NewbieDM poses some great questions and thoughts about what causes campaigns to implode and self destruct. He has lots of great points in his post, and I suggest all DMs and players read his post in an effort to keep their current campaign from imploding… or detecting that it’s about to and it’s time to walk away from the game and start a new one. I know that I’d rather lose a current campaign over losing my current gaming group. The self destruction of a campaign can quickly lead to the same thing happening for a group.
Ah, the days of PCs building their own nations, merchant guilds, church hierarchies and such seem to be long over. That’s too bad. For me, it always brought on a whole new level of challenges when my powerful warrior that could slay even the mightiest balrog with ease built a castle and took over some lands. Now he couldn’t slay the problematic peasants with disdain. He had to actually listen to their problems and find an amicable solution. Sure, he could slay the peasants, but then his taxes would dry up, and he’d no longer have funds to keep his castle staffed. Then he’d just end up a lonely old man sitting in his stone barricades waiting for the next adventuring party to come along and try to wipe him out. I miss those days. I wonder if there’s a way to bring that back into modern gaming?
Chgowiz has five points of advice that he’s freely given to every GM out there to encourage everyone to run a game that all (or most) players will enjoy gaming in. It’s a quick read, and I suggest everyone to take a gander.
NPCs are the backbone of every campaign. Period. Without NPCs there would not be shopkeepers, adventure hooks, villains to conquer and allies to side with. Brandan over at d20 Source has quite elegantly broken down NPCs into types according to the role they play in the campaign and how the GM should treat those NPCs in his preparation and during play time. I’ve added this link to my bookmarks (as well as highlighting it here) because it’s such great advice.
I’m guilty. I’ve done this. I hate doing this. I hate it when my players do this. I tend to blame the players when they lose track of their turn, but honestly, if I am not engaging them in the combat, then it’s mostly my fault. Yax has some great words for GMs and players alike to help them keep combat fun enough for all to enjoy.