How do you get started?

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capmarvel
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How do you get started?

Post by capmarvel »

OK...believe I found "my game" (have looked at many...too many) and that would be C&C (with side of Amazing Adventures).

So...I'm going to ask how you go about creating your adventures?

1) do you have the players create characters first and build around them?

2) do you first create a story then fill in NPC's, etc?

3) do you create "a world" (cities, empires, etc) then start to narrow it down to specific areas of the world?

4) do you create interesting NPC's first then build a story/world around them?

5) None (or all) of the above?

Basically looking for tips on "how to get started." I'm sure everyone is different in their methods and the methods may change depending on time, style of play, type of players, etc, etc.

So...what has worked for you and what hasn't?

A followup question:

1) how do you get a new group started? What methods have you used to get a good local group started? Or a good web-based group?

Thanks for any tips you have!

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TheMetal1
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Re: How do you get started?

Post by TheMetal1 »

capmarvel wrote:OK...believe I found "my game" (have looked at many...too many) and that would be C&C (with side of Amazing Adventures).

So...I'm going to ask how you go about creating your adventures?

1) do you have the players create characters first and build around them?

Nope, I like to run pre-made adventures and let the Players create whatever they desire in terms of PCs. I'll give them some perspective - this will be more wilderness oriented, etc. I like to start out with a short adventure first. The trolls have several on RPGNow that are expanded encounters. This gives the PC a chance to try out the rules, and gives you a feel for the PC Play Styles, what they're looking for in a game, etc. if they didn't tell you during Character Creation.

2) do you first create a story then fill in NPC's, etc?

As I use Pre-made adventures, the PCs are there, but there are usually a lot details that I don't always follow, so as the Story Progresses, I improv the NPCs and not suprisingly the details they remember and ones they latch onto are the ones I've made up.

3) do you create "a world" (cities, empires, etc) then start to narrow it down to specific areas of the world?

Start small - a village or just an Inn/Tavern, then grow outward. I use Erde as a guide and through in stuff like Yggsburgh, Castle Zagyg, Pathfinder stuff, etc.

4) do you create interesting NPC's first then build a story/world around them?

When I'm creating an adventure, I'll get a concept for what the goal is then build a map, ideas, npcs, etc.

5) None (or all) of the above?

Basically looking for tips on "how to get started." I'm sure everyone is different in their methods and the methods may change depending on time, style of play, type of players, etc, etc.

So...what has worked for you and what hasn't?

Gary Gygax had series of books for developing campaigns and adventures you can talk a look as his World Builder (links to the others are there on amazon): http://www.amazon.com/Gary-Gygaxs-World ... pd_sim_b_2

The Trolls have the Towers of Adventure, Engineering Dungeons and Engineering Castles books that can help you out. The Dungeon Alphabet is a good product from Goodman Games too.


A followup question:

1) how do you get a new group started? What methods have you used to get a good local group started? Or a good web-based group?

Just talk about games with folks you work with or have other hobbies with, you'd be surprised at home many do game or want to game. Google+ in the various game communities are usually announcing games that are happening. Fantasy Grounds II has a game forum that is by game type with information on upcoming games. There is a virtual con getting ready to happen with FGII, so check that out, you may find some people that want to go beyond a one shot game there. Talk with your FLGS and post a game notice, then demo or run a game on a regular basis. Hope this helps! God bless and great gaming to you!



Thanks for any tips you have!

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NJPDX
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Re: How do you get started?

Post by NJPDX »

I heartily recommend Mike Shea's "The Lazy Dungeon Master" for some really nice and concise game running and world building tips. There's a pdf version on RPGnow.com and you can get a print on demand version through lulu.com

In short: start small (a barony, a valley, whatever) and worry more about building a framework vs. a whole world or some hand-crafted plot (a few key NPCs, some hooks and a handful of adventuring areas that they might want to visit) and then let the player's tell the story and let them drive the action.

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finarvyn
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Re: How do you get started?

Post by finarvyn »

While "how to" books can be helpful, the best way to do it is to try it. That's how I learned back in the 1970's and it still works fine today. The key is to have players who are willing to try things, and don't stress if there are speed bumps along the way.

I've done homebrew adventures and modules. Modules are neat because they are pre-made, but they also can involve a lot of prep time because you have to actually read them and maybe even take notes on them. I don't always have time or interest in doing all the prep work, but if you find just the right ones they can be great.

The easiest approach is to create a dungeoncrawl adventure. Fewer options for the players means less headache for a novice DM. Either draw a dungeon map or do a google image search for "dungeon map" and use one of those instead.

Once they have gone into the dungeon a couple of times, create a nearby town so they can buy/sell stuff and interact with non-monsters. Draw up an area map that shows the town, the dungeon, and maybe a few cool places that characters can visit. Find some cool place-names from books or movies and sprinkle them around. (Name stuff after monsters; the troll swamp, the howling hills...)

