Thursday, January 28, 2016

Physical Challenges!

Tabletop RPG is not known for being a very physical activity. Most of the action takes place in the mind's eye, and the most exertion that occurs is the process of moving miniatures or rolling dice. Overall, it's a pastime that encourages the player to sit down and relax. But a bit of exercise never hurts, and it is possible to work this kind of activity into your campaign if you want.

Occasional physical challenges are a good idea for a number of  reasons. First, they are a pleasant surprise and change of pace from the usual tabletop gameplay. Participating in them also gets the blood flowing again, helping your players to wake up and become more alert. They can also be just plain fun, and create unique experiences that will engage your players in a more direct way than simple dice rolling and narration.

Ideas for physical challenges can most often be found in books and resources for party or parlor games. If you can come up with a way to integrate one of these activities into your campaign, it can become a very memorable session for your gaming group. Just remember to keep them very simple and straightforward.

There are some precautions to be taken as well. Make sure you have taken proper safety precautions before you initiate a physically involved event. Also ensure you have the space to safely move as much as would be required. Watch out for furniture, corners, sharp edges, anything that might get knocked over if this is an activity that requires a lot of movement. Check that your players are fully informed of any rules and restrictions. It's a good idea to clearly prohibit physical contact with other players, climbing over the table, and that sort of thing. You don't want things getting too rambunctious.

Here are a few of the scenarios I have concocted that involved physical activity on the part of the player. In each one, the physical challenge just represents the action occurring in the game world, like an alternative game mechanic to dice rolling.
  • I challenged my group with an ice sorceress by throwing rolled-up blue party streamers towards the players. The streamers would unfurl and land harmlessly near players, and they were  challenged to catch as many as possible to win the challenge.
  • I have another scenario planned involving a performance in a grand ballroom. In order to perform elegantly in the courtly dance, the players must keep a balloon bouncing over their heads by bopping it back and forth between themselves until the music comes to a stop.
  • My players played a carnival "crane game" in a magical theme park by picking up and moving playing dice with a set of chopsticks.
  • I had a player learn how to fly a space ship by presenting red, yellow, and blue colored cards in specific pattern in order to perform certain maneuvers.
  • You might also put your more dexterous player to the test by having them complete a marble maze game (pictured below) or putting together a puzzle. 

Physical activity can present another layer to the game if deployed properly. Always make sure your group is going to be receptive to the idea before you implement it. Be aware of any special needs or limitations of the players in your group. Some groups might not be as open to the idea of scenarios being resolved by their own dexterity and strength rather than their character's statistics. It's not the best idea for every group, but for those who would embrace the experience, it will surely be a different kind of adventure.

What kind of party games and activities have you worked into your own campaign? Are there any in particular that would work well at the game table? Sound off in the comments, or post to DMpathy Twitter or Facebook.

Happy ventures!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Rewarding and Encouraging Players

It's kind of like this, but it costs you nothing.
Types of Rewards

Just about every RPG game has some sort of mechanic by which you can reward players for their actions. Whether it's experience points that help the characters level up and gain new powers and abilities, or fate points that can be spent to upgrade the results of individual rolls and actions. There is always something that can be used to motivate players to get involved and be creative with their actions.

There are many things that can be used as bonuses that can be provided during the game. They might be included in the core rules, or added as your own house rule. Here are just a few examples:

  • Loot that is tailored to the player's interests, something that they have specifically expressed a desire for.
  • Experience point bonuses that can be used to upgrade a player character.
  • Fate points that can be used to add modifiers to a roll, or re-roll a failed result.
  • Action points that can be used to make additional maneuvers during a turn.
  • Allowing a special exception to the rules, like letting a player roll 'charm' instead of 'deception' because the player role played their lie in a really charismatic way.

Maintaining the Balance

It's important to keep these rewards in mind when running games, because positive reinforcement is the best way of getting the best performance from your players. Rather than punishing them when they do something that disrupts the game, you may bestow special benefits upon them for doing things that enhance it. Just remember a few basic principles when you provide these bonuses to your group...

