View Full Version : New DM help?

2013-06-13, 10:19 AM
So I'm rather new to building a setting and while I have an idea, I essentially only have a beginning and end. My idea is to have a two part campaign. The first using d20 modern and remove anything sci fi from it. It'd be all human and the end goal after discovering they are an ancient link to a special device is for them to use said device and the few items they have to collect to basically reunite this plane of existence with the rest of the multiverse and bringing magic back to Earth

Part two would have the players play as a descendant of their first character in a pathfinder world where 1000 years later magic has taken over and tech has been largely forgotten/ignored. They have the goal of being chosen to stop an evil cult from using the device to separate Earth from the rest of reality again.

Anyone experienced wiling to help out?

2013-06-13, 11:46 AM
Help out how? What are you looking for?

2013-06-13, 11:49 AM
Working out kinks, the finer details of things. Stuff to avoid doing with this kind of setting. I only have bare bones and I just would like suggestions for the filler between beginning and end of each story part. Mechanically I know what I'm doing I just want to make sure my plot doesn't just fall apart or flat out feel non-engaging.

2013-06-13, 12:04 PM
I would say to hit a few highlights of what you'd like to see happen, perhaps fill in a few steps like: find device, discover device's purpose, discover how to activate it, do so. I wouldn't worry too much about plotting everything out in advance. I find that players tend to ruin the best laid plot devices unless you're trying to severely railroad them (which is fine if they're on board for playing through your story line. Some people are, some aren't).

Beyond that, maybe plan 1-2 sessions in advance based on what you can reasonably expect them to try with wherever they're at in your story. I sometimes even go so far as to say, "Ok, what do you guys want to do next session so that I can generate appropriate material for it?" There's no point in my designing a big dungeon with this artifact that they need at the bottom if they're more focused on the time-sensitive job of catching the assassin who killed the wizard. Or rather, I only have so much free time, so I'll design that dungeon later when they come back to pick the artifact up, assuming they haven't fubared my story line to the point where they no longer need it.

Because that happens. Sometimes I intend for them to race the bad guy to the prize to keep it out of his hands, and instead, they go for the throat and kill him. Well, I guess there's no need to go grab the prize then, since the guy they needed to keep from getting it is dead. Of course, I could railroad them and say he's got some contingency resurrection spell going on, or he comes back as a lich or vampire or whatever, but you get what I'm trying to say.

TL;DR: Be flexible, plan only a little ways in advance. Players screw everything up. Don't try to write a novel out of your story line (save that for after the campaign's done).

2013-06-13, 12:08 PM
Ditto on the 'how?', but some observations...

This sounds like two complete, but related, campaigns. The first task will be in fleshing out your first campaign so it really has legs of its own. Make it something everyone wants to play with or without a follow up campaign.

Next up, watch for opportunities to seed in characters, factions, etc. Lay this groundwork early so the players recognize it subconsciously first. It'll give you that 'real world' feel without forcing it.

Some seeds:

(Depending on your group's tastes, of course)
Set one of them up to do some nice but trivial thing. In the fantasy future, it has evolved into a full blown religion. Everything is blown way out of proportion, almost unrecognizable, so you can reveal it later.
Cache somebody. Maybe cryo sleep, maybe a trip into deep space. Find a way to put either a foe or a rival into the far future, too. Have them bewildered but eager to exploit what they know.
A lot of the other ideas get harder without science fiction, but they include long lived things like trees, vampires, dragons, etc.
Have one of the foes run an org, like a mega corp or something. In the future, this has become the defacto government of some part of the place.
Certain landmarks are likely to survive, too unless there's a cataclysm of some type. Mt Rushmore comes to mind.

The general idea is to put things in both places, while accounting for the ocean of time between them.

Again, though, the most critical part to this is a solid first campaign that not only avoids wasting the group's valuable playing time, but really sings. To put it bluntly, a leadup campaign is a big investment.

One other option is bait and switch. Instead of a campaign, make the lead up an adventure. Then at the end of the night, ask them to bring fantasy characters to the next session. I've done it, but it's risky and not for everyone.

2013-06-13, 12:14 PM
I had already thought about placing the same Cult who are anti-magic and the ones who made the device first and having the players essentially turn it off. Then secondary part would be that same Cukt again working to separate the planes.

It would be interesting to deify one of the first characters though. Those are some really fun ideas and ill have to see what will come up with it.

2013-06-13, 01:57 PM
Mostly looking for general advice and suggestions from people who actually know what they are doing.

Like the best ways to vary finding pieces of things without it feeling too much like fetch quests

Or ideas on how to set up a hierarchy for a Cult so there's clear aims, goals, and reason to why they do things, how they know and such.

Like I said I barely know what I'm doing so any kind of direction you can give me would be a huge benefit.