What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

Go down

What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Paper Shadow on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:20 pm

I'm curious to see what things people consider makes a Pony Tales Campaign good, so if you've played your fair share of campaigns, or have ran one or two yourself, talk about what features you think are core to making a fun campaign for others. I guess this is also kinda a topic where we talk about the campaigns you enjoyed, because I don't think we get a real chance to talk about them outside of mentioning them in passing...

A bonus question for GMs; what design feature is at the core of your campaign? Different campaigns have different feels, so what did you do to achieve the feel you wanted, and did the players react positively to it or did it seem to not go as expected?

_________________
Ellipses are kinda my thing...

Based Emotion Chart:
avatar
Paper Shadow
Smile Like You Mean It
Smile Like You Mean It

Posts : 3754
Join date : 2012-11-23
Age : 24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Cardbo on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:17 am

Giving your players the illusion that they have free will. Razz
avatar
Cardbo
Freakin' Alicorn Princess

Gender : Male
Posts : 3111
Join date : 2012-07-29

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Ramsus on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:29 am

Or, even better, actually giving them free will.
avatar
Ramsus
Freakin' Alicorn Princess

Gender : Male
Posts : 5688
Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 34
Location : California

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:06 am

Working for the goal of EVERYONE to be having fun. I say everything else is but the means to maving fun. If the GM isn't enjoying the campaign... Then it wont be too long before said campaign crash and fails.

Also the GM needs to have enough of a plot to be able to work with and be able to improv when needed.
avatar
Xel Unknown
Freakin' Alicorn Princess

Gender : Male
Posts : 7018
Join date : 2012-08-30
Age : 28
Location : Somewhere, nowhere

View user profile http://us3.herozerogame.com/?resource_request=23219_2_1

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:18 pm

Coincidences are great for getting INTO trouble; use them that way as often as possible! They are terrible for getting OUT of trouble; NEVER use them that way if it can be at all helped.
avatar
Grey Pen The Flawed
Best Pony
Best Pony

Gender : Male
Posts : 1251
Join date : 2012-11-16
Age : 25
Location : In the kitchen, at the table, or in my room drawing...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  LoganAura on Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:15 pm

Figure out what each of your players like, then find a way to make sure they shine in that circumstance.
You have a player with a massive combat build that requires a long build up? Have a long battle so they can use it.
A player specially designed their character to be THE BEST AT SEEING EVERYTHING, have them roll reactionary perception rolls even if normally they wouldn't.
A player loves rping with the NPCS? Make sure there're NPCs that stand out for them to talk to.
PC a socialite and not a fighter, but another is a fighter not a socialite? PARTY SPLIT!

_________________
Active Games:
AoH2, where the party is climbing an endless tower. Primarily because I've been sick during campaign days.
Ponysona 4, Where all heck's breaking lose
Saint Trotez: Where Snipe is paranoid and snarked at Snarl.
Satisfying Values (Hiatus): Mic is chasing after a Glitch.


Retired or inactive Games:
Too many to count.
avatar
LoganAura
Administrator
Administrator

Gender : Male
Posts : 2925
Join date : 2012-07-18
Age : 24
Location : Mass

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:35 pm

LoganAura wrote:
Is one PC a socialite and not a fighter, but another is a fighter not a socialite? PARTY SPLIT!

Especially in a Play-By-Post campaign, as it's quite a bit easier to pull off.

With a Skype/In-Person campaign... I refer to Whiteeye's Third Commandment:

"Thou shalt not split the party."
avatar
Grey Pen The Flawed
Best Pony
Best Pony

Gender : Male
Posts : 1251
Join date : 2012-11-16
Age : 25
Location : In the kitchen, at the table, or in my room drawing...

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  LoganAura on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:18 pm

Tell that to the Classical disruption group who went down two different paths. (Only really needed to go down one.)
Or to the AoH2.0 group who split into three groups.
Or the T3 group who split 1 staying outside -1 down one path alone -2 down a third

Splitting the party, while not reccommended, happens.

Added thing: FLEXIBILITY AS A DM.

_________________
Active Games:
AoH2, where the party is climbing an endless tower. Primarily because I've been sick during campaign days.
Ponysona 4, Where all heck's breaking lose
Saint Trotez: Where Snipe is paranoid and snarked at Snarl.
Satisfying Values (Hiatus): Mic is chasing after a Glitch.


Retired or inactive Games:
Too many to count.
avatar
LoganAura
Administrator
Administrator

Gender : Male
Posts : 2925
Join date : 2012-07-18
Age : 24
Location : Mass

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  elfowlgirl on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:59 pm

Personally, I like a campaign with plot. Not so much that YOU MUST STICK TO THE RAILS ALWAYS, but one that has a general direction and a scenario for every other sidepath. I'd rather be in a campaign with a very centered plot than one with total freedom, but no direction or motivation anywhere.
avatar
elfowlgirl
Equestrian Honor Guard
Equestrian Honor Guard

Gender : Female
Posts : 659
Join date : 2012-07-20

View user profile http://elfowlgirl.deviantart.com

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Ramsus on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:35 pm

Basically games are more or less split into Story driven types and Sandbox types.