First, don't play favorites. Give everyone an equal chance to earn special rewards. Give each player a chance based on their greatest strengths in the game. For instance, you might reward one player for role playing their character well, and another player for a very wise tactical decision. Let the players work to earn their rewards, but be sure you are giving each one a fair opportunity to do so. Don't let the loudest or most outgoing players monopolize these benefits, actively present the more shy players with their golden opportunity and then encourage them with their prize.

Make sure the rewards are infrequent enough that they enhance your campaign rather than unbalancing it. Too many bonuses will become a distraction. The whole game will become more about winning points than enjoying the experience, and players could become overly competitive with each other. Additionally, some special rewards might be powerful enough to throw the odds heavily into the players' favor and take away any sense of challenge or suspense. Rewards like an XP boost or special token should be infrequent enough that the players are pleasantly surprised when they appear. They should be used to pique the players' attention and get them interested in doing whatever they were being rewarded for.

Make Rewards Matter

These rewards should have tangible benefits. In-game money or a flashy suit are only as good as the bonuses they provide. Make sure that every one of these rewards is paid off in some way through demonstrating its utility in the game. Provide a marketplace to spend the money on useful tools and weapons, or show how the fancy suit commands extra respect from subservient NPCs. Don't provide players with rewards that are superficial or irrelevant to the game. Even if it's just a minor bonus, let the players see how their reward affects the game world.

Rewarding Complications

It's up to you when you give these rewards, so keep in mind that this is always an option. Remind yourself to hand out some bonuses to encourage the kind of participation and gameplay that you would like from your group. And remember especially that you can also reward the players for actions that create complications for themselves. This is the best way to goad your players into helping you with the job of DMing. When a player takes an action that would make things harder for themselves, but is is fun and interesting from a gameplay perspective, that's the best time to give them one of these bonuses... Such as when a greedy thief lingers in the bank vault to gather more gold while the alarms blare around her. There's no practical reason for the player to do this, so it is the perfect time to reward their good role playing with some kind of special in-game benefit.

There are lots of RPG gaming systems that have built-in rules for doing this, but you can apply this idea to any game or campaign. What kind of actions or techniques do you like to reward your players for? Consider what is best for your own group, and don't forget to hand out prizes when they've earned it. Your players will appreciate it, and their satisfaction will motivate them to do their very best.

Happy ventures!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Adventuring Gear: Initiative Trackers

Art from Penny Arcade by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins
It's high time I talked about an important issue to every game master: Initiative tracking. While some systems have fairly simple ways to determine the order that the players take their turns, many simply rely on the time-tested method of assigning a numerical value to each character and counting down in descending order. 

When it comes to initiative, it can be a real pain to keep track of things. Sometimes it just slows things down, which is why I only call for an official initiative roll if the players are facing a significant encounter. No initiative roll is needed for a scuffle with a single feral rat or a pair of cleaning robots. When it is time to call for initiative rolls, it's best to have a plan for how to handle it before you begin.

Breaking It Down

When initiative begins, it is always a good idea to have the players all roll together and have their numbers added up as soon as possible. However, it is also preferable that they don't call out these numbers right away. That can get chaotic and confusing. Even a simple method like going clockwise around the table and having each player recite their initiative roll will keep things from descending into a confused mess of shouted numbers and people talking over each other.

Let's be clear, though... initiative is for tracking when the enemies move more than the players. If there are two or more players with subsequent turns, they can choose to go in whatever order they want. Player one can hold his turn and go after player two, and so on. It only matters when the next enemy gets to act in the initiative, and what they can accomplish before the next player character gets a turn.

With this in mind, you can use the enemy initiative slots as a point of reference to move things along more quickly. You can start by rolling the enemy's initiative. I recommend always consolidating these rolls by sometimes allowing bad guys to share initiative slots. You can have a pair of mooks make a single initiative roll, or roll initiative for enemies based on enemy type rather than one roll for each individual. (For instance, a group of goblins might all get one initiative slot, and the bugbears just make a single initiative roll as well.)

