Options for a Campaign in 2019
When I end a storyline with my players I usually like to talk and discuss what I would like to run next, though sometimes I just state this is what I am doing and who wants to continue with that.
As I run three games a week, and those games run once a fortnight, I have six games a fortnight to prepare for. To allow for this to not take too much time I have most of those using pre-written modules that I alter for the group as we play to represent how they have done things, and how the world is different from the world it was written for.
I occasionally write the whole storyline, but that is rarer when players are not as invested in the game as I am in running it. Yet if I don’t tailor the game to suit their characters I have had players unhappy, cause problems at the table and even leave the game because I was running a set piece.
I have tried to make the games easier to run, including having annotated stat blocks that allow me to know what books players are pulling their characters from and limiting character options for campaigns so they don’t break the game.
Options for my players – 2019
Once a campaign has ended I have a game planned for the following week, but I am open to doing other games that I would like to try and play if that group is interested. The following is what I have offered players when the games this year come to an end.
Pathfinder 2 Games
(Adventure Paths Converted to 2nd Ed)
I have a preference for using pathfinder 2 over pathfinder 1 as I find it holds up better at higher levels, is easier to maintain as a character, was less confusing to create high level characters and a better rules set. I am happy running at least one pathfinder 2 game, more depending on interest.
- Rise of the Runelords Revised
- Curse of the Crimson Throne Revised
- Skull and Shackles
- Emerald Spire
- Goblins adventures
- A series on connected adventures…
- Another Adventure Path
The Lost Lands
This is the frog god games world, and one that I enjoy running. But it is also a deadly one where character loss will happen, often. I wish to run at least one lost lands game a fortnight.
- Pathfinder – The Northlands Saga
- Pathfinder or D&D 5E – Cult of the Sundered Kingdom
- Pathfinder or D&D 5E – The Blight
- Pathfinder or D&D 5E – The Borderlands Provinces
- Pathfinder or D&D 5E – Rappan Athuk
Dungeons and Dragons
Mostly set in my own take on the world of Mystara, this has regional class and backgrounds, as well as imitations on source-books available. Running with downtime and many of the optional rules it is not for everyone.
- New storyline in Mystara
- Adventures running from Old BECMI to 1st through to 5th edition.
- Dragonlance tales from the Lance as 5E
- Worlds Largest City and Dungeon
- Drow Campaign
- Dragonlords Campaign
- Diablo Campaign
- Other concepts possible
This system is the best version of the star wars rules I have run, and I have run them all. With a truly narrative dice system which works if the players make the most of it, the generic version of the rules has a few improvements and tweaks that I might bring back to the main rules once I get a chance to run with them. I wish to run at least one genesys based game a fortnight, if not one for Shadowrun and one for Star Wars would be ideal.
- Shadowrun converted to Genesys
- Star Wars
- Elven Realms (Ariadna’s fantasy world)
- Paranormal Realms (Ariadna’s demon worlds)
Notes: As of 2021 I have started my hybrid Genesys/Star Wars system game and still doing preparation work for my Shadowrun game.
Other Game Systems
These are other systems I would like to run, but are lower on my priorities.
- Sentinels of the Multiverse (Superhero)
- Dresden Files (Fate)
- Babylon 5 (d20)
- Fragged Empire
- Shadowrun (6th Ed)
How to Choose a Campaign
I will open it up to my players to see if there is an interest in running something specific from this list. They can discuss it amongst themselves and I will describe how I would run each of the campaigns. While I have a planned storyline to run after the end of each of the current campaigns, I am open to discussion and changing to something I am actually passionate about running over something that is nice to run. A game I am passionate about will get more of my time, and energy, and may actually be enjoyable to work on between games. So I try and pick my games carefully, and limit games with large preparation time.
The more games I run of the same system, the easier they are to run, as I am not switching between too many rulesets. At one stage I was running Star Wars, Shadowrun, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Dresden and Sentinels of the Multiverse at the same time.
Planning the Campaign
I will go with a general agreement from everyone, and a discussion of what characters are expected to be created, and plan the campaign around that.
I expect players to talk with me if they are going to change from this as it can throw out the preparation work if its not as agreed. This has happened a few times, and will result in less game play as I re-do the preparation work while everyone waits, or leave that character out and an NPC steps into that role.
What is expected is usually along these lines:
- Basic background of the PC
- Name and appearance (usually race and character options)
- Story elements and hooks
- Links between characters
I then work out a good starting point for where these characters are at the start of the story for the first session and that is where we start with a short backstory point for why they group is all at the location they are, what they mean to each other and the scene they are currently in.
Actual character backgrounds need to be voiced by the players in a game session for it to be cannon in the storyline, or it will be ignored. This has been a rule for many games due to fantastic background written and then ignored by players. So any length background is allowed, and will be glanced at by me, and encouraged, but I am no longer the guardian of a characters backstory.
Story vs Mechanics
The hardest part of running a game is what is more important, story or mechanics. Most of my players are mechanics focused, as that is how a character advances, but it does take away from the story if mechanics are allowed to rule the story.
Where as if you take story reasons over mechanics, when running a set adventure, you can have an imbalance where the character is under powered and unable to compete with the NPC’s and other players in the group. An example is that they can’t harm opponents.
If the character is completely mechanics focused, then it can feel very powerful when compared to the NPC’s and other players in the group. An example is they can’t be harmed by opponents.
A happy medium ground is desired where character choices are meaningful for the storyline but enhance the gameplay such that all the characters are competitive at a similar level. The downtime mechanic in D&D is fantastic in advancing the timeline such that characters don’t go from level 1 to level 20 in a single month.
I like players to be invested in the story, but happy with the mechanics agreed upon for the storyline, so all future games are intended to be a negotiation and agreement between players and games master about how the game is intended to be run. This does not take into account spoilers to the story which are still to be surprises for the players and their characters.
- 2021-07-31 – Structure and layout update with links and extra content.
- 2020-04-26 – Structure.
GM – 2021 in Review, Choosing a New Campaign, Downtime Uses, GM’s Luck Roll, House Rules, Running Games over Skype, Sandbox vs Linear, Story RPGs, Table Rules, Tracking Experience
Annotated Stat Blocks: Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Pathfinder 2, Star Wars FFG
Creating a Campaign: D&D Mystara Design (2022), Genesys, Pathfinder, Pathfinder 2 TRAP Design (2022), Shadowrun, Star Wars (Mandalorian, 2022)
Character Creation: Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder 2, Star Wars Beta, Star Wars FFG
Concluding a Campaign: Star Wars
NPCs – Talking to NPCs, Working with NPCs.
Virtual Table Top (VTT) Software – d20Pro: Installation, Realm Works: Players and their Characters, Using for D&D, Realm Created
PF2 Menu: Adventures, Classes, Factions, Feats, Items, Races, Rules Updates
Game Management: Annotated Stat Block, Character Creation, Choosing a New Campaign, GM’s Luck Roll, Playtest Thoughts, Running Games over Skype, Tracking Experience
Class Build: Minion (Mitflit), Barbarian (Nexa Shoanti Half-Orc), Bard (Quest – Goblin), Cleric (Pimwinkle – Halfling, , Krol – Elf Half-Gnome), Druid (Barak – Dwarf, Cangacerio – Human Half-Elf), Fighter (Kordar – Elf Half-Human, Zed – Human), Monk (Willy – Human), Oracle (Luna – Shoanti), Ranger (Duzhar – Orc Half-Human), Rogue (Sparky – Dwarf), Sorcerer (Belath – Cheliax), Wizard (Parry – Elf Half-Dwarf)