Story driven ones, the GM has a story the game will follow and the players should be able to affect it and make choices that will change outcomes in various amount of depth. It's important to provide good hooks for each character so that they don't try and wander off the plot entirely.

Sandbox ones involve the GM coming up with stuff out there for the players to do and letting them go off in whatever directions they want and often coming up with stuff based on their choices as, you should never really have the players choose to do something and it being completely dull (unless they were going for that just to do some inter party RPing or such).

One isn't better than the other in any way. The important thing is as a GM you should run the type you're most comfortable with and is the most fun for you. It's also important that the players know which type they're getting into. Things probably won't go smoothly if they're expecting freedom and don't get it, or if they were expecting a grand epic quest and not getting one. (Not to say that sandbox games don't have epic quests but, they typically don't take up the entire game.)
avatar
Ramsus
Freakin' Alicorn Princess

Gender : Male
Posts : 5688
Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 34
Location : California

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  SilentBelle on Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:04 pm

Getting to know your players is quite essential.
Having challenging battles can be super engaging for players
In general addressing any concerns or disputes, usually with a 'Yes, but...' approach.
Other than that, I think the players are going to be the ones that help craft your campaign to being the best it can be.
avatar
SilentBelle
Monster Overseer
Monster Overseer

Gender : Male
Posts : 1162
Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 31
Location : Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

View user profile http://www.fimfiction.net/user/SilentBelle

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  ZamuelNow on Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:30 pm

While this can't always be done, come up with a solution to a problem then set it to the side. It should be A solution but not always THE solution. Encourage the players to be creative and if stumped you can then nudge them towards a suggestion. A clever solution that's not game breaking should be rewarded. In fact, try to come up with multiple angles to solve the same problem when you create the challenge for the players.
avatar
ZamuelNow
Freakin' Alicorn Princess

Gender : Male
Posts : 3306
Join date : 2013-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Hayatecooper on Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:50 am

Never be nice to your party. They will take advantage and steal you soul while you're not paying attention. Also free stuff if they do something cool is always appreciated(Like rolling a 2 and still convincing the Demi-god it's all cool through player team work)

Oh and be really super super super careful with your laughter tables.. those things can screw over even the best laid plans.
avatar
Hayatecooper
Equestrian Honor Guard
Equestrian Honor Guard

Gender : Male
Posts : 549
Join date : 2012-08-03
Age : 26
Location : Brisbane Australia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Zarhon on Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:33 am

Always try to look at the bigger picture of the interactions between the PCs and the setting. Remember / note down details and PC accomplishments (especially for when reputation and fame might come into play), and consider how they might be affecting the story or various events. It can be a good plot hook or source of amusement, when an easily-overlooked-and-forgotten action suddenly makes a comeback as a joke/consequence/plot point, or a small joke or comment becomes relevant and thus hilarious (or harsh) in hindsight.

The PCs decide to tunnel their way under a dungeon? Sure, they might find the way directly into the treasure room, but the tunnels might collapse, making the return trip trickier than planned... Or maybe the monsters hear he digging, and decide to prepare an ambush...

A PC happens to be a item hoarder, or otherwise collecting 'odd' stuff? Have said odd stuff suddenly have significance or usage, or cause minor complications ("Why do you have some many severed heads?!").

A non-important item or NPC is receiving unexpected attention / obsession from the PCs? Make it significant in some manner, but not necessarily in the way they expect it to be.
avatar
Zarhon
Smile Smile Smile
Smile Smile Smile

Gender : Male
Posts : 3531
Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Doc pseudopolis on Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:31 am

Hayatecooper wrote:Oh and be really super super super careful with your laughter tables.. those things can screw over even the best laid plans.
Oh gods yes. I agree with this completely, 100%...1000% even.

Doc pseudopolis
Best Pony
Best Pony

Gender : Male
Posts : 1175
Join date : 2012-08-13
Age : 27
Location : UK

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  SparkImpulse on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:45 pm

Doc pseudopolis wrote:
Hayatecooper wrote:Oh and be really super super super careful with your laughter tables.. those things can screw over even the best laid plans.
Oh gods yes. I agree with this completely, 100%...1000% even.

So, having a random item float through with the want-it/need-it spell and making the party roll opposed brawn checks to hold on to it would be considered dangerous?

Communication, is my contribution to this list. Both as a player as well as the PH. Tell your players what you're keeping track of, and what you need them to keep track of.

