— when you dream, sometimesyou stop because you realize something isn’t rightaccording to our natural laws. The same thing happenswhen you’re roleplaying. If you
nd somethingis “wrong”, the players will recognize it instantlyand become uncomfortable with it.
Worlds need to be big enough to let the playercharacters breathe. If your players are sti
ed, theywon’t like it. Also, if your players want to gosomewhere, you’re in trouble. You may not completelydetail everything, but you need to know what’swhere. Start with the area you are playing in. Thenset up concepts for a slightly larger area outside theplaying area. Your se
ings will grow as your campaigngrows. You have to stay one step ahead of your players.Make yourself expand your world as their view ofthe universe expands. Your boundaries need to beexpandable. A good example of this is the
.Your players / characters will generate some of yourspeci
cs. The faster your characters travel, the biggertheir “playing area” and the more area you needto detail.One in
exible rule of players: If you spend timeworking on the le
side of the map, then they’llgo right.
Continuing characters have to be build with acampaign in mind. The se
ing and tone should be done
rst. Take the character details and plug them backinto the se
ing to make it more “real”. Your characters’ backgrounds can overlap — it will make it easier to tiethe characters together. Keep track of player character /non-player character goals, desires, ambitions, etc.You can use them later . . . sometimes against them.
The campaign theme gives the campaign a direction.Long term goals and directions. For example, the themeof
is the revolution. It colors everything elsein the campaign. The campaign theme is o
en the mostle
out element in a macro adventure. Game companiesare lousy at giving you a theme. It’s up to the GameMaster. If you make the theme too narrow, you limit thescope of your campaign. Choose carefully.You will also have many sub-themes. You can usesetbacks for con
icts. No path is linear.
Fantasy campaigns are notorious for not having themes?
This is false. Your theme may be a millennia of change— magic lessening and technology taking over orpower-hungry lords ruling the poor. The theme is the“major
ow” of your campaign. It will lead to thesub-themes, concepts, ideas, and other elements thatcolor how things happen as you work to completethem. The Jedi knights near demise, for example, is asub-theme of the revolution.Make it feel like everything won’t be the same if youleave and come back. You should have four or
vegood solid concepts (sub-themes) for the charactersto become involved in while working toward the majortheme. Concepts should build slowly. It will take thema while to hear about and then a while to accomplish it.
People. Legends. Heroes. It is more interesting to tellstories that are bad. People
ll in stories where there isno information. Put items in that are old, i.e., all housesin a town shouldn’t look like they were built yesterday.It should look and feel like life was going on before theplayer characters got there . . . and may exist a
er theyleave. Legends are very important in a fantasycampaign.