Now let's say the enemies have initiative values of 14, 6, and 3. Using these as reference, you can start by asking "Who has an initiative greater than 14?" And then you know that those players will be going first. You can then work out who has the better initiative and record it, but this way you are able to divide initiative into more digestible chunks. You can then proceed with "Who has an initiative between 14 and 6?" and so on.
If you don't like using these methods, you could also try grouping the players by fives, or tens. "Who got an initiative between one and five? Five and ten?" These processes won't make initiative an effortless endeavor, but they may make things a bit easier to manage by breaking the information down into smaller sections that are easier to record. 

I strongly recommend designating a particularly organized player to help you manage initiative in some respect, whether by writing it down or calling out the turn order as the game proceeds. It can make it much easier to have a second set of eyes and hands to help out while you keep track of other things, like movement and hit points. Some groups might have a player that manages the initiative entirely themselves before handing it off to the DM.

Writing Boards and Magnetic Pieces
My own magnetic initiative tracker.
Via The Dungeoneering Dad

The easiest tool for initiative tracking is an erasable writing board. A whiteboard or chalkboard will work, of a convenient size for your game table. Make sure it is placed within clear eyesight of yourself or whoever is tracking the initiative order once the encounter begins. You can make your own initiative tracking tool using magnetic tape, and a wipe away dry erase poster board. By cutting up the poster board and attaching it to the magnets, you can stick them to a surface and have pre-made names ready to arrange in any order. There are also ready made versions of these tools for sale by certain manufacturers. 

Screen Hangers

The standees that I like to use for assigning seats and remembering PC names can also be hung from the top of a DM screen. This means that they can be lined up in order of initiative, for another easy to view way to track the progress of the turn. If you use this method, just remember that their sequence will be reversed if viewed from the other side. So if you make the hangers two sided, either the DM or the players will have to read it from right to left if they want to keep track of the sequence. 

Numbered Cards

This method can also be very convenient... have index cards or sticky notes filled out with numbers: one, two, three, and so forth. You could even use an ordinary deck of playing cards! Pass them out to the players based on what position they have in the initiative. Keep any cards that represent the enemy combatants' initiative slots. Then you can just start counting up from one, with the players taking their turn when their number is called. I like to use sticky notes in conjunction with my name tag standees when I use this method. 

Turn Tokens
For games with less structured turn cycles, or no initiative system, I recommend some kind of tokens that can be flipped over whenever a player makes a move. Bottle caps work well for this, since it is very clear whenever the cap has been flipped. These serve as markers of a spent action, so that you know exactly which players have had a chance to act this turn. You can then have your own set of tokens to represent enemy characters as well. With this technique, you may cut down on the risk of players missing their turns or getting skipped over.

Computer Software

If you use a laptop or tablet for game running, then having a program on hand for initiative tracking might be the way to go. There are a number of useful campaign managing applications for sale online, or you might be interested in free generic program like Initiative Tool. In any case, just be sure not to take up too much space at the game table with computer equipment. I prefer using a tablet or Android phone for my digital needs because I find that a laptop can take up a lot of space that could be otherwise used for notes, maps, minis, and other tools.

Other Methods

There are many other methods for tracking initiative, an each group must find their own style that fits their needs. There is no single comprehensive method for handling initiative, and these techniques presented are intended as suggestions for your own convenience. Feel free to share your own tips and tricks for fast and smooth initiative tracking in the comments or through Twitter or Facebook.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Call and Response" Role Playing

Not everybody is skilled at improvising at the game table, but there are ways to make things easier. Often I find that the dialogue between player and DM can meander and die off because the they can't get a response from the players or the players don't know what is expected of them. That's why I have tried to remember and stick to what I call the "Call and Response" as a way of promoting the involvement of the players in the game.

What I mean is that if you want a response from the players, you can call for one with a clear prompt that gives them an opportunity to either add a detail to the story or interact with the game in their own fashion. This method has been immortalized in the classic gaming phrase "What do you do?" The trick is, you want to present the players with a question that they have the responsibility of answering. Present them with the information and then make it clear what the challenge they are being faced with actually is. When they see the beggar tossed into the street, remember to ask how they respond to such cruelty. Don't just describe the scene, but engage the players in a way that demands action and agency. 

