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Author Topic: "Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"  (Read 1475 times)

Aegypto

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"Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2007, 04:03:01 pm »
Quote from: Kashell
I think this is a great way to run a campaign, save two points in your GM planning.


I personally love creating the opening part of a campaign. Starting things out with a bang, and introducing lots of NPCs, as well as getting the characters to meet each other, etc. This is great, because you can tie stuff you do later back to stuff at the beginning.

NPC, "Hay yoz guyz, you rememberz me, that dood from your firzt sessionz?"


I thought about that, too. :D

I was thinking that it would be fun to start the first session in media res of the aforementioned big battle, with some the PCs going commando on the  fortress of the villain - who manages to elude capture, of course - and finding the other PCs imprisoned there. Should give them a good motivation to go after the bastard.
 

Settembrini

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"Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2007, 04:07:15 pm »
Those maps are definitely hungarian.
If there can't be a TPK against the will of the players it's not an RPG.- Pierce Inverarity

pells

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"Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2007, 07:08:44 am »
Quote
@Aegypto - It annoys the hell out of me when it isn't like that.

I can not agree more !!!
That said, I'm planning to release my "own game" (which is not really a game per se, since there are no specific rules, only setting/plots), which is based on the needs you describe.

Now, in my humble opinion, I believe that "waiting encounters" in differents locations (be it monsters, ruins, whatever) might be a good thing, but I think that plots is even better. But, then I believe you need to manage the passage of time.

Let me give you an example : players start in a given location and have the choice between going to A, B or C. In each of this places, some events are "planned" to happen (the mob example above can do the trick, for instance). Now, as a DM, playing those types of games, I hate the idea that the choice of my players only conditionne in what order those events are encountered. I would prefer those three distinct storylines to interact in time.

What I mean is : the PCs choose to go to A ? Nice, then events occur as normal in B and C, and when the players reach those locations, as time as went by, the plots are not at the exact point (ie the events are not "waiting" for the players to occur).

Now, a couple of comments about this :
- the PC should ask themselves :"what are we doing with our time?"
- the PCs should feel a sense of emergency : do they want to continue on storyline A ? Then B will continue without them. They will need to make choices !!! That's why I hate when "events" are triggered by their presence (ie waiting for them).
- You'll need a little preparation to do this, but from a very high point of view.
- You'll need to use a calendar as to keep track of time. More generally, a specific design ...
- Ever since I've been playing like this, I find it so much fun !!! And it is really the PCs who have the lead about the story.
- I call this structure multi plots calendar based campaign.

Well, you tell me if that's the kind of stuff you were thinking of ...
Sébastien Pelletier
Avalanche: an epic campaign for TT rpg coming on KickStarter March 28th.

Kashell

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"Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2007, 10:48:00 am »
Quote from: pells
I can not agree more !!!
...But, then I believe you need to manage the passage of time.

What I mean is : the PCs choose to go to A ? Nice, then events occur as normal in B and C, and when the players reach those locations, as time as went by, the plots are not at the exact point (ie the events are not "waiting" for the players to occur).


Something like this is great, but takes a pretty well functioning world. For example, Dungeon A has goblins in it who are fighting with the big bad orges in Dungeon B. If the players spend time at City A instead of going to Dungeon A, the goblins take the advantage and build fortifications.

Were you referring to something else?

Quote
Now, a couple of comments about this :
- the PC should ask themselves :"what are we doing with our time?"
- the PCs should feel a sense of emergency : do they want to continue on storyline A ? Then B will continue without them. They will need to make choices !!! That's why I hate when "events" are triggered by their presence (ie waiting for them).
- You'll need a little preparation to do this, but from a very high point of view.
- You'll need to use a calendar as to keep track of time. More generally, a specific design ...
- Ever since I've been playing like this, I find it so much fun !!! And it is really the PCs who have the lead about the story.
- I call this structure multi plots calendar based campaign.


I think a calender is a great way to keep the ball moving in a game, especially when "super death virus extreme X" is going to destroy the world and your hometown (note the dramatic order of that last sentance), and you have 30 days to find the cure.


