How to start a campaign - your first campaign / scenario?

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Archer
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How to start a campaign - your first campaign / scenario?

Postby Archer » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:19 pm

Well, the thread about what the first PC would be, got somewhat hijacked. But another topic I find intresting, and something that might be a good idea to start thinking about as GM.
What will your first campaign/scenario be? any good story-arcs, plots, etc.?

All I know, is that my first campaign is going to involve ducks....
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Re: How to start a campaign - your first campaign / scenario

Postby Wulf Corbett » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:27 pm

Archer wrote:Well, the thread about what the first PC would be, got somewhat hijacked. But another topic I find intresting, and something that might be a good idea to start thinking about as GM.
My Gloranthan campaign is now into it's third generation of characters (in-game), and still going strong. OK, so it's had more ret-cons than the Marvel & DC universes put together, but it's still a continuous 26+ year campaign :lol:

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Re: How to start a campaign - your first campaign / scenario

Postby Archer » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:48 pm

Wulf Corbett wrote:
Archer wrote:Well, the thread about what the first PC would be, got somewhat hijacked. But another topic I find intresting, and something that might be a good idea to start thinking about as GM.
My Gloranthan campaign is now into it's third generation of characters (in-game), and still going strong. OK, so it's had more ret-cons than the Marvel & DC universes put together, but it's still a continuous 26+ year campaign :lol:

Wulf
I find that amazing. My campaigns tend to be very short, 6-12 scenarios long. Eventually I can pick them up later on again, with the same characters. But the overall storyarc is not the same then.
Longest running campaign was 3 years, playing every other week.

But now I already digress from the topic.

In L5R they use a very smart (IMHO) way of describing scenario seeds, called Challenge-Focus-Strike (CFS).

It follows the structure like this;
Challenge: The setup of the scenario.
Focus: The heart of the matter.
Strike: The truth/the conclusion of the scenario.

An example from the L5R Forum;
Challenge:
A famous soothsayer with a knack for reading the omens of the future visits the household of Lord Takanobu. Takanobu is the lord of a major province, but there are rumors that his health is failing. His two sons and his seven grandsons have all returned to the family estate in order to help him manage the daily affairs, and everyone wants to know what advice he will elicit from the fortune teller.

Focus:
Lord Takanobu grants the soothsayer a private audience, and only two of his most trusted servants are allowed to remain while his fortune is told. Even his two sons, Washi and Kuma, are excluded from the reading of the omens.
Soon after the soothsayer departs, the body of Kuma's eldest son is found murdered in a nearby forest. Two days later, Kuma's second son falls prey to a sudden sickness and dies.
If they have not already taken it upon themselves to do so, the PCs will be asked for aid in protecting Kuma's two remaining children (a daughter and a son) and Washi's three children (two sons and a daughter).

Strike:
Although the PCs may be able to guess what is going on by themselves, asking one of the servants who was present for Lord Takanobu's consultation with the fortune teller what transpired there will make things much clearer. When asked "How can I ensure the prosperity of my family for all time?" the soothsayer replied "Compare not the eagle and the bear, but choose between the fledgling and the cub." If pressed, the servant will also grudgingly reveal that he passed the same information to Washi as well.
Interpreting the omen as advice for his father to choose an heir from among his grandchildren, Washi has begun a campaign of murder against his brother's children in order to guarantee that his line be given leadership of the family. If he is not stopped, his murderous rampage could continue until it claims his brother, his brother's wife, and even his own father.

I had sort of an idea that this could be done for RQ as well. In a similar format. In a thread available to GMs to collect scenario ideas.

What do you say?

(now I have digressed somewhat more from the original thread topic, but this is perhaps intresting as well).
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Re: How to start a campaign - your first campaign / scenario

Postby Jeff Cope » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:55 pm

Wulf Corbett wrote: My Gloranthan campaign is now into it's third generation of characters (in-game), and still going strong. OK, so it's had more ret-cons than the Marvel & DC universes put together, but it's still a continuous 26+ year campaign :lol:
That's awesome. Man, I miss my old RQ stuff. Unfortunately for me at this point Glorantha is a distant land I visited for a spell long ago (20+ years) and to which I'd always hoped to return!

Jeff
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Postby The Greek » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:02 pm

My last campaign which introduced a load of new players to the wonderful world of RQ Glorantha had them as a bunch of young Sartarite carls out protecting the sheep and was called herd duty.

