D&D General Chekhov's Gun and the Hickman Revolution- What Type of Campaign Do You Run?

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
When they find a magic arrow of dragon slaying in Act One, will there be a Dragon in Act 3 to shoot at?
Maybe.
Sometimes it's there to give the PCs an easier key to a later encounter (though not a necessary one), and sometimes it's just there and it's up to the PCs to go out and find a use for it if they choose to do so. And, I think, there can be a good tension between those two ideas, but I understand not all players might like that.
 

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Laurefindel

Legend
When they find a magic arrow of dragon slaying in Act One, will there be a Dragon in Act 3 to shoot at?

Usually,there will be a dragon for the arrow to slay, but this blatant foreshadowing might be misdirected by other potentially meaningful objects whose sole purpose is to obfuscate too straightforward telegraphing of events to come.

...either that or I will find an important purpose for one of these items mid-campaign and pretend I planned it all form the start.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Complain all you want, but be fair about it. Many folks are not.
And many folk are fair in their complaints. Trouble is, when we like something we tend to view any complaints as unfair. Equally, when we dislike something we tend to view any compliments as unearned. That's people.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Usually,there will be a dragon for the arrow to slay, but this blatant foreshadowing might be misdirected by other potentially meaningful objects whose sole purpose is to obfuscate too straightforward telegraphing of events to come.

...either that or I will find an important purpose for one of these items mid-campaign and pretend I planned it all form the start.

Or as an alternative to red herrings, as part of wanting to give the world a sense of reality, the GM likes to place a bunch of random stuff throughout the world to give it a lived-in feel. If part of your goal is to make the setting feel real and immersive, you can't have everything in the adventure directly pertain to the narrative because we know in real life it doesn't work that way.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
In regards to Hickman discussions, I think the biggest issue I have is the idea that linear adventures are all post, and nonlinear adventures are all pre. I think its entirely possible to have an overarching plot, while encouraging a highly lethal skill play environment. I also think its possible to have an open world total player agency game with an overarching plot. This, so to speak, cornered market idea often falls apart at the table. Players sign up expecting one type of play and get another. You need more distinction than adventure path or sandbox, IMO.
 

Celebrim

Legend
The context of the quote is important. He's specifically talking about people's opinions about either loving or hating the Hickman Revolution. The spectrum he's talking about is there are varying levels of loving and hating the Hickman Revolution. That in no way obviates people's complaints about the Hickman Revolution.

I don't think it's fair to equate the Hickman Revolution with the padded walls world that was subsequently created. He might have influenced it in some ways, but a lot of that occurred based on other subsequent choices by other people.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
While I didn’t get into D&D until 3e in college, my first group’s campaigns were primarily hack and slash games. The DM would set up the encounters, and we’d kill monsters. When I started DMing myself, my first campaign was mostly improvised (because I’m lazy) but more structured. I didn’t really have a narrative in mind, though I suppose in a sense it did evolve expected directions. Reflecting back on it, I suppose it was a misguided attempt to put the PCs in a world that doesn’t exist for their sake while also imposing my ideas on what should happen on it. There were definitely a few “and you get mass teleported to here” or “you need to go there for help” moments. It was fun at the time, but I wouldn’t run like that today.

Regarding the question: “When they find a magic arrow of dragon slaying in Act One, will there be a Dragon in Act 3 to shoot at?” My answer is, “no, not necessarily.” Actually, it’s more fair to say the question doesn’t make sense because my game isn’t structured into acts. It’s exploration-driven with a PC-set goal, but it’s on the players to navigate to it (whether and how they do is essentially what the campaign is about). My role as a referee is to present adversity while making sure the world functions as it should. I like to take that seriously, which is why my homebrew system (the campaign started in 5e but has transitioned through a few systems to what it is today) delegates certain decisions to the mechanics to avoid situations where I fear I would impose an outcome instead or create the perception thereof when that’s not what I want.

This kind of play is obviously not for everyone, but I’m up front with my players about what it is and what it’s about. I think that’s the best way to go about things (being explicit in intent, so those have certain preferences can find campaigns that will match their tastes).
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I don't think it's fair to equate the Hickman Revolution with the padded walls world that was subsequently created. He might have influenced it in some ways, but a lot of that occurred based on other subsequent choices by other people.
Sure. He didn't personally cause people to misinterpret his ideas nor was he the designer of any edition of D&D. I'm not saying he's personally at fault for how D&D changed over the years, nor is that video. But, the Hickman Manifesto is the source of what came later. And reading Hickman's X-Treme Dungeon Mastery you get a very clear picture that he's 100% on board with narrative railroads over any kind of gameplay concerns.
 

Celebrim

Legend
And reading Hickman's X-Treme Dungeon Mastery you get a very clear picture that he's 100% on board with narrative railroads over any kind of gameplay concerns.

I don't agree with that. I think he just thinks as poorly of rowboat worlds as winging it as I do.

But then maybe I need you to define for me what you mean by "gameplay concerns".
 

practicalm

Explorer
I think the answer to the question, "When they find a magic arrow of dragon slaying in Act One, will there be a Dragon in Act 3 to shoot at?" is more on the players.

Having acquired an arrow of dragon slaying, will they start to go hunting dragons or sell it to someone who is hunting dragons?
Players have a choice here and they may decide to do something else than use the obvious items.
If a player has a backstory of being friends with dragons, they could easily decide to destroy the arrow.
 

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