Some of you may have observed that I had my first falling out, and while that player is experiencing mitigating circumstances, I now wonder if, despite it being the design of the campaign, perhaps I should have warned him a little sooner that his assumptions about the world around his character were wildly off base.

Except I did tell him to back off ... so my other suggestion is to keep the oil handy, so the water ... err, crap can roll off your back and you can keep playing. Roll with the punches, I think someone earlier, pointed out.
avatar
SparkImpulse
Very Special Somepony
Very Special Somepony

Gender : Male
Posts : 239
Join date : 2013-05-13
Age : 43
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Hayatecooper on Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:46 am

SparkImpulse wrote:
Doc pseudopolis wrote:
Hayatecooper wrote:Oh and be really super super super careful with your laughter tables.. those things can screw over even the best laid plans.
Oh gods yes. I agree with this completely, 100%...1000% even.

So, having a random item float through with the want-it/need-it spell and making the party roll opposed brawn checks to hold on to it would be considered dangerous?

Umm. Yes, yes it could be.
avatar
Hayatecooper
Equestrian Honor Guard
Equestrian Honor Guard

Gender : Male
Posts : 549
Join date : 2012-08-03
Age : 26
Location : Brisbane Australia

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:09 pm

There's been a lot of great advice in this thread so far, especially about DMing in general. I'd also absolutely recommend Chris Perkins' "The Dungeon Master Experience" free series of articles - just google them and you'll find a treasure trove of stories from his campaigns and the lessons he's learned from them. From the creative manager of Dungeons and Dragons, the DM to the people that actually make the game, his material is pure gold.

Now for my own advice.

One quick thing I'd recommend is to give every player a subplot to explore in addition to the main plot (preferably tied in to the main plot). This makes the players feel they each have a personal role and aren't just part of some collective. It gives every player a chance to shine, whether pursuing a love interest or trying to reclaim a family legacy.

For the rest, I think Ill just talk about my experiences with *specifically* running Pony Tales - because every one else has said a lot (and Chris Perkins' articles will say a lot more for me).

For Pony Tales - you can easily run a standard D&D adventure palette-swapped into ponies. Equestria has dragons, manticores, hydras, magic and even freakin' Cerberus. However, to really take advantage of the setting - I wanted to take advantage of the themes of MLP to really make it feel like it belonged in the MLP universe.

Since the players in my game were supposed to be working towards harmony and building a bond with one another, I decided to make their group the central light in a very dark plot. The villains would be antagonists against the group's friendship - and thus the challenges the players faced would do their best to turn the players against one another and destroy their group's friendship (only in-character, of course). Players were given a chance to meet many characters in the world they could like, admire and even, on several occasions, fall in love with. Then those characters would often be threatened by the many dark movements in the campaign. Players were tempted by power and their fondest desires, Discord-style but without the mind control, to turn against one another for the sake of their personal goals and individual subplots. In one famous instance, a player literally had to choose which of his fellow allies to save from death. This meant a great deal, as the campaign was designed to be permadeath - if you died you had to leave the game and let the next person on the waiting list on. A player's fluttershy-esque companion, that the group adored and the player in question had fallen in love with, was possessed by a dark entity. The familes of players were threatened, a player was captured and tortured (the players deciding they didn't have time to look for her) till she turned into a nightmare-moon style villain bent on destroying the party (player was absolutely on board with this when the group didn't go to look for her).

In short: The antagonists threatened the group's friendship and harmony. When the players bickered or turned against one another, even for practical reasons of the greater good (like abandoning the fellow player) things got worse. But when, as was almost always the case, players made efforts of love and compassion - extending friendship to even the most vile creatures - their consistent and sincere efforts slowly shined through the darkness. For example, the party made extraordinary efforts to show the dark demoness that had possessed the mare mentioned above friendship. They were generous to her, compassionate and extended her trust when she clearly deserved none. They talked to her when traveling and made every effort to make her feel at home and cared for. Eventually, she would turn against her dark master - the campaign's villain - and sacrifice herself to save the party and world in their darkest hour. It's still one of my favorite dramatic moments in any campaign I've run - and the players made it happen.

Whether you embrace the themes of MLP, regarding friendship and harmony, in some similar way (by making the villains try to destroy them and rewarding efforts of friendship, compassion, love and tolerance from the players) or intentionally subvert them... Make sure to acknowledge them. They're an intrinsic and idealistic part of the setting.

_________________
Looking for an artist right now, one that would be excited to work with me and Kindulas in creating a superhero comic. If you're interested, know anyone that might be interested, or just want to give the script for our first issue a read - enjoy the link below.

