Writer's Block!

MerahMerah Registered User
edited November 2006 in Critical Failures
Few months ago, I finally finished my new RPG setting. It's kind of like my magnum opus.

The world has early 1900-tech, asian mythology, katana-wielding aristocrats and stuff like that. You know, old cameras, mages, politics, airplanes, rifles, monks and so on. But that's not the point here.

For the first time in my GM's career I'm expiriencing a serious writer's block. The setting is ready, we have played a few times, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. So I'm asking for help: how do I gain inspiration for the greatest storyline of all time :D?

PS. I know this is my first new post. If somebody has a problem with me starting a new topic straight away, I understand. But I DO think this can be quite a relevant thing for many GMs out there.

Merah on

Posts

  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Merah wrote:
    Few months ago, I finally finished my new RPG setting. It's kind of like my magnum opus.

    The world has early 1900-tech, asian mythology, katana-wielding aristocrats and stuff like that. You know, old cameras, mages, politics, airplanes, rifles, monks and so on. But that's not the point here.

    For the first time in my GM's career I'm expiriencing a serious writer's block. The setting is ready, we have played a few times, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. So I'm asking for help: how do I gain inspiration for the greatest storyline of all time :D?

    PS. I know this is my first new post. If somebody has a problem with me starting a new topic straight away, I understand. But I DO think this can be quite a relevant thing for many GMs out there.
    The only time I've ever come up with a lasting campaign's storyline, I started at the end: the heroes, after twenty levels of this arc (interspersed with minor plot arches between, of course), finally come to the evil mages as they begin their ceremony to summon their dark god... and fail to stop it.

    And then I went back to the beginning, and started figuring out how they'd get there. This might not work for your sort of setting, but it worked very well with my D&D game.

    INeedNoSalt on
  • MerahMerah Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Not a bad idea :D

    I guess my biggest problem is that I really don't want to restrict the players right to choose what they want to do, but ATM it's getting us into games that don't have much happening. The setting also doesn't give too much space for "epic" stuff.

    Does anybody else have problems like this? How do you keep the game intresting, or better yet: how do you get the players to make it intresting (if you get what I mean)?

    Merah on
  • clembo2021clembo2021 Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Tough question. It sounds like you want a story-rich game, and so I would work from outside-in. It's a lot like INeedNoSalt's approach, except instead of working backwards in time, you're working with big themes/ideas and working that into the smaller things in your world.

    The inside-out approach works best for hack-n-slash games where you can think up facts on the run and get a lot of playtime in without doing much thinking. You can always build up as you go along, but it's unlikely you'll ever have a story that'll go down through the ages (or in our case, one that'll really stick in the player's minds)

    You can choose whatever you want for the outside in approach though. I recommend you pick one central plot point. I am making my first campaign (first time DMing and I've made an entire world from scratch) and I decided to base my storyline around a Divine War, and the effects of this war between the Gods almost 1000 years ago will have different effects on everyone (for example, all but the most important evil god's were banished into the Outer Planes, so those god's domains grow chaotic without any god to oversee them. And of course, these gods are trying as hard as they can to get back to their home plane).

    Perhaps you would choose a political issue or whatever your GM imagination can turn up.

    Ever setting has space for "epic" things, because the level of epic-ness is relative. Sure epic may not mean becoming a demi-god, but if you don't have the option to do that, then the criteria for epic things just becomes smaller. If your characters are adventurers with free will, then they can do epic things.

    As for getting the players to make the game interesting, I've found that it's best to find what the players like to do best and let them run with it as far as they can. The less they have to see the hand of God (the DM) forcing them to do things, the better. If they like hacking and slashing, don't force them to play a heavy role-playing game with few and far between battles. If you force them to do what they don't want to, or what they're not good at, then you're going to be leading them around by the nose.

    Remember, the players want to play, or they wouldn't waste their time. So if you give them the tools, they'll use them to their best knowledge to have a fun time. As for leading them into a greater storyline, that's all up to you. I don't really know anything about your campaign so I can't give ideas, but maybe have some NPCs that are part of some greater conflict suddenly come into your PCs lives.

    clembo2021 on
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