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My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!


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I'm organizing a new Fantasy Hero Campaign, but I've had no end of trouble getting people to committ due to schedule reasons. They all want to play, they are just exceptionally busy (as am I). I've also had several people that have expressed interest, but they say that they would be an irregular gamer... So, I/we have decided to set a day, every other week, starting at 8:00. Since it's a weekday, and we all have to work early the next day, we plan on ending at 10:00-11:00. At most, then, we will be gaming for only 2-3 hours, every other week, with inconsistent players. I expect 3-7 players each night (of course, I'd require at least some kind of committment the day before for planning reasons). We are going to have the game at my church so we can accomodate possible babysitting (my son and daughter... who are going to play when they're not babysitting, which would increase the player base), and I like the idea of using the projector and an rptools-like program for the map stuff...

 

I originally was planning a long campaign in the Turakian Age Campaign, but now my thinking is to make it a lot more episodic. Something like the "Chaos Scar" concept that WotC started or something similar to the venerable "Keep on the Borderlands" idea (but, hopefully with a little more rhyme and reason to what's going on). The players will all belong to a Mercenary/Adventuring company stationed at the Town/Keep near the place of evil. They get missions from various means, rescue my child, find me the artifact of McGuffin, spy on such and such orc tribe, etc. eventually culminating into adventures relating to something like, why is all of this evil centered in this area?

 

This setup allows me to accomadate a varying player base and have short episodic adventures.

 

Here's where I need some help, I need to start fleshing out the details. Does this setup sound good? or does anyone have better ideas? What sort of issues will come up that I need to consider? How do I gear adventures to fit into 2-3 hours? Anyone have any short adventure ideas?

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

What I would suggest is a city based adventures. By having the adventure in the city you can have 'changing' party members from session to session. Also you can easily grow or shrink the opposition depending on the group of players.

 

Here are some good adventure ideas: Murder most foul; Committing/Preventing theft; Spying on a noble (find out who his mistress or her lover is); Deal with an evil under the city; serial killers; shopping trips (really great role playing opportunities); bounty hunting; Commit/Rescue kidnapping; Tenement building on fire; Crazy mage; Crazy monster; Circus comes to town and the 'animals/monsters' get loose; etc; etc; etc...

 

Sorry but getting orcs, ogres, giants, dragons, and a bunch of other 'standard' fantasy monsters would be hard with city adventures but that is the price you and your players get when you can only schedule 2-3 hour sessions every other week w/ minimal commitment.

 

I would also suggest that you have everyone create 2 characters (and make them very different from each other). So lets us say that Joe, Alice, Mary, Mark and Steve show up week but don't quite finish the adventure. But the next time Joe, Alice, Ted, & Trudy show up... Now what are you going to do? Well if Joe and Alice have a second character they can team up with Ted & Trudy's characters for an adventure. You would also have to let Joe, Alice, Mary, Mark & Steve that they have to commit to a session to finish up otherwise there might be a GM fiat decision about what happens (haha just kidding).

 

I would encourage you to look at the Valdorian Age. Elweir is an extremely detailed and complete city. You could play in the city for months and barely scratch the surface.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

Does this setup sound good?

 

Sure, using one city as the base of operations helps flesh it out in ways traveling does not. Me personally I would make it a mid size city that can get many normal things but may have trouble with the expensive and exotic stuff this way the City Districts become like cities of a kingdom. Something to explore and see plus the classic sewers or old ruins in town can be adventure seeds for in town affects. If that is to big a small frontier town can work as well but the smaller the town is the more the people matter. In a Mid sized city the adventures may have competition and it may take awhile for the to gain reputation to meet the mayor but in a smaller town they may be the only real game in town and the mayor could also be the tavern keeper they talk to all the time.

 

What sort of issues will come up that I need to consider?

 

re-hashing old stuff with players that are missing games. Once your overarching plot starts to develop if a player missed a week then he will need to be filled in so that he can begin to contribute to the new plot developing. If you and your players can I would suggest http://www.obsidianportal.com/ if just for the adventure log, don't worry its free. Put your more important notes on the site and they can check in at there leisure but the Adventure Log may help. If your players agree to it have one or two type out what happened to the group that week and post it to the portal that way everyone can see it. Add your own notes but even if no one wants you can post the week's adventure to fill in those that missed it.

