Collected Archives VI EPIC Campaigns

This is a very good article, and has a lot of valuable advice and suggestions in it.

Kenny Norris is definitely campaign focused and pours a huge amount of time and effort into hi campaign set ups. I think this is the major point of difference between us. I don’t value campaigns at all. It is the characters I value.

Obviously, those characters have adventures, or there would be no game.

I will often pull a character out that I haven’t played in months or years, and run an adventure for them. Basically, it is a one-shot following previous one-shots. Is that a campaign? I wouldn’t say so. For me, campaigns are a more coherent whole, not just a string of unrelated adventures.

My solo games are for me, by me, and only have to please me, so everything is good. Is that right for everyone? Definitely not.

Because my campaigns, when I do have a definable campaign tend to be shorter, I am much more likely to complete them. I tend to use a 5-Room Dungeon structure for the campaign. The first room really describes the character’s experience of the threat that is the main story arc. Essentially it is a plot hook, not for the adventure but the entire campaign. Each ‘room’ becomes a stage in the campaign, and the showdown room represents the final quest to face down and defeat the campaign villain.

Because I know which ‘room’ in the campaign I am in, I can judge how much influence the campaign story arc should have on the individual adventures. Not very much in the beginning, but increasingly as I progress.

The campaign story arc is also used to inject NPCs or factions into my game, when I need a reason to satisfy a question/answer pair.

What I most certainly don’t do is Kenny style detailed campaign planning. It would not surprise me if Kenny had a character die in the first adventure, if Kenny would not reuse all that planning and create a new character to carry the torch. I think I would be tempted to. I have done that occasionally when I was really into a campaign, and wanted to see it out.

For the most part I am more inclined to put a dead character aside and pick up a different game that has been calling for attention.

Like the passion statement, I think an EPIC campaign plan could be an interesting exercise. Do it, and see how much of what you produce gets used, how easy it was, and now much it helped you complete the campaign.

Then, take the bits that worked well and either modify the rest, or discard it. Kenny’s style is very much rate things that you love, can live with, can live without, and what you hate. Do more of what you love, and less of what you don’t.

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