View Full Version : Changing the World

2010-01-29, 07:50 AM
What's your oppinion on making major changes to a campaign setting in game. I'm not just talking about looting entire dungeons. I mean Blowing Up landmarks (like turning White Plume Mountain into white plume crater), or Altering geopolitical structures (like liberating Gatherhold from Thrane). You know, something that changes maps.

2010-01-29, 08:02 AM
It allows the players to feel they are having an effect and used correctly it's very good.

Nothing's worse than playing in the Forgotten Realms (for example) and have little or nothing to do since the world has to stay like in the books and no NPCs named anywhere in a sourcebook can die in any way.

So fire away! Let the world burn, the villages die and the bad guys rule supreme. At worst you can always start with a fresh copy of the world for the next campaign and at best you have your own world which fully belongs to you. :smallbiggrin:

2010-01-29, 08:18 AM
As Ashtar said - used right, this can be a powerful tool to engage your players. They deserve the spotlight, rather than Elminster and the Harpers. But be careful; tugging at threads haphazardly can unravel even the greatest tapestry.

If things go to hell, pull the "it was an alternate reality/dream all along" card, but do this only if there's no other way.

2010-01-29, 08:39 AM
I as a player like partaking in things that will change the world, and, seeing how we are part of a 1-20+ prophecy campaign, our actions WILL change the world. I also like talking to famous NPCs, because I have the feeling we are playing in the "real Realms" and not in some cheap knockoff where all the important NPCs have been replaced by people with fake beards and similiar-sounding names, like Wellminster, to avoid Copyright issues.

And since we will not switch to 4th edition, our timeline will be forced to deviate from official history soon, so we can run rampant and write history ourselves without even ahving to ignore anything written somewhere else!

2010-01-29, 08:50 AM
Cool, allow it, let them make a name for themself.
Nothing sound s more cool than: 'Grebur the Barbarian, destroyer of mountains.'

2010-01-29, 09:10 AM
Since I started using my own campaign world there's nothing that prevents players from changing it - except ingame-oppisition. :smallsmile:

2010-01-29, 12:15 PM
My current gameworld exists in a state of continual flux as a design choice (http://vaultsofnagoh.blogspot.com/2010/01/tabernacle-worlds-and-schrodingers.html). Call it canon doubt and (quantum) uncertainty(pace TV Tropes), or Schrodinger's catverse. :smallwink:

The players seem cool with the idea that the moon is a world (spherical, flat and crescent-shaped), a palace, a divine barque, a weapon, a hateful leering face, and a giant egg all at once. Whatever's most fun for the game...

Totally Guy
2010-01-29, 01:32 PM
The system I'm running at the moment allow the player to have an input onto the world.

A player told me that cults sacrificed goats.

I told him that to know that he'd need to succeed an Obstacle 1 Wise check.

The player had not got an applicable knowledge skill (a wise) so I doubled up the number to 2. So he needed 2 successes using just his raw brain. He opted for "Cult wise" as the skill he'd be learning.

If he had succeeded it would become promoted to canon. As it is he keeps telling me about cults, and his Cult-Wise skill is going up. This will allow him to have more influence over cult aspects of the gameworld.

2010-01-29, 02:23 PM
I told him that to know that he'd need to succeed an Obstacle 1 Wise check.

What's a Wise check? Is this another system?

In 3.5, that'd be a straightforward knowledge check.

Totally Guy
2010-01-29, 02:40 PM
What's a Wise check? Is this another system?

In 3.5, that'd be a straightforward knowledge check.

Yeah, the system is called Burning Wheel.

The way in which it is different from using a knowledge skill is that the player tells me what happens on a successful roll. I only get to say how hard it is.

Say someone decided that in the current town people were scared of Ravens, they test and determine it to be true. It wasn't true until they made it true, that is unless it contradicts something previous to it.

Players can also try to find NPCs with a similar mechanic. If they want to find the Mayor's Mistress they can roll to find her. They can succeed and find her without the GM ever having conceived of the mayor having a mistress.

It's pretty fun.

Lost Demiurge
2010-01-29, 03:39 PM
Every bit of a campaign world is disposable. Every bit is frangible. EVERYTHING can be changed by the characters, if only they find the right way... Or make up a new way, that's clever enough to do the trick.

This is why computer games will never completely replace tabletop. This is a HUGE advantage. Without it, you're only telling a story. Milk this advantage, and watch the slow amazement and glee dawn upon your players as they realize just how far they can go.

2010-01-29, 03:54 PM
Our party of 12 Half-Dragons (and a few not-so-important allies, like Larloch) just took over Amn. It's pretty spiffy.

I love the campaign, it actually feels like a real world.

2010-01-29, 03:56 PM
Let the PCs go crazy, let them change the world.

Then let them engage the king's knights in brutal combat, depending on their level, they may or may not survive.

2010-01-29, 04:32 PM
In the game I run (eberron) Big things change, established villains from the main book get knocked out of commission, The afformentiond geopolitical change.

In the game I play (2nd edition Greyhawk) not much that matters changes. Well, not that we as players can do anyways. It seems like our jobs are to maintain Status Quo and stop change. Asside from the White Plume Crater incident, not too much has changed because of us. And we're pretty much stuck bringing it back to normal. The Grehawk Wars happened when we weren't even there. We were stuck mucking around in dungeonland as those three years went by. It's like crap happens to US and the only changes happen because of our failures, rather than successes. The Dutchy of Urnst is now a Democracy because we failed to finish the module Child's Play. Those changes stand as monuments to our failures.

Anything that can change the latter?