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What's the bare minimum a setting needs to be viable for running a campaign in?

I've been fucking around with worldbuilding for a while but I really do want to actually run a damn game in these worlds.
I keep getting distracted on all sorts of inconsequential rabbitholes, and while I definitely have the foundation of a setting coming together, I'm not that experienced with actually designing campaigns and adventures.

Wondering if anyone had some advice for this kind of stuff.
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>>85542625
>What's the bare minimum a setting needs to be viable for running a campaign in?

>You meet in a tavern
>The innkeeper says there's been problems with goblins raiding the town
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>>85542625
Real life but x
>real life but zombies
>real life but vampires
>real life but all /x/ skinwalker stories are real and you can't go into the woods without having to murder or fuck at least dozen of them
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>>85542625
>bare minimum a setting needs
a place to fight
a place to not fight
someone to talk to
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>>85542625
I’m in the same boat as you, OP. My goal is to have the initial town where they stop first finished by session 0. After that I can develop whatever seems likely they will choose
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A small town (safe zone + resource trading site), a decent understanding of the immediate area, and a dungeon (structured adventure site). Players need to raid the latter to keep the former safe.
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>>85542737
Shit I didn't even develop the first town. I just said here's the town, woah neat festival, this guy you're drinking with wants you to leave town with him on a quest. Damned place is a capital. Players really won't bat an eye at these things if you lead them in another direction. If they don't like the hook and want to stay in town, improvise. But they should like the hook, because it should be relevant to their characters.
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>>85542625
Stuff to do. That's it.
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>>85542625
Plothooks. Lots of plothooks.
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>>85542690
>You meet in a tavern.
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>>85542625
What the hell kind of question is that?
You don't need anything to run a campaign in a setting. You can generate literally everything on the fly if you want. It probably won't be good, but if you're some kind of super autist then you could pull it off maybe.

What I think you're actually trying to ask is: What will the players actually care about?
And unfortunately the answer is that the players won't care as much as you want them to. They never will. That shouldn't discourage you from building the world in more depth, though, because you never know which part of the setting the players actually will take an interest in, so you have to shore up everything in case they randomly decide to dive into the minutia of something you didn't expect them to, which they will, and you don't want to be left handwaving something big. Handwaving the small things is fine, but for the sake of verisimilitude you need to be able to explain the key setting points.

As for building a campaign, what you are going for is a combination of impetus, obstacles, and a goal. Something the players want or need to achieve, and a reason that they want or need to achieve it. Then, consider what obstacles and detours are in the way and why.

More importantly, assume that none of this will survive first contact with the party. They'll do something to fuck it up somehow. Adapt, don't fixate on the pieces that were ruined, just consider how the obstacles and detours might change in response. Don't cling to the setting as-is. Expect players to try to change pieces of it if they don't like them. Let them do so, because that makes you life easier since it plays into the above stuff.
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>>85542625
3-5 locations for pointcrawl
a basic theme for the local area
at least 1 dungeon/hostile area
at least 1 hub/camp/town/safe area
at least 3 premade NPCs per safe area
an NPC namelist/generator so you can name NPCs you didn't plan to be important
a system that makes sense for the setting

a basic theme for neighboring areas is good to have but not required, as are homebrew modifications to the system

you can do this in a couple of hours, especially if you've already got a dungeon and you aren't showing your players any maps

desu you can get by with just a single location and a basic theme but it's not much of a setting without that other stuff
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You need:

>A place the characters came from
They can create this with their backstories even if they're only four words long

>A place they can feel safe and rest
Often an inn, but it can be anything

>A threat to one or both of the above
A "Dragon"

>A complex obstacle to overcome through game mechanics
A "Dungeon"

>A reward that makes them stronger
"Treasure"

Everything else is fluff or at best foreshadowing a later version of one or more of the above.
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>>85542675
fpbp
probably less than that.
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>>85542625
The thing about all fiction is you're just making an elaborate lie, and there's a blurry line between "I know this is a lie, but I'm enjoying it" and "this is a lie and I hate it," and everyone has their line in a different position.
To make a good lie, you have to keep your facts straight, and speak with certainty, ergo, to make a good setting, all of its facts must remain consistent.
With these things in mind, I'm sure you see the issue with only doing the bare minimum, and I'm not ignoring the numerous issues of doing the absolute maximum either.
The thing is, no matter how much or little effort you put in, you're gambling on your players' "line." I know I spent a lot of words just to say "there's no way of knowing," but I'd like to cultivate some actual thought about the various nuances of our hobby (and fiction as a whole) instead of just dismissing things and moving on.
It might do you some good to ask /wbg/ for their thoughts, too, as worldbuilding is kinda their thing.*
* I think, anyway; I used to think /agdg/ was about discussing various aspects of game design, but they really only care about a few things.
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>>85542625
Stop worldbuilding and start adventure-building. The world is only important to the extent that PCs interact with it in the course of their adventures. Start with cool adventure ideas and make them; the lore is the shit you come up with to justify why this stuff is happening/possible. Stop rabbit-holing yourself, nobody gives a fuck about your calendars or imperial lineage or literally any of the other shit, its a waste of time.
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>>85545823
this is the best answer.
as fun as it is to come up with the name of the father of the man that introduced milled coins to the Empire that shit does nothing for the encounter(s) of the day.
little bits of lore really shouldn't take up most of Your time just settle on an over arching theme and build the encounters and dungeons the inbetween stuff should follow in appropriate times and amounts
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>>85549450
A dismissal isn't an answer.
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>>85549476
So here's an answer to OP's question: The bare minimum to play in a setting is literally nothing. Or rather, the bare minimum to play in a setting is literally any kind of adventure, because the adventure is the thing you do, whereas the setting is just window dressing.
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>>85549476
It is when you're asking the wrong question.
>How many paintings should I put in my living room to have a successful board game night?
Maybe you should focus on the things that matter like having functional things like tables, chairs, and the actual games rather than literal window dressing?
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>>85542948
>you meet.
your captain is ordering all soldiers (that means you fucks) to charge in and take the city. you're also aware that refusal means the captain's guards will kill you.
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>>85549922
>window
>>85550283
>dressing

