July 29, 2010

It's an Open Book

Next month I'll be starting up a new 4e campaign, and I'm pretty excited. I have an excellent group of players (which include several talented RPG authors, editors, and playtesters) and the group really has a wonderful vibe. Now the work begins ... but it's work of the best kind.

I'm creating a continuous campaign, which is to say a number of adventures linked together by a common plot thread in "adventure path" fashion. The campaign will be set in the Known Realms/√Āereth setting. The plot is just beginning to come together, though I already have enough material on paper for 2-3 sessions of play. Where shall I "take" my players? Crumbling keeps? Deep caverns? Seaborne vessels? Aztec-style pyramids filled with worshippers of forgotten gods? Decisions, decisions!

It's been a long time since I've hammered out a campaign from scratch. A long time as in years. In my recent time-starved (and player-starved) years I've fallen into a habit of using modules or adventures from Dungeon for a few evenings play. This time is different—I shall create everything from the ground up. It's daunting, and exciting, and it reminds me why I enjoy DMing so much.

Playing the DM Role

At the time I started playing the game (back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth), I purchased a copy of the venerable "blue book" set from a store in New York City (no stores in my local NJ really carried it yet). My friend Brian, brave fellow, was willing to give it a go. Soon we sat down and ran our characters—a fighter (me) and magic-user—through Quasquetan. I still remember the first creature we fought (drumroll) ... a single giant ant.

I didn't exactly have the DM thing down yet, and I basically played while openly rolling up random monsters and treasure (the module left the room-inhabitants undetermined). It didn't matter, we had a ball. Soon thereafter we switched roles, with Brian serving as DM (only), and I did a solo(!) trip through the
Tomb of Horrors. (Yes, that was insane. And my guy was low level, crazier still.)

Perhaps that first experience gave me a healthy fear of being a player (though doubtful, as it was great fun), but I really think my natural storyteller nature drove me to DM. Most of my friends didn't have a great interest in DMing either, so more often than not I found myself in the DM seat. As a result, I've grown most comfortable in that role.

My lack of playing characters, on the flip side, has rendered me rather self-conscious as a player. This year I've played a 4e ranger and much enjoyed it, so perhaps I'm shrugging off some of that. One hopes. But in the meantime the next great campaign project beckons, and I couldn't be more psyched.
If they only knew what I was planning...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...