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Oldgamer
06-23-2009, 10:47 AM
Which do you prefer, modules based on local problems? Or do you like homebrew campaigns designed to incorporate nations and years of play?

I ask because my favorite is long campaigns based in a homebrew world, or even an existing setting. Something along the lines of Dragonlance, something that starts the characters off at 18 or so years old at level one and through their help, the group rises in level, reputation, power, etc as they save the world.

For instance, several years ago I ran a campaign based in the Greyhawk world, at least for geographical purposes. It's name was The Rise of Asmodeus, and began with an old mod called Destiny of Kings to get the characters together and raise them a few levels before coming the globe trying to stop what was slowly becoming the emergence of the great devil himself with all of the armies of Hell with him ... not to mention, at higher levels, the demons and devils would conflict with each other involving more than just rallying nations on the Prime Material Plane.

The game fizzled out after a few years because it was 2nd Ed and 3.0 was coming out and I was losing the interest of the players due to the newly released mechanics and rules. But before 3.0 came out (and I'm not harping on editions, just the attrition one caused on a game of mine), the players seemed to love it and played it for probably 4-5 years.

Are those the epic campaigns that you like? Or is it the quick prefab modules (I like them too, but usually as quickies ;))

Maybe ol' Thoth could make it a poll? :biggrin:

Q-man
06-23-2009, 03:41 PM
As a player I prefer the homebrew campaigns where the party builds up together and goes on through one long story. I think its also more fun as a GM since you can change things up very easily to put new challenges in front of the players or to adapt the story to what they've done.

You can do that stuff with modules, but they are a bit more rigid since the story is already fully written, you have to return to the story in the module at some point. The real advantage to pre-written modules is that you don't have as much work to do to prepare for game night, since everything you needs is probably written for you.

The recent games I've been in have all been out of modules since there just hasn't been enough time for the DM to prepare for the game. Real life can be a huge pain.

Laslo
06-23-2009, 03:41 PM
As a player having the long term connection to the campaign world is very rewarding. Even if it isn't the same character throughout a stable setting adds a feeling of completeness to the world.

As a GM I know that there are times that you need to get some inspiration and call upon a module. Currently I have done both, I have set my players down in the DM guide setting, started with H1 but have turned it into my own story that will quickly leave the built in setting.

Arkhemedes
06-23-2009, 03:59 PM
I do both. I use modules and arrange them so that the characters go through them one after another as they rise up in level. At some point, we'll decide to retire the characters, at which point they become NPCs. Then we make a new set of characters and start over again. I have some long term players who have multiple characters all over the map and on occasion one of their new characters will run into one of their old retired characters. The players truly enjoy the fact that they have characters who are now a part of that world like any other DM run NPC.

Dark
06-23-2009, 05:54 PM
I can do either but when I DM I tend to remold the modules as most tend to be far too easy or lack that certain something something ;).

RoryN
06-23-2009, 06:05 PM
I really like the feel of a homebrew campaign, whether it be as a player or DM, as you feel you are truly a part of the world and it's history, at least in whatever area you adventure. A long term campaign with companions (both players and characters) growing in experience is very rewarding, and fun as well. Bringing new characters/players into the fold can be fun as well.

As a DM, I like to incorporate modules here and there into my world. Most are molded to serve my immediate purpose by changing names, encounters, etc. What I find especially helpful are any maps included in a module. I use those both in the module, and as little treasures stashed away in libraries and such for the characters to find.

Grimwell
06-23-2009, 06:46 PM
I'm a serious fan of the homebrew games. I don't mind modules used as one of the ingredients in a DM's kitchen, but I give higher preference to an established setting (modules or not) over moshing through random modules.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-23-2009, 07:03 PM
Either... both. Early on, sure, the party may deal with local problems from time to time, but as they become much more skilled, and recognized, they are offered some say in larger solutions, knowingly or not.