This kind of thing certainly isn't new, but there are some games that do it really well. Specifically, Fallout 1 comes to mind, when you're looking for the water chip, though I've never tried something like this in a roleplaying game.

pells

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"Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2007, 11:50:13 am »
Quote
Something like this is great, but takes a pretty well functioning world. For example, Dungeon A has goblins in it who are fighting with the big bad orges in Dungeon B. If the players spend time at City A instead of going to Dungeon A, the goblins take the advantage and build fortifications.

Were you referring to something else?


Yes, more or less. Let's retake your example :
Let's say you've got two plots :
- goblins are fighting ogres in dungeon B. If they win (let's say that's what is happening if the PCs don't take part in it), they take over the dungeon, fortify it and then launch some assaults on the neighboring "human" kingdom.
- in city A, a necromancer is turning its inhabitants into undead
The important thing is that both story occurs at the same time.

Now, let's say the PCs go help the ogres. After a while, they decide to reload their gear in city A. While in the city, they discover the plot of the necromancer. Now, what will they do ? If they try to stop the mage, they won't be able to help the ogres anymore ...

Quote
I think a calender is a great way to keep the ball moving in a game, especially when "super death virus extreme X" is going to destroy the world and your hometown (note the dramatic order of that last sentance), and you have 30 days to find the cure.


Just to be sure I'm not hackjicking this thread : time constraint might be fun in your example, but it is still in the context of a linear plot. The main idea of the starter of the thread was to be able to provide something non linear.

In a non linear plot, time is not only a constraint, but it also helps to know where in the plot you are when the PCs jump in. In the previous example, when the PCs come to town, does the necromancer has already start some "transformations" or is he still somehow "hidden". You'll need a calendar to manage that.

Quote
This kind of thing certainly isn't new, but there are some games that do it really well.

Non linear !!! This is the important thing !!! In what I'm doing there are 5 plots going around at the same time. PCs change plots all the time !!!
Without a calendar it would be impossible to manage this !!!!
Sébastien Pelletier
Avalanche: an epic campaign for TT rpg coming on KickStarter March 28th.

jgants

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"Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2007, 12:05:04 pm »
I've never found the "plotless" campaign to work all that well for me.

Be prepared for a lot of players who have absolutely no idea what they want to do.  Not everyone builds a character that just wants to wander aimlessly, or has any specific goals.  And finding anyone who cares enough about the campaign world to actually know much about it is rare.  

Contrary to what the Forgites believe, a lot of players do not want to dictate the flow of the story/game.  A lot of them like mission-oriented play, where they are given a goal.

So just make sure you have the kind of players who want to read up on the setting and want to create characters with their own personal goals.  Otherwise, you could very easily end up sitting around with everyone waiting for you to tell them what to do.

Personally, I use a mixed approach.  I throw in missions from time to time, but leave them openings to go do something they want to do if they want to do it.
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howandwhy99

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"Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2007, 05:18:03 pm »
Quote from: pells
I call this structure multi plots calendar based campaign
I call it old school, baby!  I'm glad you're enjoying the game.  In my current campaign we have 14 starter adventures, 5 towns, 1 major city, and 100s of NPCs all buzzing around in different dynamics.  It's a big ball of wax, but it's fun.  

To Melan: Did you make those most recent campaign images in Hexmapper?  They look perfect for what I need.

Kyle Aaron

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"Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2007, 05:44:37 pm »
Quote from: jgants
Contrary to what the Forgites believe, a lot of players do not want to dictate the flow of the story/game.  A lot of them like mission-oriented play, where they are given a goal.

And the players who do want to dictate the course of the game each want it to go in a different direction. It's like hitching two horses to your wagon - at either end. :D
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Melan

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"Here's a map of the world. Where are you going?"
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2007, 10:01:23 am »
Quote from: JongWK
Are those maps in Hungarian? For some reason, they kick ass as fantasy names. :keke:

EDIT: Also, what software did you use to create them? I have a cute little program for fantasy maps, but it doesn't number the hexes...

AutoREALM and Paintbrush. The hex numbering took a good deal of my time, but only had to be done once.
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blakkie

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« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2007, 10:04:06 am »
Quote from: JimBobOz
And the players who do want to dictate the course of the game each want it to go in a different direction. It's like hitching two horses to your wagon - at either end. :D

So the characters face down each other and yeee haw, we got ourselves a shoot out. Good times. :)
"Because honestly? I have no idea what you do. None." - Pierce Inverarity