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  • File : 1256076162.jpg-(41 KB, 800x533, GGygax.jpg)
    41 KB Sandbox DMing Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:02 No.6358010  
    How do you do it?

    I've recently had success with a technique for creating sandbox-like environments with relatively small amounts of effort.

    I usually have three different main quests prepared: The obvious, the alternate, and the fallback. This is not innovative, and a setting with only three quests available would seem barren, but here is a little trick I've been using to stretch it out.

    First, I create a general outline of required events for a quest. The players have to get from point A to B, they need to find information, etc.

    Second, I create a buffer of "scenes". These are very simple interactions with NPCs. I move the scenes using a "lazy" system. The are frozen in place until observed, then they move normally until two degrees away from a player where they join the pool of various scenes that will be generated when the players observe something else.

    It sounds like a lot of work, but it isn't. While making twenty scenes each with one to four characters is a considerable amount of work, the amount of scenes a party burns through before they decide what to do has been five at most. Once you figure in that many types of scenes are unrecognizable once you put them in a different place and with different characters, it's easy to reuse them without the players even noticing.

    The funny thing is, I think my players think I'm either ridiculously prepared or that I'm making it up as I go along. I want to see how long it takes them to realize it is neither.

    It took me about four hours to make a random character generator, forty characters, a pool of twenty scenes, plug the characters into these scenes, then insert the different quests. The second time I tried it, it took me less than an hour.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:06 No.6358053
    tell us moar, good man
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:10 No.6358108
    Following this thread. I've been trying to find the line between running a 'tabletop videogame only more sandbox' and a truely sandbox game.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:11 No.6358126

    >It took me about four hours to make a random character generator, forty characters, a pool of twenty scenes, plug the characters into these scenes, then insert the different quests. The second
    >time I tried it, it took me less than an hour.

    Are you using a computer or filecards or what?

    >a setting with only three quests available would seem barren,
    But you're actually running three quests at a time, right? Once your current quest gets wrapped up, you make up another trio. So that and the plotlines based on what happened earlier mean it's still complex enough.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:14 No.6358156
    An example scene would be

    scene lone thief(knowledge X)
    characters: (R1) random rogue from char pool (DOH HO HO)
    where: street.
    Roll d20+R1.stealth versus passive perception of random present PC. Success starts an encounter. Fail -5 has that player lose gold and immediately notice a figure leave to an adjacent sector. Any other fail has the player notice after 1d4 changes in scene.

    R1 has knowledge of X

    This is an example of an independent event, something that doesn't have to happen, but has a chance. The players may end up losing money, or finding out world information.
    >> Lex the Thread Killer !/7RPATe1bo 10/20/09(Tue)18:15 No.6358178
    It's hard to get a dynamic campaign running with overarcing plotlines, I find. You can't plan too far ahead, because what happens in the world is largely based on what the players do. Best you can do is bust out your awesome improvisational skills and pretend everything's falling right into place. =P
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:19 No.6358224
    Some characters have "baggage" which is my term for a nested event. For example, there is a character that fits the "rogue" parameter for a scene, but it is a child who works with a sibling to steal for survival. Characters like these are not reusable for the most part, but they can stay in your char pool forever until the players happen to meet them. The party will probably not run into more than two irreplaceable optional NPCs in one adventure, so as long as you replace used ideas, you don't have to create entirely new content for each adventure.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:24 No.6358296
    I *tried* to sandbox, but my players were horribly unintuitive..

    That said, if they had any heads on their shoulders, and were able to think on their own, I would do the following:

    Cook up some really basic non-combat encounters of sorts. In some cases, players will tell quest givers to fuck off. In other cases, players will go with it.

    In order to buy myself time to write up more story, I would throw an encounter or two at them. Most encounters that are on a tactical scale tend to chew up a good hour or so of game time. If I'm using Battletech, and the players are as utterly green as they were the last time, that's about one to six hours, depending on whether it's one-on-one, or four on four. It only takes that long because shit gets bogged down by rules arguing, rule-forgetting, and players being ignorant and fucking around on DSes or iPhones.

    Wrap up session, See you next week, Begin thinking up plot branches and complications that could occur due to the player's actions.

