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upidstay
04-23-2008, 07:49 AM
Not sure if anyone else does this, but I like to try and "personalize" adventures for my PC's. Have a campaign that's just getting started, and I like to get all of my PC's to give me a brief character description and history, plus I like them to try and have an idea of where they want their character to be at higher levels (10th, 15th, 20th, etc.) I then try and tailor adventures to that. I do one or two players per adventure. Next custom one will be for my fighter/druid, then the bard/sorcerer and the fighter/mage. I have big plans for the dwarf fighter/cleric, but not until later. (it's a gestalt campaign, that's why they're all multi's)
There's also cleric/rogue and fighter/rogue, but neither of them have given me any input into their characters.

Each PC will get their own uniques toy or toys which will get better as they level up. There will be a magic axe for one, a set of armor and a sword for another, some special powers for another. Still in the process of getting my ideas together. Each will eventually gain some spell like abilities uniques to their character, taking into account their role playing style and class combinations.

Kilrex
04-23-2008, 09:57 AM
Very good idea as it will make the players more involved with the story and plot advancement. By giving them their say, you empower them by getting a chance to evolve their RP abilities.

I usually take it a step further, by sometimes requiring a small quest to learn certain abilities and feats. The fighter wants to whirlwind? Time to quest to find a dervish. Want to Eschew Materials? Hunt down the mage that lives in the Frozen North. Paladin wants a rare mount? Travel to a foreign realm to find or hunt down a circus. Ranger wants dragons as a favored enemy at any lvl past 1? Track down the old hermit that lives near the Dragonkeep slaying young dragons.

Malruhn
04-23-2008, 10:31 PM
While doing character generation, I always ask the player, "Okay, your character is really, REALLY old, sitting in a rocking chair. A small child comes up to you and asks, 'Who are you, and why is it that my mommy and daddy think you are important?'"

Some characters want fame. Others want fortune. I've had some that wanted to unite the tribes or slay the huge dragon or become the greatest swordsman in the world...

THEN, I turn around and build a campaign around my PC's dreams. It isn't hard to meet everyone's wishes over the course of a campaign. The swordsman can hone his skills as we travel along (with side treks to learn new feats!!), the tribes can end up being united to slay the huge dragon. Voila! Everyone gets what they want!

If someone wants to grow up to become Bob the Orc-slayer, why should we (as DM) design a kobold-centered campaign? Give Bob the Orcs he wants/needs!!

Moritz
04-24-2008, 09:51 AM
Malruhn,

It's great that you're trying to give your players what they want. Though I'm sure we're all stricken with the one player who wants it all. He wants to be the end all, be all, do everything god character that every other party member looks up to.

That's the player I just love to torment.

tesral
04-25-2008, 10:41 AM
I customize everything, often to the point of redrawing maps. Generic adventures need to be woven into the world.

Malruhn
04-25-2008, 10:14 PM
Moritz, ain't it just the truth, though!

The taller a person stands amongst his peers, the easier the target is... and the more often he is targeted. Players learn early on in my campaigns that they should expect "fair" treatment. Fair to them, and fair to their enemies. When they get the Uber-Item-of-All-Power, they will also get the attention of everyone else that wanted said item.

I had one group whine to me that they were being picked on and that I wasn't "fair" by having small groups of bandit adventurers keep trying to kill the group and steal their newly found pile of Dragon eggs. When I asked them about how they "found" the eggs, they suddenly realized that they got them the same way... by beating nearly insurmountable odds and defeating an adventuring group so they could steal the eggs.

The eggs were all sold the next day.

And they weren't surprised when the town criers soon announced that the Wizard Umteesquat was missing, his tower nearly destroyed, and his new clutch of Dragon eggs was gone.

(insert evil laugh here!!)

SkaldSaga
04-26-2008, 08:02 PM
What I do at the start of a campaign is asked the players to write down some goals. Short term and long term goals. Even if they are unrealistic goals like becoming a god. But they can't use game mechanics in the description of the goal. As an example they can't say, "I want to be a 20th level fighter with strength of 24, ambidexterity, specialized with two weapon fighting style." But they could say "I want to be the strongest and best swordsman that fights with dual sabers."

Then what I do is move the players towards those goals through the people they meet. If a player wants to be a captain of his own ship, they get hired by a captain of ship, and then helps the PC towards that goal in some way. Maybe a merchant is looking for a skipper. The Captain who has seen the PC work recommends him for the job. The swordsman meets a master of the style he is looking to learn, and takes him on as a student. etc.

