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Author Topic: worried my campaigns aren't epic (my players stay out)  (Read 4527 times)
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kevperrine
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« on: December 03, 2006, 03:13:05 AM »

so I wanted to post to ask -  What do you consider a campaign worthy of Midnight?  I want to make sure my campaigns are epic in nature fitting with Lord of the Ring like style.  However the first chapters of my campaigns (starting at 1st level)  are coming together slowly...  I have mucho amounts a flavor, threat and themactic forboding...  My players have enjoyed the first three games but I'm concerned that my current direction really has no direction.

What would you consider cool epic campaigns?
I'd love to hear ideas so that I could look at mine and pattern them off of your examples.


I feel I've been relying way too heavily on my PREVIOUS Midnight campaign for plots in my new campaigns.  I want them to have their own unique story, but still have connections to my past  (unfinished)  campaign.
Here's quick notes on my past and current campaigns  (I'm running two seperate campaigns for seperate groups in the same setting, in the Norht of Eredane and in the South).




STOP

READING

NOW

If you're on of my players







PREVIOUS Campaign:
-  the entire campaign plot was to take the "scrolls of Aradril"  to  two leaders hoping to unite the races.  The first, was a dragon -  the second was a dwarven king.  They made it to the dragon,  but  were  "lost"  under the Kaladrunes before reaching the second.  (ie. the campaign ended)


NEW NORTHERN Campaign:
-  The group has been asked to find the Dwarven King who is told to have been captured from the Icewall Mts  and  taken by the Night King Zardrix to one of her lairs about 300 miles north of Steel Hill in the Marches.  They've been told that if they find him and deliver the message  (the Scrolls of Aradril)  the dwarves may unite with the Elves to fight together...

NEW SOUTHERN Campaign:
-  The group has just found a Power Nexus hidden/protected by a Knight that fought beside Aradril.  This human (much like Ben Kenobi) was waiting to have the PCs find him to restart the revolution.  He was captured and now the PCs have found a baby dragon hidden in his cellars.  This dragon is the first to be born since the sundering.  It is the son of the dragon found in the original campaign.  They now protect it.  A secondary plot involves The Priest of Shadow Night King building his army of Undead, with the aid of his Lich servant in Cambrial...



I can answer any questions and fill in more -  but what I'm trying to do/ask if to have help in solidifying these new campaigns as solid epics with clear stories of their own.  I also want to eventually tie them into one another, so the two groups possibly meet in the future... 


any thoughts?
questions?

thanks
-kev-
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best,
-kev-
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2006, 11:57:45 AM »

Hey kev! I once again hope to help you in your game. mrgreen

For the new campaigns consider including the dragon as a main force of the elves against the invading armies, if you have fury this could be even greater as one of the things needed to give Aradil an edge agains tehe events planned by the Shadow is just that, a dragon. I think the northern campaign is ine, but have they sure could use some new things, perhaps the task is born out of the previous campaign, but put some new plots, perhaps the dwarf starts unwilling to cooperate and they can make him change his mind by learnign more of his reasons, from friends, perhaps they will have to travel a bit through the Kaladruns, even helping retake or defend a holdfast, maybe trace his long lost love, she took to the mountains to her home, a place now in the orc controlled area, though it mgiht still be standing and fighting.

The southern campaign could easily use a dragon dyiong for a different campaign than the first, since this takes palce in human lands, try to make them a force to unite southern freerides and halflings in some kind of strike force cells. You can have the dragon be used as some sort of sacrifice in the plot of the undead army (Kulos the Exonerated and all that) plus make it actually be re-animated, being young means it can easily be controlled, add to that the united attack forces and you have just given a godo change of pace to the war against the elves, use the norhern group to change the pace for the war against the dwarves.

And let the players know how this changes things for the whole war, make them living heroes and legends, all that stuff. In my game we just finished CoS and I will be using a plot from Todd, it rests around the Crown of Storms, a powerful magical spurcec that allows its wielder to change the weather with much greater strength than mere spells, I will be tying that with the war effort in the veradeen, making the characters trravel to the north from Caradul, meet with a oved on of the party elf there (a Snow Witch), they wil then learn of the gathering trroops northhern of Bandilrin, I wil be using The Pipes of Heaven Nexus (by Kane) to make them cause a major loss on that one group, now they must decide to do that before the forcecs move or after that happens, if they leave it to later, Silverhtorn will be lost, just like they say it wil in Fury, and guess what, the snow witch is from there and has many ,oved one sin the city.

Int he pipes they will be unveiling a great clue to the greatest of the obsessions of the Snow Witch (SinaFay) and her mother, a councilor who has lost her leg movements to a disease a logn while ago (Brielle), a clue to the Crown of Storms. They will learn that a scepter exists to control and find it, it is said to be buried in the aruun jungle, at the place of rest of a great demon, holding it at bay. This demon is long free though, it is currently possessing one of the councilors of the queen son, in a cruel plot of mine he has been taken to caradul a long while back and been serving Brielle for quite sometime.