Yeah, and just blame your players and attack them for being autists when they wonder why nothing in the setting has a through-line, because the deny, reverse, attack method is better than putting any effort in.
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>>85550283
>needing chairs and a table
Bitch, go out and don't come back 'till you've played a campaign with nothing but a notebook and pencil while sitting on some dudes floor. You don't need fancy shit like "world building" to run a game, hell, more than half the time you barely need the books. Writing tens of thousands of words is for wannabe novelists and world building is something that happens in game when you make up shit on the spot and your players remember it four sessions later, which you completely forgot but is totally relevant right now because of some other shit you just made up.
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>>85542625
>>85542675
let's play
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>>85552666
>You don't need fancy shit like "world building" to run a game
Yeah, that's exactly what I said, as long as you don't want to get into a dick measuring contest over who's more manly for owning less furniture

>>85552464
>"Where's the through-line in this setting?" and other hilarious questions human beings never ask
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>>85552830
Rename Or Something to Ur-Something. It's more mysterious.
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>>85542625
a realm where thing may, or mayhaps, may not, occur.

perchance.
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>>85552994
Truth. Even as someone that enjoys worldbuilding for the sake of it, I don't examine details through the same lense as a player. I've even asked for information in character that a DM didn't have answers to, and he said so out of game that he just hadn't thought of whatever I was asking about. Oh, right on, I said. Then everyone continued the session without skipping a beat.

The trick is to not be an autist. Difficult for some on /tg/.
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>>85552994
Deny.
>>85553947
Reverse, attack.

Much better than actual effort.
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>>85542625
>What's the bare minimum a setting needs to be viable for running a campaign in?

Almost nothing, if you have a system to support it
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>>85542625
>What's the bare minimum a setting needs to be viable for running a campaign in?
None whatsoever
>I've been fucking around with worldbuilding for a while
>but I really do want to actually run a damn game in these worlds.
Then just do it, you dumb retard
>I keep getting distracted on all sorts of inconsequential rabbitholes
Start taking your ADD meds again, problem solved
>Wondering if anyone had some advice for this kind of stuff.
Stop wasting time on worldbuilding
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>>85556603
You don't even need a system that supports it, you simply need any functional set of rules and 2-10 willing people to run for. Setting is utterly superfluous, beyond stating the campaign prompt and then just going from there.
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>>85542625
make a town, describe it loosely for yourself until a problem emerges
with that description and a problem, make heroes and villains of that town, mostly characterized clearly by what they want
make a dungeon related in some way to the problem so players can explore
reward players if they intervene in any way, write down consequences too, but dont be stupid about it
thats it
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>>85542625
>Wondering if anyone had some advice for this kind of stuff.

Do you have enough that you could construct literally 1 dungeon with five rooms and let a group of adventurers try their luck?

If so, you have more than I had when I started. Get going. Do that. You cannot theory-craft your way to perfection, you have to run a bunch of games to learn what works for you and what doesn't.
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>>85542625
A conflict
A base level of reality the players can understand
The ability to make up names and locations on the spot
Literally it. You can run a game with zero setting details and just make the world as players travel it if you're good enough at improv.

Having any details for the setting is to aide the GM. It is laying the groundwork so you DON'T have to desperately fumble and make up details when players ask "what's west of here?" Or "what's the Kings name?". You don't technically have to do any worldbuilding at all to run a game. What you should be thinking when you worldbuild for a game is "what details would be handy to not have to make up on the spot?" And the answers for that question will depend highly on both the type of game you run and your players.

For example I'm shit at making up names on the spot. So I keep lists of names typical for a region and try to have most places the PCs are likely to go named ahead of time. I'm good at making up new personalities however, so I don't really need to plan too many characters out.
But my players are very happy to be led from location to location on a leash, so I don't have to build a fully realized map and make details for places they are unlikely to go.
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>>85555536
Did you read my post, nigger? I put in effort for my own campaigns, but the fact of the matter is the majority of players won't notice.
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>>85542625
At minimum? Enough for players to make characters and start a first adventure.



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