    Also, be sure to not waste time making full NPC character sheets. Just ad-lib a few numbers after you've gotten used to the system. Estimate chance "Scales" according to what you know about the system. For example, In Mechwarrior 2nd edition, I knew that a 10+ to hit meant a character pretty much sucked, a 8+ is green, a 6 or 7+ is regular. 5+ is pretty much a specialized skill for most characters, and anything less than 3+ makes them elite at something. After I learned to ad-lib using numbers like those as rough guidelines, over writing up massive sheets with stats and background for characters players may never see again, I saved myself a world of time.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:25 No.6358302
    Huh this is pretty interesting. I'd like to see pre-published games written along these lines. I find that making a scenario run as written almost impossible with my players' supernatural derailing ability.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:25 No.6358309
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    The way I do it is I set up some sort of scenario for the players to bumble into, preferably based on some of the previous stuff they've done. Just work out the agendas of all NPCs/factions involved, and how the PCs fit into it. See what kinds of scenes I might need, and prepare additional detail for those in advance. Run the session, see where we ended up, and repeat the process until it's time for a new adventure.

    So I'm still railroading a bit by putting the PCs into predetermined scenes and situations, but it's more like laying out the railroad tracks in front of them as we go along, rather than having it all built in advance.

    Oh, and occasionally ask the players in advance what their characters are planning on doing next, so I can build the next adventure around that.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:27 No.6358330
    Interesting, I wonder why there isn't any mechanical support for concepts such as this in any RPG I've seen.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:29 No.6358342
    I use a computer for most of it, but some parts are probably easy enough with index cards and notes. Create some standardized scene cards, then when a player enters an area, draw cards from the scene deck until an appropriate card shows. decide whatever information the scene calls for, then put the index cards for certain characters or items under the scene card face-down.

    If you have a scene that involves a character moving from scene to scene, you can even have that character as one of the scene parameters instead of using another character from your pool.

    Here is another tip: assuming the overworld is roughly grid-based, you only have to keep track of the scenes within two scene-changes of a player. Once something is outside of two steps of the player, they can't tell the difference between crossing paths with familiar characters or running into them randomly. It truly creates the illusion of a living world if they can see characters move with them from scene to scene or attempt to follow them.

    In game programming, this is called "clipping".
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:34 No.6358393
    That is exactly what I would do. Also, all characters are generic (thief, beggar, warrior, etc); have a list of random motivations, assign motivation once the players encounter the character.
    Once that happens, said character becomes an official part of the storyline. So, for example:
    Sally is a barmaid. Motivations may include revenge, sex, food, lost love, etc. You assign lost love - now Sally the barmaid (erroneously) recognizes one of the character as he long-lost lover. Interaction ensues.
    Requires very little effort if you can make stuff up on the spot. If you're really clever, motivations can be re-used and switched around depending on the situation.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:35 No.6358408
    >fucking around on DSes or iPhones.
    The gaming room is sacred. No game systems or phones are permitted. I turn off my WIFI so that if a player wants to consult a laptop for notes or rules, they may, but facebook and twitter will be unavailable.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:36 No.6358418
    I ran a game where the players were part of a group attempting to settle a newly discovered continent. The stated goal was simply to try and keep the group alive for a year, and other than a few events that I'd plotted out to take place at week X or Y, I linked everything to exploring different locations, which they could visit in whatever order they wanted. It worked pretty well, though if you were doing the setting at a higher level you'd have to come up with a good excuse for why they can't go teleport shopping.
    >> Lex the Thread Killer !/7RPATe1bo 10/20/09(Tue)18:36 No.6358422
    Boy, you know really know your shit.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:40 No.6358460
    Sandbox games don't work for my group and never have. My players are fucking retards who go power-mad and end up killing everyone and everything (including each other) and then get pissed at me for having every fucking paladin show up on their doorstep when tons of people start asking where their family members went or why an entire town hasn't sent any messengers or trade caravans in weeks.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:41 No.6358469
    I've been DMing my first campaign sandbox style. I basically just threw them into a city and told them to have at. There were three major plot lines I had planned, which were all at least partly intertwined. There was an obvious course of events laid out, the logical, easy ways to do things. My players, however, chose to ignore the simple ways to do things, and ran around doing whatever felt like doing. This has led to some delightful shenanigans, but also some incredible stupidity. A few times they really caught me off guard and I had to declare a bathroom break so that I could have a moment to decide what happens. I've got the basic story laid out in my head but individual events have been made up on the fly.
    >> G. D. 10/20/09(Tue)18:43 No.6358504
    /me is now following this thread.
    These are so clever and simple, it's almost mind-blowing.

