November Campaign Design XIII – Wrapping Up

I started with this…

So this will likely be my final post in the National Campaign Creation Month (NaCaCrMo) series. I’ve gone from a quick map and a couple of notes on a piece of paper to a campaign setting I could run tomorrow.

There are maps both of the setting itself on a large scale, and a smaller zoom-in region for initial play. The three major powers are sufficiently sketched out, with interesting politics and personalities, to sustain me for years. There’s also an added layer of religious tension, with a schism in one church, and a completely different religion for both of them to unite in loathing of.

There are NPCs with their own agendas, as well as power groups besides the political and religious figures. The whole is set up with a logical reason for the PCs to have limited knowledge of the area, as well as with a built-in “frontier” complete with ruined towns and cities. My self-imposed goal of having something radically different is fulfilled by having those ruins to replace the traditional
“gilded hole” dungeon.

I’m very pleased with the result.

…and ended up with this.

A note on my methodology. Quite a few people have asked how I got so much detail in those posts. The answer is that there’s no real trick to it. I just wrote, and kept writing. I would start with the basic premise, think of something that made it unique, move on to the personalities behind the place, and gave them something to make them distinctive. Remembering what I had written in the past, I could then bounce those differences off one another to create the interactions between them, and that formed the basis for the political alliances and interactions. They’re fairly commonplace tropes, when you strip them down – the rich widow, the inept ruler, the guy with a grudge against another – but put them all together and watch them bounce off one another.

All in all, this was a very fun exercise, and thanks also to the other folks who took on the same challenge. I never expected it, but please do post your results and progress in the comments here! Be sure to give links, so we can see what you came up with.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

1 thought on “November Campaign Design XIII – Wrapping Up

  1. This is definitely a very cool concept. It sort of defeats the do it yourself aspect, but I'd definitely put up some cash for a PDF or POD of this setting.

    It took me a little while to understand what was going on in the Blood Magic post, but that's just a matter of it having to be edited just a bit so that the explanation is clearer and doesn't rely on knowing some of the basics of how defiling works.

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