 

What sort of issues will come up that I need to consider?

 

That certain characters you count on to be there, whether they had knowledge or an item/power to greatly help, will not be there. If they come from other games, DnD suffers this greatly, they may have a mind set of kill everything and loot their stuff. This can be fine if you game for it but with Hero I think your missing out on some fun with that mind set.

 

How do I gear adventures to fit into 2-3 hours?

 

Are you talking about rewards? I would suggest the Resource System, to my mind its the best way to handle Heroic Level gear and can easily balance rewards.

 

Anyone have any short adventure ideas?

 

While traveling to the next adventure thru a forest the group seems to become hopelessly lost in the forest until they come upon a obviously evil and powerful creature (or group of lesser powerful creatures). Observant characters ould notice that the creature(s) are just as surprised as they but as will adventurers meeting evil creatures combat ensues. Once the adventures are successful a spirit of the Forest appears before them and thanks them for ridding the Forst of the taint of evil. During the conversation (or yelling) the spirit reveals that creatures have been infesting the areas outside of the forest for awhile and are now moving into the forest and it wants them stopped. The Spirit may offer the Forests Bounty (all the food they can eat plus rare herbs) or even quicker travel thru the Forest as a reward for looking into the matter and stopping it. Dropping into the conversation as a seed or aside that the Spirit has offered this to other groups and none have returned can add to the idea it is hard. What they find can be many things; Demon Summoning, Zombie creation, an Ancient Seal broken...

 

Below would be for a larger size city and can go many ways depending on how dark you want to go.

The Carnival has come to town and the children are excited but strangely orphans are going missing and those citizens form the upper class along with the guards are coming back strange. The adventurers learn that Illusions, Hypnotism and Mind Games are being played at the carnival and any investigators will discover that this carnival has never existed before coming here. During the quest the characters become trapped in the illusion .... Is that a Monster they fought? ... maybe killed?.... then why did it scream like a Human? Vertigo takes over as they can no longer tell the illusion from reality and beware or they may be the next victims of the Carnival.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

What I would suggest is a city based adventures.

 

I like the idea of a city based, but I'm not sure all of the adventures would have to be located in the city... so long as I don't stress travel time to get to the adventure site.

 

I would also suggest that you have everyone create 2 characters (and make them very different from each other).

 

Brilliant! I like this idea a lot. I've been creating a bunch of pre-generated characters as well, that belong to the Merc/Adventure group, that will be NPCs when not in use by players.

 

I would encourage you to look at the Valdorian Age. Elweir is an extremely detailed and complete city. You could play in the city for months and barely scratch the surface.

 

I'll look into this. Is it a standard Fantasy World? Most of the players really want a setting that has most of the standard tropes associated with Fantasy...

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

Sure' date=' using one city as the base of operations helps flesh it out in ways traveling does not. Me personally I would make it a mid size city that can get many normal things but may have trouble with the expensive and exotic stuff this way the City Districts become like cities of a kingdom.[/quote']

 

I'm leaning towards a mid-sized city.

 

re-hashing old stuff with players that are missing games. Once your overarching plot starts to develop if a player missed a week then he will need to be filled in so that he can begin to contribute to the new plot developing. If you and your players can I would suggest http://www.obsidianportal.com/

 

I hadn't thought of that, but that sounds like a great idea. I've recently played a game called Mouse Guard. It has a system where the player that tells the "re-cap" at the beginning of the adventure gets a reward... something like a Binny used in Savage Worlds. I could use something like that to get a player to type up the "re-cap" on Obsidian Portal...

 

Are you talking about rewards? I would suggest the Resource System' date=' to my mind its the best way to handle Heroic Level gear and can easily balance rewards.[/quote']

 

Actually, I wasn't... Bad choice of words. What I meant was, how do I design an adventure so that it can be completed within the time constraints?

 

But, I think you've brought up another issue I hadn't considered... that is, how to balance equipment like magic items and such. I'm not familiar with the Resource System. I'll have to look into that. Another thing I could try, is to make equipment found and bought part of the Merc/Adventure groups that can be "borrowed" by members... hmmm, not sure I like that idea... What do you think? Maybe the Resource System is better...

