Aug 29, 2013

Blog Carnival - August 2013 - Campaign Preparation

Babbling at the Counter #05.5 – Pen and Paper
Blog Carnival - August 2013 - Campaign Preparation

Hi, I'm really excited about this, my first Carnival! Even though the topic is kind of troublesome for me right now (more on that later), I won't pass this opportunity.

If you don’t know what a Carnival is about, check out this link: (

Now, why is Campaign Preparation a bad topic for me? Well, because I have recently messed up the start of a campaign badly. Let me tell you all this sad, sad tale...
A few weeks back, my group decided to start a new campaign, and, as I was going to be the DM, I suggested we played a thieves and con artists game. Those kind of stories are always fun and we hadn't played anything like that before, so they agreed.
Up to this point everything seems great, but then, two things went wrong. That's my goal today, to identify this two mistakes and help all of you to avoid them.
First, please notice how I didn't said the "liked" the idea, they just went with it because it was new. Mistake nº 1: The group wasn't looking forward to the game.
They wanted to play and they thought it might be fun, but they weren't into the genre. And given that this was a custom made world, there wasn't any kind of material to read to get the setting.
So my advice is: If yours is a setting your players are not used to, then take the time to write a few paragraphs as an introduction. It's better if everyone is on the same page about what to expect.
Ok, that was nº 1, now nº 2: There was no support for the setting on the mechanics. I'll explain:
We were playing Savage Worlds, which is a nice universal system for action scenes and adventure. Even though combat was perfect for the world I had in mind, and the players are used and like that combat system, there weren't any genre specific rules.
I had designed a few abilities to try and capture the feel, but they were too few, and not catchy enough. As they weren't sold on the whole setting, there wasn't really a reason for them to go hunting for these advantages. Advise: When you make a setting for a campaign, identify the key concepts and highlight them. In my case, I should have made a stronger effort towards planning a heist, getting and using equipment and information, and teamwork.

Well, I hope it was interesting, and wish you the best of lucks avoiding my mistakes.

- The Storeman

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