Basically, just throw the players into interesting situations and see what they do with them. And don't be afraid to let their ideas run the story -- you don't want to have the whole thing scripted out in advance, and when they have cool ideas that may let the adventure surprise you as well as them.
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Dracyian
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Re: How do you get started?

Post by Dracyian »

What I suggest, which is in concert with finarvyn, first and foremost is that this is a social game, not a game of soltaire so make sure you give your players a chance to influence the story. For me one of the things that make these games so wonderful is the absolute freedom of actions.

As for starting out, you may want to pick up a few adventure modules, lord knows the the trolls have a few for sale. I would suggest staying away from the long campaign ones, like the A series or the Haunted Highland seires at first, for reasons I will explain in a bit. So know that you have a few adventure modules, hopefully of different levels of challenge I would read through them and find one you like. Then run a single, or set depending on how long it takes for you to complete the module, of that module. Start everybody out around the level the challenge is for that module and play it out. Treat it as a rather linear session, or set of sessions so you can get a feel as to how to best run the game to get what you want out of it.

You can also run different styles of modules to see what type of adventure best suits you and your players tastes, are you a gritty low magic high risk adventure crew or the epic high fantasy heroes from the tales. Do you want a heavier challenge level for the players and high risk of death, dismemberment and disembowled? Or a lighter tale filed with fun stories and battles that don't challenge but allow the players to attempt crazy things and make foos of themselves?

Once you have done this a time or two and are feeling comfortable start up a campaign if it is your thing. I suggested earlier staying away from the campaign or long series of adventure modules and the reason I did that is now that you are starting your own campaign, if you really enjoyed running it from adventure modules you have two excellent choices, the A-series or the Haunted Highlands.

Or you can homebrew up a campaign based on a world from literature that you are familiar with or give birth to the whole thing from your mind. If you take this course of action you can proceed to create your own world in one of two main methods, these aren't the only two. You can either create a shell of the area your adventure will start and few people and dungeons for the players to do and let the players help flesh out the area through their actions and the roleplay that your game generates or you can design most of it from the get go this is much more time intensive of the prep work start but some people really enjoy this. If you take the second route my suggestion, which echoes those before me is flesh out the main people and the dungeons, maybe even make the end goal, but I would do much more than invent a few bottlneck plot points in your world and let the game weave its own tale.

Finally like everyone has said, the only true way to learn is to do, but there are wonderful resources out there, I will echo NJPDX and the Lazy DM, it is relatively cheap, its only 50 odd some pages but packed with useful information and how to use the useful information. But I will say that it is a general whole game running guide and doesn't deal with how to create the campaign as much as it deals with how to make better use of your prep time. There are a slew of books out threre for all the different tabletop rpgs and the one thing all the systems have in common is the players so there is no reason why you can't look at as say a D&D book on how to make better campaigns, or Pathfinder material.

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Desrimal
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Re: How do you get started?

Post by Desrimal »

I usually start out with two Things: Interesting NPCs and interesting encounters. Theese are IMO the two most important things of ANY RPG - it is what your players will remember!

I like sandbox RPGs. I like to keep things small-scale (usually city or a small barony). I usually draw a map with only the most known towns or locations and leave some blank spaces on the map for further development.

I like to read pre-made adventures, but I rarely run them. Instead I steal the ideas and NPCs that I like.
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Arduin
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Re: How do you get started?

Post by Arduin »

1) do you have the players create characters first and build around them?
No, I create an area of a world and flesh it out enough to have things for PC's to do adventure wise.

2) do you first create a story then fill in NPC's, etc?
I don't run stories. I create a game world and populate it as needed.

3) do you create "a world" (cities, empires, etc) then start to narrow it down to specific areas of the world?
Yes. General for info and specific for where PC'sare likely to go in future.

4) do you create interesting NPC's first then build a story/world around them?
No


Basically looking for tips on "how to get started." I'm sure everyone is different in their methods and the methods may change depending on time, style of play, type of players, etc, etc.

So...what has worked for you and what hasn't?

Create (or use a world) and get a couple of pre gen adventures to get you started.
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timburns
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Re: How do you get started?

Post by timburns »

capmarvel wrote:OK...believe I found "my game" (have looked at many...too many) and that would be C&C (with side of Amazing Adventures).
Welcome to the world of Troll Lord Games, @capmarvel! As you can see, we have a great number of people who are willing to help you and your group get started. You can always turn to these folks, and they will have great answers! You can also check us out on our website, http://www.trolllord.com and there you will find many links to our other social media sites, as well as up to date info, answers to many questions and how to contact us directly. If you have any problems or questions, we are always here to help out. You can reach me directly, tim@trolllord.com if you need anything. So, happy gaming and Trollzah!

capmarvel
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Re: How do you get started?

Post by capmarvel »

Thanks to all for the tips and the warm welcome!

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mbeacom
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Re: How do you get started?

Post by mbeacom »

capmarvel wrote:Thanks to all for the tips and the warm welcome!
Sorry for the late reply, but welcome to the Crusade/Adventure!
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