting a unique twist, then time adjusting it and inserting it into your baseline campaign to ...


17

Does it have to be D&D? My go-to game for introducing anyone to roleplaying is Fiasco, a game in which you create and play out a Coen Brothers-esque scenario. You’ll play ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control. There will be big dreams and flawed execution. It won’t go well for them, to put it mildly, and in the end it will ...


17

A "Living" campaign is one of the old RPGA-run organized play campaigns designed for you to use and advance a character across multiple play opportunities at public events like RPG conventions and game days, in the same shared world and using officially sanctioned adventures. (For you kids nowadays, the RPGA was a RPG fan organization sponsored by TSR, ...


16

Four solid benefits of a one shot One shots and campaigns serve different gaming needs, so I slightly disagree with your question's point (in paragraph 3 and at the end) that they are somehow in opposition to each other. They fulfill different needs for the players at the table, to include the DM. A given gaming group can do both! Four things that a ...


14

I think it depends on whether your family members have the interest and attention span required. Neither of my parents would play an RPG, but my brother would. I think there are several important factors for this - especially if you don't want to ruin your holidays! It's got to be a fast game. You have to have a short, simple scenario ready to go. You have ...


14

Don't do it. I have been a player in an evil campaign where some of the PCs were directly antagonistic to one another. While some of it was quite fun, the player antagonism was decidedly not. There are a few reasons for this: PCs are not balanced for PVP. A 1v1 fight might be a toss-up, but a party fighting against a single PC-classed enemy will almost ...


14

Like Roguelikes or GTA-likes, West-Marches-Style games are of a genre fashioned after a particular semi-eponymous classic exemplar, in this case this home game. Like those other founding-work-based-genres, there aren't so much hard-and-fast rules that define the boundaries of the term, but rather the closer a given game is to that progenitor or other famous ...


11

Really an important question here is how much you expect to get through per session. I ran a group of new players through the Sunless Citadel a couple years ago. Technically, it's just one adventure and only one dungeon. In practice, in the four sessions that the game lasted, they explored less than half of it. If your beginners are about as fast as mine ...


11

It appears from your example that you've been playing the adventure with a group of 3 characters, without tuning down the encounters. If you do so, faster leveling is expected. Rationale D&D 4e's adventures use encounters that have been balanced against a party of 5, which is the expected number of players. If you have a party of 6 or a party of 4 (or, ...


11

"Living campaign" is a common term for a "shared-universe" campaign played by an extended community of participants, usually mediated by an organization like the RPGA. The idea is that players from all over the world can participate in the evolution of a shared setting, either developing organically based on an aggregate of player actions or pre-determined ...


11

Generally… The closest thing to a general, data-driven answer you're going to get is probably going to be from looking at guidance for TV writers. RPGs themselves are enough of a niche hobby that I doubt you'll find good research specific to the medium. But, really, you don't need a general answer. You need an answer for your group. Here are some ...


10

I almost invariably run sandbox games, what the players do is entirely up to them and the plot advances through NPCs no matter if they interact or not! Before organising a big sandbox campaign where there are strategic targets I'd advise the following: Talk to the players; see what they want from the game and enjoy. Do they like exploring? Fights? ...


10

I'll start from the position of "how can I get my character into this plot". And I'd suggest set your character up to fail. The key here is that you aren't your character. By using player knowledge you can arrange it so that your character's motivations and knowledge set the character up on a path the character wouldn't want to go down. Instead of asking ...


9

There's lots of good answers here. I particularly like the first one of using stories from the news as inspiration. Here's some ideas that are still relevant, but perhaps were more obviously cutting edge 8 years ago: widespread use of drones, widespread use of mercenaries by both governments and corporations, and the use of child soldiers. For something more ...


9

I wouldn't call it a campaign, but I'm a fan of Gorgoldand's Gauntlet as a low-level adventure. It was a published Dungeon adventure from May 2001 (this obviously makes it 3.0 and not 3.5, but I don't expect it would be difficult to update). A quick search turned up this PDF version: https://web.archive.org/web/20120127074715/http://gilda.it/imperium/...


9

In case you decide to stick with the character and find a motivation to go along with the plot: which means now I'm on a quest for magical items my character doesn't even believe in. Your character is a pirate. Aren't pirates interested in finding treasure? Your character might not believe in magic powers. But your character might believe that there are ...


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