 

[/i]The Carnival has come to town and the children are excited but strangely orphans are going missing and those citizens form the upper class along with the guards are coming back strange...

 

I like the circus idea. bluesguy mentioned this as well. I'm going to have to use this.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

Actually' date=' I wasn't... Bad choice of words. What I meant was, how do I design an adventure so that it can be completed within the time constraints?[/quote']

 

Thats going to be hard. The fluid nature of the group could mean something takes 10 minutes to do but later on the same thing takes 30 minutes to do. My advice would be to cut the adventure into Acts or Chapters and note what is important and not in each one. If time starts to be an issue cut an one out of the story but note what you need and transfer it into another chapter. That way if everything is going well you keep the adventure intact but it time starts pressing you can cut sections out but put the important things in later areas. Its not prefect but it can work.

 

But' date=' I think you've brought up another issue I hadn't considered... that is, how to balance equipment like magic items and such. I'm not familiar with the Resource System. I'll have to look into that. Another thing I could try, is to make equipment found and bought part of the Merc/Adventure groups that can be "borrowed" by members... hmmm, not sure I like that idea... What do you think? Maybe the Resource System is better...[/quote']

 

Well with the Resource System currency isn't as important, Dark Champions and Advanced Players Guide has the rules. The character get a block of points for their Equipment Pool (they get others for other 'categories') and they can only bring an amount of equipment up to the amount of points in the Equipment Pool. So the character may have hundreds of weapons littered around the Guild but if his Pool is set to 60 points then he can only bring 60 points with of stuff on the adventure. The neat thing about the system is that at the end of the adventure you can reward the characters with normal xp but then award them with equipment xp as well so maybe the next adventure they can bring 65 points worth of stuff.

 

My favorite part of this is that if a player finds a magic weapon that he loves he still needs to fit into it in the Pool which means less stuff to bring for him. Pools are reset between adventures.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

I run a game every two weeks. We meet for about 3 hours. Here's a few things that I've done to help keep the game moving along.

 

Rule 1: The party must stay together during the regular sessions.

Rule 2: You are encouraged to explore town, but do so via a medium like email or Obsidian Portal.

Rule 3: When a rules question comes up, I make a ruling and move on. Someone is free to look up the rules, but what's done is done. Next time we'll know differently.

Rule 4: If you miss a game, your character misses the experience. I award the experience every session, some players will naturally fall off and not come back if their character gets too far behind.

Rule 5: Don't let them get sidetracked. Three hours isn't much time, so in a battle if someone takes more than a few seconds to decide their action then they're considered to be holding and I move on.

Rule 6: Have fun.

 

Hope that helps.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

One of our discussion board colleagues described the beginning of a proposed campaign set in the Turakian Age which sounds remarkably similar to what you're shooting for. You may find his short forum thread about it helpful: http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php/87809-After-action-report-Turakian-Age-Borderlands

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

1. Decide very quickly if this is to be a role-play or roll-play based campaign. I'm thinking that with the problems to commitment, it's going to have to be roll-based. Thus, put the emphasis on gaining loot and killing stuff, not character development.

 

2. This would be one of the few times I'd actually support the idea of a dungeon crawl campaign, as it is easy to send them out to small self-contained adventures.

 

3. Make all the players leave a copy of their characters with you. On days they don't show up, pull a selection of these to use as NPCs as needed, or hand out to attendees as second characters. If the scenario runs into multiple sessions, the players can use the characters on the days they show up, and you control them otherwise.

 

4. Consider having a couple permanent floating characters that anyone can use, especially for the players that only rarely show up.

 

5. Treat it like a convention game - all characters are owned by you, not the players. There can be an agreement that the character designer gets first dibs if they show up, but otherwise each character is up for grabs each night.

