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Fantasy Campaign Plan


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I need your help.

 

*pauses to allow gags to subside*

 

I recently dug up our old copy of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - circa 1990. I figure on getting my new and old friends around for some sessions. I need a campaign with dark fantasy elements, hopefully some cool stuff, corruption, and flying goblins. Most importantly it is going to have to be free-form enough to allow the players to run around doing tehir own thing in between the bigger events.

 

 

Thoughts, ideas, abuse?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh come on, guys. This is rubbish!

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Oh come on, guys. This is rubbish!

 

I saw your post asking for help on the new spells post. My specialty is storyline and system and I am familiar with most of the basic roleplaying systems and a few more esoteric ones as well as war hammer 40K (though i don't know enough about that system to give you pen and paper advice for it) I would be happy to help you if I could but I am not sure that I have any ability to which I suspect is why you are not reciving replies to your post.

 

You were looking at a dnd spell system so do you plan to have large table top battles in war hammer filled in between with dnd based paper and pen role playing? What story system are you thinking of using to represent individual campaigns? or are the 1990 rules of war hammer equppied to deal with single charicter story acting?

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very good of you to help out. It sounds like you'll be invaluable, given your credentials.

 

The setting is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. It does support single character play. My thoughts so far are as follows.

 

1. Establish the characters in the Border Princes. It's a free form place with little law and order, and plenty of bandits, goblins etc. Let them stretch their legs.

2. Eventually, have someone suggest they get involved in a mining operation in the hills. As troubleshooters, doctors, miners, mine-owners whatever. The miners, of course, disturb something better left undisturbed. I'm thinking a necromancer, who begins raising the dead. Depending on the PCs these could be anything from resurrected miners to ancient skeletons of dead warriors.

3. Have some macguffin for the PCs going down into the Empire. Probably as a way of spending their loot with hopes of a more relaxing time. Bring them into a proper city with order, and of course intrigue. I want to come up withs omething which could be truly world changing and stick to it. i.e. if they don't svae the day then the world becomes a lot more unpleasant.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I would say that you have a nice vague outline for the campaign already. That's definitely what you need to start with. I have actually had very limited success with doing a lot of pre planning for my games. In a game where you do not plan to shoe horn your characters down a very limited track (you may have restless characters for instance who have no interest in ever working at a mine, of course then you simply get them to spend the night in town and let the undead attack them and then they have an interest in undead killing, hopefully)

 

I saw that when another gamer her asked what Prestige Class he should get that you responded, quite rightly, "What Would Your Character Do." When designing a game the answer to most questions is based on similar situations what would your players enjoy. Which of course is based on your player's characters.

 

Usually when starting a new game I have a vague idea of what I want, in line with your plan, then I have everyone make their characters up and have them write back stories. I then weave the events in the characters back stories together to form the storyline going forward. My PC's are always the basis, weather they meant to be or not, of the structure for my metaplot.

 

I even go so far as to have them make up their characters and write their stories a month or more before I intend to start playing so that I can do my planning work once I see where the PC's are already going.

 

So I would say do that then post a summery of their chacters, here I mean story and a general outline of ability not stats. Then weaving a uniqe and flexible story that they will all like will be very easy.

 

(Also once the game has begun listen to what your PC's theorize about what's going on. Sometimes what they come up with is so much better then what you had planned and you can easily take their idea and add a twist. They will both think that you are a genius and be very proud for getting so close to the answer no need to ever tell them that you changed it up)

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I saw that when another gamer her asked what Prestige Class he should get that you responded, quite rightly, "What Would Your Character Do." When designing a game the answer to most questions is based on similar situations what would your players enjoy. Which of course is based on your player's characters.

 

Lol, that would be me xD

 

Usually when starting a new game I have a vague idea of what I want, in line with your plan, then I have everyone make their characters up and have them write back stories. I then weave the events in the characters back stories together to form the storyline going forward. My PC's are always the basis, weather they meant to be or not, of the structure for my metaplot.

 

I even go so far as to have them make up their characters and write their stories a month or more before I intend to start playing so that I can do my planning work once I see where the PC's are already going.

 

So I would say do that then post a summery of their chacters, here I mean story and a general outline of ability not stats. Then weaving a uniqe and flexible story that they will all like will be very easy.

