As Henry VIII once basically said, “I’M POPE NOW!” That’s right. Welcome to my church. Now, let’s get dogmatic about campaigns, settings, and adventure paths.
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.
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.
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.
Starting a new campaign isn’t just about building a world, coming up with some story details, and telling the players what characters to make. It involves resolving dilemmas and making hard choices.
Every campaign can benefit from a well-run Session Zero. How do you run a good Session Zero? I can’t tell you that until I tell you what a Session Zero is actually for.
The secret goal of every Session Zero is to evaluate the players at your table and figure out what the hell they actually want from you. Fortunately, players aren’t that complicated and there’s an easy way to classify them. But it’s not the system you think.
A good campaign starts with a good Session Zero. But how do you even Session Zero? In the third part of this one-part series, I’ll tell you.
Encounters, adventures, and campaigns all start off life the same way. How do you turn one into the other and back again? Well, it’s like putting it in a good training bra.
There are infinite ways to fill that blank piece of paper that is your campaign plan. Here’s about four of them. We’ll cover the other infinity-minus-four in future articles.
Start as you mean to go on. It’s good advice for writers and it’s good advice for GMs. Except when it isn’t. But it is. But it might not be.
It’s time to look ahead to new beginnings. Specifically, the beginning of my new campaign. And since I went through all of the trouble of running a Session Zero and writing a Pitch, I thought I’d let you see exactly how I developed MY upcoming campaign. Merry F$%&ing Christmas or whatever.
No type of campaign is more iconic than the Epic Quest Campaign, especially the Save the World Campaign. Well, unless you count Dungeon Delve Campaigns. And Adventure of the Week Campaigns. But shut up. We’re talking about Epic Quest and Save the World Campaigns.
Sometimes, you just get tired of taking notes and you just want to show up and have a fun adventure. And then another. And another. Enter: The Adventure of the Week Campaign. Which has nothing to do with meatballs. Except when it does.
Mysteries are like pancakes: solving one is satisfying, but solving a whole stack is even better. But when it comes to stacking mysteries into a delicious mystery campaign, it’s easy to f$&% it up.
A well-build mythology can drive stories and create a fantastic world. Unfortunately, D&D doesn’t provide such a mythology. But you can make your own if you understand thematic conflict.
You asked for it. You wanted the fluffy, story bulls$&% to go along with the useful, systematic mythology-building thing I already posted. Here it is.