I’m proud enough of this series of articles to want to make it easy to direct people to them, so here we go.
- Campaign Setting Design was the start of this series and talks about the various setting entities I work with and some of the information about them. They get more formalized in the next article.
- Campaign Setting Design: Definitions contains an older ‘entity definition’ template (it has changed a bit since then) I was using when making notes about game entities. The template contains information used to describe the entity at a largely narrative level (I rarely dig into mechanics until I think I’ll need to actually use the creature, place, or thing in play). This article also has descriptions of scope levels I use in design to indicate how broad an influence an entity may have. Some are world-spanning, some exist for only a single encounter, most range somewhere in between.
- Campaign Setting Design: Scope Level Sizes expands on the previous article. In Definitions I’d glossed over numeric measures of how big the scopes might be, instead depending on examples of what might be considered of the various scope sizes. In this post I describe roughly how much content I might have at each scope level.
- Campaign Setting Design: Scenario Structure describes how I assemble a scenario from the individual scenes I anticipate
- The Rule of Three is probably a better title overall than “The Rule of Two to Five”. I find that anything important for or to the PCs should probably show up around three times. Whether it’s three ways to get a clue (to give them a decent chance of getting it) or four places to look for the treasure (too few it feels railroaded, too many it gets boring), three is often a close to the right number.
- Campaign Setting Design: Putting it all Together was the last post in the original series and describes how the previous posts relate to each other and become useful.
- Node-Based Megadungeon Design presents an example of how to apply these techniques to design a megadungeon.
There are a few other related articles that are not necessarily part of the series above, but I think are useful reading.
- Challenge, Response, and Secret is one of my earliest articles on developing a campaign setting. In fact, it predates this blog by several years. However, the techniques in here have been some of my most reliable and useful tools in setting and scenario design, and they boil down to three simple questions: why, what happened, and who knows what?
- Factions was a later post in response to a conversation in Google+ that illustrates how the hierarchical and node-based entity design (everything is ultimately connected to everything else) works with character groups in-game, and how it can be a ready source of new ideas. What happens when you tug on a particular relationship?