 

(Also once the game has begun listen to what your PC's theorize about what's going on. Sometimes what they come up with is so much better then what you had planned and you can easily take their idea and add a twist. They will both think that you are a genius and be very proud for getting so close to the answer no need to ever tell them that you changed it up)

 

My teammates are kinda new to RP, so making up a story about their chars is usually, well, vague to plainly unhelpful, so I stopped doing that, also my current DM isn't interested so much in backstory as much as giving us a much larger picture of what's out there, we're usually getting our asses handed to us so we pretty much eat poop from all the higher level NPCs all the time :ermm:

 

As far as the general outline of the story, I like it. The miners could discover an artifact that corrupts everything around it and the PCs could salvage it and take it to this larger city for further investigation only to corrupt the city itself and maybe even the PCs or if they are so set against it eventually be the only ones left unchanged with the ultimate task of destroying it.

 

Of course within the city there would be various factions citing for power and the artifact itself for greater influence while the PCs are caught right in the middle of this war. In the end they could either side with a faction and give the artifact upon reclaiming it or destroying it after they've found a way, pretty much like the VtM Bloodlines game's culmination.

Edited by SirPetrakus
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I really like the idea of some corrupting artifact. I also take on board the notion of flexibility. However, flexibility is also the enemy of depth and detail. I wonder what things one can plan in a detailed way?

 

One idea I had was characters. how about a couple of character sketches?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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One idea I had was characters. how about a couple of character sketches?

 

Eh? Like having us draw up what your NPCs will look like? I'm pretty sure there are plenty of illustrations of WH 40k characters. Why not try a search on Deviant Art? I saw a very hot Sister Sororita sketch there once. I hope that's a motivator lol.

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:) No. I mean written sketches, not of stats or occupations (well, not restrictively so). I'm talking about sketches of the things which make characters come to life.

 

Like:

 

"From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away." (Raymond Chandler)

 

"He stooped a great deal and plodded along in a slow preoccupied manner, which made the bustling of London thoroughfares no very safe resort for him. He was dirtily and meanly dressed, in a threadbare coat, once blue, reaching to his ankles and buttoned to his chin, where in vanished in the pale ghost of a velvet collar. A piece of red clothe with which that phantom had been stiffened was now laid bare, and poked itself up, at the back of the old man's neck, into a confusion of gray hair and rusty stock and buckle which altogether nearly poked his hat off. His trousers were so long and loose, and his shoes so clumsy and large, that he shuffled like an elephant; though how much of this was gait and how much trailing cloth and leather, no one could have told." (Charles Dickens)

 

I want characters to have desires, above all, and reasons why they have those desires, and reasons to have so far failed to attain them. Give those characters power, be it an army, money, or an inherited scrap of a notebook, and you have a plot!

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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You want a classic literature approach to characters in a world of pious devotees and fanatics.

 

1) That isn't easily done.

2) I am not native English so I am a little limited.

3) I can't simply translate it because Greek doesn't always have an English counterpart. Also Greek thinking doesn't translate into English in anyway.

4) I am only good at describing women of the femme fatale variety.

5) How many femme fatales can you include in a WH40k campaign, if any for that matter.

 

I am sorry but I am of no real use to you. I will try it and see if I can come up with something you can use, though. Look for something within the next day or so, if it doesn't fit your tastes, I'm sorry it didn't work as you had planned.

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1. *coughs* *whispers* it's FANTASY roleplay. The swords one, not the one with lasers.

 

2. Less is more with descriptions. You give me a few details. Like a glass nose, a weakness for yellow clothes, that sort of thing.

 

3. Dickens was a world pf devotees and fanatics!

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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How about this then?

 

A voice came from the shadows, sharp and heavy. There was something menacing in his voice even as his words weren't. Though he must have moved closer, he made no sound and saw they him not till he was right between them. A creature of darkness he seemed, dark and foreboding, they knew they'd best have kept their wits about them. A long scar run down the right side of his face, over his eye which, though seemingly intact, had died long ago. His short black hair were graying out fast and his wrinkled face made him look venerable, though his agility dictated otherwise. Draped in the colors of the city's night, he blended like a chameleon with his surroundings. A tiny glimmer of light appeared on his gloved hand, a small coin that he fancied playing tricks with, running it trough his fingers. He didn't want them dead, though he surely could end their lives in an instant. As if to mock them he retreated back where he came while that distracting glow of the coin still flickered in their eyes. As they looked around, both Gideon and his underlings, the Blood Knives as he had called them, had disappeared.

