Help with old/new ideas.

edited January 2009 in General Discussion


  • Zoticus
    Posts: 3
    Hey everybody, this is my first post here.

    I'm mainly looking to pick the brains of everyone out there about my curent champain, aswell as my next one.

    Curent problem:

    My players are Lazy.

    to summ this up, the three ( or possibly four) guys that are playing my current campain are a little bit stingy when it comes to PC "goals" they dont give me much to work with in order to direct the story one way or the other. unless i dangle something infront of their faces, they're likely to have no motivation to do anything, other then browse through my books and try and make themselves better with the masses of gold they've gained through dirty dealings (kidnapping etc)

    My second problem is my next campain ( this wont be for a while) . the curent idea is to go fallout 3 style, with.. after a breif linier adventure, push them out into a post apocoliptic wasteland ( veugly steampunk, i have rules for scavengeing/jerryrigging items).

    my question includes simply... what am i going to have them do in the short run? i'm not sure how to flush out the world around them in a completly sandbox style.

    can anyone help?
  • NumberOneTheLarch
    Posts: 3
    The main thing I've learned through my years of DMing is that you really have to build your campaign around the interests of your players. I know we as DMs love to create worlds and locations on our own, but without any input from your players, they may get bored or have to be cattled like you described.

    Perhaps they would have more interest and motivation in a world that they know they've helped bring to life? Ask them to write down some things they'd like to see in the campaign, and try to note their play styles. If it's impossible for them not to play without being dragged along by a string, a post-nuclear sandbox adventure would probably be a disaster.

    Just my two cents anyway.
  • CrazyDE
    Posts: 14
    For a sandbox campaign, you'll need to learn how to improvise convincingly. Have a rough, large scale map of the area around the party already worked up. It only needs to have very major locations written on it. Then, make a handful of generic, smaller maps that you can use for whatever place they decide to explore. You can make small changes to these maps on the fly to make them appropriate for the area you choose to put them in. Use a similar strategy for NPCs and you should be good to go.

    I'm not sure how you could get your players to write up more goals. Maybe their interactions with some NPCs during the linear segment could turn something up.
  • FemmeLegion
    Posts: 521
    ...these guys are into dirty dealings and kidnappings? Let's play with that!

    Post-apoc, there are pockets of "wealthy" surrounded by throngs of destitute. Sound reasonable?

    Make them part of the throngs of destitute. Surreptitiously dangle the opportunity to have them extort one of the "wealthy" - a kidnapping, incriminating photographs, whatever. It sounds likely they'll seize the bait, especially if you throw this opportunity in when it looks like they're "supposed to be" doing something else.

    Then have the wealthy person, instead of paying the demand money to your players, offer it to anyone and everyone else as a reward on their heads. Have fun in a post-apoc sandbox with everybody out to get you, boys!

    Seriously. Don't even bother looking ahead any further than that. You'll easily get a good two or three sessions out of that where they need to figure out how to just stay alive with a scarcity of resources and 95% of their possible allies now out to profit from their misfortune.
  • Zoticus
    Posts: 3
    Thanks for all your help my friends. and just to clerify ..... the post apocalicptic scenario is all regular, 3.5..... when i say fallout like... i mean " questing across the wasteland in search of food watter shelter etc. " there were no nukes involved .. merely a war between the old and new gods. instead of radiation of i have this stuff called hexwire that essentaily allows anything jerryrigged to work.. although sometimes not as expected. i also have whichlight.. an infanite use magic item that .. depending on much it is used.. turns the user into a magic addicted NPC.... and Pax.....dust that essentialy knocks you half dead and lets you go to the " spirit world" .... so my players get the ability to get their questions awnsered if they have some on hand.. but at the price of being weak and sick for a few days.

    anyone else got any ideas?
  • MythicParty
    Posts: 78
    Zoticus, this sounds like a case of, 'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.'

    You have a RPG style of a lot of backstory & character development, while your players are more results oriented. Doesn't mesh well.

    I'd start by stalling for a few weeks when the current campaign ends. Give yourself a few weeks to decompress & sort things out. Maybe run a 'one shot' fun adventure or do a Plan B boardgame.

    During this time-off, come up with some clear guidelines as to how you'd like the game to go. Make a list of how it has gone & then how you'd WANT it to go. See if you can work things so they're more like the latter. Being the DM, you have some leeway. I'd start by having the characters make Traits/Flaws (from UA?) where it gives them in game effects, but also provides some characterization. Most importantly, shift some of the XP from killing monsters into completing goals. Experience is the golden carrot of all players & as long as you are clear (plus concistent) in awarding it for goal development/completion, the game can start to shift more your way.

    Lastly, never reward laziness. Instead punish it with 'white room.' That is, if they're just going to sit & wait for you to do all the work for an adventure, put the ball back in their corner. Nothing extraordinary happens until they make moves to make it happen.

    Good luck Zoticus!
  • Zoticus
    Posts: 3
    thanks. my current little plot is to throw our do nothing half dragon wizard into the future . the player arrives at my place usualy a couple hours early. so that gives me some time. he's thrown into his body.. in the future.. in a floating fortress of black stone ... there he meets a young, bald woman who weilds lightning in the form of a lash. who alwase speeks in rhyme ( and hates his guts), A massive, slighlty moddified, Bisexual Displacer beast who calls itslef the prince of cats. a and a few other .. rather insane.. characters. there he will witness the end of the world ( which is actualy sets the stage for the next game) and receive a profecy ( and geas ) about how to find/rebuild The black tower.... lets see if anyone here can figure it out.

    Beneath the traveler’s feet, the blood fed seed grows,
    When the thrones of starlight, onyx and bone are filled
    The son shall know his villains.
    The seed shall sprout, and the black tower shall rise,
Sign In or Register to comment.

May 2024
The World of Elurah

Read the feature post on the blog
Return to Obsidian Portal

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!