    Please, do continue when you can. It's hard to get intrigued over anything in /tg/ these days but you, sir, have piqued my interest.
    >> DA BOSS !l0Ve65SXyU 10/20/09(Tue)18:46 No.6358549
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    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:48 No.6358590

    Have you tried having the villain recruit them as enforcers?
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)18:50 No.6358609
    You need more STOP, CRIMINAL SCUM
    >> DA BOSS !l0Ve65SXyU 10/20/09(Tue)18:51 No.6358631
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    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:03 No.6358777
    This thread isn't very long yet, but I humbly request an archive. This is too intriguing to let it go.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:05 No.6358815
    My normal group is the one I have played with for years and I've been the DM for most of the time. The Current campaign is simple: I opened up Eberron for them. They are Private Eyes/Explorers and they choose what they do and where they go. I have several stories written up for most of the major places, and I've made some "Generic" campaigns that just need to be flavored up depending on where they are.

    It's been fun, watching them come up with plans, make their ideas flourish, and their characters grow. It's been tough as a DM but magnificent as a fan of the genre.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:21 No.6359006
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    >> Lex the Thread Killer !/7RPATe1bo 10/20/09(Tue)19:23 No.6359024
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:26 No.6359052

    Seconded, good stuff in here.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:27 No.6359057
    I have a sort of branching plot going in my mind at all times. Given that I have - easily - 100+ npc's rolling around in my head, it's just a matter of sliding them into place as the players give me openings. Sandbox dungeon crawls are the easiest thing in the world.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:28 No.6359073
    OP is obviously a programmer-type. Strangely enough, I don't think anything like this has ever been done in a computer RPG, but it looks like it would be not overly complex to do. Especially if the dialog was entirely text-based, and thus could be generated Mad Lib style, filling in character names, motivations, locations, etc.

    Anywho, do you have all this stuff in a document somewhere? I'd be very interested in seeing your scenes, characters, etc.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:29 No.6359084
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    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:30 No.6359101
    Sandbox Dming is the LAZIEST form of Dming, and the EASIEST to think youre a Good Dm for doing.

    So go ahead, suck your own cocks guys. Eventually, your players will realize you are winging it, and have no fear of death anymore, because theyll know if they DO die, its not because they couldnt beat what you planned...

    ...its because you killed them with your shitty off the cuff bullshit that is too Spontaneous to be Balanced.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:32 No.6359123
    Non sequitor overload.

    Logic parser shutting down to prevent damage...


    Hello sir.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:35 No.6359156
    Not an issue if you're playing 4E, or most games other than 3.5 (or d20 in general), where it's really easy to create balanced combat encounters.

    In fact, in a sandbox-style game, I, as a DM, would be much more willing to kill of characters, because the story isn't that important. Whereas in a railroaded campaign, my players wouldn't have to fear death because I'd want to keep them alive to play through the story. So in a proper sandbox, players will very much fear dying.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:36 No.6359173
    I'm a dumbfag and don't understand what OP means by ">The are frozen in place until observed, then they move normally until TWO DEGREES away from a player where they join the pool of various scenes that will be generated when the players observe something else." Please explain!
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:42 No.6359260
    By degree, I mean degree of association.

    I never actually overlayed a grid on a map, I simply distances between different locations. Do you remember how the pokemon games where separated by city? I'm using a similar system on a smaller scale. I assume that I don't need to keep track of scene positions if the said scene is more than one movement away from a PC. This means that everything within one degree of observation of the player acts realistically, but everything beyond that is random.

    Let me put it this way, if something were to move in your room, you would notice. However, you would not notice if something were to move in another country, so I don't bother to simulate what happens there.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:43 No.6359283
    I'm going to kill myself over how badly that was written. In my defense, I've been awake for 48 hours working on midterms.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:44 No.6359295
    I believe he means two scene changes. For example, using that thief scene posted here: >>6358156

    First of all, there's no need to keep track of what the thief is doing until the players encounter him (the scene is randomly drawn). We draw the scene, and resolve it: I plug in a randomly generated incompetent thief character, and he fails to steal any gold from the party. Let's just say that the party let him go because of his incompetence, but only after humiliating him in the town square. We then put the thief scene aside.

    The players go through two more scenes, doing other things, and then I shuffle the thief scene back in the deck of scenes. Turns out the next card that comes up is the thief scene again. I can now either bring back the same thief who tries again, or a different one who's much more competent.