 

Just in case I wasn't clear, Gideon would be the bad guy and the Blood Knives would be the criminal underworld society he ruled over. I was thinking of something similar about the Arch Lector of the province, but I realized that everything else you might need to know about the province, its Lords and Ladies and the residing factors could be found in a source book or by searching the internet, therefore unless I am mistaken my help is not needed any more, if you find no more information however I would be happy to help again, provided I have been helpful this far :S

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My biggest problem as a GM is always finding a realistic way for the characters to actually wanna be near each other.. but that's mostly because my players are heavy on the RP and usually make some really interesting characters with alot of depth - this however also means that they're quite likely to walk away if that suits their characters.

 

The most succesful campaign I ever made took place in a huge swamp area (the size of Germany I think) in the Eberron setting. I modified the place a bit.

 

In short there were 5 characters.. The atagonist; a scholar/wizard who wasn't that good at his craft, but had stumbled upon an old scripture dealing with the imprisonment of some very powerful beings from another dimension (part of the actual setting). He learned that a few artifacts had been left behind, though he didn't know exactly where other than it was in this swamp.

 

I had a session with him before the actual game started were he was going over his plans and how to achieve them. We concluded that he would need a flying transport - which was available, but very expensive - so we roleplayed him going to various banks and money lenders in order to get the finances in place.

 

First off we are alot of friends who roleplay - so we usually swap game masters and players depending on schedules and such.

 

In that spirit I decided not to reveal to the various players that I had chosen them for this game and asked them not to reveal to each other that we were playing.

 

I roleplayed with each of them how they came to the place they'd all meet individually for a few hours. All of the encounters ended with them being arrested on various charges - some framed, some actually guilty - depending on the characters. The reason behind this is part of the story and not so important (this would be a very long post if I had to explain everything :) )

 

Then I brought all of our friends together, even those who weren't actually to be in the game. I made characters for the "new" players and then everyone played a session of being in jail in the courtyard. I'd set it up so that the atagonist would need the skills of my selected players - but would have to choose them himself. Which, fortunately he did. The others left and the game began.

 

To make this story a bit shorter - an earthquake broke the prison wall down and our "heroes" escaped with the antagonist leading the way. The prison was a hell hole and everyone wanted out - this ensured they stayed together, but I needed a plan that would keep them together for the rest of the game.

 

The made their way to the flying ship, which A (the wizard) had bought and flew away.

 

On the ship A laid out his plans of glory and riches - each of the players, they were given the option to join or be left at the outskirt of the next swamp town.. needless to say everyone joined.

 

At this point I hadn't actually done much, I'd set up the setting so that most of the prolouge would play out by itself, which it did just fine.

 

Then the horrors began. I made a system were the enviroment would be a constant thread. The swamp would corrupt any magic, making it more powerful, but draining the life of the caster (which couldn't be undone).

I also made it so that players couldn't actually die .. they would simply heal normally (even at -150 hp) until they reached +10 hp and wake up. But until that happened they would be trapped in the dimension of madness. Which needless to say, wasn't that pleasent, on top of that - each time they did they would bring something back with them - which only they could see and which only they could affect and be affected by.

 

I made a psych profile of all my players - mapping their real life conflicts with each other and integrated that into the game. So real life conflicts would result in ingame conflicts .. for instance 2 of my friends had a rough time when A started dating B gf after they broke up. I made it so that A was arrested for Bs crime in the swamp village - raping a girl.

 

That way I had ingame dynamics pulling my players away form each other, but external factors pushing them together for survival. And a corruption system that made sure they didn't try anything shifty to get out of it. All in a way that I felt made sense within the setting.

 

I was quite an experience, but mostly because the players became so involved in the intrigue and drama. While still being forced to move on ingame.

 

Plus we actually resovled some real life issues along the way.. A happy ending in a horror setting! :yucky:

Fortune favors the bald.

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I really like the idea of some corrupting artifact. I also take on board the notion of flexibility. However, flexibility is also the enemy of depth and detail. I wonder what things one can plan in a detailed way?

 

One idea I had was characters. how about a couple of character sketches?

 

The corrupting artifact is certainly classic enough and it's funny how you know they still won't realize what their doing by brining the artifact to the city.

 

I have to disagree however that flexibility is the enemy of depth and detail. I belive that one of the gretest experiances in role playing is creating a story together. The depth provided by so many people writing their stories and you weaving them together in my experiance far outweighs anything you would have time to put together yourself. And if none of your players want to contribute to the story then your not so much role playing as playing an RPG vidio game witha pencil and your freinds are just setting you up as the computer.

