Designing a Campaign

Has this been done? It sounds familiar, but I listen to a lot of gaming podcasts, and I know you’ve touched on the general topic of campaigns, so I’m not sure.

You want to run a campaign. You get together with your group, everyone creates a character, and then you run a few introductory sessions/scenarios so that everyone has a feel for their character and the setting and mechanics.

Then you realize that you didn’t really set up anything long-term. In the past, I always got ideas from the character backgrounds or things that happened in those first few sessions, and then I built off of those. Inevitably I seemed to end up with several ongoing, interweaving storylines that went until I felt it was time to wrap them up. Those were often replaced with others. When I was down to one big, dramatic storyline (usually the one that sparked the idea for the campaign in the first place) I would work to wrap that up and ta!da!..we came to the end of a long, enjoyable game.

A few things are working against me this time. I had a rapid, unexpected turnover of players right at the beginning of this game. This is an SF game instead of a fantasy game. My current players aren’t nearly as into providing a lot of backstory for their characters as past players have been.

So, I’ve got a good size group with characters everyone is happy with. They’re interested in the setting and the game. I’ve run a few scenarios. But nothing has really developed. I have a few ideas, but they’re going to take more laying out than usual (I don’t do railroads…I let the players decide what they want to pursue and try to stay ahead of them. I know what various groups will do if not interfered with. I adjust that as the players interfere.)

Hm. I may have talked my way to my own answer. I’m still curious as to how you would set up a campaign. How much depends on the players? How much do you plan in advance as opposed to responding to your players? Do you outline general elements and fill it in as the game progresses?

Anyway, if this has been discussed, please point me to the specific episodes…thanks!

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We’ve talked about this before, in parts, over the years - but this would be a good topic to pull back up and take another look at.

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