For instance, early on, they may just be a group of characters that are unhappy with their lot in life, not a real stretch in the old world. They realize that working 7 days a week for nothing sucks. So, they would rather risk death for the sheer adventure of it all for say in their own lives, than die toiling away. I would do this, most definitely.

At first, they may pick up a job cleaning city sewers, rat-catching, or scouting for the Empire in their 'own backyard.' Of course, as they build their skills, so do their jobs get harder and more important.

I prefer long running campaigns but have yet to run into a group of gamers that are willing to invest years into their hobby. I'm moving to San Antonio next spring and would love to run all the classics of old, but even then, i need commitments. I do envy those that have played for years. Longest campaign i ever played was around 5 years--incredibly cool. Always wanted to start young (18 + or -) and retire them at an old age, but probably wont ever happen.

Truth be known, probably why i write novels now. This way i can enjoy characters going from their youth to advanced careers, but admittedly, i have yet to write one that lives to old age. Just because i'm the writer doesn't mean i force their survival. Ah well, one day perhaps.

Hmm, i guess that was a winded version of 'both.' Thoth ends rambling.

deathboy
06-23-2009, 11:20 PM
My Sandbox Campaign was usually me putting stuff together with modules thrown in to spice up things.

Right now I am running Paizo's Pathfinder Adventure paths, these are campaigns that run six adventures, and cover a certain story arc. The first one I ran was Rise of the Runelords, and currently I am running Curse of the Crimson Throne. All of these APs run your party from 1st level to about level 15 or 16.

In the end it falls upon time to put stuff together or not and what your players may or may not enjoy.

Sethannon
06-24-2009, 08:12 AM
I'm big into long, flushed out campaigns over modules. I tie characters together and bring back old PCs into NPC roles. Most of my players love that I do that, they love seeing and working with their old PCs at times. One of the campaigns I have running ties current PCs to the players old PCs from 25 game years (about 10 RL years) ago.

One of my players that occasionally takes his hand at DMing tends to have a more module based philosophy, however. The games are typically short but enjoyable. It gives me a few sessions chance to be a player again (god, when was the last time I did that for any length of time?!) and lets him build himself as a DM which is good.

I think tying the two together can be helpful. I know I started with modules to get the feel of how to "do the job" and have moved far beyond that now. I see that starting to happen with my alt player/DM as I see him now slowly trying to build his own legitimate campaign.

Speech
06-24-2009, 06:59 PM
I prefer fleshed out campaigns personally. The challenge of building a character in an evolving setting that I have the power to effect. To tell the truth, I have played very few one shots and when I did I felt like I was almost wasting my time with them-which is a weird reaction I admit.

I suppose I am a sucker for a good story and like to feel like a player in that story.

Arkhemedes
06-24-2009, 07:07 PM
I prefer fleshed out campaigns personally. The challenge of building a character in an evolving setting that I have the power to effect. To tell the truth, I have played very few one shots and when I did I felt like I was almost wasting my time with them-which is a weird reaction I admit.

I suppose I am a sucker for a good story and like to feel like a player in that story.
Not a weird reaction at all. I whole-heartedly agree.

wizarddog
06-25-2009, 01:58 PM
I prefer a home brew campaign when I DM. Important adventures are written from scratch but occasionally I throw pre-made stuff to add to the adventure.
I deconstruct modules to fit in my game. Their main source of usefulness is description of rooms/area, stats of foes, and maps. I find dungeon crawls (Dungeon crawl classics or TRS) to be the easiest to deconstruct than event based adventures (Most of the Wizards). I also prefer ones that don't have a lot of distracting graphics (Like those wizard ones with the backgrounds).

Recently I deconstructed Slaves Pits of the Under city(Made it a temple to a Gaunt), House on Gryphon Hill (Used a map and room description), and The Cage of Delirium (Made the past events the current for the players)

prinnycook
07-03-2009, 08:57 PM
I like making giant complex homebrewed campaign worlds or being in them. I tend to incorporate some things from other settings but also like to allow portals into other realms.
That was mainly during 2nd and I never really tried it in 3rd. I currently redoing my campaign world for 4th. So far it is going well except for different gods in the world.