    Alternatively, lets say I draw an encounter with a mob of ruffians. I can choose to put the thief in there, as he gathered all his friends to deal with the party. Or the mob could be completely unrelated.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:48 No.6359340
    > Plan whole world, including dungeons, town layouts, key characters (per town), world politics, long term effects of any goings-on, and a timeline the world would follow if the PCs did nothing.
    >Buy calendar
    >Mark up the calendar with political, mystical, or otherwise major changes in the world
    >Minimal improvisation; if, for example your PCs kill a king, figure out how that effects the rest of your timeline.

    This is the best way, but also takes the longest to set up. I've been at it on-and-off for a year and a half.
    >> Snorkel !!W4PPjkmN7Kg 10/20/09(Tue)19:49 No.6359347
    Ha, been DM'ing and playing a sandbox gameworld for 9 years now. Everybody that has played loves it and still plays to this day. Beat that.
    Now, as to how I did it?
    ...fucking no idea, really.
    Actually, I do know, I just make it up as I go along, but I have the ability to make up engaging characters and environments on the fly. Basically just set up key characters, the world, and let them go at it.
    They want to get more power? Give them a tip on how to do that, something you're interested in doing, or what they want.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:50 No.6359361
    If it's taken you a year and half to prepare it, then it is most definitely NOT the best way.
    >> Snorkel !!W4PPjkmN7Kg 10/20/09(Tue)19:51 No.6359378
    Never actually had the problem of balancing, I know what the player's abilities and skills are, so it's quite simple to set up a good fight. You just need to know how you want it to feel, hard, okay, I lol'd my way through.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:55 No.6359414
    >Also, be sure to not waste time making full NPC character sheets. Just ad-lib a few numbers after you've gotten used to the system. Estimate chance "Scales" according to what you know about the system. For example, In Mechwarrior 2nd edition, I knew that a 10+ to hit meant a character pretty much sucked, a 8+ is green, a 6 or 7+ is regular. 5+ is pretty much a specialized skill for most characters, and anything less than 3+ makes them elite at something. After I learned to ad-lib using numbers like those as rough guidelines, over writing up massive sheets with stats and background for characters players may never see again, I saved myself a world of time.

    This has saved me tons of time. I used to spend hours each week making character sheets for Exalted. Now non-major NPCs just get 'eh, about the Dawn's DV times two plus a handful to make it threatening' attack dice and 'eh, about the Dawn's attack pool divided by two plus a handful to make it threatening' defense dice and a selection of five or so charms that fit with what I want them to accomplish.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:55 No.6359416
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    I intended this sandbox system for small-scale events.

    An arcing story is something you can take your time and prepare for, but short-term consequences force you to improvise. If you don't have some preparation done, your players could step on a narrative landmine that wreaks havoc on your story.
    >> Snorkel !!W4PPjkmN7Kg 10/20/09(Tue)19:55 No.6359424
    My original plan was to go for that, but I ended up doing that maybe once or twice.
    Books are a much better form of inspiration for campaigns. Hell, I've made campaigns based off songs.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)19:59 No.6359470
    >Hell, I've made campaigns based off songs.

    Half of the fucking songs on my computer are downloaded not due to "quality" but because they inspire certain scenes in my campaigns.
    >> Lex the Thread Killer !/7RPATe1bo 10/20/09(Tue)20:01 No.6359487
    >Hell, I've made campaigns based off songs.

    I hear that.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)20:01 No.6359488
    Here is basically how I generate characters

    1. Random race
    2. Random class
    3. Order stats and
    4. choose array

    If you use an array or small set of arrays, it's easy to tell what stats the character has. I have two arrays, 16,14,14,13,10,8 and 18,14,11,10,10,8.
    >> TheDuggler 10/20/09(Tue)21:03 No.6360260
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    Watching this thread like a hawk. I myself love creating massively expansive campaign settings, but often get fatigued by creating every little bit of minutae and end up railroading my players from time to time, which I'd rather not do.
    >> The Janitor !vblZ4/wWS6 10/20/09(Tue)21:23 No.6360530
    Hold on, I'm making a Serenity homebrew campaign that's COMPLETELY sandbox, with factions, side-quests, and multiple endings. I'll upload some of the basic info to mediafire or something - not sharing all of it, because I know that some of my party members lurk /tg/ and I don't want them to know all the shit.
    >> Anonymous 10/20/09(Tue)23:01 No.6361804

