Zombie Murder Mystery

The lost art of generating hype

Written by Expy - Published on September 5, 2007

Instant Campaign Builder Part VI: Hype

This article is part of the Instant Campaign Builder Project.

The Buzz

Most great events are preceded by an insane amount of publicity, which sometimes generates anticipation. I believe the Saturday morning D&D session can benefit from fabricated buzz and hype.

How to generate hype

  • Constantly remind your players the game is coming up. If the DM is so obsessed with the campaign it has to be great!
  • Leak information. Give your players information about the campaign inadvertantly. It’s like meta-foreshadowing.
  • Create characters. StupidRanger’s better characters article is worth a look.
  • Ask the players what they want and include it in the campaign.
  • Prepare opening credits for the campaign.

Watch and learn
If you feel your game isn’t highly anticipated, watch sports news or entertainment gossip tv programs and observe how they generate buzz from nothing.

The danger zone

When purposefully generating hype you have to keep in mind that the expectations will be higher so you need to come up with a great campaign. If you follow the tips of the Instant Campaign Builder you should be alright.

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Written by Expy

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Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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19 Responses to “The lost art of generating hype”

Zombie Murder Mystery
  1. Pal Mercy Says:

    I usually try *not to* leak information about what I plan. What kind of leak are you thinking. I don’t want my game to be anti-climactic.

  2. Dungeon Mastering » D&D Instant Campaign Builder Project Says:

    […] Instant Campaign Builder $6: Hype Like this website? Subscribe by e-mail or RSS feed. Like this article?  Email it to a friend! August 20, 2007 | Posted in News, Campaigns & Adventures | Post a comment « D&D Monday morning speedlinking Instant Campaign Builder – Part I: Knowledge » […]

  3. Phil Says:

    I do a lot of all this. :)

    Getting obsessed and posting a lot of material on game week… yup!

    Leak info: Yup. I drop hints on the upcoming game in my blog. (I try not to pester my friends to read it, so as a slight incentive, I drop hints on what Ièm working on).

    (Pal: For hints, I would drop rumors, names of major Bad Guys, I tell them about the latest book I bought or this cool set of Critical Hit cards…)

    I don’t create characters for my players. However, for those who don’t have time to do it at home, I invite them to my place for a Beer and PC creation session.

    I also ask what they want for a game and weave them with the campaign’s main plotlines.

    Good stuff Yax!

  4. Psygnnosed Says:

    I loved the powerpoint “opening credits” idea! This could really work!
    I definitely have to try this!!!

    I just have to find out how I include music in a pps… I even have the perfect music in mind: “Chevaliers de Sangreal”, by Hans Zimmer, from the “Da Vinci Code OST” ;)

  5. Yax Says:

    Here’s a tutorial on how to add music to Powerpoint: http://www.presentationhelper.co.uk/powerpoint_music.htm

  6. Yax Says:

    Phil said:
    “I drop hints on the upcoming game in my blog. ”

    I should do that too!

  7. Stupid Ranger Says:

    On of the things that keeps me jazzed about the campaign are awesome cliff-hangers. When your character is in mortal danger, you need to come back and resolve the situation.

  8. Dungeon Mastering » D&D Instant Campaign Builder on YouTube Says:

    […] a little video commentary on the upcoming Instant Campaign builder PDF (yes, I’m trying to build hype). This is my first ever review / commentary and I think you will be […]

  9. Rebekah Says:

    Props and visuals seem to help. When players have maps, clues, illustrations or puzzles that they can work on in between sessions, they seem very eager to get back and put their findings to use. For one campaign, I wrote an 80-something page journal and went nuts with the details, printing it on parchment and binding it in leather and everything. Everyone had fun reading it, and referring to it in-game. Probably overkill with most people but my group really gets into that stuff.
    Plus it was fun! Who needs a hobby when you’re a D&D nut?

  10. Yax Says:

    In-between props is a GREAT idea. I never thought of it. That leatherbound homemade book must have been awesome for the players.

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  14. Jammercoves Says:

    In a large D&D campaign I played in the GM was crazy for making up props. There were puzzles, diagrams, illustrations (some original and some clip art stuff) that he would throw in all over the place. Some of the puzzles took months to solve since they required key information that we didn’t get (through being planned that way or us going off the beaten track) but we collected them all together in a journal with notes by various players. When the campaign (or sections of it) wrapped up we’d have incredibly good momentos of the game. Sometimes with clues half finished of course…

  15. How to be a good general manager - Dungeon Mastering - Dungeons and Dragons blog - DM tips, D&D books, RPG fun Says:

    […] Build hype. When you talk to a player don’t just mention the date and time of the game. Give a preview. Whet their appetite. Even if you haven’t prepared anything just come up with random stuff that you think the player will like (and make sure you add it to your game when you sit down to prepare). […]

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