Three strangers arrived that afternoon at the hamlet of Limesplice. Shortly after, the whole settlement was waiting in tension for the bandit raiders to assault them. Weapons ready, torches lit and choking silence hanging in the air. The evening draggingly passed into the night. Then, suddenly, a heavy fog raised from the creek flowing nearby. Every soul in the village shivered at this sight. Something uncanny was happening. Do you want to see how in all that I weave and link story of each player-character together to form the main plot?
It's great having you here! I'm Andrzej and it's my place for sharing the hobby of tabletop RPG games, mainly from the GM perspective. If you are new to them and think about starting as a Game Master, you'll find plenty of my first-hand learning experience and hopefully some useful tips here. And if you're interested in some inspirations or session reports for your games, there's that too.
It’s our very first session of the Forbidden Lands campaign. From the very first moment, I see players’ interactions reflecting their alter-egos, the relationships seem like they’ve been there for a long time now. But in fact, we’ve finished creating them just seconds ago. That’s all thanks to random player-character generation and its powerful ability to inspire.
Little time for preparing sessions, having to schedule them to late hours and simultaneous drive to play something exciting – it’s all made me run my first sandbox RPG campaign. The concept appeared to me from time to time on the Internet, but I wasn’t very familiar with it. But when I read in the Forbidden Lands GM’s Guide that “15–30 minutes of preparation is plenty most of the time”, I was sold on it immediately. So why and how I did actually start my first sandbox campaign?
Even at the world’s lowest backwater, there’s an inn, a bar or other gathering place of some sort. And in it, you will almost certainly find rumours, mysterious strangers and, most importantly, the main plot. It sounds irritatingly obvious or overused, isn’t it? Well, maybe. But I also disagree about using cliché themes in RPG.
Crafting an introduction to the first session of an RPG campaign is a powerful way of setting the tone for the adventures to come. In my opening post of the series, I described a handful of ways to bring up the unique feeling of Middle-earth in my Brown Lands campaign. Those concerned mostly the general layout of the plot. This time, I’d like to focus on how to perform it at the RPG table. So, let’s set off right into the campaign!
The Brown Lands were barren and empty, a realm that no lord nor lady thought of claiming as their own. No living soul dwelt among its formless moors, windswept hills and ominous gullies. Or so it was in the time of great events that were passed to us in The Red Book of West March. But these unwelcoming, unclaimed lands were once home to the hardy folk who enjoyed staying outside the affairs of the broader world. It is the story of their vanishing – yet another among Middle-earth’s tales of decline and passing.