Friday, April 10, 2020

Player's Guide for My Campaign


When I start a new campaign I like creating guides to help each player get grounded in my setting. I do this because in the past I've been in many games where I was a native to a city or area and yet I stumbled around like a blind man. Mistakes made by my ignorance were counted against me. Something my character would have known because he had lived there all his life. So this is my way of assisting players to feel like they are a part of the world and their choices are based on knowledge. 

I do two different guides. The one above is an example of gnomes in my campaign. Did I know or even consider having gnomes in my campaign? Nope. But one of my players wanted to play one. Challenge accepted. The guide gives a brief description of how gnomes fit in, their beliefs, and gaming mechanics. Sometimes a player has adjustments they would like to make. We discuss the changes and figure out how they will work. Rarely do I say no. I like implementing things I hadn't consider. It only enriches the player's experience and usually teaches me a thing or two. 

I finished the Goranth Gnomes Guide to the Komor Forest this weekend. It is a 4-page zine style guide. I try to keep them as short as possible because players are rarely going to read a bible-sized booklet and I have no desire to write one. I Google-gank art from all over. These are only for my players eyes, but today I thought I'd share my example. 

I only do these types of guides if they want to play a race or culture out of the ordinary. I love getting ideas from players.

Then on Monday, we roll up characters. At that time I will create character guides for the players . These guides are specific to their character. It includes general knowledge of their locations. Points of interest. People of note. Organizations. Friends and enemies. And personal stuff. 

If your interested in checking out my Goranth Gnomes Guide to the Komor Forest you can grab a copy from my drive. 

Enjoy and thanks!

13 comments:

  1. I love this!

    This is particularly relevant to me right now, as I'm preparing a campaign for my 10 year-old daughter and her friends, none of whom have played an RPG before, and I'm struggling with how to convey information to them so that they understand the concept of different cultures, but don't become disinterested.

    Thanks for sharing this - I like this short, 4-page format. This format, including an image, seems like it would be perfect for this group.

    My most recent post about the "weird fantasy" influences I'm using as inspiration for this game is here on my blog at Daddy Rolled a 1.

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    1. That sounds so cool. Running a game for 10 year-olds sounds like a blast.

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  2. Komor? Neat. Borzala? Good enough. Malac? I'm dying :D

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  3. Great work. May I ask what fonts you used? Any tips on finding art assets?

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    1. And for this art, since its just for my player I just Google what I want and put it in. If it were to be a commercial product I'd got to RPGNow or hit up one the great artists I know.

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  4. The small font is Garamond. The bigger font is Evil Bible.

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  5. I think this is fantastic! If I were to get deeply entrenched in a specific setting, I could see myself making a series of these to cover the range of characters players might want to take on. (Or at least *planning* to make a series of these...)

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    1. They are helpful for me also. I get to make up bits about a campaign and explore areas I hadn't thought of.

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  6. You wrote: "When I start a new campaign I like creating guides to help each player get grounded in my setting. ... I do two different guides. The one above is an example of gnomes in my campaign."

    Would you be willing to share an example of your other type of guide? I've been noodling about doing a zine on Etinerra, but I work well with examples. Can I cheat off of yours, please?

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    1. You can cheat, steal, change whatever you like Michael. I'll share another guide very soon.

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