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D&D General [Challenge] What you want out of a D&D campaign in 100 words or less.

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
So, I could not sleep the other night, and something I do when the sleeplessness bug hits me is try to think through and draft ideas in my head to tire my brain out to match the state of my body. So I started to think about how would I generally and briefly describe what I want out of a D&D game.

So that is the challenge of this thread, describe what you generally want out of a D&D campaign in 100 words or less (I'll be counting!), using whatever criteria you want, with the following guidelines:

  1. Focus on what you want out of the experience, not what you don't want (mentioning avoiding something is fine, but description should aim for goals not avoidances)
  2. Do not frame it in a way that explicitly or implicitly puts down what others may want.
  3. Furthermore, I know many of us (myself included) probably want different things at different times from particular settings or groups of people, for the sake of this challenge, try to boil it down to a general idea or the most common approach you like, or even what you want right now even if last year you might have wanted something else or next month or next year you might want something else.

So here is mine (off-set in quote brackets for easier reading) [92 words]

A multi-year (real-time and game time) slow-progression heroic campaign involving PCs going through various adventures (not all of which are directly connected) but given a serial format through a loose meta-plot determined through character choice and experience within a thematic framework provided by the DM. Furthermore, character development (both mechanically and personality-wise) ideally happens in response to game events not a pre-conceived idea of a character’s arc. Major combats are set-pieces with interesting terrain and other features for both sides to make use of and with stakes beyond just “kill all opponents.”

Have at it! I look forward to reading what other people come up with. Commenting on what others want is fine but (again) this is not the place to argue that what someone is looking for/hopes for is "wrong" or yours is "right."
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I'm easy to please. I pretty much don't care about the content as long as it's somewhat genre appropriate.

Otherwise, as long as it's productive (i.e. we Get Stuff Done) and funny, then count me in.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I'm easy to please. I pretty much don't care about the content as long as it's somewhat genre appropriate.

Otherwise, as long as it's productive (i.e. we Get Stuff Done) and funny, then count me in.

Sure. But being easy-going about what you'd play and what you'd like ideally aren't always the same. I too want "productive" games with forward momentum and moments of levity (I had to cut a portion of my last sentence that compared the "stakes" part I mentioned with the desire to also have some light-hearted moments/scenes).

For example, reading what you wrote above I am genuinely curious about the range of what you consider "genre appropriate" for D&D, when it has such a mish-mash of both influences and player expectation.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Sure. But being easy-going about what you'd play and what you'd like ideally aren't always the same. I too want "productive" games with forward momentum and moments of levity (I had to cut a portion of my last sentence that compared the "stakes" part I mentioned with the desire to also have some light-hearted moments/scenes).

For example, reading what you wrote above I am genuinely curious about the range of what you consider "genre appropriate" for D&D, when it has such a mish-mash of both influences and player expectation.
I don't really have any criteria that are "ideal" outside of what I posted. What is genre appropriate is indeed pretty broad for D&D as it is quite silly and gonzo, but I'd have to say that it should contain a strong footing in swords and sorcery even if the odd laser gun is thrown in. Chiefly what I don't want is to try to play some other game using D&D rules. If we're going to play a cyberpunk game, for example, let's choose a system designed for that.
 

aco175

Legend
I would like to have a world where the PCs feel like things are going on around them and they are part of it. Their choices create ripples that come back later for good or ill. I like to have a more 'traditional' setting in terms of PC choices and a local setting being more Sword Coast in flavor than Kara Tur, Zakhara, or Maztica. My group only gets so many hours per week and having elements that are familiar are easy to explain lets the action not get bogged down.
 

not-so-newguy

Explorer
I'd probably express it better after several rewrites, but here's a rough draft:

A DM's points-of-light setting with an area to explore where strategy and tactics are necessary to succeed; players should be required to balance risk versus reward. The setting can range from a simple town to dungeon to a decadent metropolis or a huge continent. Violence is certanly an option but other options should available, including avoidance and parlay. Rushing in with "guns blazing" will not usually work. A player's character should have several ideas that help define them and allow for the character to develop through actions in play.
 

Do you mean that we have 100 words to describe what we want in a campaign, or write what we want out of 100-word campaign? Or is the challenge to come up with a desription for a campaign in 100 words?
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
I want to play a campaign of D&D where the character I play matters and isn’t an interchangeable cog in the party machine. I want character backstory to be a mostly blank map that provides prompts for actual play. I want to play in a new, novel, and explorable points-of-light setting that provides interesting NPCs to interact with and interesting monsters to fight. I want a balance of combat, exploration, interaction, and mystery. Individual sessions can push that, but overall, it should be roughly 25% each. I want an interesting world that’s detailed enough for engaging immersion.
 


Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
All I need is a strong initial concept that creates imbalance to hook me in (or to present to the players).

Something like :

"Press gangers forced you to become sea dogs on a pirate ship. You can't wait to take your revenge and escape this life of misery."

"All the characters are sons and daughters of a baron. He was killed last night. Other barons might try to invade. Suddenly your future is not so secure anymore."

"You are all tabaxi living peacefully in a deep jungle. Recently evil humans have started hunting you for sport. The elders have decided it's time to take the battle to them."
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Do you mean that we have 100 words to describe what we want in a campaign, or write what we want out of 100-word campaign? Or is the challenge to come up with a desription for a campaign in 100 words?

100 words to describe what you want out of a D&D game - the experience of it and/or the approach to it. Does that help? Not necessarily a specific setting or theme (unless there are ones that you feel need to be a part of a game you are in to be "ideal").
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
OP said:
A multi-year (real-time and game time) slow-progression heroic campaign involving PCs going through various adventures (not all of which are directly connected) but given a serial format through a loose meta-plot determined through character choice and experience within a thematic framework provided by the DM. Furthermore, character development (both mechanically and personality-wise) ideally happens in response to game events not a pre-conceived idea of a character’s arc. Major combats are set-pieces with interesting terrain and other features for both sides to make use of and with stakes beyond just “kill all opponents.”

Heh - my first 67 words would be the same as the OP - well, 66, as I'd omit the "heroic" qualifier.

I'd replace the bolded bit at the end with something like

"Individual xp, not group. A variety of opponents with whom we can interact in a variety of ways, including talk and-or battle. An underlying sense of humour and whimsy. Mostly DM-facing rules."

That gets me to 98, or 100 if hyphenated words count as two. :)
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Heh - my first 67 words would be the same as the OP - well, 66, as I'd omit the "heroic" qualifier.

I'd replace the bolded bit at the end with something like

"Individual xp, not group. A variety of opponents with whom we can interact in a variety of ways, including talk and-or battle. An underlying sense of humour and whimsy. Mostly DM-facing rules."

That gets me to 98, or 100 if hyphenated words count as two. :)
I'd try that game. :LOL:
 

J.Quondam

90% grunts. 10% thews.
For me the ideal "how to campaign" is something like:

A campaign that takes PCs from "zero to hero" over the course of years in-game. It plays out in short, self-contained chapters (of a few sessions each), so if the campaign ends prematurely, there is still a sort of conclusion. In a chapter, the PCs accomplish (or fail!) something appropriately big in the setting. The following chapter might open immediately, or much later in game time. When all chapters resolve, the PCs are renowned Heroes in that they have staked out important places in the world. This PC status is the more interesting goal than level or "mechanical" power.
(99 words)

That's my preferred mode across pretty much any system and genre. The emphasis on somewhat self-contained, episodic play is important to me because I've consistently lacked groups over the years owing to moving, illness, etc. I've come to prefer a campaign style that plays out in shorter, distinct arcs (or even one-shots), so that any particular game is more likely to end with some sense of "closure" even if it doesn't "finish."
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
A campaign that takes PCs from "zero to hero" over the course of years in-game. It plays out in short, self-contained chapters (of a few sessions each), so if the campaign ends prematurely, there is still a sort of conclusion. In a chapter, the PCs accomplish (or fail!) something appropriately big in the setting. The following chapter might open immediately, or much later in game time. When all chapters resolve, the PCs are renowned Heroes in that they have staked out important places in the world. This PC status is the more interesting goal than level or "mechanical" power.

I'd try that one too! (y)
 

MattW

Explorer
This will sound very vague....

I would like to have fun with friends.
I want a sense of achievement.
I want MEMORABLE enemies. They should be appropriately powerful and annoying.
I want to lose SOMETIMES. Being defeated occasionally makes the final victory even sweeter.
I would like to "adventure" in a world in which all the Player Characters developed in interesting ways and acquired some appropriate rewards (influence/power/status/respect).
 

werecorpse

Adventurer
To adventure in a world with mysteries that can be solved, discovered and explored. To battle against foes where victory is possible but not assured. To be able to interact meaningfully with NPCs in ways other than violent such that the method of interaction mattered. To spend only a little time planning and more time doing stuff, and where in doing all of these things there were opportunities for character improvement.
 



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