PDA

View Full Version : Theme based role-playing campaign ...discussion?



Evil Nosferatu
05-25-2010, 07:43 PM
So I surfed through 5 pages before I gave up and decided to make this post. Pardon me if this is a duplicate. If it is, I’m sure by now it could use some new discussion.

I’d like to talk about the campaigns that you have designed yourselves, fellow DMs, and the need for your players to design their own campaigns as well! Themes are probably the best way to have a hell of a lot of fun if you’re a RPer, and if you’re not then you probably don’t even care what kind of game you’re playing as long as there are monsters to kill and treasure to be had. That’s fine too, I guess…

One of the games that I have created for my usual play group of 4 years is a game based on a theme of a mage’s tower for arcane only PC’s who go about their daily lives of doing what they’re told by the magister who runs it in collecting funds, students, components, and secrets for exploitation and then some. It’s been HIGHLY successful with my group who just loves it to death.

I guess my question here is this: Do you agree with me that themes are very important for role player PC’s to enjoy their gaming? Further, do you think that you as the DM would have a lot less trouble coming up with ways to please your players if they’d just walk up to you and ask, “Hey, I really want to play a game with thieves who do cat burglary and bank robbing. Can you help me out?” (Like I did recently and am enjoying thoroughly as my friend DMs it). Shouldn’t we train our role-playing players to get into this habit so long as it doesn’t get annoying? Being fickle about what game you’re playing or DMing might get annoying if you change every month even though you’re the only one who wants to change.

Okay, this has turned into more of a rant than a question… so feel free to comment in any way you see fit. HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Sascha
05-25-2010, 08:10 PM
I guess my question here is this: Do you agree with me that themes are very important for role player PC’s to enjoy their gaming?
Not necessarily. It's dependent on what the players want out of the game, really; a central theme may or may not facilitate the actual role-playing, but it may indeed ease the process.


Further, do you think that you as the DM would have a lot less trouble coming up with ways to please your players if they’d just walk up to you and ask, “Hey, I really want to play a game with thieves who do cat burglary and bank robbing. Can you help me out?”
Absolutely. This sort of statement of intent is what I try to do before anything - characters and, especially, setting - gets put on paper.


Shouldn’t we train our role-playing players to get into this habit so long as it doesn’t get annoying?
I wouldn't use the word "train," but yes.

Law
05-25-2010, 08:49 PM
In my experience expectation is everything (almost) when it comes to gaming groups. There are two ways you can handle expectations.

1) Be right up front about what kind of game you are running, what themes, tropes, and motifs you will be using/expecting, mood, style, everything. This way everyone who joins your campaign/game knows exactly what to expect. If they don't like the campaign style, they don't join game. Easy. This works especially well for online games, where players are being recruited from a larger pool.

2) The method you describe above. :) Work with players to cooperatively establish the kind of game you will play. Give, take, compromise, all with a hefty dose of "we'll do this, this time; we'll do that next time." You still need to be very clear about expectations—expectations are just established cooperatively—or you could end up with a rogue player (the "I wanted to play an evil game, so I'm going to play an evil game with my character regardless of what the rest of you are doing" kind of rogue player).

Most of us (unless we are playing online) don't have a large player base to choose from, so method 2 is by far the more useful of approaches. :)