 

6. Consider letting a player run designated NPCs, or even some of the villains/monsters/bad guys for you, instead of taking a PC on a given night. This can help speed up play as it requires you to do less. For even more fun, conspire with a player ahead of time to be a villain in disguise, who will then try to betray the team at a certain point. Afterwards, that character can either be retired or reformed as needed.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

I originally was planning a long campaign in the Turakian Age Campaign' date=' but now my thinking is to make it a lot more episodic. Something like the "Chaos Scar" concept that WotC started or something similar to the venerable "Keep on the Borderlands" idea (but, hopefully with a little more rhyme and reason to what's going on). The players will all belong to a Mercenary/Adventuring company stationed at the Town/Keep near the place of evil. They get missions from various means, rescue my child, find me the artifact of McGuffin, spy on such and such orc tribe, etc. eventually culminating into adventures relating to something like, why is all of this evil centered in this area?[/quote']

"Based in a city, but also adventures in the area" sounds good. You should try to get the maximum amount of terrain types nearby:

Montains (inlcuding mines), ocean or the sea, plains, hills, forest. Put a few "ruins" in the vicinity. Neverwinter is a good example.

 

The Mecenary/Adventuring Company angle is nice. That allows to shortcut on the background a little (because they are there to get paid for adventuring). There is even the option of the client sending some shining knight along (more options for PC's).

 

As time is short and parttaking not guaranteed, cut down complciations. You won't be using them much anyway.

 

How do I gear adventures to fit into 2-3 hours? Anyone have any short adventure ideas?

One way: Time limit. The Dragon is getting hungry soon. A Church-Werewolfhuner is on the way. That helps stopping players from fooling around.

 

Another idea is the gear "success" variably. When they are fast at tracking down clues, there will be more victims attacked (and to be resqued) before the big finale against the werewolve. If not, a little tip or "asking an expert" reveals that the first clue already leads straight to the Werewolves hideout.

Don't hesistate to re-use unused scenarios later (keep them somewhat environmental neutral). Resquing the Prisioners can be just as well from Orcs in the Forest as from bandits in the sewers.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

"Based in a city, but also adventures in the area" sounds good. You should try to get the maximum amount of terrain types nearby:

Montains (inlcuding mines), ocean or the sea, plains, hills, forest. Put a few "ruins" in the vicinity. Neverwinter is a good example.

Another important part are nearby cities/towns. With nearby beign anything from 3 days too 2 weeks of Travel. Dwarven Underground city, Woodelven Forest City, the drill.

Advantages:

Trading offers additional Questtypes (Escort Trader, Escort envoy, bodyguard in foreign lands)

Allows you to have different soceities for the heroes to deal with (some approaches work better in a Dwarven City than at home). sometimes the environment alone makes the adventure difficulty/existend.

Having the city be a "trade hub" makes it logical to place the agency there.

 

 

About the multiple character idea:

Ideally one should be for Social/City adventures, the other for combat/wildneress adventures. That opens up the "Bodyguard"/"Security Detail" angle.

And you don't send the smoothtalker to slay the dragon, or the half-orc barbarian as bodyguard for a dinner party.

 

 

I agree on the nessesarity of the adventure log. I just recently read the log of a long lasting (2 Years, 29 Sessions), dual character campaign that actually reached it's goal. I think both the dual character approach (in this case, they were even in different/somewhat isolated environments) and the log were important for that success.

 

 

Another idea is the gear "success" variably. When they are fast at tracking down clues, there will be more victims attacked (and to be resqued) before the big finale against the werewolve. If not, a little tip or "asking an expert" reveals that the first clue already leads straight to the Werewolves hideout.

Don't hesistate to re-use unused scenarios later (keep them somewhat environmental neutral). Resquing the Prisioners can be just as well from Orcs in the Forest as from bandits in the sewers.

I think I should elaborate that a little. Let's say it's the classical "save princess from dragon". I would only have three scenes "fixed":

The started in the city, freeing the princess, delivering and getting paid.

 

Between each of theses major steps can be obstacles:

Wild animals can make getting to the lair more difficulty.

The Dragon itself might be a problem. But maybe he "flew out" or got killed by some other monster.

 

About difficutly for "getting back":

It's a nice thing that there is almost always a "Plot object" to retrieve (wich means it can be stolen) on such adventures, so "gettign back" can be as vital/interesting as "getting there and the job done".

Maybe a rival group want's to kidnap the princess/get the reward themself, or the death of the dragon means some other monster is free to roam now.

It helps to drop clues in advance: information about "hiring more than one group" from the client, maybe the other group tries to scare your adventures away ("don't take our job") or tracks of the monster. That way this extra problem isn't totally out of the blue, and if you don't use it it's no problem.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

Thats going to be hard.

