View Full Version : Short Campaigns

2008-05-15, 06:18 AM
Hey all,

I'm in charge of making a campaign for a school group next year, and I'm not sure about the best way to go about it. The group will likely meet once per week (same as the current DM), with relatively-inexperienced players who are not dedicated to the game (and thus will likely miss games due to holidays/special days/randomness). Also, the campaign will have to be short enough to be finished in a school year - the current DM made a long campaign that isn't even halfway through and probably won't be finished, which I don't want to repeat.

I've been making an ECL 2-20 campaign, but given all that, I'm think I'm going to scrap it because it's too long. On the flip side, I don't want to run a bunch of short dungeon crawls with no continuity between them. Does anyone have any ideas, tips, or advice they can give on this kind of situation?

2008-05-15, 06:40 AM
I set a short campaign with a series of scenarios each set at a specific level with normal life for the characters in between.

Ex: Scenario 1 & 2 - Levels 1 to 3
The characters fall upon a treasure map, escaping pursuers in the town but get tracked by mercenary villan. Get to a village and help them against the goblins in the local mine (by killing the very young white dragon the goblins were worshipping). Go to the end of the treasure map and get the diary found there (and treasure!), they escape from the big bad guys (ogre mage with summoned Nightwalker !) and get back safe and sound.

Group now disbands, each player goes to do his stuff, elf goes back home, wizard studies the diary and finds the key to its contents, warrior goes back to king's guard, etc...

Two years later... Levels 5-6 to 7... The players meet again randomly / are summoned by one of them / one is attacked by .... etc.
Scenario 3 & 4 takes place. Leading them to learn more about bad guys objective.

Three years later... Levels 10-11...

And so on until I was able to let the go to the underworld (Level 17-18) to get the final piece of the sealed dragon demi-god that the bad guys were looking for. Its location was described in the diary found years before.

Totally Guy
2008-05-15, 07:14 AM
Do a series of short dungeon crawls that are seemingly unconnected... then as the players start to think there's no continuity do a big reveal where elements from all the other sessions all come back to show that there was in fact an overarching plot.

Even if the whole party use different characters you can have older versions of the first set of characters about behind the scenes.

2008-05-15, 07:25 AM
Small changes can make campaigns as long or as short as you want.

Instead of letting the characters go half way around the world for a single part, make it a shorter walk to a close city.
Skip several parts and combine them with others. For example, instead of going through three different dungeons to seek a sword, a grail and a key, toss them in the same one.
Several clues can be given by the same NPC instead of splitting it.

The only thing that you will need to work on, is the level requirements and the difficulty. But if you're starting from scratch, creating a long campaign is just the same as creating a short one.