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View Full Version : Not sure if this goes here but...where do I start?



Ruki
03-29-2009, 02:55 AM
Not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, but I am looking to start running a campaign (3.5) online for a few friends. But, I've never run a campaign before, so...what kind of stuff do I need to know/prepare/everything else?

I am completely lost T_T

Etarnon
03-29-2009, 08:17 AM
Hi, do you intend to run it by play by post or via a chat?

If chat you could use the flash chat here or some kind of interface like openRPG, or screenmonkey or fantasy grounds.

There are numerous chat / RPG programs some free, some pay basis.

Typically for a chat game run like something via this flash you'd go to
http://www.thetangledweb.net/forums/
or some other site, where you can view, edit and store character sheets online, with their "Profiler".

It gives you a template where you can type in numbers, skills, etc and save it in a decent 3.0 or 3.5 format.

Using open RPG and this flash type chat here, I've run Traveller, D&D 3.0, 3.5 Star Trek (Last Unicorn), Star Wars SAGA, Star Wars d6, Cyberpunk 2020, etc.

For a live chat game you describe the scene by typed or cut and pasted text, the players respond, etc just like a tabletop RPG, except it's all typed.

This way you also have a log by saving the text once in a while.

Other people use the chat as a dice roller and use a voice software like ventrilo or teamspeak or skype.

So, if you could describe more about what you need in detail, I and others who run games here (and with software like openRPG) can help you to get started.

Welcome to the site.

Ruki
03-29-2009, 01:46 PM
I guess I should have explained that I was using AIM, as that has a built in dice roller, and is dial-up friendly. The reason I am using AIM is because I am already apart of a game on it, and I figured I should just go with what I know.

yukonhorror
03-29-2009, 03:08 PM
the best place to put this is campaign invitations. That way it can be searched for.

Ruki
03-29-2009, 03:23 PM
Not looking to get people to join, I already have all the players :p

Just figuring out what I need to plan/figure out/ect... to start a game and such.

mrken
03-29-2009, 05:58 PM
Maybe the first thing you need is imagination. Then start thinking about the flavor of the game you and your friends want to play. Then pick a place and call it home (for now, cause you know they are going to wander). Then think up a conflict that only your players can overcome. Then you will need a Boss Bad Guy, and his munchkins. That is WAY over simplified, but you should get the picture. Actually it is a game and you do need to have fun. So relax.

Etarnon
03-29-2009, 08:46 PM
Seems like you have players, and interface, so .. design a scenario and run it.

Seems like read the DMG, and good luck.

tesral
03-31-2009, 06:07 PM
Not sure if this is the right place to be posting this, but I am looking to start running a campaign (3.5) online for a few friends. But, I've never run a campaign before, so...what kind of stuff do I need to know/prepare/everything else?

I am completely lost T_T

Hmm, outside of "everything"?

First, where? Not in the RL location, but what world or setting around running you game in? Decide that. If it is your first time in front of the table I'm going to suggest a published setting as they do a great deal of the grunt work for you.

Second read that thing. Know what your chosen setting is offering, Decide what you keep and what you toss. To begin with don't toss much. If you find yourself tossing or changing too much you have the wrong setting. Try again.

Establish a base for the PCs. Give then a theme. Since you are posting in the D&D fourm I assume fantasy is the thing happening here. Why are they adventuring?

On that thought make sure the players create characters that work well together. Having the party pulling at the artifical ties that bind is not something a new DM needs ot deal with. Head it off be for it happens. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Remember the players are your co-authors in the adventures you will create. Use the creative energy that the players bring to the table.

I am going to suggest my circle strategy. Start in a location. Give the PCs reason to stay there. Say they are the local militia "special forces" tasked to protect the town. Detail say five miles around it. Ten move to twenty miles, and so forth as they patrol the area and clear the threats.

cplmac
03-31-2009, 09:59 PM
Yes, I would definately agree with tesral. For your first time at being the DM/GM, using a published campaign would be easy to begin with. Most of what you need is contained in the campaign module. By using these at first, it will give you a good idea of what information is needed at the minimum.

gdmcbride
04-01-2009, 08:18 PM
I agree with much of what has been posted here.

For your first time running 3.5, use a published adventure.

Might I recommend...

D0: Hollow's Last Hope (http://paizo.com/store/byCompany/p/paizoPublishingLLC/pathfinder/pathfinderModules) -- it's free, it's simple to setup and its a fun little introductory 3.5 adventure.

And if you like it, you can purchase D1: Kobold King's Crown (the sequel and also a solid little introductory adventure).

From there, the sky is wide open. You can either make up your own stuff or buy an adventure path or buy stuff from another publisher (alas, sadly many of them are now out of print). 3.5 remains a very well supported system.

