Anatomy of a Campaign: Legacy of New Lago - Part 2

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Just to recap the last segment...

  • I am going over my design for my Legacy of New Lago campaign
  • LoNL continues the story of two previous campaigns
  • The players are playing the children of former PCs
  • I went over the basic plot of the campaign
  • The campaign is episodic and has several classic modules integrated into it

The Outline

I am pretty anal in my prep and design. I always want to have an outline with the major plot points spelled out so I can keep the story moving and organized. For LoNL I decided to go with the three act structure one often seen in plays, movies, and books.

Here is the general outline with my goals for each Act...


Act I

The PCs begin their adventuring life and have to deal with the shadow cast by their parents. They struggle to establish their own identities in the face of the prejudices that precede them based on the reputations of their parents. Their early successes will be in stark contrast to Act II when things take a darker turn and the young generations learns more about the flaws of their parents.

Goals:

· Introduce key NPCs to the game

· Give easy examples of what the game is going to be like

· Time of innocence, everything should be smooth and happy at the beginning

· Give hints of future, find a way to introduce the villain in a non confrontational way


Act II

The longest of the three Acts this one has the low point in it. Act II should be about innocence lost. The PCs realize that their parents are people and see them with all their flaws and imperfections. The villain is introduced and his identity is uncovered leading to a host of moral and ethical dilemmas. The PCs also find out about the Prophesy and the truth of their role in things. With this knowledge comes the truth about how they are the way they are, age, skills etc. The PCs have to rise above their doubts and pull themselves out of the hole they are in.

Goals:

· Disillusion the PCs in the aftermath of “Trinity”

· Turn up the difficulty rating of the game

· The Big reveal of the central villain

· The Villain is unmasked, literally, and the PC find out the truth about a lot of things.

· In the aftermath of Trinity Aken takes the group to his Command Center and clears up anything that is still a mystery.

· PCs real test comes in the aftermath of these revelations when they have to put it all aside and spring into action to save one of their own.


Act III

The PCs are now battle hardened adventures cut from molds similar to their parents. They are in (almost) full knowledge of Aken’s Plan to rid the world once and for all of the Dark God. However, now that all the cards are on the table their lives are more dangerous than ever. The Players must hurry to secure the final item needed for the rebinding ritual before their Arch-Enemy gets it. Then finally they must go though the Portal to Old Lago and secure the anchor so that the final confrontation can take place.

Goals:

· The final item is secured.

· The Final Climactic battle takes place.

· Epilogue where Aken grants each PC one wish


Now you may be saying, "you didn't make that at the beginning of the campaign design process." Actually, I did, but it looked very different. I added more and more to it as I created more plot elements for the game. It started off pretty bare, but over time it was fleshed out until it looks like the one above. Now obviously this is a guide, not a script. I can tell you, of the above, not everything worked out as I planned. Even the best planner must be ready to improvise. Knowing your players is key, but players will surprise you, so stay alert.

This isn't the only outline I made for the game. Here is a chapter by chapter breakdown that I used to keep track of individual adventures...


Act I: Ascension
  • Chapter I: "Graduation Day" (Last Battle of Theine 1-2)
  • Chapter II: "Horns of Chaos" (Keep on the Boarderlands1-4)
  • Chapter III: "Hells Bells" (Murder Mystery at a wedding 4-5)


Act II: Sins of the Father
  • Chapter IV: "Descent into Darkness" (Ravenloft 4-7)
  • Chapter V: "Trinity" (White Plume Mountain 7-9)
  • Chapter VI: "Sunstone" (Dragon Strike Adventure (8-9)
  • Chapter VII: "Salvation" (A Rescue 9-10)


Act III: Once and For All
  • Chapter VII: Coup De Tat (Military Takeover 10-11)
  • Chapter VIII: Fracture (Put Kingdom back together 11-12)
  • Chapter IX: All-Father (Gather last artifact 12-13)
  • Chapter X: End of Days (Final Battle 13)

You may wonder what those numbers are, those are expected PC levels. If the PCs fell behind the level assigned to the chapter it was a sign that they may not be ready for the next part of the game. This never really became a problem even when a few PCs did fall behind. There were seven players so what they lacked in levels they often made up for in sheer numbers. This outline also changed a little as I added or dropped adventures from the game.

You'll notice several classic adventures in the second outline. I knew I wanted to run some classic modules. Now that I had an idea of the plot and the structure of the game I was free to choose which ones fit the campaign best.

Coming soon... Part 3 where we discuss which modules I chose and why.





This entry was posted on Thursday, July 30, 2009 at Thursday, July 30, 2009 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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