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Thread: Campaign Help

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Campaign Help

    So I've decided to start a lengthy campaign for me and my group under the Gestalt variation rules. The main idea is that they arrive in the small town of Morrow's Point which then proceeds to grow and thrive as their exploits attract more civilians. Anyone from blacksmiths to Archmages to rival parties may arrive in the town. Also, I have an idea for the town to have been destroyed in the future so a group of Time-Travelers of a sort have come back to guide the adventurers to their future. They might join the party on various adventures, lending their mysterious aid when needed.

    The reason I'm posting this is because in order to create a proper lengthy campaign I need ideas. I am by no means an experienced DM and could really use the help. I don't need fleshed out modules, I just need an idea for anything related to the campaign.

    Thanks for the help! Ta.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Campaign Help

    A lengthy campaign tied to a specific geographical area can be difficult. You will need some seriously dynamic surroundings.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Jul 2013

    Default Re: Campaign Help

    Create a big story, such as your Time-Traveler idea. Create the town, and in your case, its stages. Create an NPC or two for each building. THink about how the town works. Who Rules? Who Actually Rules? What sort of festivals might be gong on? Think of 1 or 2 loose smaller conflicts. A bartender is searching for someone he believes to have stolen from him (who probably hasn't), groups of kobolds keep sneaking into homes, etc., Present the town maps to your player. Then ask where they want to go.
    You have to let the campaign grow organically, or it feels like they're being controlled too much. At first they might be simple dungeon explorers, but if they become the center of the town's economy? The law will bend for them, and so will everything else.
    You should read The Invisible Railroad. The advice in the article is great for long term campaigns.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Campaign Help

    A lengthy campaign tied to a specific geographical area can be difficult. You will need some seriously dynamic surroundings.
    The Campaign will not be confined to just that space, they will often trek around the continent to different cities and such. Morrow's Point is meant to be a hub of sorts.

    Create a big story, such as your Time-Traveler idea. Create the town, and in your case, its stages. Create an NPC or two for each building. THink about how the town works. Who Rules? Who Actually Rules? What sort of festivals might be gong on? Think of 1 or 2 loose smaller conflicts. A bartender is searching for someone he believes to have stolen from him (who probably hasn't), groups of kobolds keep sneaking into homes, etc., Present the town maps to your player. Then ask where they want to go.
    You have to let the campaign grow organically, or it feels like they're being controlled too much. At first they might be simple dungeon explorers, but if they become the center of the town's economy? The law will bend for them, and so will everything else.
    You should read The Invisible Railroad. The advice in the article is great for long term campaigns.
    Thanks for the great advice! :D This is going to be a big project so any help is appreciated.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Jul 2013

    Default Re: Campaign Help

    No problem, I just went through a similar process. Ultimately, I found myself creating everything the same way Forgotten Realms Adventures did- I wrote down notes about the rule, actual ruler, and everything else major so as to make it seem like I'd fleshed everything out. I followed that up by breaking cities up into districts, like the 3.5 DM's Guide would have you do, and writing brief descriptions of each district and its major attractions. This allowed me to bend almost completely to my player's whim, whilst creating a sense of a super fleshed out city.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Baron Of Hell's Avatar

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    Apr 2013

    Default Re: Campaign Help

    First create a really cool villain from a evil place say Hell. Then give him a really cool name or title, maybe the Baron of Hell. At the end of the adventure have the Baron of Hell kill the entire party and then drop your dice and go home. The beginning and middle writes itself. All you need is a epic ending.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Campaign Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Of Hell View Post
    First create a really cool villain from a evil place say Hell. Then give him a really cool name or title, maybe the Baron of Hell. At the end of the adventure have the Baron of Hell kill the entire party and then drop your dice and go home. The beginning and middle writes itself. All you need is a epic ending.
    There's a michael bay joke in there somewhere.

    Hmm make the folks stay in one place for a long time.


    FETCH QUESTS!


    Have the folks stay in one place for a long time and have fun.

    PROBABLY NOT FETCH QUESTS!

    Now to be serious develop the town and the area in a reasonable manner. A good way to make them like coming back to the town is put them somewhere unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Make them spend a week in a swamp with zombies and necromancers and they'll never leave home again.

    Me I think about the world a lot and try to say how stuff will come together it works well. If you think about the butcher walking down the street the murder mystery gets all the better.
    This is horrifying beyond anything Lovecraft ever wrote or Giger ever drew.

    MCulpa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVopG...el_video_title
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192558





    (Screw the point)-Doomboy911

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: Campaign Help

    I'd say start by thinking about your favorite books/movies/tv shows/whatever and trying to figure out what things you like about them. Maybe Tyrion from game of Thrones but he's secretly part fae? Take storylines, characters, locations, etc and add a little tweak that makes them your own.

    After all, the way to be truly creative is to steal things so well that nobody even knows that you're doing it! (Don't use that advice if you're writing a scholarly paper, please.)
    "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere."
    - Carl Sagan



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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Campaign Help

    Thanks for the advice. Also, any idea's for an adventure would be great. Just small idea's such as a Troll King coming back for revenge or anything like that would help immensely :)

    Thanks for all the help, any more is appreciated :D

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Campaign Help

    Quote Originally Posted by LimeSkeleton View Post
    After all, the way to be truly creative is to steal things so well that nobody even knows that you're doing it! (Don't use that advice if you're writing a scholarly paper, please.)
    I believe Einstein actually once said "the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources" (one of the funniest moments of my life so far was typing that into Bad Translator and getting "the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide the bodies" ).