Of course goals can change over the course of adventuring so I will periodically ask if any of there goals have changed.

cplmac
04-27-2008, 08:34 PM
Malruhn,

It's great that you're trying to give your players what they want. Though I'm sure we're all stricken with the one player who wants it all. He wants to be the end all, be all, do everything god character that every other party member looks up to.

That's the player I just love to torment.


And then they whine that their character is being "picked on". Hey, they're the one that keeps rushing into "battle everything so as to gain all the XP for themself.

tesral
04-28-2008, 09:40 AM
And then they whine that their character is being "picked on". Hey, they're the one that keeps rushing into "battle everything so as to gain all the XP for themself.

So, don't award XP that way. I never have.

Shadow Dweller
04-28-2008, 04:06 PM
And then they whine that their character is being "picked on". Hey, they're the one that keeps rushing into "battle everything so as to gain all the XP for themself.
Funny story with that. The half-giant barbarian in my last gropu did just this, ran head first in a room at fuul speed while the rest of the party was busy doing something else. Ran head first into a wall(couldn't see because there was no light) and got sneak attacked by 3 Lizard Folk Rogues that were all a level above him. He died before any of the group could get there to help him out and managed to take out one of the rogues in the process. Too bad we forgot to loot the rogue, just the fallen party member :-P

cplmac
04-30-2008, 02:07 PM
There have been a couple of times that I have augmented an encounter to address that type of behavior. After having to be revived 2 or 3 times, the player started playing more like his character should. I know that it was kind of harsh, but I'm of the mind set that a mage isn't going to be the first one running up to fight the opposition, hand to hand.

tesral
04-30-2008, 09:59 PM
I used to have a player who would have PCs charge to the front and take on impossible odds. Well the expencted would happen. The dragon would breath, the worm would swallow and so forth. She lost a good many characters that way.

Then there was the one ass, and I use the term carefully who decided to annoy the Orcs in a keep. charged up the narrow ramp, narrow remember that, and banged on the door. Well by being a total jerk he got them to open the door to face a packed wall of spears.

"I grab one and pull on it."

(roll) "He gives it to you. Dex check please as you are now over balanced and the ledge is narrow."

He ended up at the bottom of a 100 foot drop with the spear stuck in his chest.

Malruhn
04-30-2008, 11:08 PM
Okay, the gloves are off.

You gotta move to Alabama so I can play in your campaign. You are on notice, pal!!

agoraderek
04-30-2008, 11:21 PM
i've enjoyed playing in "customized" games, but ive always preferred to run games where the multiverse doesnt revolve around the characters. some of my games have had some serious "life of brian" moments when players miss a clue or chose not to deal with the "crisis du jour" and wind up showing up a few minutes or hours after the fun occurred...

ive found that sometimes the threat of the world "passing the characters by", and making them irrelevant in the process, can motivate them to take clues and adventuring opportunities more seriously. if they know the multiverse revolves around them, there doesn tseem to be the urgency to take care of business, so to speak.

agoraderek
04-30-2008, 11:22 PM
Okay, the gloves are off.

You gotta move to Alabama so I can play in your campaign. You are on notice, pal!!

dude, i can swing through alabama and pick you up...

ARMarcoux
05-03-2008, 05:40 PM
Typically I begin an adventuring campaign with a clean slate - every player is equal and they are all out to learn their area, locale, personal skills, etc. There's enough to do with that in the beginning to keep them busy. After a few adventures I will see how the characters are developing and will try to predict what they want to do (build an army, start a new town, search for powerful artifacts, etc). If I can't make a specific quest for every player than I will ask them what they want to do or where they see themselves developing.

Sometimes Players are - I must say - a little slow or maybe they just want to tag along on other player's fortune's and quests. So be it. I still try to give them options to stretch the game in different ways though. And besides many don't realize that the DM has the power/right to shift it in any direction they want.

tesral
05-03-2008, 11:29 PM
Typically I begin an adventuring campaign with a clean slate - every player is equal and they are all out to learn their area, locale, personal skills, etc. There's enough to do with that in the beginning to keep them busy. After a few adventures I will see how the characters are developing and will try to predict what they want to do (build an army, start a new town, search for powerful artifacts, etc). If I can't make a specific quest for every player than I will ask them what they want to do or where they see themselves developing.


What I call circle developlent. Start them near to home and slowly develop the area around them in detail salting the area with possible adventures.