They say starting is the hardest part. But really, RESTARTING is much harder. Especially if you’ve burn out. So, how do you recover from burn out on a project you used to love? And how do you avoid burn out in the future?
How do you start a campaign? Well, that all depends on what you mean by “start.” There’s lots of ways to start a campaign. Let’s start by talking about how you start starting a campaign. Preplanning and premises.
Every campaign needs something to hold the players together. That’s because players are constantly trying to blast apart. It’s like nuclear physics. Which is why you need gluons. Or glue. Or tortured, mixed metaphors. Whatever.
We play games because we don’t know how they are going to turn out. And games use several tricks to keep us from knowing the outcome. The problem is GMs only ever use one of those tricks. And it’s the worst one.
Designing a campaign is like ordering dinner at The Olive Garden. Except for the parts that aren’t like that at all. Which is most of the parts. Anyway, let’s talk about campaign structures, about the Shape of your game and the Glue that holds it together.
I wanted to write about NPCs, but so many people argued about whether RPGs were winnable and whether they needed goals that I had to explain to everyone why they are and they do. And then I had to explain why Fiasco isn’t an RPG.
Just because someone wrote something, that doesn’t mean they know anything about it. Gygax is no more trustworthy about RPGs than anyone else. Especially when it comes to the importance of rules.
There’s a difference between a game’s mechanics and its metaphor. But that doesn’t mean the two are separate. Or even separable. But it does mean you can empower yourself to create one by understanding the other.