>mfw want to run a campaign
How do you guys do it? How do you keep things fresh? All I can ever come up with is basically generic stuff like musclebound barbarian smashing evil wizard in medieval land, raiding dragon caves etc. I can't come up with anything new. What do you guys look to for inspiration?
It isn't your job to create brand new material. It is your job to be entertaining.
Even if it's an old standard as far as storytelling is concerned, if you tell the story well and keep your players engaged, it'll be a good time.
too true; have them adventure after a princess in a tower guarded by a dragon, and your party will help you discover your setting's rules on gay marriage and slave rights. Possibly at the same time
It has a lot to do with what sorts of stories you take in--what you're reading, watching. If you are always seeking out the same sorts of stuff, then the stories you create are all going to be the same. If you want to create more interesting stories, then you have to go out of your comfort zone and take in a lot of different inspirations. I've run fantasy adventures based on horror movies, Russian sci fi books, and Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'.
That's the way. Create throw away NPCs that your players will think are plot hooks, then make them into the plot hook the players expect, then add your own twist to make it seem like you planned the whole thing.
steal from popular culture with a completely straight face.
resist the call of obscurity.
That's actually a great idea. Once you get (read steal) a solid skeleton for your story the players and some charismatic NPC do the rest. I often steal ideas from low quality 90s children videogames. My best game ever was heavily inspired on this one:
It's doesn't even exist in a non-meme language.
By stealing ideas from history, fiction, or other fa/tg/uys.
I usually just take an idea and run with it. Just sit and think about it for a while, weave some interesting plot devices, and then take character back stories and go.
If your haveing trouble with creativeness: Find something the party likes (a certain show, book, video game) and just run a game set in it, obviously letting the group know ahead of time. Since you know it well, you kind of have an idea of how a plot would go. A GM's job is almost entirely reactionary. The players write most of it. Just give them the tools.
At the very least, start with a one shot and move further. The ol' event in a hat trick can go well:
>3 piles: Action/Place/Person
>one from each
>Rob the/ Noble Ball of/Local Mafia lord.
>Assassinate the/King of/Your homeland (pick a play)
Then just stick some story to it.
It really does work great, I'm not joking at all. Just change the guy in a mask to a real monster or someone controlling the monster. The best part is that the show gives all the hints and clues to make it look like you put so much work into the plot.
The best bit is that by selecting the era you pulled the episode from you can choose the tone you want to set for the campaign.
Mystery Incorporated was the best, followed closely by the first two series. Everything in between was filler.
I didn't think you were, I'm just putting emphasis on how great it is.
>party befriends a woman
>shortly after she's accused of being a witch when one who looks similar to her shows up
>party has to protect her from the townspeople who want her burnt at the stake while also trying to stop the real witch
>turns out the witch is her long lost twin sister who wanted to make her sister suffer for having the good life she was denied
No one will guess that you just ripped off To Switch a Witch.
All of them have merit, although I haven't watched the current so I can't speak to it. What's New is basically just a modern version if the original, 13 Ghosts is great aside from the stupid kid, and A Pup Named Scooby Doo is good too. The only really questionable one is Get A Clue.
Go through wallpaper threads. Ask yourself, how do the characters get to that.
What are things you'd like to see characters work around.
Read through the books and look at your characters stats.
Be an asshole. No one can disarm or find traps? Time to set up some traps.
Read Dungeon World's GM section. Seriously, just do it.
Also seconding (thirding? fifthing?) the Scooby-Doo idea.
To be honest, a real easy way to get started is by starting with a base setting then divide it up into areas with different cultures and races. To come up with encounters, take inspiration from tv, anime, movies and books you find interesting.
This. 90% of the shit I run is shamelessly stolen from something. The players notice at best 10% of the references.
>OMG Anon, I will never be as creative as you.
Fuck mang, there wasn't a single original idea in my last game.
The last campaign I ran was just paper mario. I literally had the game's maps pulled up on my laptop, and just replaced goomba with halfling, koopa with elf, toad with "frog person", etc. They didn't get it until halfway through when one of the fuckers glanced at my laptop screen
For me it comes naturally either from "It's X except" and then keep adding more "excepts" until it becomes original enough to be it's own thing because i've come to the conclusion that in order to make something original and have it mark you need to accompany it with common tropes to not make it 100% alien.