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My biggest problem as a GM is always finding a realistic way for the characters to actually wanna be near each other.. but that's mostly because my players are heavy on the RP and usually make some really interesting characters with alot of depth - this however also means that they're quite likely to walk away if that suits their characters.

 

Again I think that all of your preplanning is a little bit your undoing. You apparently have a wonderful roleplaying group and for that you are very lucky. So in your example game above instead of your prison contrivance if you had brought everyone who was going to be a player together and told them "I want to make a game, the protagoist is a bumbling wizard with a good lead on finding some really powerful artifacts." then you ask them to make characters that have a reason to be going along with all this. They will write their own reasons for staying together and it will be much more satisfying then being sort of forced into it. Plus it will make better stories.

 

I made a psych profile of all my players - mapping their real life conflicts with each other and integrated that into the game. So real life conflicts would result in ingame conflicts .. for instance 2 of my friends had a rough time when A started dating B gf after they broke up. I made it so that A was arrested for Bs crime in the swamp village - raping a girl.

 

This is a very, very dangerous road and I'm glad it worked out well for you. In general I would not advice using these games to work out real life issues unless you have an absurdly mature group and they are ok and aware of what you are doing. Many people would not take kindly to someone self assigning to be their therapist.

 

In the last game I played my DM was trying to teach me a lesson that he belived I needed to learn about life through the game but I had no interest in learning his morality. We simply differ on what we think is best for me. This led to me be very uncomfortable in a game where to succed I either had to accept his morality for my character, which i didn't or work annoyingly hard against a world that was stacked against me.

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darastrix83, you're right sometimes it fails hard (the preplanning) and I've learned to go more on gut feeling and be flexible instead.

 

The reason why I did what I did for that campaign, in regard of the psych profile was because I knew that they could handle it.. I didn't try to teach them anything, just played on real emotions to get a deeper emotional response in the campaign. They decided to go with it and resovled the issues on their own accord without further interference from my part. It wasn't actually my idea either, we had all been flirting with the concept for some time in our discussions on roleplaying.

 

I had built in some contingency plans that allowed the players to get around the issue if they wanted. But since we had discussed it previously and everyone had seemed excited about the idea I was fairly sure it was gonna work. Which luckily it did. But you're absolutely right, it's not something I would recommend or plan to do again - it's too risky and you need to know the players very well, as you say, to even have a remote chance of it not going very sour. but the reason I mentioned it was because I thought that a very mild version could work. Like an emphasis on internal conflicts between ingame characters.

 

My example (the bad relationship) was also the most serious of my implementations and I only choose it because I knew they'd talked alot about it and could handle a conflict - the others were minor personality traits I played on. Like a dislike of authority versus weak leaderskills.

 

It was just too tempting not to try it at least once - and I had a "dream team" of sorts with very mature players.

Fortune favors the bald.

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I like elements of the description of your Blood Knives chap. I'll keep the bandaged hand, and the age but also the nimbleness. A gang leader is also good. The full introduction can depend on the moment. Or he might be a surprisingly shifty innkeeper!

 

Speaking of motivation, the Genevieve vampire books include one story where the characters are literally shackled together by a group of slavers.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kicked off today, after a few beers. All in all quite encouraging.

 

Old hand gamer, but new to WHFRP chose a dwarf, the stats meant he had to be a warrior, and he rolled mercenary on the basic career table.

 

His wife (who is new to gaming) chose to be a wood elf, and had the choice of warrior or academic, and chose academic, rolling scribe.

 

The dwarf chose to be a follower of Khorne to start with, but I eventually persuaded him that while I was prepared to accept any decision, Khorne would be pretty dull. instead he chose Khaine, as allowing for more sneakiness and less glow in the dark tentacles. The female elf chose standard elfishness, but her main hook is that she's incredibly young [ you roll for age in whfrp] at 35.

 

I've got an NPC dwarf mercenary lined up, and some mercenary type shenanigans in the way of bandits, who will be part of something much bigger. I am thinking that I will try to get the female elf involved in some arther provincial but still unsavoury cultist goings on. While the evil dwarf will find himself kiling evildoers just to stay alive. They have the potential to help each other by their complimentary skills and contacts.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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If anyone's interested, and they probably aren't, I've prepped a map of the area, and was considering scanning/drawing it for reference. I've got an expanding list of characters and politics for the region (Tilea). But it is pretty fantasy generic.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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