 

Tell me about it. I guess I'm going to have be flexible. I'm pretty good at winging it. Maybe I'll keep a timer on my lap top so I can pace things better.

 

 

Advanced Players Guide has the rules.

 

I think I have a copy of this... [HUNT]Found it! I'm going to read it soon! Thanks![/HUNT]

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

I run a game every two weeks. We meet for about 3 hours.

 

I'm glad to see that my situation is not as uncommon as I originally thought.

 

Rule 1: The party must stay together during the regular sessions.

 

We used to play D&D 4E, where splitting the party is death... so, the player's natural tendancy is to stay together. But, I think I might voice my strong recommendation to stick together to keep things rolling... though I think that HERO is a lot more forgiving when you don't have all of the archtypes covered. The time constraint is the key here, however.

 

Rule 2: You are encouraged to explore town' date=' but do so via a medium like email or Obsidian Portal.[/quote']

 

I really like this idea... it doesn't preclude missions in the town, but it keeps things rolling during the session. This is definitely going to be a part of the campaign. I once did a "Play by Email" with some of my friends, where I was the GM... so, I have some experience with this.

 

Rule 3: When a rules question comes up' date=' I make a ruling and move on. Someone is free to look up the rules, but what's done is done. Next time we'll know differently.[/quote']

 

I'd already planned on this. I have only one "rules-lawyer" but he's not familiar with the Hero System. So I think this won't be a problem.

 

Rule 4: If you miss a game' date=' your character misses the experience. I award the experience every session, some players will naturally fall off and not come back if their character gets too far behind.[/quote']

 

I think HERO handles this a lot better than a leveling based system like 4E since it's more granular.

 

Rule 5: Don't let them get sidetracked. Three hours isn't much time' date=' so in a battle if someone takes more than a few seconds to decide their action then they're considered to be holding and I move on.[/quote']

 

Do you have this as a hard rule? or do you do it if it becomes an issue? I plan on warning my players... holding an action is not the end of the world after all.

 

Rule 6: Have fun.

 

Hope that helps.

 

It helps a lot! Thank you!

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

One of our discussion board colleagues described the beginning of a proposed campaign set in the Turakian Age which sounds remarkably similar to what you're shooting for. You may find his short forum thread about it helpful: http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php/87809-After-action-report-Turakian-Age-Borderlands

 

I just read this. That's kind of funny... I was planning on putting my town/city near Skeld, near Ternadoc. But I like the idea of being near Khirkovy so I can use the tensions between Vestria and Khirkovy as well. I like the location. You have tensions between Skeld, Torath, and Khirkovy all three in a sort of juxtaposition. It's near the mountains of Skeld, the Sea of Ice, there's a few forests... perfect! My town/city may just as well be Volmar!

 

I like this more and more. I have a copy of the Fantasy Hero: Battlegrounds, maybe Lord Redwater was sent by King Almund VIII so that he could have someone he trusted in the area. Knowing he couldn't send an army, for fear of insighting old hatreds between the Tornathians and Skelds, and also upsetting Khirkovy, he only sends Redwater and his limited number of men... he also contracts the Merc/Adventuring group to help. I like it!!! Wasn't Vomar an ancient capital of some kingdom at one time? I could always use some kind of hook there, along with Eisburk-Beyond the Shoals adventure for some hooks as well.

 

Thanks!

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

1. Decide very quickly if this is to be a role-play or roll-play based campaign. I'm thinking that with the problems to commitment' date=' it's going to have to be roll-based. Thus, put the emphasis on gaining loot and killing stuff, not character development.[/quote']

 

Yeah, I was worried about this, but you are right. Like I said earlier, most have some 4E experience, so this is kind of what they are used to. But, maybe with the Obsidian Portal ideas mentioned above, we can get some character development as well...

 

2. This would be one of the few times I'd actually support the idea of a dungeon crawl campaign' date=' as it is easy to send them out to small self-contained adventures.[/quote']

 

Yes, but with the location I'm choosing (see above) I should be able to include some other types of missions... but, yes, I'll have to be a little "rail-roady."

 

3. Make all the players leave a copy of their characters with you. On days they don't show up' date=' pull a selection of these to use as NPCs as needed, or hand out to attendees as second characters. If the scenario runs into multiple sessions, the players can use the characters on the days they show up, and you control them otherwise.[/quote']

 

Good idea.

