Campaign Help Needed!

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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:28 pm

PencilBoy99 wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:01 pm
Is there a repository of fan adventures somewhere?
I dont know if there is a list, but try searching the forum, and you'll find lots of ideas!!
One idea is an endless well of adventures, called Wild Adventures by Jamesbrown. Look it up in the House Rule forum viewtopic.php?f=56&t=3783#p34769
Also Search for these titles:
Treasures Long Lost
Theft of the Moon
Blood in the waters
Ghost and Goblins
Over Hill over Dale
The Cup of true love
To journeys end and the Eagles Eyrie

There are more, but I Can't remember the titles.

Hope it helps!
One game to rule them all: TOR

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Rich H
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Rich H » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:36 pm

Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:28 pm
To journeys end and the Eagles Eyrie
... And that one's mine and I highlight it because its an example of taking published material (eg, the adventures Marsh Bell and Don't Leave the Path) that can be used in different ways and expanded; useful to consider, based on the OP's challenges.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

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Rich H
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Rich H » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:38 pm

Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:58 pm
Like the OP I find many of the adventures in Darkening to be very thin, unless you really add a lot of your own material.

As you see I really need to load all sorts of stuff into the campaign to get some meat on the campaign, and that is great for me, but it requires work, that not all have time for.
I completely agree. I wasn't trying to dismiss your advice at all, just that with more experience these things do become easier and often, once engaged, the players can drive a lot of the campaign.
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

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Rich H
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Rich H » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:40 pm

PencilBoy99 wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:03 pm
I never realized how much harder fantasy is than other genres.
What is it you find difficult when compared to other genres?
TOR resources thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62
TOR miniatures thread: viewtopic.php?t=885

Fellowship of the Free Tale of Years: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8318

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Ecorce
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Ecorce » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:45 am

About undertakings during the Fellowship phases...

If your players pick them just because the RAW say they can pick one or two, it might be out of the story and not intersting. They have to choose, so they choose what they can pick in their area, even if it's not relevant compared to the Adventuring phase just finished.

I think undertakings as described in the books are just examples you can take if they suit well "your" (LM & players) Story. But to be interesting, players must invest in their own character's story. What they want him/her to become, the story they wan to play, their ambitions, etc. Fellowhip phase is THEIr phase, the players' phase. Then, they can suggest undertakings ideas that will suit.

They can just play the adventures as written but in a game like TOR or Pendragon which are about individual and group quests, according to me, you cannot be an "empty character" filled by the scenario. You should provide as a player some projects. Getting XP is not a project in TOR. Getting stronger, yes, but in a "societal" point of view (ie inside a community, with interactions, behaviors, personnality, societies).

The question is : what is their project for their characters?
Ecorce French TOR community

Thoughts about The One Ring : Les Carnets d'Imladris / Notes from Imladris

Otaku-sempai
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:25 pm

Oh, players should by all means suggest new undertakings to their Loremaster. At the same time, the LM might veto the suggestion or suggest an existing undertaking that accomplishes the same thing.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

Lifstan
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Lifstan » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:27 pm

PencilBoy99 wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:53 am
3. The adventures in Darkening of Mirkwood quickly become very "thin" (completely the opposite of #2). Those sessions are not very exciting. I never have any idea how to draw them out or make them more interesting. See #1. This is very concerning to me, because most of the adventures from Darkening of Mirkwood from here on out are of the format Journey to X, do a thing that takes one step.
I feel the same. I'm an experienced game master, but I like to play scenarios "as written". Thus Darkening of Mirkwood is a challenge for me.

The way I solved this:

- I come on this forum often. And when I prepare a scenario from Darkening of Mirkwood I always check what has been said about it here. Lots of time, some people have talked about it (especially if they have problems with it) and they often give ideas on how to expand the scenario at hand. If not, you can always ask by starting a new thread with the title of that scenario in the subject...

- I have used a lot of scenarios mentionned before. Like you, I have played some of the scenarios from Tales from the Wilderland (and I plan to play them all in time). I also used fan-made scenarios that you can find on this forum. There's a list for example here:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4489

I especially liked so far:

- The Hare and the Hill Giant,
- Theft of the Moon.

And

- The Pearl of Kings.

The last one is here on the forum: viewtopic.php?f=56&t=3850

I have others that I plan to play, but those I played already and were popular with my players. So I can recommend them, to include them in Darkening of Mirkwood. For example, I have mixed the scenario "The Lost Path with" (in Darkening) with The Pearl of Kings and it became a 2 evenings session...