When they go down to the south they will learn of an escape from a prison city, it will be an old friend, Jael, The Hunter, worse that that, Brielle has gone missing and her servant is dead, the scene wil be kept as it was for them to inspect, given their old issues with Jael. In there they find out that little, but there is a clue, they see a mark on the servant corpse that can be nothing else than the scepter's mark, which the demon now wields as a weapon.

The demon is now possessing Brielle, so in order to get teh scepter and trace the crown they wil need to confront her, just after tracking her down, this alone will take them directly to the crown, as the demon is headed there, thing is, the Crown is actualyl a nexus off coast from the Miraleen, calling for a boat to endure open sea, it is an Athol (think it is written that way) with 5 island protruding out of the water.

There they confront the demon and Brielle, for she is willingly going there, trusting she can turn the demon away once she has got control of the place, she can't, and that happens just before the final showdown. In the end they will be given a chance to imprison the demon itself (the spirit) by using a powerful water elemental they got before (during the veradeen sequence I will be making them run through the Sings in Shadow free adventure by Tony "Alwyn7" Manero) and changing the end result they egt the elemental in a kind of seed, once the demon is released they  can release the elemental in the nexus, by sacrificing their lives, well, not really, only the life of one of their own, and control the most powerful weapon they could have against the droguht that befalls erethor.

End of campaign, the year of Raining Hope. Wink
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"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects."
 - Attributed to Herman Melville.
arnon
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2007, 08:33:06 AM »

Wow  shock

Nif, you give me almost no other alternative than to joink this in part or whole.
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2007, 08:45:17 AM »

You mean my campaign plot? Well, I still have to make some of the scenes and work a bit more on motivations along the line, but I have three super detailed councilors to post here to, I will have tyo work on that soon. Wink
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Spoonfunk
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2007, 06:16:24 PM »

personnally I have never began one of my plots with the intent on making it epic. Usually I have everyone create character "concepts" about a month or towo in advance so as to get the right mixture of players and give them all time to devolop backgrounds and personality to thier PCs. I continually address three concepts during this period. One the concept behind the party , thier goals and each personal story that the characters.

 With D20 and midnight I let them meander for about the first 8 levels. During that time im throwing small plotlines building reprecussions and integrating personal storylines so as to give a sense of depth and genuine attachment to the campaing. Focus of the setting and the PC's place in the setting before you involve them in something so huge that they get more focused on that than thier characters. Believe me as an expierenced GM when the players FEEL that thier characters are the most important thing going on then they will respond alot better to Storyline.

 When i start plugging in my plotline I usually start by tapping into those goals that the players have set for themselves. For thier its just a matter of making the right twists and turns so they keep the pace up. The Epic feel of the game is more in the importance the players/Characters feel towards the setting and plotline than how huge and far reaching the plot is.
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2007, 05:41:30 PM »

Wise words, Spoonfunk, and welcome to AtS. Grin
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Spoonfunk
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2007, 07:52:15 AM »

 Thanks, it feels good to actually post on a forum that actually seems to enjoy ROLEplay and opposed to ROLLplay

 To elaborate a little more on the topic of how to make things seem epic. I have started the brainstorming process for my latest up and coming campaign. So far I have gathered a loose idea of what the players are wanting to make character wise. I have also gathered a rough idea of what thier general party goals will be, keep in mind that three of the 6 party members actually are creating concepts hinged around each other. Speaking to each i have decided on three possible starting pionts.

 Now I skip ahead a little and focus on Metaplot. I have written down 5 differant simple, three to four sentance descriptions of some metaplots a) interested in running  b) Fits the general premise behind the group c) Are open enough that if the group changed directions it wont be too much of an issue. The only reason why I do this is to set a certain mood in my mind for the campaign in general and to keep my eye on the ball as it were so i dont become side tracked.

 The next step i have taken is writing down dozens of small 1 or 2 adventure plots and NPC's. Most of these things will probally never see the actual light of game (pun) These are just things that i can throw out there if the pce of game is slowing down, the players arent doing anything or just to mess with them. These little hooks make up the bulk of the game and allow me to tie in important subplots and reoccurances that give the game flavor and allow the players feel like they are playing in a world. When i start running the campaign alot of these will be 1 or 2 sessions with some after effects that will lead on to other adventures until  finnally I can start plugging them into whatever metaplot seems the most interesting.

 Its important to stress that during this entire time I am remaining flexable because all of this is just window dressing for the campaign. By keeping my notes in a smple and brief form I can mold them to suit the game.
 
 The most important step can only be accomplished once i have characters created and backgrounds behind those characters(if any). The number one rule in my GM book is to make each and every character FEEL like the main one. That doesnt neccassarily mean that i give one person more time than the other. Just that I use thier flaws, backgrounds and concepts as the center for the campaing. If a character has an enemy I use them, If the character was curse that curse becomes only curable by finding a certain sword or whatever..you get the piont. All to often Gamemasters will overlook the characters backgrounds and concepts in favor of there own storyline. This is a mistake, if you want the campaign to FEEL epic you need to make the characters and players FEEL epic....
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