Saturday, November 27, 2010

Campaign Calendar

I am always stressing, here and in my books, that the world does not revolve around the adventurers. As a way of forcing that issue, I like to make out a calendar for the year (in the game world). That way, I have certain major news items happen, no matter what is going on in their lives. These typically aren’t the major wars and battles, but more of the softer side of life. For example - One of the main characters in our longest on-going campaign is a major noble. As such certain things are expected, such as attending weddings and other social gatherings. Right now it is the first month of the game year, and I’m planning the noble weddings for the year. As the year goes on, adventures and other missions might put this character on the other side of the world when a socially important wedding is occurring. That causes drama in the character’s life.
I think about this like Stan Lee did for the early Spiderman stories. You know how real life kept interfering with his adventures? He also had to figure out how to pay the rent. He got fired from his job(s) if he kept vanishing into a broom closet to change into his superhero suit. The question is - Do you want your adventurers to have lives like Batman, where every social gathering that occurs is really only an excuse to have the PCs start a mission, or do you want them to have to role-play realistic characters that have back stories and players who are strongly attached to them? (All anti-DC statements are directed against the DC comics from decades ago and not necessarily recent movies that make up all of what some of you youngins know about comic books.)

1 comment:

  1. Bravo, I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking like this.

    Every Cleric or Paladin in my game world needs to observe their deities feast days and maybe even perform a rite or a blessing if they expect to be able to cast spells.

    If characters roll into town on a Sunday they can't expect the market to be open so they can replenish their supplies.

    My plots often require the PCs to prevent an important event happening by a deadline such as an auspicious planetary alignment, a big wedding or an execution. Sometimes players just need a hurry up when they're dragging their heels.