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Building up the Tension Before the Campaign Climax – Silence Before the Storm

The campaign was drawing to its conclusion, the tension was building up. Some aspects of which I handled intuitively. Now I'm learning from what I d
The campaign was drawing to its conclusion. The tension was building up — some aspects of which I handled intuitively. Now I’m learning from what I did better than many times after that. See the critical points at the narrative’s conclusion. | Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

Lately, I told you how the party of the Brown Lands decided to split up and handle various tasks at once. Bruni and Eradom were waiting by the fords on Anduin to guide Rohirrim soldiers. At the same time, the Rook and Ingolf were about to scout ahead and gather more information about the bandits’ camp in the Raven Gully. To everyone, it was clear that the campaign’s conclusion was drawing close. The proximity of the finale raised the tension tangibly, but I see it could be disrupted if not played right. Have you ever felt that all was going great for your game, but suddenly, the mood was gone? Everyone at the table was invested in the game, immersed in their characters until abruptly, they felt disconnected? A scene everybody was edging to play out passed by without almost any impression or impact? I indeed felt that a handful of times. And I think reflecting on this particular case may help me (and hopefully, you too) handle such situations better in the future. So let’s see what happened just before the final chapter of the Ghosts of the Noman-lands. Especially since I’d love to find out why and how I, unconsciously, handled building up the tension right up to the final session.

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Forbidden Lands – Crafting & Crits

Critical injury in the Forbidden Lands may stop the party from exploration and turn their attention to more conventional ways of making their living - like crafting. | Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash
Critical injury in the Forbidden Lands may stop the party from exploration and turn their attention to more conventional ways of making their living – like crafting. | Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash

This may not sound like an obvious connection, but it is for me. And I’m curious if you’ll see it so after reading the story of the following two sessions of my Forbidden Lands campaign – which the PCs spent mainly on healing their wounds and crafting to earn a living. It was also a very nice breather before what turned out to be the action-packed final chapter of our game.

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RPG Party Splitting Up Over Anduin AgainThrough the Fogs,

Splitting up the party in RPG creates a very tricky plot to run. You'll see that when the tension could be lost just before the campaign's climax. | Photo by Joshua Brown on Unsplash
Splitting up the party in RPG creates a very tricky plot to run. You’ll see that when the tension could be lost just before the campaign’s climax. | Photo by Joshua Brown on Unsplash

When the party left Medusled with the promise of Eastfold’s help, they were lifted up. They thought that they were all alone in a forgotten corner of the Middle-earth for a long time. And, in fact, they were. But after a long journey and an uncertain council at the hall of the Riddermark king, they found, at last, a powerful ally. But at the same time, they knew that a lot was going to happen in a very short time from now on. While they were on their way to the Brown Lands, they agreed on splitting up the party – an idea that often seems like a perfect solution at many RPG tables but is nevertheless somewhat problematic to handle.

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A Company of Characters in Sub-Roman Britain RPG

I wrote some time ago about why I love randomly generating player characters in RPG - it worked even better in the case of Sub-Roman Britain.
I wrote some time ago about why I love randomly generating player characters in RPG – it worked even better in the case of Sub-Roman Britain.

This new campaign really got my creativity running. I pulled off prepping the tables for this setting in two days, and we were ready to play. Since we’re far from the experts in Britain’s history, the players warmly greeted the possibility of randomly generating their characters. In our session zero, they decided only broadly what their characters’ professions would be, and that was all. Next week, we’ve met to generate characters and establish some basic lore. I introduced them to the rules (Forbidden Lands hack), and the fun began. I wrote some time ago about why I love random generation of player characters in RPG, and it worked even better in the case of Sub-Roman Britain. We had a lot of fun this time. Today, I’m going to only briefly introduce you to the ones who will brave the precarious ex-province of Britannia.

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Challenges of Journey through the Forbidden Lands

In Forbidden Lands, a journey may not only be a completed task, getting from A to B, but also an accomplishment on its own - if you add an element of challenge to it. And accomplishment feels great!. | Photo by Natalie Pedigo on Unsplash
In Forbidden Lands, a journey may not only be a completed task, getting from A to B, but also an accomplishment on its own – if you add an element of challenge to it. And accomplishment feels fantastic! | Photo by Natalie Pedigo on Unsplash

I know I’ve written here and there about how the environment could be dangerous and why it is vital for me in a sandbox game. It puts pressure on the PCs to think and manage their resources. Today, I’d like to show you a few types of challenges that the players can encounter while on a journey in the Forbidden Lands. And I think that some may not be that obvious.

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Role-playing in Sub-Roman Britain – Dealings with Historical Accuracy

I dare say that Sub-Roman Britain is a perfect setting for a sandbox RPG.  Standing stones, sacred groves, and deserted hillforts of the ancestral Britons wait to be re-discovered. Desolate cities and empty lavish Roman villas dot the landscape. And within them - artifacts of the past wait to be claimed. | Hadrian's Wall by Sweetaholic on pixabay.com
I dare say that Sub-Roman Britain is a perfect setting for a sandbox RPG. Standing stones, sacred groves, and deserted hillforts of the ancestral Britons wait to be re-discovered. Desolate cities and empty lavish Roman villas dot the landscape. And within them – artifacts of the past wait to be claimed. | Hadrian’s Wall by Sweetaholic on pixabay.com

OK, that’s a bit of a daunting task, but I’ll face it. I’ve delivered a coup de grâce to my Year 1900 Warsaw Call of Cthulhu campaign. It won’t disappear without me sharing notes, scenarios’ overhauls, and setting material (which I will do at a good time), but a space appeared in my RPG calendar. Some of you who follow my newsletter know that I’ve started putting together a homebrew setting, but my group of ex-19th-century-Investigators decided to try something else. Namely, we’ll be role-playing in Sub-Roman Britain, i.e., somewhere after 410 A.D.

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