RPGaDay 2016 – Day 13
What makes a successful campaign?
Short Answer: Variety, player cohesion, and illusion of choice.
Long Answer: There’s no one thing that makes a campaign successful. For me, there are three things needed more than others. Variety, player cohesion, and illusion of choice.
Variety is essential, especially when you’re playing more than once a month or so. DnD players love a good dungeon delve, but after a few they might appreciate an adventure that takes them into a town, or across some uncharted wilderness. The key here is to make everything fit together in a logical way. Don’t take them from fighting an underworld gang in the heart of a city to racing across a trackless waste searching for a lost convoy with no reason.
Player cohesion doesn’t refer to players who only agree with each other and always work together. Conflict between players is natural, and to a point encouraged, but when the chips are down (or they’ve been ambushed by Demogorgon) they need to come together to overcome the challenge. Players who actively against the others during these situations can really disrupt the flow of a campaign.
Illusion of choice sounds harsh, but it just means the GM has crafted their campaign so we they can predict what their characters are going want to do next. When the players get to decide what they want to do next, present them with a few options. Let them choose where to go for themselves, but have just enough planned out for each possible option that you can jump into the adventure straight away.