Plant a Campaign [Appendix 3] – Actual Play Example

GO TO PART 1

  • An example of how my campaigning technique is used in an actual campaign
  • Insight into all my documents
  • Spoiler-Warning for my players

Now it’s time for an actual example of my Campaign Plantation system in practice. I’ll use my longest-running campaign as an example. It is a campaign of the German Fantasy RPG “Das Schwarze Auge” (The Dark Eye) that is set in one of the most meticulously detailed fantasy worlds. For those among you who know the setting, we started play in Albernia, travelled through Kosch mountains and followed the Great River by ship. The campaign turned into a freeform campaign when they reached the foggy and gloomy port town of Havena, where they tried to get rid of a demonic stain they contracted.

The campaign has been a Planted Campaign for 3 sessions now, and is going quite well. The players pursue several elements of the setting, while others still loom in the dark. Many secrets are still to be discovered.

I will not include much information besides the actual documents, because I assume they include enough information in and of themselves already.

Disclaimer

This is really important:

If you are one of my players, i.e. if you are the player of Fabio, Lembie, Lilyan, or Nepolemo, DO NOT continue reading. Lest you are about to spoil a lot of your fun.

Entity Cards

Download the Entity Cards file

I grouped the Entities in this campaign in several thematic groups for easier reference:

  • The demonic cult of the archdemon Charyptoroth (C)
  • The vampiric dangers in the city (V)
  • The Smugglers (S)
  • The Pirates (P)
  • The political Intrigue (I)

As you can see, this setting is really complex (as it is a large city the PCs were expected to spend a lot of time in), so I took my time in preparing it. But still it took me not longer than a couple of hours to come up with all this, as I already knew what I had in mind for the campaign, thematically.

Plotmap

Because of this complexity, I decided not to draw a Plotmap (both as the Entities are already grouped and connected, and because the PCs were entirely alien to the city and thus had no ties to it whatsoever, which usually would be the biggest strength of the Plotmap).

Relationship Grid

Download the Relationship Grid file

I decided to only include the most important Entities in the Grid, both to avoid unnecessary complexity, and because I felt the inner-group connections strong enough that they only needed some representatives in the Grid.

Hook Adventure

Download the Hook Adventure

This was the first session of the Campaign where I introduced the players to the broad possibilities of their new world order. The initial motivator was the demonic stain they tried to remove and took them to several of the setting’s elements.

Gunmen

Download the Gunmen file

This is the initial list of gunmen. I left the later gunmen in the consequences list to be easier to follow. 

Notes/Consequences

Donwload the Consequences file

The last document is the list of consequences, which are only short notes of what happened and the consequences of that. When I started the consequences for this party, I had not yet developed the smooth streamlined form I use know, and for some reason I have never changed my approach for this particular game. This is the reason why this Consequences doc is so short and unstructured. The consequences to the PCs actions would then get translated to events which in turn get copied to the Gunmen list.

You can clearly see the advantages of this approach to campaigning here. What I did between sessions where only the bullet points beneath the session notes. The session notes with the lowest indentation are what I noted down during play, so I only had to come up with about 5-10 events per downtime between sessions.


Maybe I will write these events down in more detail some day, but for now these actual play accounts are only for illustrative purposes. They hopefully give you an insight into how I use my technique during play, and I hope they are considered a valuable addition to the article series.

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