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  1. #1
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    I have been trying to run a campain for D&D for years always as DM. I have never Succeded in even a partial mockery of a campain, though i have run at least two successful stand alone adventures. I have tried a grreat variety of things to remedy this in all of which i've been a pectacular failure. Due to conflicting scheduals and other similar problems my group can rarly meet. When we can i am unprepared or otherwise screw-up the possibility of making anything substaintial or semi-permanent. Now I'm working toward a BR campain(BR facinates me as D&D once did), and am already overwhelmed by the options. Before i allow myself to accept my Doom i will send a final cry into the void.

    I'm hopeing for an Anuirain setting but (if it works for once) It could be set an the bottom of the straits for all i care.

  2. #2
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 08:17 PM 7/3/2004 +0200, Ksaturn wrote:



    >I have been trying to run a campain for D&D for years always as DM. I have

    >never Succeded in even a partial mockery of a campain, though i have run

    >at least two successful stand alone adventures. I have tried a grreat

    >variety of things to remedy this in all of which i`ve been a pectacular

    >failure. Due to conflicting scheduals and other similar problems my group

    >can rarly meet. When we can i am unprepared or otherwise screw-up the

    >possibility of making anything substaintial or semi-permanent. Now I`m

    >working toward a BR campain(BR facinates me as D&D once did), and am

    >already overwhelmed by the options. Before i allow myself to accept my

    >Doom i will send a final cry into the void.I`m hopeing for an Anuirain

    >setting but (if it works for once) It could be set an the bottom of the

    >straits for all i care.



    Well, first off let me say that I have a similar experience with BR and

    D&D. I had a long time away from really actively gaming, only occasionally

    fiddling around with some RPGs and running/playing the rare session. I

    read the "Bloodsilver" adventure in Dungeon and was again hooked. It

    combined most of the things I got into gaming for in the first place all in

    one tidy campaign setting that is filled with implications and basic ideas

    that I find fascinating.



    In any case, IMO if you can run a successful adventure then you can run a

    successful campaign. It`s a matter of stringing them together in a

    sensible way that has continuity. In BR there is a convenient way of doing

    just that implied by the domain level of play. If you`re interesting in

    adventure level activities rather than domain level activities the domain

    level still provides an excellent way of stringing adventures

    together. PCs can work for the state either directly (as LTs and/or

    regents) or indirectly (as free agents called upon by regents to perform

    missions that have a domain level relationship.) Presto, there`s a

    campaign right there made up of adventures strung together using the domain

    level as a backdrop. If you play at the domain level then this

    relationship is even more direct. Several months of domain actions is de

    facto a campaign. Try to adventure and role-play out the events as much as

    possible. Give the players actual encounters to resolve rather than simply

    conducting the domain actions.



    As for conflicting schedules and that sort of thing... well, there`s not

    much I can suggest to do about that. Everyone runs into problems with

    schedules. It`s just an aspect of modern life, I`m afraid... one that has

    been really biting me on the backside a lot lately.... If at all possible

    I try to get a regular day once a week to game so as to try to get folks

    together on a more regular schedule. Of course, that`s not always

    possible, but if Thursday is gaming night then it makes it a little easier

    to plan to attend.



    Gary

  3. #3
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    Thank You :lol: ...and anyone else who posts Thanks in Advance.

    As for a location i was wondering how much of the published material i can, or rather should use... one of my problems is i'll be able to Massive amounts of info on, say, Gheore, but know almost nothing of Avanil. I still have trouble with the downloads section here. I was wondering however if there was somewhere i could get more Domain Secret books...

    alternatly i was wondering if i could hadle constucting all of it myself(or with aid here) for the local area i decide to go with. or if i should even create new maps. these tasks however seem a bit daunting considering my experience with such things..

    Edit: Actually now that i think of it what I've heard about the Atlas' first chapter that would be helpful aswell but looking at the release dates... I don't have it and i'm not sure if its on the downloads section of the site...

  4. #4
    Actually, if you all have hectic schedules, and you plan on running it more on a domain level: Then have them email you, and each other if they are working together in a domain, their domain plans before yall meet. This way you would be able to help them modify their plans and possibly let them know if they can’t do something before hand. This way you will be able to focus the time that you do meet into being more constructive and efficient, as you would be able to set up the adventures from the domain plans that they gave to you

    It would basically be something like a PBeM with meetings to resolve adventures. However, as you do meet, you wouldn’t have to totally resolve the emailed domain actions until everybody meets. Up to you on that.

    One nice thing about the emailing is that your players can write up some of their plans, save it, and finish it later when they have some more free time.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  5. #5
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    Interesting idea... uh... (writer's block)

  6. #6
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    For the question on how much material to use, it is really up to you.... You can rely on whatever is published or make up stuff on your own. Eg, in the PLayer Secrets of Ilien it says that the greatest bard in Anuire has retired in some hamlet there. If you don't like that idea, you can exchange the entire hamlet with something of your liking, eg a small hamlet with a mayor wannabe-count who plots against the Aglondiers.

    The choice is yours.

    If you prefer to rely on the Player's Secrets (I personally don't), then the Southern Coast should be ideal, since all the realms have booklets. Where to find them? I suppose from Ebay or from some irc group with books in pdfs or whatever

  7. #7
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    Alright then... I've been wondering where i dropped my creativity... not to long ago I could have populated Cerailia with characters...