    This would be much appreciated. I'm a pretty novice DM and in the preliminary planning stages for a campaign right now, and reading other people's framework/outlines would be hugely helpful.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)01:36 No.6363694
    bump from page 10!
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)01:39 No.6363724
    I usually make it up as I go along. However, I also REMEMBER and take notes on what happens, because the PC's are makers of legend, and what happens is part of history. I take note of their desires and formulate ideas around them, and have things they've done in the past have bearing on the here and now for them, slowly helping them build epic tales about their adventuring party.
    >> The Janitor !vblZ4/wWS6 10/21/09(Wed)01:51 No.6363920
    Alright, uh. Hmm. I seemed to have lost a bunch of my stuff. As such, here's what I was able to re-type based on the notes that I wrote while at work, this is not the full thing. The full thing has a list of factions, their representatives, maps, history of some planets, a couple of campaign chains, and so on. It also has a full ledger for the major points of this little module, and a brief summary of what this module is all about...I have about a day and night's work of writing to do all over again. In the meantime...
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)01:53 No.6363955
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    >> The Janitor !vblZ4/wWS6 10/21/09(Wed)01:53 No.6363970
    ...nevermind, I'll upload everything I have tomorrow. It seems that the current wi-fi that I'm bumming from won't let me upload it to mediafire, rapidshit, share, megaup, or anything else. Sorry 'bout that.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)01:56 No.6364026
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    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)01:58 No.6364058
    Right now, I'm working on building a city for the PCs to interact with in any way they want. Imagine going up to a city in Morrowind, and doing any quests that may fall into place, based on who you talk to, what you get involved with, etc. That's what I'm building. I'm not starting from the ground up, I'm actually using Saltmarsh in DMG2 as a framework. It's a lot of work :[
    >> Sommunist !CvgOA2wCo2 10/21/09(Wed)01:58 No.6364060
    I'm actually not a fan of full sandbox-style DMing (both as a DM and a player), but having some choices is good. My current model is like this:

    Players are level 1.
    Three adventures are ready. Each adventure is tailored for a party of level 2, and each gives enough XP to get from level 2 to 3.
    The party can do the adventures in any order. The first will be hard, the second normal, and the third easy. By the end of it, the players have uncovered all the plot I wanted them to, but in the order they chose, and should have hit level 3 with some change left over.

    I'll probably get hate for this, but 4th edition makes this even easier, since you can adjust monsters up or down 5 levels simply by changing their HP, attack, damage, and defenses. Which means that not only do the players get to pick the order they do stuff in, but it's all tailored for their level.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)02:14 No.6364327
    DM/Sandbox fan bump
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)02:26 No.6364471
    Running a sandbox type environment in my rogue trader game, its a little bit complicated by the sheer freedom the setting provides. Basically has taken a few sessions to understand the characters motivations, personalities and interests. I'll throw out several bait endeavors or adventures, and depending on what they decide to go with, improvise and go from there. I have a timeline of independent events that they may or may not cross into and effect, and as they do quests and travel around I make note of the passage of time and figure out how events fall into place.

    It takes alot of planning and fair bit of improv, it works nicely when they go with your possible scenarios, not so well when you offer them 5 paths and they jump off and do something completely unrelated but thats when you might want to use a light touch and get them back to box.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)02:44 No.6364688
    Last pseudo sandbox I ran was a post civil war city scenario. The players were part of a very understaffed peacekeeping army tasked with finding out what happened in the lead up to war and to eventually arbitrate a settlement. There were three power blocks in the city, each with different goals. Faction A, the previous rulers, wanted to keep their illegal drug smuggling from being exposed while kicking out faction B. Faction B wanted to do the same to A, while preventing anyone from finding out the dirty tactics they used during the war. Meanwhile faction C, representing the central government and ostensibly on the player's side, was trying to get the peacekeeping army massacred as to galvanize support back home in their push for full scale military intervention.

    Each faction had a few big timed events, and the players also had a deadline in the form of the peace conference, but what they did until that time was up to them. I found the city setting, vague time constraint, and a rough overall plot (figure out what caused the war and make sure you don't die horribly before the peace conference) allowed me to run a much more focused game than a true "ride off to wherever you feel like" campaign, but still gave the players the freedom to run around like headless chickens causing more mayhem than they'd solve most of the time.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)02:58 No.6364838
    I have to say, nothing says "heartless bitch" to the players quite like a paper pushing politician who'd been plotting to get them all killed since the game started, so that the people back home will finally care about what they're trying to accomplish. She would have been a total pushover if she ever got into combat, but man did the players hate her by the end of that campaign.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)03:20 No.6365051

    Not really, sandbox DMing really is the style if you have players that wander and want to explore the full and whole of a game world. Its the difference between playing a game like Neverwinter or Oblivion... one railroads you and the other just presents the world and kicks you out the door. Sandbox DMing is the later.