Gary

Malruhn
04-01-2009, 08:39 PM
Another thing to consider doing (after following Tesral's EXCELLENT advice) is to sit down with each player - and say the following:

"Your character is ancient, sitting quietly in a rocking chair, just watching the world go by as his days dwindle down. A small child approaches and asks, ''scuse me, m'lord/m'lady, but who are you? What did you with your life?'"

Listen to what the players tell you that their characters' ultimate achievements are (were). Some may just say, "I'm filthy, stinking rich!!" or "I'm FAMOUS!!!" Others (these are the ones that will give you adventure fodder) will tell you, "I slew the great dragon of the Weeping Mountains!" or "I am Grendar, the great orc slayer!!"

This has always given me stuff to do with, for and TO the party. If someone wants to slay dragons, and you plan a goblin invasion, they'll be unhappy players. If someone wants to slay orcs and you pit them against dragons, ditto.
____________________________

This being said, when I planned out my very first campaign, I got graph paper and mapped out a large village (population: 200) - and populated it. I used family members and people I knew for all the NPC's in town... Old Lady Jans that ran the general store (and adventurer outfitters!!) was modeled after Mrs. Jenson, my junior high English teacher - all 250 pounds of her. When I discribed Lady Jans to the players, they KNEW she was real and not some faceless NPC. Brandell, the village smith, was modeled after Marlon Brando as a younger version of Don Corleone from the movie The Godfather. The village hunter/"ranger" was Ronfal - and modeled after my own uncle (Ron Kofal) who was a real-life forest ranger.

When the map was done, I added the key that said which building was which - with the name of the NPC and the name of who it was modeled after. When they ran around the corner to see the next shop, I could tell them IN DEPTH who ran it... if it was necessary.

And this all took about two hours to do.

After almost 30 years, I still use that little village... and my players still love it.

tesral
04-02-2009, 12:16 PM
This being said, when I planned out my very first campaign, I got graph paper and mapped out a large village (population: 200) - and populated it. I used family members and people I knew for all the NPC's in town... Old Lady Jans that ran the general store (and adventurer outfitters!!) was modeled after Mrs. Jenson, by junior high English teacher - all 250 pounds of her. When I discribed Lady Jans to the players, they KNEW she was real and not some faceless NPC. Brandell, the village smith, was modeled after Marlon Brando as a younger version of Don Corleone from the movie The Godfather. The village hunter/"ranger" was Ronfal - and modeled after my own uncle (Ron Kofal) who was a real-life forest ranger.

Exactly. I always put in a paragraph about an NPC, even a minor shop keeper. The notes are for me alone so I know something about the character.

Malruhn
04-02-2009, 11:22 PM
Exactly. I always put in a paragraph about an NPC, even a minor shop keeper. The notes are for me alone so I know something about the character.
I didn't even go that far...

All I did was like this:

Jans (aka Lady Jans, Ol' Lady Jans, and kids call her Big Lady Jans)
HP: 8, AC: 9 Move: 15'
STR: 10, DEX: 10, CON: 12, INT: 14, WIS: 14, CHR: 11
Skills: Appraise: 10, Sense Motive 10, Profession-Merchant
Mrs. Jenson

Brandell (mother calls him Brandy)
HP: 16, AC: 13 Move: 30'
STR: 17, DEX: 14, CON: 14, INT: 10, WIS: 11, CHR: 9
Skills: Appraise: 10, Sense Motive 10, Craft- (all smithy skills except bowyer) 8, Profession-Merchant.
Young don Corleone. Speaks very slowly, VERY high opinion of himself.

Ranger Ronfal
HP: 21, AC: 17 Move: 30'
STR: 14, DEX: 14, CON: 14, INT: 10, WIS: 11, CHR: 10
Skills: Survival 10, Balance 5, Climb 8, Handle Animal 5, Riding 5, Swimming 6
Profession: Tracker
Ranger 3rd Level. Leather armor, longsword, longbow
Uncle Ron

And that's it. It was purely the basics - and before a rules lawyer yells at me, yes, I made crap up... but it isn't game-wrecking stuff. These are minor NPC's - folks that aren't supposed to be involved in combat.

But it works for me!!

tesral
04-03-2009, 09:53 AM
However you know the people you modeled them after, a big plus when playing the character. My work seldom in more than that. A sentence of two, enough to be a mnemonic for what I had in mind. It is unnecessary to write a novel (I have done that as well).

My stat block doesn't look that much different than yours. It does not take a page to describe a minor character.

Example from what I just wrote for tomorrow's game.
Ilrelian Caladmar Vampire female Elf. She is mad with hunger and cannot be reasoned with. If somehow the party can feed her and get a coherent story without getting killed she is over 2000 years old. Sealed in that tomb before the empire was founded.
G4, ac 16, bab +1, d/a by weapon DR10/wood, magic, holy
Stats S 27 +8, C --, D 17 +3, I 12 +1, W 10 +0, Ca 17 +3
Saves F+4, R +5, W+2
slam 1d6+8 +9/+9/+8/+8
HP 17