Of course they had lots of things happen as it was not an ordinary day protecting the herd. Especially when some equally young warrior wannabes from a hostile nearby clan decided to cause problems.

In that one scenario the players ended up very familiar with the basics of the game and were comfortable, on the whole, with what the game system entailed. They also got to appreciate the deadly nature of combat (getting a critical hit to the head on a major encounter) and the concept of hostage taking and ransoms.

The campaign then progressed and they got quite deeply into the Sartarite Orlanthi way of living with the clan and other nearby clans, the Lunars, trolls, chaos, Delecti......
wibble.
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Postby Archer » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:37 pm

Mongoose Acolyte: Sounds like a very good idea on how to introduce the player characters, the setting, and get a scenario going at the same time. Guess I will borrow that page out of your book, by having the PCs guarding sheep... :)
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Postby The Greek » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:28 am

Archer wrote:Mongoose Acolyte: Sounds like a very good idea on how to introduce the player characters, the setting, and get a scenario going at the same time. Guess I will borrow that page out of your book, by having the PCs guarding sheep... :)
I may even have the scenario hanging around somewhere. It will need some mods for new RQ but it is fairly straightforward.
wibble.
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Re: How to start a campaign - your first campaign / scenario

Postby Halfbat » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:46 am

Archer wrote:....another topic I find intresting, and something that might be a good idea to start thinking about as GM.
What will your first campaign/scenario be? any good story-arcs, plots, etc.?
OK, no ducks(other than those which can be eaten), but I have a low-magic setting in a Late-Roman/Byzantine/Nomad mediterranean-like background (with a fair amount of sea/naval stuff). It was RQ2.5, but I'll resurrect it with RQ4 and sharpen it up.

With complete new players I use an extended version of the Griffin Mountain "coming of age" scenario, but otherwise I use a generic intro search-and-rescue scenario which players have found useful for picking up on skills, then combat, then magic use whilst still requiring investigation. That'll be converted before and run before an old campaign is resurrected.
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Postby Archer » Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:39 am

Mongoose Acolyte: If you have it as a document, I would be intrested in taking peek at it, if you would permit that.

Halfbat: Historical setting, or at least heavily inspired by historical cultures. That sounds rather nice. I know that Glorantha has this also, but it would be rather fun to run a campaign in a setting even more inspired by history.

After having seen Rome (tv series), I think even a true historical campaign, set in Rome would be intressting.
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Postby Turloigh » Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:03 am

Archer wrote:Halfbat: Historical setting, or at least heavily inspired by historical cultures. That sounds rather nice. I know that Glorantha has this also, but it would be rather fun to run a campaign in a setting even more inspired by history.
I've said it before, but it bears repeating: RuneQuest is perfect for ANY historical setting. Good that my GURPS setting books are always in reach.
Archer wrote:After having seen Rome (tv series), I think even a true historical campaign, set in Rome would be intressting.
A friend of mine talks about running a game in an ancient Greek/Roman setting. I guess I can talk him into trying the new RuneQuest. :wink:

Barring that, I hope my players won't mind returning to Conan's Hyborian kingdoms. It's the setting where we played most of our RuneQuest games.

To actually start a new campaign, I'll most likely wait for the Arthurian sourcebook.
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Postby Archer » Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:49 pm

I agree, RQ, or any BRP game, is probably the best for running an historical campaign. However, with RQ most of the work is done.
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Postby SteveMND » Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:19 pm

Interestingly, I had been playing around with starting a new game in My Personal Home Brew Campaign Setting (tm) for a couple weeks when a friend of mine pointed me towards this site, and the news that RQ was being picked up by a new publisher. That prompted me to start the campaign up this summer using the new RQ rules.

I was initially skeptical (no offence, Mongoose, but I wasn't a big fan of your d20 stuff), but as time went on and I saw the new previews, I'm becoming more jazzed about the game.

There are some changes -- there can't NOT be in a new edition, after all -- but from what i've seen in the previews and from the various writer's discussions and such on the boards, I'm feeling pretty good about the upcoming version. Yes, there are changes, but it so far looks like more than enough of what made the RQ rules system so attractive in the first place is still there.
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Postby homerjsinnott » Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:01 pm

Turloigh wrote: I've said it before, but it bears repeating: RuneQuest is perfect for ANY historical setting. Good that my GURPS setting books are always in reach.