    I personally tend to establish on average 2 major plot and 1 underlying plot idea for each culture zone. I leave them with a nebulous idea and scribble a tiny note (about 2/3 of a page) of where it will progress over time. If the players move into a region and start asking around, they tend to stumble across 1 to 2 of the 3 ideas I have scribbled down.

    After they have latched onto something, that is when I start to properly fluff out the ideas, writing down what I say to stay consistent from one week to the next. Its only hairy during that first stages of a new idea they are moving to. Afterwards, or even during a food/smoke break, I can do a good deal of fast work to get an encounter worked out.

    With this, my players have picked who they are going to go after and I can give them the fights and encounters and RP challenges they want instead of just forcing a linear story down their throats. All my players know they can abandon or put off a plot line at any time... just that once they pick one up... its active and it will haunt them for as long as they put it off. My players have been wiped out before because of the fact that put off an encounter for too long... or missed the chance to stop or change it for the better.

    Sandboxing in my opinion is more just giving your players the freedom to go and become heroic ice cream salesmen or mad scientists just as easily as they can become knights or arch-druids.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)04:42 No.6365837
    Nice ^^b
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)06:08 No.6366651
    >Half of the fucking songs on my computer are downloaded not due to "quality" but because they inspire certain scenes in my campaigns.

    Heh. I have the same situation with my iPod, which I use for playing background music for my games. And writing this post, incidentally. I have to have a separate playlist for the few songs that are not campaign background music.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)07:27 No.6367221
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)08:15 No.6367548
    Gygax? I knew you where not dead.
    Welcome back
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)11:49 No.6368954
    Oh look, a thread that could be on page one if I post in it.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)11:52 No.6368974
    Wilderlands of High Fantasy.
    Roll for area, check out the tons and tons of plot hooks, come up with a few basic ideas for each one.
    Start them out somewhere nearby.
    Throw hook after hook after hook.
    Eventually they'll take the bait. =)
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)11:53 No.6368979
    Oh, and when all else fails just wing it.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)12:01 No.6369032
    this is apparent in the disparity in epicness of the respective main quests of NWN and oblivion, especially NWN hordes of the underdark
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)13:39 No.6369875
    That is true. However, done right, you could definitely combine a sandbox world with an epic main quest. Just have a few quest ideas to begin with, and start expanding the one(s) that your players latch on to. Meanwhile, keep using the sandbox approach for downtime scenes, etc.
    >> Boston Tentacle Party !!sS2TVHm9A4b 10/21/09(Wed)14:42 No.6370713
    Firstly, Morrowind is a better idea of a sandbox RPG than Oblivion.

    Secondly, "epicness" isn't always the goal in a storyline. Some of my favorite games have been about very low-power, local threats.

    Lastly, if you judge the plotlines of Morrowind and Neverwinter Nights outside of the scope of "epicness," I think you, like I, will find Neverwinter Nights wanting.
    >> Anonymous 10/21/09(Wed)14:45 No.6370747
    >> Commoner 10/21/09(Wed)14:46 No.6370757
    I like the idea a lot, especially the scene concept.

    Thread copied and pasted.
    >> Boston Tentacle Party !!sS2TVHm9A4b 10/21/09(Wed)15:04 No.6371061
    Why would you do that instead of archiving it? Fuck, two people "request" that the thread be archived, one person copies and pastes is, and everyone is too apathetic or retarded to just archive it?

    Took me about a minute. Fuck you lazy newfags.

    >> Anonymuos 10/21/09(Wed)15:05 No.6371088
    I got a new group to DM for. I have two old players, who know what they are doing but 4-6 new ones. It's their first game, so I picked a campaign from a book. Started the game like it said in the book, but I pretty much only used it as a model for the world -- I'm adding different quests and situations to the game. They can pick what they want to do the most. (They've even been separated from each other.) The most important thing is that the players need to think they have choices, but those choices do affect the world. If they don't stop the demonic threat then somebody else might and they'll hear about it at every tavern or somebody might not stop it and demons ravage the lands.

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