  8. #8
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    a tiny spark flies in the wind landing on the dry grass... and from that spark came a glorious blaze...

    I got an idea... i think i'll shatter a few of the duchies and leave the PCs to pick up the pieces... if they can. hehehe... plus that will give me a smaller area(workload included) which is more flexible...

    Unfortuneatly this also reduces the chances for the Great and legendary bloodlines as it is set in a relativly chaotic area...

    then again one of my pcs whould make an excellent deposed heir who escaped the bloodtheft of an incompetent who took but failed to keep the throne... and thus the dutchy was torn apart by warring vassels...

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    As T'Char Azazel pointed out a decent way to gain some kind continuity its to use some type of PBEM domain actions to keep things going. That allows some flexability in player's schedules and also the DM some time to plan what he wants to use as an adventure base.

    Rule one, however is for you, the DM, to be prepared. If you aren't ready to run on game night then you can almost be assured that your player's won't want to come back again. You are the glue that holds things together. It is better to cancel a session that you are not prepared to run than to try to run one that you aren't ready for.

    My first BR DM was woefully unprepared on a regular basis (and we met on a regular basis). He would have us spend whole sessions rolling dice for domain maintenance for NPCs in far away lands. It was totally unenjoyable and would have ruined my taste for BR had not he stopped running and a different DM picked up the mantle. He use prepared and kept the NPC infor behind the scenes so that that preparation did not impact the players.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I'll second Irdeggman on that one: ALWAYS be as prepared as you can be. Being a long-time campaign GM myself, I've found that the quality of most sessions is directly proportional to my level of preparedness. The more the merrier, so long as there's enough freedom built in for the PC's to remain autonomous.

    For a politically intricate world like Anuire, this will require even more preparation than might be usual for a standard adventure-based D&D game. Here's a few things I'd suggest to get started as a Birthright DM:

    1. Realms and Domains: Flesh out the realm(s) where the PC's will be based in, and any surrounding realms, especially if there's a history of conflict or alliance between the realms' regents.

    2. Know the Powers That Be: In Birthright, it's pretty important to flesh out the regents of the PC's area. Landed, law, guild, temple, and source regents all need to be identified and you should have at least a basic idea of who they are, how they relate to one another, and just how powerful they really are. Also, from where do they derive their power? Their actual holdings? Alliances and "big brothers?" Personal prowess (i.e., high level characters)? Ruins of Empire will prove very helpful for getting you started here, but feel free as a DM to tweak things to suit your own ideas.

    These things should provide the backdrop, as Geeman put it, for a rich tapestry of stories that are connected to a bigger theme and larger scale of events. This is the core of the heroic BR campaign: the actions of the PC's have the chance to change the course of events of entire realms, and affect the fates of thousands.

    3. Know your PC's: When I start a serious, long-term campaign, I try to take some serious 1-on-1 time with my players when they're developing their player characters. Challenge them to flesh out the details: appearance, hopes and fears, character family histories (including lineage, especially if they're blooded), and why they are where they are and doing what they're doing. If the PC's have some depth from the get-go, they'll be a lot more interesting for you as a DM to work with, and you'll have multiple hooks to build in some personalized story for the PC's at various points in the campaign. This will go a LONG way toward keeping the RL players interested and hungry for more. Sometimes I run a small solo story/adventure with the PC's when they first start, to give them some safe and very personalized play-time before meeting the other PC's.

    In my experience, the key to getting regular commitment out of your players (in terms of meeting times) is to have a great story and game experience. The more the players like the game, the more they'll be willing to bend and reaarange schedules so that everyone can meet together. It's never easy to get 4+ working people together at one time, but it's definitely possible IF it's a high-enough priority for them. Which means they have to like it better than the other options for "what to do on Wednesday night."

    4. Once your background setting for the realms, regents, and PC's are fleshed out, you should by now be getting plenty of story ideas and adventure hooks to last for many sessions. And if the action stays alive, dynamic, and the PC's surprise you from time to time, you may find yourself running a game that keeps generating more ideas and story: as much as you can handle,and probably more than you have time to play through.

    But to keep it going, you as a DM have to keep working. Between every session, there's always more you can flesh out, more details to add, more side actions, hooks, NPC's, etc. who can offer possibilities for new adventures. And remember that in BR, sometimes a good roleplaying scene is a court ball, a grand tourney, a hunting foray with the local lord...and these don't even need elaborate schemes or accidents to create good story and roleplaying. Sometimes the drama at court is about who said what to whom, the fact that Aaron Vaumel didn't bow as low to Avan as he should have (and courtiers start gossiping that Vaumel is getting ambitious or thinks himself above his proper station), the PC ranger who manages to track the elusive great stag of the forest and allow the local lord to land the killing blow (and maybe becomes his chief huntsman as a result)...etc, etc, etc.

    Throw this together with the number of old ruins, wilderness regions (mountains and swamps especially, also the Spiderfell), and other unfriendly places (goblin and awnshegh realms, pirate-ridden waters, and most anywhere in northern Anuire), and there's plenty of possibilities for more classic D&D adventuring too. Have fun with it, mix it up, and look for chances to tie in the personal level of play with the domain level of play, and the epic scale of BR will slowly merge with your PCs' growing level of experience and awareness of the world they live in.

    And most importantly of all: HAVE FUN!

    DMing is a lot of work, but I wouldn't do it if it weren't a lot of fun, too. Cheers!

    Osprey

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