Not if they want to explore the setting as a new previously-unknown thing. Helping design it kinda takes away from the new-ness of it.Can’t involving the players be a year long process too?
The time-eating bits mostly revolve aroundI know I said a detailed setting is a good tool, but I feel like this may be overkill. Hard to say without knowing why it takes so long.
a) looking at my last campaign, reviewing what rules worked and what didn't along with any ideas I/we have come up with in the meantime, and in effect rewriting those bits of the game system that need it (our system is about 95% homebrew these days, meaning I can't just rely on someone's published rules)
b) mapping - I do fairly detailed colour maps of areas I think might get explored during play, and these take time both in the physical production and in dreaming up what'll go on them; and then making notes of what's what
c) I rebuild the pantheons every time out to suit the new setting, using a universal base I came up with ages ago
d) history and backstory of the setting needs a fair bit of effort if the setting is to have any sense of permanence and continuity
e) all the little stuff not included in the above, or spawning from it.
Perhaps, but for me as a player it'd be like watching someone wrap my Yule gift - there's no surprise left when I open it on Yule. Or it's like knowing key plot spoilers before seeing a movie for the first time.But I think no matter what is going into this year long prep, player involvement doesn't need to be limited to just the endpoints.
I try to (and want to) give that same sense of discovery to my players that I like to have when myself a player.
Ah. For me that probably would have been the fun part.Sure. I decided to run Tomb of Annihilation as part of the campaign. I did this because Chult was already a prominent location for things that happened in the game, and I also wanted to use Acererak in some way, and the Death Curse seemed like an interesting threat to use since some PCs had been raised.
All the story stuff worked fine. The issue was the more classic dungeon crawl type approach to the game once we got into the tomb itself. I found myself being far more beholden to what was written than I should have been, and the procedural aspect wasn’t as appealing to my players as I had hoped.
I finally realized what was going on and changed things up and things improved. But we had a few sessions with some dissatisfying parts.
This is why I’m saying prep can lead to the GM forcing things. I mean....that’s exactly what happens in a dungeon, right? It’s all predetermined. This is how you get past this door, this is how you find that trap, and so on.