Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Behind The Screen: Multi-Tiered Campaigns part 4: The Endening

Behind the Screen

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. In addition I would like to add "HA!"

Ahoy there!
In this last installment We're going to create the third (tertiary) tier of your Multi-Tiered campaign. The major aim of this tier is to add realism to your campaign world by creating a few missions that progress in the background of the game world regardless of the players interaction. Small seeming events that are unrelated but will all tie into the final result of the main campaign plot. These events should all be unrelated, and more importantly require real effort on the players parts to interfere with.

And away we go!

Tertiary Tier
Basis: Background noise, Forced Involvment
Major Players: Campaign world gods, Daemon shadow-kin of the far east, 4  Kingdoms of Man, couriers

Mission one: Newspaper to reality
found on a bounty board/post board/ town square
"A cult-killer has struck again! targeting young women, he/she/they hve viciously murdered and mutilated another victim. The bodies are always found in a ritual based pose, surrounded by evil glyphs and wards drawn in salt and finished in the blood of the sacrifice. This brings the total up to 7/13/21"
The Truth: The Cultists all worship the demonlord aligned with the warlock the players deal with in the main quest. Later on in the campaign, the cultists should target loved ones or valuable members of the players support network in retaliation to messing with the demons evil plots. This is also a great way to bring the players back in line with the main story if the stray too far. If the players don't interfere at all, the cultists appear later, actively attempting to thwart the players in stopping the demonlords plans. If th eplayers do take out a cell or seven of the cultists gatherings, then they will be much less of a threat and  fewer of them will be available to aid the final ritual.

Mission two: Rumors and whispers
Tales have recently begun spreading of a mechanical construct/ golem  sighted in the deep savage wilderness, rescuing endangered caravans and wayward travelers from the depredations of monsters and their ilk. No one knows where it's from or what it's origins are.
The Truth: The mechanical marvel is actually the remains of one of the players past relations or even a family member thought lost. IF the players investigate and make contact, the Golem will help in the final battle against the dark lord.

Mission three:War stories
Tales of war are spreading as two (or more) of the kingdoms of man gear up for conflict. The reasons are trivial, but the effects will shatter the relative calm of the gaming world.
The Truth: The demonlord and it's cultists are provoking the war to keep mankind from making any effort to stop the oncoming Ritual. If the players interfere and gain the trust of one or more of these great nations, then the final battle to stop the ritual will become significantly easier. On top of this, obviously being known as heroes to one or more nations has it's advantages financially (discounts at taverns, merchant stalls, etc.) as well as mechanically (armed and skilled npcs and warbands at their beck and call).

The key to utilizing these three minor/major missions is to keep them developing as the campaign progresses. An ever increasing body count for the cultists, more fame/infamy for the golem, murmurings of conflict expanding into full blown war. They need to be ever evolving and expanding, drawing the players in, without forcing themselves on the players. They must pursue the missions themselves instead of falling into the middle of it. In this way, the background of the story provides a time frame and reality to the game as events continue without the players tampering, creating the illusion of a living and breathing world.
Plus nothing is sweeter than the moment that the players clue into whats been going on and hearing the "Oooooooooohhhhh.... " as the lightbulb goes off and they realize they could have stepped in and done something to stop it at any time... but because they didn't, it effected the game.
Sweet sweet affirmation.

Ahhh the feeling of a job well done. Nipple rubbin' time!

And that's it for this series. I hope you all enjoyed it, and of course comments and criticisms are always enjoyed.
Until next time,
Always keep your players guessing.
Bean out~

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