@chrispitzer: I’m trying to write a campaign that will be big and sweeping. A couple of acts.
How many sections are you expecting this set to take? A couple of year.
I suggest using an Agile approach to it. My background: I used to play a lot of D&D and Paladium. Lately, I’ve played many Indie and story-based game. One of the things that comes up from that that has really improved my gaming is the worst-case scenario game. Orcs don’t have to stay orcs. The idea is to solicit feedback while the game is going, so let’s say that they got tired of fighting Orcs all the time, so then you could say “Okay, the next session will feature Barbarians.”
I’m not interested in mapping out every piece of the experience. I can improvise what is happening as they go through the dungeon.
I haven’t played 4th edition before. I’ve played 3.5.
Yeah, this is the same thing as asking the question: “Should you write this software in C#? It depends on the group.”
What I do like about the cycle of feedback approach is that, I think there is a scope creep problem with doing a narrative. When you have to get people to find The Sceptre of Justice, otherwise, they can’t play next Tuesday, that’s a problem. The idea is to make a sandbox.
My idea is to build a world with preset forces at play, and they can do whatever they want inside it. I’m interested in having a game that’s not just about going to a dungeon a week or two, cash out, and go to another dungeon.
I’m all for world building. The one thing you have to worry about world building is that, as a creator, you get attached to a certain part to the peril of the player’s enjoyment.
Having that flavor in there is good, as long as you don’t think that “I have this cool idea, and I’m going to integrate it into their experience.” My advice is have many scenarios so that, whatever happen, you’ll ready to it.
This is the problem with D&D, is that there is so much upfront design in it.
This is where 4th edition shines.
Does anybody have any suggestion of tools?
There are a lot of tools on D&D Insider to help you.
I would actually suggest to experience other games, like Dogs In The Vineyard. The idea is that you are a group of people who are assigned by the church to go from town to town and figure out what’s wrong. The way the scenario designed is that, a new week will feature a new town. A town will be finished every week, whether they resolve the problem or get chased out of it, etc. At the end of the session, you talk about what worked and didn’t work about the current game.
Another interesting trick from the game The Mountain Witch is that, snce you are being open and flexible, and they are buying into it. The example given in the book is: you guys come up to a cemetery, and you find something really interesting about the tombstone. What do you find interesting? This puts the creative control away from the DM. This would be really interesting. The thing is, in the classic relationship between the DM and the player, the DM has a certain responsibility.
On the other hand, you may want to swap the DM role with other player.
Having a co-DM would be a big plus, especially for a very rules-heavy game.
It depends on whether you think that the player will know each other before the story yet.
Storming the Wizard’s Tower. If you read the opening to this, this is the idea of how do you create just enough information that you can start out without the pre-game background info dump.
It’s just that the question became, 10 sessions later, your players said “where did we start again? I had a cool sword!”
I think that the suspension of disbelief of a couple of guys with dice and paper is absolutely great—if you can do it well. The advantage of computer RPGs are they are immersive, thanks to the graphics.
At 7:30 there is a session on narrative gameplay, especially about a game called Polaris. In Polaris, it’s a 4-player game where you have a rotating GM, where you are telling 4 stories. The person across from you is your nemesis, and the person on your side plays those who are indifferent about your character. So, you play a scene, then you rotate, and so on. Just the practice of understanding this dynamic. Really understanding what the characters motivations are is a very useful exercise.
It’s important for the players to get along. As long as they get along, the story will continue. There are very fun things to ‘torture’ the player, but make sure that the group remains together!
I’m interested in this world with a tiered level of control, where there’s a worker’s guild that controls the town and magic is outlaw, and they’re going to try to figure where things are going on. The point is, if they are just hack-and-slash player, then they’re not going to notice these subtleties.
In any campaign, when you’re a first level, you assume that there are dragons out there, and they’re not going to fight them.
So, if you’re in a town, make it clear what every character’s intention is.
Have anyone played an online D&D?
Some of the deepest narratives happened in play-by-postal.
Even when you play over Skype, you still lose the interpersonal cues.
I’ve had some good experiences online, but it involves throwing out as much of the mechanics as possible.
I’m a big fan of Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game.