Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Story Arcs

We're reaching the end of a long campaign that I've been running and I've started thinking about story arcs.

Like any other story, tabletop RP campaigns also work best, especially those plot and character based, work best when they have story arcs. If you are starting a long campaign, think about where your story is going?

For this particular campaign, my co-GM and I started with the ending and the middle, and worked from there, creating mid-sessions and figuring out how we would get to the ending of the campaign. Though creating a plan is fantastic for a long campaign, make sure you leave space for character choices to affect game. As a GM, it's a thin line between planning and railroading, and letting characters control game and not having any arc or direction. Foreshadowing is a great way to create a sense of direction and story arc within a game. Another great technique to have all the battles and challenges get harder and harder, leading up to a climax.
I find for the creation of story, it helps to think of a set of sessions as a season of television, with an opening episode, a middle, and a season finale. Think about how television, book series, or anything episodic builds story.

One thing that always helps me is to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Another thing that is great for creating story arcs is to create big villains and think about their goals for destroying the world of your PCs.
Do you all like creating, long epic campaigns? Interested in running on in the Theatre Noir system? 

If you have any questions or comments, or would like to help us in any way, please feel free to email us at support@blackhatwriting.com

1 comment:

  1. I plan for long games by creating/using enough setting material, while also planning the big bad's plan, but assuming a null hypothesis so players can choose not to follow the expected path and see the cost/benefit of their choices. http://darkerdaysradio.blogspot.de/search?q=null+hypothesis