View Full Version : intrigue campaigns help

2008-03-12, 11:15 PM
hey I always wanted to run an intrigue campaign but never seem to get it right any pointers for how to run one?

i already have plenty of ideas just not a way to execute my ideas into a playable enviroment or how to keep the Role playing intrigue campaign "going"

Dr Bwaa
2008-03-12, 11:39 PM
IMO, the two most important things are:

1) flexibility on the part of the DM. Especially with anything role-playing-intensive, the DM needs to be ready for anything and everything the players do. Get ready for an awful lot of divination spells; getting several preset responses to scrying and the various other divinations that require a lot of your input would be a very good idea.

2) your players need to realize that it will be a RP-intensive campaign going into it, and you ned to get players who are okay with and like that kind of thing. if one of your players just wants to play a barbarian beatstick, that's fine, but the player playing that part will probably feel left out an awful lot of the time, when everyone else is off roleplaying.

Lastly, I would say, for the DM:

Fix up the diplomacy system (houserule it) so that it works for you. You don't want one Diplomancer screwing everything up, or someone rolling a 50 on his first Bluff check and finding him way into somhere he really shouldn't be, etc. Be careful.
Definitely have a lot of preparation. Again, divinations are your worst nightmare.
Plot twists are fun.
Learn to think on your feet.

Otherwise, have fun! This will be largely a fluff game and not so much a crunch game, so it can be tremendously fun as long as the DM and players are into it.

2008-03-13, 09:18 AM
What sort of problems are you having, specifically? It's easier to suggest fixes, because running any kind of game has a thousand details involved, and RP-heavy or intrigue-centered games have their own bags of tricks.

In general, I'd suggest:

1. Create a setting instead of adventures. Focusing on one city may be a good idea, although far-travelling intrigue campaigns can work too.

1a. Build NPCs with backgrounds, motivations, and situations (associate some Gather Information check DCs and Knowledge skill checks with them). The most important part is to have a goal and a plan, which the PCs will invariably proceed to muck up, creating conflict, RP, and fun.

1b. Outline and maybe even map some locations you expect to make a lot of use of - places where the NPCs above are likely to be found or to take action.

1c. When deciding what to create - which NPCs, locations, and so on - consider what your PCs are likely to come across in the pursuit of their goals (see 2a. below).

2. Ditch the XP system. Award ad hoc XP at the end of sessions, or set XP for achieving goals in the game.

2a. This includes personal, PC-oriented goals. If one PC puts a great deal of work and trouble into becoming Count of Wumbleshire, they probably deserve a personal XP award; but be careful to make sure that the other PCs don't get left behind and that no one player starts dominating the game with his or her plans and goals. PCs need these. They drive games in general, but especially intrigue-heavy games. Players with a plan are always more fun, and will naturally interact with your environment.

3. Ignore the NPC attitude table associated with Diplomacy. Use ad hoc Diplomacy DCs (or opposed tests for social skills in general), and mostly use skill checks as a supplemental system to roleplaying: dice resolve the situation when it's a toss-up who's got the more persuasive argument, or it's all about selling a line rather than the actual substance of an argument. For things like getting past gate guards, pacifying an angry thug, or the like, simple rolls work fine, though. (Although +2 circumstance bonuses for good RP are always appropriate.)