5 Tips for Writing Social Drama RPG Campaigns

5 Tips for Writing Social Drama RPG Campaigns For my next roleplaying game campaign, I’m writing the foundation for a social drama campaign that I’ll then pass off to a co-GM who does a much better job at portraying Non-Player Characters and figuring out the logical (not just conventional) implications of choices. I lamented on social media that writing up the campaign so that someone else can take it and run with it is much more challenging than writing up a traditional, linear story adventure. This post deals with my approach to tackling those difficulties and provides tips for prepping social drama campaigns...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 26

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 26 Day 26: What is the darkest moment when all hope is lost? Story and setting. If we extrapolate from the fears the protagonist holds, the hatreds they feel, and the antagonist they’re up against, what does the darkest moment in the story look like? What has to happen in order for the protagonist to be hopeless or on the verge of giving up their goal? What kinds of circumstances would make the audience fear that the protagonist might lose as well? This moment, which usually occurs at the three-quarters mark of the novel, should be one of the most emotionally...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 22

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 22 Day 22: What kinds of people or things might get in the way of your protagonist achieving their goals? Your Protagonist. Besides the antagonist, there are many other external issues that could hinder the protagonist’s journey to realizing their desires. Who are the protagonist’s rivals, foils, or ex-lovers? What sort of institutions or factions stand in the way of the protagonist achieving their goal? What do they stand for and how is their skin in the game? What about the setting itself: the weather, the landscape, monsters, or the gods? Why are these...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 9

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 9 Day 9: Who, if anyone, is opposing your protagonist? Your Protagonist. Although it’s common for the protagonist to hate the antagonist, this doesn’t always have to be the case. The antagonist is merely the person or thing whose desires conflict with the protagonist’s. The antagonist might even want the same thing as the protagonist, but how they go about getting it is different or despicable in the eyes of the protagonist or audience. How does the antagonist relate to the protagonist’s core desire and hatreds? What motivates the...

A Conflict-Driven Character Creation Questionnaire

What is an RPG campaign if not a series of conflicts between player characters and the world, conflicts between player characters and non-player characters, or conflicts within and among the player characers themselves? The following questions just popped into my head as a new way to facilitate character backstory generation–specifically by getting to the heart of the answers most useful to the GM in terms of crafting a story that engages the PCs. Can you think of any other questions I’m missing that will help generate conflict, i.e. story potential, in...

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