My Comic Project
avatar
Stairc -Dan Felder
Lead Designer
Lead Designer

Gender : Male
Posts : 3098
Join date : 2012-07-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Azureink on Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:13 am

1) I was the player that died in that game, keeping the party alive in the fight right before my death.
and 2) The party did search for the captured and tortured member. They just couldn't find her until it was too late due to excessively bad luck on their part.
avatar
Azureink
Very Important Pony
Very Important Pony

Gender : Male
Posts : 196
Join date : 2012-08-14
Age : 34
Location : California

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  ZamuelNow on Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:56 pm

Hold down B while pressing Right

A campaign needs to keep momentum. Got two campaigns elsewhere that are suffering due to hitting some slowdown, both for different reasons and different resolutions. One is a tabletop campaign that's sort of always had problems. I'm hoping to eventually bring it to a close since there feels like mild apathy all around and a clash of personality. One is a pbp that actually had really good momentum at first but the players not "knowing what to do" for a recent location, personal life delays, plus a week long site outage ground things to a halt. I plan to try to jump start things with some NPC involvement though some parts seem to be working.
avatar
ZamuelNow
Freakin' Alicorn Princess

Gender : Male
Posts : 3306
Join date : 2013-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Z2 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:56 pm

I personally haven't posted yet, so why not? Different campaigns require different environments, but there are two things that I think make for decent shortcuts to success:

1. Freedom - players should be able to occasionally work towards their ambitions instead of just following the plot; rails are best when you can convince the party that they WANT to follow them - just always leave in another option or two.

and 2. Humor - while I suppose technically not something appropriate for ALL campaigns, laughter is the best medicine. Telling jokes, setting up interesting background events, or even just presenting the flavor text in a certain sort of way can make for a surprising amount of hilarity if you're good with it. Typically the goal is to have fun, and jokes are a good way to garnish with fun without altering the campaign's course.
avatar
Z2
Equestrian Honor Guard
Equestrian Honor Guard

Gender : Male
Posts : 838
Join date : 2012-12-10

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:43 am

Know when to quit.

Started my first campaign as GM earlier this year and ended it last week. It was a flat cut and then a discussion session to get feedback on what did and didn't work. It drug out longer than it needed to but I learned from it. Still, it should have been quit or at least revamped months ago which would have been better on everyone.
avatar
ZamuelNow
Freakin' Alicorn Princess

Gender : Male
Posts : 3306
Join date : 2013-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:54 am

Great point.

A campaign, like a TV series, can drag on too long. I think my favorite campaign I've run has been my 6-session "mini-series" - which tightly focused each and every one of its session into driving the characters' stories and ended with a satisfying conclusion. If I'd stretched it on, it would have lost a lot of its luster.

_________________
Looking for an artist right now, one that would be excited to work with me and Kindulas in creating a superhero comic. If you're interested, know anyone that might be interested, or just want to give the script for our first issue a read - enjoy the link below.

My Comic Project
avatar
Stairc -Dan Felder
Lead Designer
Lead Designer

Gender : Male
Posts : 3098
Join date : 2012-07-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:12 pm

Think about how you describe things and sometimes follow it up with OOC commentary elsewhere. Players aren't mind readers and they may not see things the same way you do. More description is usually better than less.
avatar
ZamuelNow
Freakin' Alicorn Princess

Gender : Male
Posts : 3306
Join date : 2013-03-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Crystalite on Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:12 am

At the request of a certain individual who has stained my mind with a pouty Sweetie Belle (who shall not be named) I have come here to talk about ICE.

What is ICE? ICE is a three letter acronym for In Character Excuses, and as the term implies it is used to excuse things from an In Character perspective. For instance: everytime you re-flavored a neat talent, you made some ICE; you wanted that talent, so you reflavored it to justify your character having it.

There are several bits of ICE that, I think, need to see more use here. In particular:

  • Absence: This is a rather strange piece of ICE; however, for Play By Post games it is of utmost importance in order to keep a game moving. It details what should be done with a character if the player decides they can't or don't want to play anymore. Now, if the player is only gone for a few days, you can usually promote them to NPC and/or stick them in a corner until they get back. (I've done it and had it done to me.) But what happens if it's been longer than that? When does the madness end!? Absence ICE is used to move the character out in a more permanent fashion.

  • Ties: This is essentially pieces of backstory that have to do with the character, but not necessarily the main campaign While it's not particularly good for any one purpose, it can justify enough different things (Absences, plot hooks, player resources, the list goes on) to deserve mention on a character sheet.

  • Resources: This answers the question (In the words of Jack Nicholson) "Where do they get those amazing toys?" It sure wasn't from the Christmas Bag of Holding. Characters need to eat, sleep, and aqcuire tools of their trade too,er such too, and players should really spend more time considering how they're accomplishing that. (You do it in real life too, it's not that hard to pretend you have a job...) Similarily, I think GMs should take this into more account; offering the reward of easier aqcuisition of goodies at the cost of responsibility, and vice-versa.
avatar
Crystalite
Celestia's Disciple

Posts : 2898
Join date : 2013-10-06

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: What Makes a Good PT Campaign?

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum