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"Adventuring party" versus "Group of Adventurers"

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:04 pm
by awexelblat
How do you make a campaign cohesive for a long-running RPG? If you're doing a one-shot module it's easy. If you've got a specific end in mind (rescue the princess, kill the lich, save the kingdom) then that can be easy, too. But what do you do beyond the one-note standards? What makes things fun for people who want to pursue stories off the beaten track? What keeps people happy playing together and keeps characters coherently involved in a story that isn't focused on a single overarching goal?

Many LARPs and similar games do this sort of thing well. In the computer-gaming genres it's common for there to be a "main story" and "side quests" that relate more or less strongly to the main plot. Does any of this make sense in a tabletop RPG context?