Edit: You can now download the complete Instant Campaign Builder. (pdf file)
What is the Instant Campaign Builder Project?
As a DM I always have 2 objectives when I plan a campaign.
Create the best campaign ever.
- Not spend any time doing it.
They seem to be contradictory goals. Well, they are. Compromises have to be made. The more time you spend planning and plotting, the better your campaign should be. But I believe that it is possible to prepare a quality campaign without spending too much time at the drawing board.
Over the next 2 weeks I’ll share my thoughts on optimizing prep time, channeling inspiration and creating unforgettable scenes.
What is too much time? In my opinion anything over 1 hour of prep time for 4 hours of play is unnecessary but you can spend as much time as you want creating and writing – I wish I could.
Expy the dragon says:
Always wear a helmet when
building a campaign.
So let’s say you’re planning a campaign that will last 100 hours of play – roughly 25 4-hour games. You should be able to plan the whole campaign in 25 hours so you’ll probably need as much as a few weeks of preparation in your spare time – or 1 week-end if you’re really pumped up. (to get pumped up, you can browse this collection of gaming motivational posters)
The objective of the Instant Campaign Builder is to give you the necessary tools to keep that prep-time to play-time ratio under 1 to 4.
As long as you’re not Dming your first game ever, I think this project will help you. If you’re just undertaking the Dungeon Master profession, I think you would be better served by using a published campaign setting, or at least a published adventure to get your feet wet, see what your players like and what your strengths and weaknesses are as a dungeon master.
Download the complete Instant Campaign Builder! (pdf file)
Or read the articles online:
- Instant Campaign Builder #1: Knowledge
- Instant Campaign Builder #2: Props
- Instant Campaign Builder #3: Improvization
- Instant Campaign Builder #4: Campaign Outline
- Instant Campaign Builder #5: LOCKing scenes
- Instant Campaign Builder #6: Hype
- Instant Campaign Builder #7: Planting
- Instant Campaign Builder #8: The Beginning
- Instant Campaign Builder #9: The End
- Instant Campaign Builder #10: D&D superstars