 

4. Consider having a couple permanent floating characters that anyone can use' date=' especially for the players that only rarely show up. [/quote']

 

Already planned. I have 4 characters already made for this purpose. I plan on making a few more. I've made a Human Wizard, Dwarven Warrior, Fairy Wizard, Huge Barbarian... so far the players have chosen to play an Elf Dual-Wielding Swordsman, an Elf Ranger, and a Human Priest... I'm not sure what the others were thinking, but I think they are pretty open and may choose on of my pregens. What other character types should I make or suggest to them?

 

5. Treat it like a convention game - all characters are owned by you' date=' not the players. There can be an agreement that the character designer gets first dibs if they show up, but otherwise each character is up for grabs each night.[/quote']

 

I like this idea too.

 

6. Consider letting a player run designated NPCs' date=' or even some of the villains/monsters/bad guys for you, instead of taking a PC on a given night. This can help speed up play as it requires you to do less. For even more fun, conspire with a player ahead of time to be a villain in disguise, who will then try to betray the team at a certain point. Afterwards, that character can either be retired or reformed as needed.[/quote']

 

Hmmm, if I always plan on some NPCs possibly being run by some of the more sporadic players, I could possibly have some missions that take more than one session (so long as I have some kind of committment by the players in question...)

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

"Based in a city, but also adventures in the area" sounds good. You should try to get the maximum amount of terrain types nearby:

Montains (inlcuding mines), ocean or the sea, plains, hills, forest. Put a few "ruins" in the vicinity. Neverwinter is a good example.

 

Done! See my decisions on location above. ;)

 

As time is short and parttaking not guaranteed' date=' cut down complciations. You won't be using them much anyway.[/quote']

 

Not much anyway... except in the Obsidian Portal area...

 

One way: Time limit. The Dragon is getting hungry soon. A Church-Werewolfhuner is on the way. That helps stopping players from fooling around.

 

Great idea!

 

Another idea is the gear "success" variably. When they are fast at tracking down clues' date=' there will be more victims attacked (and to be resqued) before the big finale against the werewolve. If not, a little tip or "asking an expert" reveals that the first clue already leads straight to the Werewolves hideout..[/quote']

 

I like the mechanic in Mouse Guard where a failure is only a way for the GM to apply conditions or twists. In a lot of ways, it enhances the story being told and can be more entertaining than if the players "succeed."

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

I'll look into this. Is it a standard Fantasy World? Most of the players really want a setting that has most of the standard tropes associated with Fantasy...

 

Well Valdorian Age is a Sword and Sorcery world (think Thieves World, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Conan, etc) which means few monsters and 'low magic world'. But that doesn't mean you have to use the product that way. The Valdorian Age has a very unique Hero Game System Magic system - which looks cool in theory but it appeared that it would become a book keeping nightmare.

 

If you were to buy the Valdorian Age get it for Elweir, which is about 70% of the material in the book. With that book you can run months of adventures without having the players leaving town. There are thieves, sorcerers, slavers, political intrigue, lost ruins under the city which might be accessible via the sewer system, etc. There are villages around Elweir that probably have regular caravan runs. Plus there are Bandit Lords nearby.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

Do you have this as a hard rule? or do you do it if it becomes an issue? I plan on warning my players... holding an action is not the end of the world after all.

 

Yes. It's not a set amount of time either, if I feel like I might get a response quickly I'm more apt to wait a few seconds longer. The idea, though, is that when you have a couple of hours at most that anything to keep the game moving helps a lot. I just told the players during the first session of the game that I would give them a held action if they took too long. It had a side benefit of putting some urgency into the players, too. Which means they've made some rash decisions, not unlike a combat encounter.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

Yes..

 

I like it. I'm definitely going to incorporate this. I'm even thinking that after the obligatory "combat to get to know the rules", incorporating it immediately.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

If you want a published setting, I'd second the suggestion for Valdorian age and Elweir, even if you don't use the magic system/Sword and sorcery feel. That's simply because a really big city offers possibilities that a keep on the Borderlands won't.

