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Make your campaign better… NOW!

Written by Expy - Published on December 8, 2007

Random thoughts

With the ever-growing geek population I wonder if we’re ever going to live through a “taped glasses and hunched back is sexy” trend.

7 quick ways to make your campaign better

Just because you have planned a fun campaign and your next few games are prepared doesn’t mean your campaign can’t get better.  Here are a few effortless, almost instantaneous ways to make your campaign better:

  1. Make one villain easier to hate.
  2. Call your players and ask them what they foresee for their characters.
    • This should get your players fired up about the next game and make them feel that you take the game seriously and care about their characters.
  3. Call your players (or keep them on the phone for one more question) and ask them what they think will happen in the current campaign, or how the would like the events to unfold.
    • It’s a great way to plan for the unpredicable!  It allows you to know what seemed important to the players – which is sometimes completely different than what you had originally planned for.
  4. Work on an NPC quirk.
  5. Add one mood element to your descriptions and stick with it for a few games.
    • The weather
    • A presence the PCs feel but can’t see.
    • How the PCs feel – the weariness of a long trip for example.
  6. Build hype about one encounter / monster / villain you’ve mentioned.
  7. Trash talk your players
    • I first read about the trash talking DM in Shelly Mazzanoble’s column on D&D Insider.  Trash-talking is one of my favorite activities and when I used to be a semi-pro athlete I loved to play mind games with my fellow competitors.  Trash talking should get your players out of their comfort zone.  But please don’t crush them psychologically – it’s still supposed to be fun!

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Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

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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4 Responses to “Make your campaign better… NOW!”
  1. Pal Mercy says:

    When I want to make my campaign better, I add details to my world map. I always think of cool plot hooks when I do that.

  2. Johnnay says:

    Trash talking players is one of the weirdest dm tips i’ve ever come across… I like it.

  3. The_Gun_Nut says:

    Trash talking is a bit of an extreme term for me. “Friendly ribbing” is a bit safer, and may feel less like brow-beating for some. Having said that, I occasionally trash talk my players. Mostly, I use it to set the mood or drop clues and hints as to the upcoming night. Perceptive players pick up on them, and feel good for having picked out the subtle (or not so subtle, depending) hint. For the nights where something truly NASTY is in store for the PC’s, the heads up, even if done quietly, really helps to get them into the proper frame of mind they will need to survive.

  4. Pé0 says:

    In our game with Yax we have 1 ultimate rules that cannot be broken: no mom’s jokes…

    The punishment is immediate reincarnation in the form of a squirrel.

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