Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Giving Players A Choice of Campaigns

Since I've offered my players to choose from between a few different campaigns to try to find one that we all enjoy, I've been trying to figure out just HOW to give them that choice. A few brief descriptions is little better than a vague style guide and would end up being more of a choice of system than a choice of game. The two are linked but not identical.

So then I thought about videogame trailers which, obviously, I can't make because I'm not rich, a dab hand at computer modeling, and I don't have that much time on my hands, so I went with its poorer cousin: The Powerpoint. Now I can use a whole 20 - 40 sentences, brief and impactful, on around 20 slides with pictures to make those sentences interesting. Besides, the pictures themselves really enforce the style guide. Fantastic!

Only I then realised that while it gives a vague idea of what the story is about, it still doesn't cover what the gameplay is going to be like. There's been few games where I haven't enjoyed the story, even if the gameplay was a bit lacking. So I figured, why not make a few roleplay demos? For a few fortnights, I'll do up around six campaign demos and folks can keep playing through them until they've found one they like.

Each demo lasts one session, too, which cuts down on people wasting time because once the session ends ... it ends. Unless they select that campaign, they'll never see any further along and even then, they'll have to wait to replay up to that point and it'd doubtless be a little different by that point.

Of course, the downside is that if I do a really terrific job selling all of it, it'll be agony for them to choose but that could be fun as well.

The other downside is that confining myself to a single session to really epitomise and 'sell' the campaign is making me really think about it and try to cram as much into each session as I can. Not in that wonky "kitchen sink" way but in a more streamlined how-can-each-encounter-blend-into-the-next-in-a-kick-ass-way way. (Not the most streamlined sentence, I'll admit).

So some point soon I'll start writing up the various adventure writing processes and ideas and stuff because I need to talk to somebody about it and, well, you're it. Besides, it might be interesting to a few of you. I know I always like to sticky beak into other people's processes.


  1. That seems like a very cool idea to me. Will you be posting your slideshows? [hint, hint] I'd love to see how you go about actually putting across the styles. It's always really interesting to see how other people do things and what they come up with, and campaign styling is something I haven't really got to grips with (and really should).

  2. I could possibly put up some of the details on the Vampire one using the L.A. Noire shots though I wouldn't put up the whole thing as it'd be too long. That one actually had 40 slides. In truth, I think a series of slideshows might be too much choice for players (who often want to play everything) but it's still worth while to get your point across before character generation.