View Full Version : Multi-group campaigns

10-10-2010, 07:25 AM
I'm developing my own game setting, and I had this idea for a multi-group style of campaign.

I would have one or two groups of heroes, and one or two groups of villains. The idea is that the villains would be player characters as well, and would level up doing their own evil campaigns. The eventual goal would be for the villain players to setup and develop the campaign for the heroes based on the villains actions. This would, in turn, lead to both the hero players and villain players fighting each other in a sort of PvP way.

For example, Hero Group A would fight against Villain Group B. HGA would start off doing odd jobs for the townspeople, while VGB would work together to plot to kill a king and usurp the throne. In order to do that, VGB would have to level up by planning magic item heists, rising to the top of roguish organizations, and other general mayhem. Eventually, they would be leveled up enough to plot a stealthy assassination, and take over the throne. HGA would hear rumors and find evidence here and there referring to VGB's actions, and would gradually pick apart the rogue organizations, recover items, and investigating leads, all while the HGA players believe that they're actually up against NPCs. I would eventually reveal to the HGA players that they are actually up against villainous player characters, and the plot they have uncovered and have been investigating is actually a plot of the other player group's design. That will, of course, lead to one or more sessions involving PvP combat between both groups.

Any questions or comments? Does anyone have any suggestions on how this might be possible? Does anyone have any experience with multi-group campaigns?

10-11-2010, 05:12 AM
This is one of the DM's ultimate fantasies: a complex world of player characters plotting against each other. Looks good in concept, pretty hard (IMO) to pull off for several reasons.

1) Are you going to be able to find enough players? Will they all be consistent? What if you have players who what to be in both "campaigns?"

2) What prevents players from discussing what is going on in their respected "campaigns" that might tip off the others? Will the two groups be aware of the other?

3) Can you sustain the separation between the two groups? If actions are happening simultaneously or interconnected, what are the odds the two groups will meet each other premature to any actual planned encounter?

4) Can you get the two groups together when you need to?

A twist you can try to have one group in a timeline different from the other. Events that happen in one group effect the other over time so they are not as dramatic and reactionary. In the latter case, the same group of players can actually play the game.

But I'm sure their someone waiting to brag about what they have done ;)

Soft Serve
10-11-2010, 10:15 AM
If you do anything pbp you've got to be careful opposing players don't read the posts. Also I can barely manage one group of 2-4 people, can't imagine functioning with 4 seperate groups.

10-11-2010, 12:42 PM
I have enough trouble keeping one party in line. Getting two to do what you want - good luck.

Wizdog asked probably the most important question: can you get the two groups of players together? If not, your epic conclusion could get watered down.

So, I have no experience with this. But it looks like a bad recipe for the good guys - they'll have to spend the entire campaign cleaning up after villains whom they can't catch. You'll probably get some frowns out of that.

11-11-2010, 07:41 PM
I founded a DnD organization at my high school senior year before graduating. The way we ran it: two DMs. I would write the plot line, we'd discuss where we were and where we were going each day, and stay as close to that line as possible. It takes effort to organize, but if you have a friend that you can count on for it, it works amazingly.

We had two parties running completely different adventures and, had the year not ended, would have undoubtedly ended up fighting at the end of our tale.

11-14-2010, 11:00 PM
just be prepared for both to put some kinks in teh works .. though a very famous table top game that ran here once had the evil group tricking the good one into sacrificing themselves to activate an artifact .. it was epic.

if you keep a forum for you game make sure you make separate what they can see and make sure you keep exacting notes on each groups activities and their plans they have put into action.

if you're game is open ended and their is no major plot devices to drive your groups make sure that you keep in mind what each groups actions and how their fame/infamy are viewed and travel around through news and rumor.