Thursday, March 12, 2015

Episode 9.2: World Building and Campaign Sufficiency

Our Guest
+Rafael Chandler

Guest Notes


Show Notes

Email from +Pete Schwab:
Hey Adam/Donn,
I was just listening to the episode about running con games and I'm finding it very informative. If there's an opportunity, could you guys do a show covering how you approach developing material for campaign settings from scratch? 
What are the essential ingredients for getting started, and how much do you feel like you need to have on hand before you begin? Also, what are considerations in terms of rules sets and how much do you feel like you need to tailor aspects before hand based on player temperament/style?  
Thanks, I am really enjoying the show! Keep up the good work!
Rafael likes to do a brainstorming session with his players about what the campaign setting is going to be like.

Rafael: "I believe, as did Zuul, that the players should choose the implements of their own demise."

Adam uses the term "campaign sufficiency" to mean "enough detail to start a campaign."

Adam: "I give them the object then let them paint it."

Rafael on improvising creatures: "I roll 2d8 and multiply them for the monster's hit points. I take the higher die and add 10 to it to get its armor class. The lower number +1d6 is the amount of damage it does." Then he uses a chart for special details.

Adam: "Don't cheat yourself! Come up with a new way to do stuff every time."

Donn brings up GM Burnout... we think that's such an important topic that we devoted Episode 10.2 to the whole topic.

Donn: "There isn't a 'doin' it right.'"

Donn: "World building adds confidence because I know the answers."

Rafael: (Great anecdote about campaign play) "Let your players' decisions count and help them add meaning to your campaign."

Adam: "Look for the opportunities your players give you and make them deal with the consequences of the things they do or don't do."

Rafael: "I don't want to make things that make people flip through a book."

Tables and Random Generators are pretty much the most useful thing you can have for improv.

Adam: "I only want enough to run the first session. Everything else comes out of that one session."

Donn: "How much do you give the players?"

Adam: "If you make a thing, why would you hide it from your players?"

Rafael: (Blind men & the elephant) "Failing at gathering information should never happen, that's not the risk of the game."

Rafael: "Part of your obligation as a DM is to take these random bits of data and interpret them and turn them into something meaningful."

Rafael: "Part of the job is figuring out 'What is the best way to turn this into a bad situation for the players?'"

Donn: "You want the game to flow, not to sit around anticipating the next 'story arc.'"

Rafael: "If I can't remember it, it doesn't matter."

Adam's session sheet is based on +Brendan S from the Necropraxis blog, which you should all be reading. [Brendan's session sheet]


Third Rail

Do the skills that a thief class brings to the game justify the existence of the thief within that game?

Rafael: "The game would be incomplete without a specialist in the environment. Fighters are combat specialist, wizards are magic specialist, why not a specialist in the dungeon itself?"

Donn: "It's in the source material, so it's not even a question for me."

Adam: "I'm more interested in the narrative that the players are telling, so I'm less worried about having to have skills and a class that does things that a player could just narrate, but it's fine to me if players want those elements. Is the Grey Mouser a thief or a fighter? Depends on how you look at it."

Thanks for joining us for this episode of Drink Spin Run. We'd love to read your comments on the show, suggestions, where exactly we can stick what and other thinly-veiled threats. Send us your thoughts at Once again, thanks for listening, you gorgeous listeners.

1 comment:

  1. Meat Dwarf! Hey, is that like an Asian Elf? I really enjoyed this episode, dudes.