Roll to Confirm

Hallmarks of the New Campaign pt. 1
July 21, 2011, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Campaign Brewing

I’m still thinking about the basic assumptions I want to make before getting into the nuts and bolts of campaign building. Several things come into play when planning something like this.

First and foremost, this is probably going to be a one-shot sort of affair, unless it goes so well that we decide to continue it online. I still have so much to show my characters about the other campaign that it would be a shame to quit it. On the other hand, the current online game is pretty ‘vanilla’, or low fantasy, compared to what I’m cooking up. I wonder whether having some face-to-face gaming might give this campaign a bit more momentum than the RP-heavy, all online game we’re currently playing. I guess we’ll see. I go where my players want me to go. Anyway, since it’s a one-shot, I need to contain the action to a relatively small area.

Second, since the current plan is for a one-shot, multiple hour session, I need to have enough stuff ready at the start to keep it interesting. Usually I plan a vague outline a session or two ahead and then prep for each session when I know where my players are headed. Now I’ll have two or three times the amount of table time to prep for. I want to provide lots of story and options so they don’t feel railroaded, but for every choice they make I need several available options. I want to be prepared but not drowning in materials I might not even use.

Finally, most of my players are relatively new at tabletop gaming. Usually when I DM, I’m playing with neckbeards who have been gaming for years, sometimes longer than me. When I start to describe a monster they already know it’s AC, average damage and challenge rating. With this game, I can bring in things that seem cliche to old players and the new guys will be seeing it for the first time. It revitalizes me but it also makes me rethink a lot of the models I’ve grown accustomed to.

So, I need to tailor my thinking to a one-shot format with focus on the action. I need to provide lots of possibilities and I need to be prepared to explore those possibilities with my players. Finally, I need to go back and look at the things that excited me about tabletop gaming when I was first getting into the hobby.

Next time I’ll talk a little more about the campaign world itself.


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I am not new to tabletop, just been a long time, so it feels so new. I can’t quit the current campaign, it’s awesome!

Comment by Forthepie

That’s why I was very careful to say “most of my players.”

It’s fun to play with people of varying experience. Everyone brings different strengths.

Comment by S4M

No worries, plus I am new to this new rule set!

Comment by Forthepie

What is the new campaign you are referring to here? Was this for the Con?

Comment by librarylegend

Yeah, this was for Shenanicon. Turns out all my fears about not having enough to do were totally unfounded.

You’ll notice even then I was worried about player knowledge vs. character knowledge! It’s a difficult problem 🙂

Comment by S4M

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