 

Another possibility - one that I used in my last game - is a non-Hero system setting. I pinched the idea of Pavis from Runequest - a city perched on the edge of the ruins of a much older and larger city. In my game, I started with a large, very wealthy port city, that was home to powerful wizards and lords. Living mostly by sea-trade and fishing fleets, and protected by huge walls, the area outside the city's crop-growing hinterlands was still pretty much wilderness, inhabited by barbarian tribes. Eventually, a huge earthquake dropped the cities seafront 8 metres, flooding the lower quarters of the town, and triggering a massive mudslide from the crater lake of the mountain towering above it - burying the upper half of the town. With a hole in the wall, the barbarians flooding in to loot, their fleets destroyed, half their city under a steaming pile of clay and their port lost, most of the survivors left or died. Fast forward a few centuries, and a small city (built mostly of remnants) has grown up on the edge of the vast ruins. The exposed ruins have been picked over pretty thoroughly, and are now a dangerous wasteland of tumbled walls, forlorn columns and hidden cellars, drowned in trees, bushes and vines, but buried in the giant mudslide (now honeycombed with tunnels), there are still untouched buildings, potentially full of treasure, which continues to draw a motley crew of adventurers. And who knows what's in the cellars of ruins sticking up above the waves?. The descendants of the original city dwellers are trying to rebuild the city's former glory and are holed up in fortified towns dotted about the ruins, while barbarians, outlaws and things escaped from the ancient labs of long-dead-wizards roam the ruinous landscape. The players ended up using one of these fortified bolt-holes as base, getting involved in equal parts political intrigue between the various factions and looting runs into the ruins.

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

I just read this. That's kind of funny... I was planning on putting my town/city near Skeld, near Ternadoc. But I like the idea of being near Khirkovy so I can use the tensions between Vestria and Khirkovy as well. I like the location. You have tensions between Skeld, Torath, and Khirkovy all three in a sort of juxtaposition. It's near the mountains of Skeld, the Sea of Ice, there's a few forests... perfect! My town/city may just as well be Volmar!

 

I like this more and more. I have a copy of the Fantasy Hero: Battlegrounds, maybe Lord Redwater was sent by King Almund VIII so that he could have someone he trusted in the area. Knowing he couldn't send an army, for fear of insighting old hatreds between the Tornathians and Skelds, and also upsetting Khirkovy, he only sends Redwater and his limited number of men... he also contracts the Merc/Adventuring group to help. I like it!!! Wasn't Vomar an ancient capital of some kingdom at one time? I could always use some kind of hook there, along with Eisburk-Beyond the Shoals adventure for some hooks as well.

 

Thanks!

 

You're welcome. :)

 

Volmar was indeed the capital of independent Toreth before the Vestrian conquest.

 

I just want to point out that the Battle of Baltaros moved the border between Vestria and Khirkovy well beyond Toreth, adding a lot of territory to play around in. Moving your group's base of operations into this region, south of Toreth and east of Colgrave, would bring it closer to the Greyward Mountains and the rising humanoid threat there, while still likely to rub up against the machinations of Toreth and Khirkovy.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

If you want a published setting' date=' I'd second the suggestion for Valdorian age and Elweir, even if you don't use the magic system/Sword and sorcery feel. That's simply because a really big city offers possibilities that a keep on the Borderlands won't.[/quote']

 

I'll look into it. I always say, "Creative ones, create; intelligent ones, adapt." Right now, however, I'm not wanting to spend too much money for something I might use (I'm saving up for GenCon :P). I'm going to see what I have already... maybe I can adapt something.

 

Another possibility - one that I used in my last game - is a non-Hero system setting. I pinched the idea of Pavis from Runequest...

 

Interesting. I like the idea of a city next to a larger city ruins... Lots of opportunity... another one I'll have to look into.

 

I've looked through stuff I alreay have... I have a couple cities from the Kingdoms of Kalamar; Geanavue and Port Loona. I also have the old boxed set for The City of Greyhawk. Geanavue and Greyhawk both come with a gorgous color city poster. Though they don't have the flavor of a northern city... but that's just fluff.

 

I'm going to have to make a decision soon. Our first session starts next week on Thursday.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

You're welcome. :)

 

Volmar was indeed the capital of independent Toreth before the Vestrian conquest.

