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30 Days of Gamemastering: Part Seven

October 8, 2013

This is part seven in the continuing series of posts for the “30 Days of Gamemastering Challenge” from Triple Crit.

How Do You Prep for the Start of a Campaign?

First of all, I make sure that my world is at least “done up” enough to accommodate the players (see previous entry). Once that’s done, then I concentrate on the characters.

Once character creation is done, I allow them–and encourage them–to create back-stories for their characters. This firmly ensconces them in the world and also gives me fodder for which to create new adventures. The process also helps introduce the players to the new world. I really enjoyed the character generation of The Dresden Files RPG. In it, you take your character through various stages, developing its back-story while also developing the character stats. I used the same process for my current Pathfinder campaign and got some very interesting results.

Once character creation is done and everyone has at least a rudimentary back-story, then I start crafting the campaign. I try to craft the adventures based on the characters’ various strengths and weaknesses, as well as trying to come up with plausible motivations for adventure hooks. The more character buy-in to the adventures and the story arc, the better. I’m not always successful–sometimes players “discover” new aspects of their characters in play, aspects that I hadn’t counted on. But, for the most part, I think it works.

What about you? What’s your process for campaign creation? Where do you start?

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