I have 3 approaches to things.
1) I find a game I like, take that as my basic inspiration. I'll run with it to start out and see where that leads me, possibly interweaving other game plots or even just playing off how the players respond.
For example, my current campaign is based off a combination of Mass Effect 3 and WoW with some Diablo thrown in.
2) I will find a series and rip ideas from that. This works particularly well for world building. In my current setting, I have areas inspired in part by WH40K, amongst other things. The multitude of influences makes it hard for the players to track any 1 thing you ripped off, especially if you combine it with real world influences.
For example, I have a zone based on the Armageddon scenario from WH40K in my setting where a group of Orcs attempted to wipe out an Elven civilization and, while they initially failed, its snowballing and drawing in more Orcs on a daily basis.
3) Find a particularly bitching song, ideally one that tells a story. Use this as your starting point and then build from there. This can be good for singular sessions.
For example, from Free Will Sacrafice by Amon Amarth I got a session focused around preparing a village for an overwhelming assault. The players had to evacuate the civilians and find a way to hold back the enemy long enough for the civvies to escape. They chose to do this by recruiting the willing fighters of the village and arming them all. We got a massive, epic battle, a chase scene, a few speeches and 1 badass PC death from that particular session.
This times 100
I literally just rip off every video game I liked or book characters
I've had a rogue BBEG one game who owned an island of mercernaries and had certain henchmen with supernatural powers. It was just metal gear solid 1 repurporsed in a fantasy setting with just as lenient sneaking
im currently trying to repurpose dark souls into a campaign right now, just having a lot of fun thinking of what to do with no towns but having some amazing recurring NPCS cause of the game
Meanwhile, in reverse-town:
>finally come up with an original idea
>spill it out to the players
>"OH, JUST LIKE [movie/anime/video game/book that you haven't seen/watched/played/read]?"
Encourage your players to feel out their characters and help you build the world. The path that will yield the most fun and best storytelling will present itself. Now if your players are uncreative shits and want everything spoonfed, that's a problem...
copy the story and setting of your favorite anime
if you love it, then your players will too.
Even if they saw the real witch and the kindly lady at the same time and knew they were different people? Even if she was a princess? Or if they wanted to fuck her? Make it work.
paper mario poster here, i was actually trying to make a dark souls type campaign too, because my players dont fear or expect death enough. if you have any notes you'd like to share, i'd love some inspiration
There's honestly nothing wrong with copying something completely, it gives the players a sense of familiarity and immersion in the world because they already have some idea of what's going on. The best campaigns I've been a part of were either incredibly simple, or just set in a popular work of fiction that all the players were familiar with. I'm currently working on an undertale campaign, not because I have any great ideas, but because the players will be invested and have a great time.
Technically that encompasses part of my "X but" philosophy. Because as long as you're not making a carbon copy of the actual source material
which would a grave mistake in the case of Undertaleyou are just making "X but".
Not that guy but if you want to make your players fear death make sure you put them up against solid challenges and drop the message that resurrection either isn't a thing in your setting or its prohibitively expensive.
A level appropriate challenge should be set up in such a way that there's always a solid chance of 1/4 of the players dying. They don't need to, especially if they play it smart, but there needs to be the risk.
Getting them invested in the character helps too.
>Read Dungeon World's GM section.
Absolutely this, the DW's view on how to run a game is one of the best things about it. Even if you are one of those guys who thinks DW is shit, this could actually help you in a mayor way.
There's nothing wrong with running a pre-made campaign like an Adventure Path series. The only big things you'll need to worry about before starting is what setting you're playing and what proper nouns you have to change to make it fit.
My main setting's some kind of crossover, so I don't have to create that much stuff, and most quests and storylines happen because I just describe the place they're in being lively and having stuff happening in it until they find something they think is a quest hook, which I'll try to create a quest around.
I'm really pulling everything out of my ass.
books films shows anime
then just do what you feel
pic related, how I felt when I just stopped caring about impressing my players and just did what came naturally.