Extraneous Voices of Picayune > Citadel Tavern

'framing' the campaign


Ok this is related to the thread on PC occupations but slightly different...  

I've been trying to indentify what it is that lifts a campaign above a series of adventures.  For me it is what I would call 'framing' the adventures - or to put it another way - coming at the adventures from a certain point of view that gives them a secondary level of meaning.

For example any adventure/dungeon crawl/quest might be given extra-intrigue by framing it thus:

The PC's are acolytes of an order and trying to prove themselves.
The PC's have been left to run such an order themselves and maintain it's reputation.
The PC's are reluctantly bound to the service of a malevolent benefactor.
The PC's have escaped from prison and are on the run.
The PC has no recollection of their past.
The PC's are strangers in an unfamiliar land/world/dimension.

Naturally these have the scope to run through the backbone of an entire campaign - providing both an interesting slant on PC viewpoints/behaviours and interim sub-plots of their own.

I welcome suggestions for other 'frames'.

I have always framed my campaigns by devising an overarching storyline. Now, I write a great deal, so huge stories are not a big issue for me, but that is how I do it. Whether the PCs need to save thus and so city from obliteration, stave off the end of the world, hold back a great evil (Ala Dagda Mor), etc., I find that giving them something that feels important, and somehow advancing them towards their goal at least every other adventure, gives campaign a cohesive feel. It is a lot of work, but so worth it. [/b]

As my adventures develop while my characters generate themselves, I have no overal storyline.

Of course I set up some adventures, but I try to have the players tell me there story and all I do, is set the scene.

I do think I am even going to set up three or even four possible adventures now, as my players are nearing the end of this one... They will be disappointed in the end, because there is no big bad villain that set up this quest for glory for them. Just a band of hobgoblins who wanted a castle they saw as a potential new home....

Does this make me a bad GM? I would like my players to be the judge of that, but they all seem to like what happens.

Personaly I do not like the players all to have the same kind of background. I just love what happens, because they have different back-grounds and try to further their own goals, without hurting the prospects of the others.




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