 

I just want to point out that the Battle of Baltaros moved the border between Vestria and Khirkovy well beyond Toreth, adding a lot of territory to play around in. Moving your group's base of operations into this region, south of Toreth and east of Colgrave, would bring it closer to the Greyward Mountains and the rising humanoid threat there, while still likely to rub up against the machinations of Toreth and Khirkovy.

 

I'm debating on whether I want a port city or a river city... Is Londregos too far away? I know it's technically part of Umbr... The city map for Greyhawk (that I already own) is a river city with a lot of wealth...

 

Ugh!!! Too many choices! I'm stating to think that I'm just going to have to make a decision and go with it... :P

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

I'm debating on whether I want a port city or a river city... Is Londregos too far away? I know it's technically part of Umbr... The city map for Greyhawk (that I already own) is a river city with a lot of wealth...

 

Ugh!!! Too many choices! I'm stating to think that I'm just going to have to make a decision and go with it... :P

 

Well, if you're looking for a river city, you could simply establish one on the east bank of the Glimwash River, perhaps close to and conducting trade with the Dwarf city of Zargund. Just because there isn't one on the published map doesn't mean you can't have one in your campaign.

 

OTOH how about moving a little further east, to the kingdom of Mezendria? The city of Athford, on the Esseth River, is right at the border with Keldravia, and has been undergoing a massive bolstering of its defenses due to fears of invasion from Keldravia. Athford is also very close to the Snowthorn Mountains, and would likely have to deal with raids from hostile Orcs and the savage Trusca barbarians. It seems like a place with opportunities for adventurers for hire. There's also the likelihood of the neighboring Troll kingdom of Tharnrek soon gaining a much more aggressive and ambitious king.

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Re: My Campaign Is Starting to Flesh Out... I Need Help!

 

Well' date=' if you're looking for a river city, you could simply establish one on the east bank of the Glimwash River, perhaps close to and conducting trade with the Dwarf city of Zargund. Just because there isn't one on the published map doesn't mean you can't have one in your campaign.[/quote']

 

True. I usually don't take something published and use it carte-blanch. But, I'm also a bit lazy... I don't want to create too much I don't have to.

 

how about moving a little further east' date=' to the kingdom of Mezendria? The city of Athford, on the Esseth River, is right at the border with Keldravia, and has been undergoing a massive bolstering of its defenses due to fears of invasion from Keldravia. Athford is also very close to the Snowthorn Mountains, and would likely have to deal with raids from hostile Orcs and the savage Trusca barbarians. It seems like a place with opportunities for adventurers for hire. There's also the likelihood of the neighboring Troll kingdom of Tharnrek soon gaining a much more aggressive and ambitious king.[/quote']

 

I like this idea a lot. I could use my maps (and NPCs) for the City of Greyhawk (renaming it Athford)... No one said I had to keep the campaign in Vestria... I also like the write up on Mezendria; Griffon Nights, one of the royal children taught military stuff while the other taught magic... Possible political conflict from at least 3 different sources (Khirkovy, Troll Kingdom, and Keldravia) not to mention the fact that it's close to mountains... orcs, dragons, etc.

 

So, another thing I've been debating is the Magic System. I was originally going to go with just the standard Turakian Age divide by 3 to make it simple. But, after making 3 magic using characters (I'm designing NPCs and possible characters for irregular players), I've found that the divide by 3 mechanic is dull and makes magic very powerful (one of the wizards I made has around 30 spells!!!). I then decided to revisit KillerShrikes awesome website. I like the Metier system he has... though, I think I might adapt it so that I can use the schools of magic found in the Grimiore for ease (I'm still thinking about this). I like the idea of END reserves... possibly through a mage's staff (like Gandalf) but with some "Matrixes" able to use personal END. One other thing that I don't think I like, in general, are spell components for most spells. It's just one more thing the players have to keep track of, and I never see Gandalf using components... maybe I can make components a part of one "Style" of the Metier system, but not all. One last thing, How do I make Divine Spell casting different? Do I make it just another "Style" or do I come up with a totally different system? (I'm still reading ideas on KillerShrike's site... maybe I'll find something there I like).

 

(My only complaint with the Hero System, is the massive amount of prep work needed... I enjoy it, don't get me wrong, it's just not easy to just throw something together... Now, all of this hard work will pay off, in the long run, I'm sure. Once things are established, everything will run smoothly, it's just a lot of initial groundwork... :P

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