Which of the GURPS books do you think are worth getting?
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Postby Turloigh » Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:43 pm

homerjsinnott wrote:
Turloigh wrote: I've said it before, but it bears repeating: RuneQuest is perfect for ANY historical setting. Good that my GURPS setting books are always in reach.
Which of the GURPS books do you think are worth getting?
In this case, all the historical setting books. Depending on what you're interested in, that would be: Egypt, Mythic Greece, Imperial Rome, Celtic Myth, Vikings, China, Japan, Middle Ages, ummm... I guess that's it. Maybe Atlantis and Camelot, too.

The GURPS sourcebooks are famous for being well written and thoroughly researched. And they're very suitable for use in other game systems. I LOVE them (and I don't even play GURPS).

While we're at it, I can also recommend the Rolemaster/HERO Classic campaigns - Egpypt, Mythic Greece, Vikings, and Robin Hood. They're a bit older and probably harder to find.

EDIT: Titles corrected.
Last edited by Turloigh on Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby homerjsinnott » Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:11 pm

Turloigh wrote:
homerjsinnott wrote:
Turloigh wrote: I've said it before, but it bears repeating: RuneQuest is perfect for ANY historical setting. Good that my GURPS setting books are always in reach.
Which of the GURPS books do you think are worth getting?
In this case, all the historical setting books. Depending on what you're interested in, that would be: Egypt, Mythic Greece, Imperial Rome, Celtic Myth, Vikings, China, Japan, Middle Ages, ummm... I guess that's it. Maybe Atlantis and Camelot, too.

The GURPS sourcebooks are famous for being well written and thoroughly researched. And they're very suitable for use in other game systems. I LOVE them (and I don't even play GURPS).

While we're at it, I can also recommend the Rolemaster/HERO Classic campaigns - Egpypt, Greece, and Vikings (not sure about the titles...).
They're a bit older and probably harder to find.
I agree the Mythic Greece et al Rolemaster stuff was great, did you know about the Pirates campaign?
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Postby Turloigh » Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:59 am

homerjsinnott wrote:I agree the Mythic Greece et al Rolemaster stuff was great, did you know about the Pirates campaign?
Ha! :lol: That one was my first (or maybe the second after the Robin Hood book).

Now that I'm older and wiser, I have learned that I don't like to play pirates (which makes me an oddball among my group).

But if you want, you can add the following to the list:
GURPS: Swashbucklers, Arabian Nights, Old West
Rolemaster/HERO: Pirates, At Rapier's Point, Arabian Nights, and Western
Not the genres I'm currently interested in, but still great references.

Finally, there were also a couple of books for AD&D or D&D 3e. They're not bad either, although they concentrate more on system stuff and have a lot less setting info. I'll give you the titles if you want to.
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Postby Gaheir » Sun Jun 18, 2006 8:16 pm

My most recent campaign start-up involved the PC's coming of age and going through clan and cult initiations during sacred time. This accomplished several goals. It allowed the players to learn use of a variety of skills, (survival, limited combat, stealth, perception) introduced them to several of the stories as they are instructed (in short form) in some of the clan/cult history, introduced non-skill tests (fatigue, willpower tests) and introduced the NPC's that would be most relevant within their near circle, as well as a couple of more important visiting dignitaries. A disruption of the planned events by a small broo raid also let them meet one of the more distinctive creature races from Glorantha in all it's foulness, and gave them the opportunity to have a heroic initiation by countering a chaos incursion. The PC's victory could only be seen as a good omen, and one that foretold greatness for them!
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Postby Adept » Sun Jun 18, 2006 8:31 pm

Archer wrote:I agree, RQ, or any BRP game, is probably the best for running an historical campaign. However, with RQ most of the work is done.
It depends on what one wants. For historical gaming I'd want the Hârnmasters nasty system of fractures, severed fingers and infected wounds. Combat in RQ tend's to be very clean and you either die outright (or quickly bleed to death) or recover fully in time.

For true historical feel, go for Hârnmaster (the old version especially).

Still, RQ would fit the bill much better than any D20 crap.
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Postby Adept » Sun Jun 18, 2006 8:33 pm

homerjsinnott wrote:
Turloigh wrote: I've said it before, but it bears repeating: RuneQuest is perfect for ANY historical setting. Good that my GURPS setting books are always in reach.

Which of the GURPS books do you think are worth getting?
GURPS Low Tech.
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