Chrisg
07-06-2009, 12:34 AM
Our GM always tried to stick with just local short adventures, because he didn't like it when someone missed a week, understandably, and trying to come up with reasons someone was missing in the middle of a story became harder and harder. However no matter how hard he tried to make it module/ local adventures, we some how always managed playing global campaigns which always lasted on the months to a year scale. I think we all liked being able to grow our characters as well as our group dynamic throughout the story arcs.

Skunkape
07-06-2009, 07:05 AM
As a player, I prefer long term campaigns where the characters get to grow, but as far as the setting, that doesn't matter as much to me, it can be a homegrown or published world. As far as GMing, I prefer homegrown, even taking the real world and shape it to my own needs.

I just prefer taking control of the world to get it to look like I want it to.

tesral
07-06-2009, 08:29 AM
Both: There are long term goals and short one off adventures. I do not exclusively use either kind of adventure. A long term campaign needs both the long goals and some shorter goals as leavening. A long grind can get old, but a quick side trip to rescue the dragon from the princess can refresh the party and get them back into the groove.

WhiteTiger
07-08-2009, 10:03 AM
I like both but when push comes to shove. I'll take a medium-to-long campaign on a homebrew world. I feel it gives more opportunity for character development.

tesral
07-08-2009, 10:05 AM
I want the campaign. A series of one offs are not nearly as good.

Valdar
07-08-2009, 12:53 PM
Long campaign totally. You will of course have short-term goals and sideplots, but the campaign should be headed somewhere. Best not to set the long-term goal in stone, so you won't waste too much material when the party goes in a direction you didn't anticipate.

Modules are fine if you rip out the story from them and insert your own to fit with your long-term campaign. I think the story behind most modules is pretty weak because the designers know that any DM worth his salt will replace it, or at least enhance it tremendously.

Baldwin Stonewood
07-08-2009, 04:26 PM
My last game was based on a module: Shattered Gates of Slaughtergard where we only used two of the three modules but I based my entire world within the map. We played that game from 2nd level up to 16th level or so, and could have gone to epic. We played 18 months, every other week. There were layers upon layers of complexity, back stories and side stories that made it blast which can be done with any module or homebrew game.

A module can spark an idea but ultimately, the story, flow and creativity come from the players and the GM.

To paraphrase Walt Disney, our only limitations are our imaginations.

Oldgamer
07-09-2009, 10:20 AM
My last game was based on a module: Shattered Gates of Slaughtergard where we only used two of the three modules but I based my entire world within the map. We played that game from 2nd level up to 16th level or so, and could have gone to epic. We played 18 months, every other week. There were layers upon layers of complexity, back stories and side stories that made it blast which can be done with any module or homebrew game.

A module can spark an idea but ultimately, the story, flow and creativity come from the players and the GM.

To paraphrase Walt Disney, our only limitations are our imaginations.


The city of Sumberton is used in a lot of D&D material, I just found it mentioned in a WotC PDF called Dungeon Masters Guide - Building a City. It's a good spot to base a good campaign on IMO, the NPC's are there as well as the places, guilds, etc ... even some of its own prestige classes.

berginyon
07-09-2009, 10:24 AM
i think that both are good to do, doing a bought moduale give's you a break from making up one and they alway's add a adventure hook in there.

outrider
07-09-2009, 10:41 AM
homebrew campaigns by far for me. I have been running my homebrew for nearly 30 years and have been enjoying it. My players like that many of their past characters have become legends in the mythology.

Baldwin Stonewood
07-09-2009, 01:14 PM
The city of Sumberton is used in a lot of D&D material, I just found it mentioned in a WotC PDF called Dungeon Masters Guide - Building a City. It's a good spot to base a good campaign on IMO, the NPC's are there as well as the places, guilds, etc ... even some of its own prestige classes.

The campaign was a blast. Sumberton proved to be a great hub for the pcs.


We began with the first dungeon, as filler game, and it just took off from there.