Discussing the Rules: Animal Companions, Archetypes, Companions, Crafting PF2 Items, Feats, Minions, Playing the Game, Shapechanging, Summoning
Game Modes: Encounter, Exploration, Downtime
Feats: Background, General & Skill, Location
PF1 Conversions to Pathfinder 2: Adventures, Classes, Items, Faction
References: Creatures, Equipment, Items, NPCs, Spells
Thassilonian Resurgence Adventure Path (TRAP) Campaign
Design, Campaign, Campaign Journal, Runelords
Jade Regent Adventure Path (JRAP) Campaign
Personalities, Campaign Journal, Region – Minkai, Prophecy – The Broken One, Characters – Social Feats
D&D 5E in Mystara
D&D Menu – Adventures, Artefacts, Backgrounds, Classes, Dominions, Downtime, Feats, Gazetteers, Gods, Magical Items, Monsters, Organisations, Pantheons, Races, Ranks & Titles, Rune Magic, Secret Crafts, Settlements, Spells, Timeline, Weapons Mastery
Game Management – Annotated Stat Block, Character Creation, Choosing a New Campaign, Gaming over Skype, GM’s Luck Roll, Tracking Experience
Class Builds –
Artificer – Bombardier (Tinkerkin),
Barbarian – Totem Warrior (Plamin, Camdu),
Bard – College of Valour (Sunfey),
Druid – Circle of Dreams (Woodfey), Circle of the Tree of Life (Seasonfey),
Fighter – Battlemaster (Seashire), Eldritch Knight (Kerendan), Weapons Master (Lani), Weapons Master (Stonebound),
Monk – Way of the Elements (Tidal),
Paladin – Oath of Radiance (Sunfey), Oath of Vengeance (Firechild),
Sorcerer – Wild Magic (Shadowfey),
Warlock – Celestial (Llewell),
Wizard – Bladesinger (Nerye),
Dragon – White (Calcryx).
Multiclass – Cleric/Wizard (Xhall), Rogue/Cleric (Dracnomir), Rogue/Sorcerer (Yodrey), Wizard/Rogue (Traladaran)
Floorplans – Thyatian
Session Recordings – Campaign Journals
Game Management: Choosing a new Campaign, Creating a SR Campaign Skype, Tracking Experience
Locations: Seattle 2069, ShadowSea
Storyline: Seattle Elections 2069
Corporations: Ares, Aztechnology, Evo, Horizon, MCT, NeoNet, Renraku, Saeder-Krupp, Wuxing
References: Corporations, Personalities, Rewards, Timeline, Vehicles
Security: Automated Defences – Barriers – Countering Matric Threats – Countering Physical Threats – Doors – HTR – Landscaping – Sensors
Gen 3 – 2050
Gen 1 Street: The Setup, Year One – Origin Story, Year Two – Emergence
Gen 1 Runner: Year Three – Ghost Cartels, Year Four – Artefacts, Year Five – Horizon
Gen 2 Street: The Setup, Year Five – Horizon, Year Six – Dragons, Year Seven – Jet Set
Gen 2 Runner: Year Eight – Sprawl Wilds, Year Nine – Stolen Souls
Gen 3 Runner: The Setup, Year Nine – Stolen Souls, Year Ten – Lockdown
Gen3 Prime: Year Ten – Lockdown, Year Elven – The End.
Star Wars RPG
SW Menu: Adventure, New Rules, Adversary, Companies, Droid, Equipment, Galaxy Map, Location, Vehicle
Campaign: NPCs, Side Stories, Timeline
Game Management: Annotated Stat Block, Character Creation, Choosing a New Campaign, Creating a Galaxy Map, Ending three year campaign, GM’s Luck Roll, Running Games over Skype, Tracking Experience, 2016 Campaign
Character Builds: Bounty Hunter (Karlid – Assassin, Vanna – Gadgeteer, Kyanna – Martial Artist, Jed – Operator, Theya – Skip Tracer, Cadkia – Survivalist), Smuggler (Ebaya – Gambler), Technician (B1-337 – Droid Tech)
References: for Characters, for GMs, Dice, Items (Lightsabers, Modifying, Purchasing, Qualities), Knight Level Play, Mechanics (Awareness, Duty, Morality, Obligation), Movement (Personal, Planetary, Vehicles), Roles (Bounty Hunting, Investigations), Secrets (Empire, Jedi, Mandalorians, Rebels, Sith)
Creating a Campaign:
(1) Rules and Setting,
(2) Characters and Timeline,
(3) Fringes Storyline,
(4) Rebels Storyline,
(5) Force Storyline,
(6) Mandalorian Storyline
Library of Books
B5, d20 System, Pathfinder, SW
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