- I do play Ruins of the North with my Darkening of Mirkwood. The way I solved that is very easy: I made my players create a second group of caracters! So I have team A be in Mirkwood and the other one, team B, in Eriador. Of course, Team B is made of caracters related to Team A. I started Team B in 2954 of Darkening, since it makes perfect sense to put it there. That solution solves the "way too much travel for normal people" and gives a "Game of Thrones" feel to it: this session, will see how the Shadow is moving in Mirkwood. This session, will see how the Shadow is growing in Eriador. And so on... I just started this, we'll see how it goes. But I do plan on playing Ruins of the North with my Team B based on a logical timeline of what's happening in Darkening...

Hopes this help!
Last edited by Lifstan on Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Stormcrow
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Stormcrow » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:59 pm

PencilBoy99 wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:53 am
4. The players are completely uninterested in pursuing any of the undertaking kinds of interests the game is premised upon. I've given 3 of them standings, and except for doing the rolls, they don't really have any interest in doing anything with them. They have no investment in any of their home cultures, and I've prompted them for suggestions of things they want to do but no luck. Actually, the Man of Minis Tirith cares about Gondor, but that's kind of far away.
The Fellowship phase is supposed to be the part of the game where the players dictate what happens rather than the Loremaster. The point of undertakings is to give your character a hook to lead him through the phase. It's supposed to help the player answer the question, "What does my character do with himself when he's not adventuring?"

Make it clear to your players that the Fellowship phase is their turn to take the reins and drive the narrative. Tell them this isn't just filler—their characters' real lives are in the Fellowship phase and the Adventuring phase is just the exciting parts that interrupt real life. This is their chance to be creative. If they're having trouble getting started, tell them they can choose an undertaking as a point from which they can jump off and take in any direction.

For example, a hobbit who has just chosen the Raise Standing undertaking for the first time to reach Standing 1 doesn't just say "I Raise Standing to 1." He describes how he returns home to Frogmorton, helps poor families afford repairs to their homes, and throws a lavish party for the village at Yuletide, inviting hobbits from the nearby country too. The hobbits still don't approve of the adventurer's lifestyle, but they do look kindly upon him, since he is known to be generous and decent, and they might ask for his help when important things happen to them. The player gets to write all this down in his Tale of Years, and THEN he increases his Standing to 1.

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cuthalion
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by cuthalion » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:42 pm

PencilBoy99 wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:53 am
3. The adventures in Darkening of Mirkwood quickly become very "thin" (completely the opposite of #2). Those sessions are not very exciting. I never have any idea how to draw them out or make them more interesting. See #1. This is very concerning to me, because most of the adventures from Darkening of Mirkwood from here on out are of the format Journey to X, do a thing that takes one step.
PencilBoy99, could you maybe give us an example of an Adventuring Year that you ran that didn't go well/you had trouble padding out/players were not invested in? With perhaps the basic details about your characters, we might then be able to provide some examples/models of how to draw out the threads a little, as you say.

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Jeegen
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Re: Campaign Help Needed!

Post by Jeegen » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:06 am

First of, lots of good advice here, even for a seasoned GM/LM. Also, thank you Stormcrow for explaining the idea behind the Fellowship phase so well.

Pencilboy99, some general LM advice for creating backstory to draw players into the story. Make time for two personal brainstorm sessions. In the first one, get mean! Think of things that could happen in the story to pull the characters in. Maybe give them two challenges they cannot both solve. Make them (or one of them) the target of powerful bad guy who simply must see them dead. These are poor examples, but the idea is to have no mercy when thinking up plot lines.

On the next brainstorming session, pull out the most interesting thoughts you had and make them less hard on the players. Instead of the main bad guy NEEDING to see a party member dead, maybe it's a henchman with less means to make it happen. This henchman could harass the party at the worst possible time. Make the attacks consistent so the players have clues to track down who is doing this and why. What is the reason for the henchman's anger?

In this way, you can unleash your most creative aspects, then reign them in a bit to make a playable game.

Another thought is to sit the players down and just ask them for input. "Guys, what is it about this game you like the least?" "What would you like to see in the game that would make it more enjoyable." Mature players will likely give you some very good feedback.

I hope this helps. Best of luck in forging a fun story for all!

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