Two ideas I had over the last 24 hours while planning a campaign.

Two ideas I had over the last 24 hours while planning a campaign.

Two ideas I had over the last 24 hours while planning a campaign. Nothing super-original, just potentially good ways to handle some ideas.

1: Bonds for the Villain

if you want the defeat of the big bad to be suitably personal to the party, one way to do this is to give them bonds with the PCs. While this has no mechanical effect (as NPCs don’t roll anything), it’s good for getting relationships going. You can also optionally give the party as a whole 1 xp at the end of session if a villain’s bond is resolved. 

Give a villain that is linked to the PCs at least one of the following:

__________ used to work with me.

__________ is my family, though they wish otherwise.

__________ has something I dearly want.

I killed someone dear to __________.

2: Warring Fronts

For a campaign based around a war, I’m going to give both the enemy and the allied forced something like a Front. However, rather than a countdown to an Impending Doom, there is no set end point – each side records a major victory or the acquisition of a powerful asset as if they were Grim Portents. Once one side gets some significant amount more than the other, they win. From the PCs’ perspective, they can potentially try to engineer special missions or similar to try to get more victories for their own side, and pull ahead. 

4 thoughts on “Two ideas I had over the last 24 hours while planning a campaign.”

  1. For danger bonds, it feels like stakes, but set up with a narrow scope.

    1) Are any characters tied to The Villain? (Employnent, family could be among the answers)

    2) what does The Villain want or need from the characters? (Could be an item. Might be approval!)

    3) What has The Villain taken from the characters? (Could be the life of a loved one; could be a magic stone…)

    The bonds show that you’re already headed toward a specific answer. The value of stakes is that you get to leave it up to the play session to find out what is really going on.

    As for warring fronts, you may consider the war being a campaign front, and each faction a danger. Each faction/danger could also include adventure or dungeon fronts as needed, but it is all wrapped up in the scope ofthe campaign.

    The Grim Portents could very appropriately be victory or defeat at major battles, control of resources, or assassination of arch dukes. And the impending doom for each danger – what happens when that faction wins?

  2. Fair points Andrew Fish. In my case, they’re Bonds rather that Stakes because I’ll be asking the Players which of the bonds apply, and to whom, during character creation. I always figured Stakes were a find-out-in-play thing, rather than a work-out-during-setup thing. 

  3. Whether it’s created in-game or as back story during character creation, once the Stake is there its effect is the same.  Just remember that Stakes that arise naturally in play are usually more engaging than those set prescribed in advance.  This is why Play to Find Out What Happens makes for such good games.

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