    On-topic--as I understand it, the best way to get players to focus on one locale in a campaign is to make sure to have plenty of interesting and cool stuff for them to do in that locale immediately on hand for them. If they're always busy with fun adventures in that one town, and don't find any of the NPCs there too annoying, they won't have to go looking for adventure in other places--it'll be right there waiting for them. If you do it right, by the time you run out of stuff for them to do and have to think of more, they'll have already become attached enough to the town and its inhabitants that they'll be willing to wait.

    Basically, what I'm saying is, make it so they can find everything they want to do in the town without having to look anywhere else. If they still end up leaving for literally no reason, there was never much you could have done to keep them there anyway.

    I'm about as inexperienced a DM as you could find, though, and all my advice is based solely on intuition rather than practice, so please take it with massive piles of salt.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Sith_Happens's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Erock View Post
    Create a big story, such as your Time-Traveler idea. Create the town, and in your case, its stages. Create an NPC or two for each building. THink about how the town works. Who Rules? Who Actually Rules? What sort of festivals might be gong on? Think of 1 or 2 loose smaller conflicts. A bartender is searching for someone he believes to have stolen from him (who probably hasn't), groups of kobolds keep sneaking into homes, etc., Present the town maps to your player. Then ask where they want to go.
    You have to let the campaign grow organically, or it feels like they're being controlled too much. At first they might be simple dungeon explorers, but if they become the center of the town's economy? The law will bend for them, and so will everything else.
    You should read The Invisible Railroad. The advice in the article is great for long term campaigns.
    You forgot the last and probably most important part: Cry into your notes as the PCs immediately burn the whole place down because one of the guards at the gate looked at them funny.
    Revan avatar by kaptainkrutch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Toy Killer's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Help

    Honestly, don't worry about the where's and what's until you've nailed down the who.

    Make a number different factions with a uniting theme (The Druid Guys, The Paladin Dudes, the Hobgoblin Liberation Front, etc.). Vary the big movers and shakers between these folks in terms of level. Make them unique and give them personality. Then start to delve into what they are trying to accomplish; World Peace? Law and Order? Respect? Whatever, just broad strokes at that stage. Thing dig into the hows. Give each broad stroke a few different paths to accomplish it.

    Then hit the crunch. Your level 18 BBEG shouldn't be employing goblins with the occasional extra level in warrior to protect him. If he's a Half dragon, Draconic Hobgoblins with levels in Crusader is much more appropriate for his praetorian guard. Not so appropriate for the level 6 bandit leader. Give the higher level dudes more breadth across the level spectrum, so the players see goblin ransackers destroying a bandit camp, but the only loot they take is a bronze mini-statue, they know something is up, but the only thing they can do is investigate deeper if they want to know why.

    Then, by the time they see the depths of evil that the BBEG will stoop to, in order to accomplish his goals, they are familiar enough to recognize his work since the very beginning and will be eager to jump through traps and siege a keep in order to get their grubby hand on his neck.

    By laying out all the big leadership in the story, you always have an aside to turn to, keeping the main plot rolling without having the players weather through endless missions with little to no resolve for 12 levels straight and it makes the world feel more real when everyone is after something and goblins aren't just doing what goblins do, because... Goblins.

    Make sense?
    "Executioner" Dargh in A Very (un)Common Quest

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Campaign Help

    What I notice in a lot of these suggestions that I should create memorable figure/faction/etc. The problem with this (and the campaign in general) is that at the start, Morrow's Point will be very small but will grow larger as the campaign progresses and the exploits of the adventurers (through local bards and the party traveling around).

    As I read this I am getting ideas of how to make the town more intriguing (The most notable one being that I have the party get visions of perhaps the well in town, then during night time they might discover the town is more then just a small community, or that it might become something more (Perhaps a large mural that will detail their adventures as they complete them, showing only them arriving at one end and a shining city at the end)).

    Any who, thanks for the help a lot, I don't think I will be able to do this alone.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Sith_Happens's Avatar

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    Default Re: Campaign Help

    Quote Originally Posted by CisoSecond View Post
    What I notice in a lot of these suggestions that I should create memorable figure/faction/etc. The problem with this (and the campaign in general) is that at the start, Morrow's Point will be very small but will grow larger as the campaign progresses and the exploits of the adventurers (through local bards and the party traveling around).
    To start off, just dot the place with a few particularly interesting NPCs (though that's easier said than done since Player Mileage May VaryTM) and an incentive or two for the party to periodically come back to the place until it actually starts getting big and compelling. Maybe a merchant they help agrees to buy loot from them for more than half price?
    Revan avatar by kaptainkrutch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Jul 2013

    Default Re: Campaign Help

    Everything here still applies, just on a smaller scale. Instead of having a cast of important NPCs have 3-4. Instead of having a fully corrupt government in need of over-throwing, have blood-hungry tyrant getting his toes wet. Just scale it.

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