View Full Version : Three year campaign comes to a close

2007-06-13, 05:39 PM
For those who are not familiar, Neverwinter Nights allows DMs to create modules online, and then run other players through it via the DM Client. The robust client allows the DM to take over creatures, spawn new enemies, or alter various stuff on the fly. It's no PnP, but it's a very fun way of playing a RPG online. Good subsitute as well if you can't play PnP anymore.

Three and a half years ago, I had gotten quite interested in Neverwinter Nights and trying out the DM Client. After designing various possible campaigns in my head, I decided to first try my hand at DMing by using the Quest for Glory module. I invited a group of players whom I had known for some time, and began a short campaign that I would use to learn about the DM process as a whole, and use that knowledge to design my own campaign.

Now, three and a half years later... I finally finished that campaign. And it's been an awesome ride. Honestly, in my opinion, it's the sort of campaign that DMs dream of conducting. The kind of campaign were the party has had a nemesis since the first session, and finally managed to defeat them as a whole a few sessions back. Most of all, I've had the bloody luck of having some of the best, most friendly and loyal players ever. Naturally, some had to understandably drop out halfway through due to real-life issues, but there's been a core group that stuck with me, despite of some terrible and inane mistakes I made throughout the sessions.

In case you wonder what happened to the 'short campaign' I mentioned earlier, it was early on when I started that I realised I liked the characters that the players had built, and since we were already off to a good start, I decided to simply expand the campaign immensely, changing a simple brigand-problem into a large-enemy-wants-to-conquer-the-world-type quest. The slight limitation is that I was sort of stuck with QFG at times. I'm a big fan of the Sierra games, so I actually introduced a few locales from the other QFG games (Fricana, Mordavia) and even Daventry and King Graham from King's Quest were added into the mix later on. On the other hand, the inclusion of those characters often made me feel as if the campaign wasn't "mine". Still, as the story began to expand into my storyline, that feeling slowly began to ebb away, and the end-result is a hybrid of the original Sierra games and my own ideas.

(Luckily, none of the players have yet played a Sierra game, so I was still able to surprise them at times.)

I'd love to tell you what the entire campaign was about, but honestly... that'd take too long. One player has been kind enough to keep a screenshots page, including pictures from the very first session, and there are a few moments I'd like to highlight...

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/ShowingOff.jpg - The ending of the first session. Had anyone told me that it'd take this long to finish it, I'd have thought that it wouldn't be possible.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/TarmShow.jpg - One player, Webhead, used to give shows at various pubs and inns. It's a pity he had to leave halfway through.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/Travelling01.jpg - Especially near the start, the players would often take breaks and really get to know each other's characters.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/VenariaBattle.jpg - Inspired by a DMed game from AlexanderFrost, I had my first large-scale battle scripted with undead attacking the players.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/WagonRepairs02.jpg - When the party began to travel a lot, they actually went out on their own to purchase and repair a wagon and get horses for them. Made for a fun subquest.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/JourneyBySea.jpg - Meeting Darian. Although there would be one player who'd join for 1-2 sessions, the party was pretty much complete at this point, and the players sticked around till the end. Lucky too, because I really began to unveil major plot revelations at this point.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/SneaksPlace.jpg - And the players adopted a puppy as well.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/ChaosPortal.jpg - The players found the portal underneath Castle Spielburg, the focal point of the campaign.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/SpiritOfErana.jpg - Likewise, they met Erana, who explained the backstory. Even more shocking tho', the Cleric in the group learned some disturbing news about his god, and actually had a believable fall-from-grace which lasted until the finish.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/FishyBusiness01.jpg - Turning the party into sea-people!

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/MeetingTheTroops.jpg - One of my favorite moments in the campaign and demonstrates the thinking of the players. I built a small camp with soldiers from a nation that the party had aided before. They were basically meant as a quick throwaway to offer some information about the layout before they'd move on. However, the players bring up some good arguments and use their standing with the king to actually obtain a few soldiers to travel with them.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/Charge03.jpg - Which allowed me to have another large-scale battle with the party leading the army into battle. *sniff* How they'd grown from their level-1 roots.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/MeetingInTheLab.jpg - The wizard actually obtained a mage tower of his own.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/NavalBattle.jpg - A small naval battle involving three small ships attacking the ship of the player. Fun little action sequence that took me a few hours to properly prepare, and less than 5 minutes for the party to breeze through. :P

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/ChargingTheCityHall.jpg - The bad guys had retreated to a large port city and were planning on evacuating. The party had them cornered, took a session to plan an entire siege on the city, then personally led the charge on City Hall. This was, for all intents and purposes, the big finale of the campaign and it was everything I had hoped it to be. I had been developing a script specifically aimed at creating a fun large-scale battle in NWN, and this is the one time where it completely worked without a single bug at all, making for a memorable battle.

(The fact that the player whom had been around from the first session killed the main villain with a critical hit only made the battle feel even more perfect.)

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/Confrontation.jpg - The players encountering the Black Hand, the first bad guy whose name they heard near the start of the campaign all that time ago (awesome screenshot, this).

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/HeadForTheLight.jpg - The final fight that would tie up the last plot end and permanently end the campaign.

http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/KnightingCeremony02.jpg - The final ceremony that closed the campaign.

You can find more pictures at: http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/

I also created a little bink movie that chronicled what happens with some of the locales and the player characters, Fallout-ending-like. I'm uploading an AVI file at the moment(90 MB), but it will take some time to finish. I do have the bink file uploaded, if you want to watch it in advance: http://rooc.offtopicproductions.com/QFG/qfg_epilogue.bik

Honestly, I could go on for a bloody long time about this, but I won't. It's been an unforgettable experience, one that I likely won't be able to do again any time soon.

I really simply felt like sharing this, I'm quite excited that the campaign managed to end on such a good note. Anyone else had such an experience in running or participating in such a long campaign? I'd love to hear about it.

- Burrie

2007-06-13, 06:31 PM
I have nothing to say other than "That looks awesome, must have been a huge time-vacuum for you as DM and must have been such a thrill for the players involved."

Neon Knight
2007-06-13, 06:32 PM
I envy you and your players. Sounds like it was an awesome game.