When they engage in conversation with NPCs, do the same with them. Have the NPCs inquire things of the characters. Give the players a chance to answer questions about their PCs own pasts and personalities. Goad them into becoming an active part of the setting. Remember that if things begin to peter out and fall apart that the best way to put them back on course is to present a question that demands an answer.This is also particularly helpful to new players, who may be timid or confused about how to play the game. When you present the players with a Call to Action, you set a more obvious vector for the game and provide motivation for them to make decisions.

For reference, you can watch this clip and pay special attention to how the performers interact. This is from the Australian-made program Thank God You're Here, where a performer is thrust into an unknown situation in which they must improvise all their dialogue and actions. Notice how the other performers will provide cues for the improviser to work from, and they never let the scene fall flat. That's how the player/DM interaction should go. Keep this in mind, and be patient with your players as they get used to being presented with the opportunity to control and influence each scene. Eventually you and your players will find an ideal rhythm in your back-and-forth conversation and your role playing sessions will be smoother than ever!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Character Creation Part One: When and Where

No RPG campaign can begin until you have a party of interesting adventurers to take into action. But how and when you create and stat these characters is a question that must be answered early on in your process of game preparation.

The first and easiest technique is to provide pre-made characters for your players. This is often advantageous for one shots or introductory adventures, and it is a good idea to have these ready made character sheets on hand in any case so that you can use them as back ups for new players or if someone falls in battle. This doesn't allow your players the option of customizing their characters much, but for those who have never played a tabletop RPG, it may be a better option to introduce them to the concept of the game without too much complication to start out. It's a great pick-up-and-play option for players, despite the extra work that might be required from the DM.

Another popular method is to fill out character sheets as a group, either during the first session or at a separate session dedicated solely to character creation. This allows the maximum degree of collaboration amongst your players, and is a very good idea. They can make choices based on how their characters interact with each other as well as how their backstories and motivations tie in to each other. The more connection and coordination between players there is, the better the potential for your campaign. If there are problems with syncing up schedules to conduct this creation session, you might try using an online group to connect your players and get it done. Whatever you do, try to avoid a situation where some of the players have to sit and wait while others build characters. It's not so fun for the waiters, and can really throw off the momentum of your game session.

Finally, you can let the players create their own characters and bring them to the session. If you take this option, my number one piece of advice is this: always preapprove character concepts. Either review the character yourself, or present it to the group. By character concept, I mean the basic pitch for your character class and theme. There's no reason to keep that a secret before the session begins, and a single out of place character can bring an adventuring party to ruin. Work with your players to assemble a set of characters that will complement one another and fit together for the planned adventure.

Ask yourself: Will this character be able to work effectively with the rest of the team? Like an evil thief on a team of detectives. 

Will they interfere with the role of another party member? Like identical trap-finding rogues fighting over who gets to search the room.

Will they work against the themes of the campaign? Like a fighter who doesn't believe in magic in a setting full of flying carpets and genies. 

A varied party that works together can achieve wonders!
Don't discourage your player from being creative, but show them what the rest of the players are doing and kindly direct them toward a more appropriate character concept. If their interests just can't seem to line up with the rest of the group, they might just not be interested in this particular game.

Regardless, don't ever go in blind when it comes to assembling a new party. Always know who is playing what so that you can prepare for it accordingly. And ideally, your party should also know ahead of time so they can collaborate as well. (This obviously doesn't apply to convention games or events, where your group might just be whoever showed up with a character sheet. But those typically require more experience with flying by the seat of your pants. They may not be ideal, but you can make them work anyway. I don't recommend using them as a model for your own gaming group's campaign.)

Now let's cover the biggest "Don'ts."

  • Don't abuse your veto power as a DM by discouraging creative choices.
  • Don't play favorites with your players.  Focus on how the characters will work together in the game to have the most fun and smoothly running game sessions. 
  • Don't let players bully you into giving them special treatment. Keep things equal and fair, focusing on creating an enjoyable experience. 
Any limitations on character building should be based on what the group wants, not what you want personally. Your enjoyment of game-running should stem from the interest of your players, not your own preferences. That's rule number one. That's what we call DMpathy.

Happy ventures!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Five Surprising But Common Problems That Ruin Games

Artistic depiction of a player dealing with these common mistakes.
Here on DMpathy I try to put a positive spin on things, because I believe that providing positive suggestions is a better motivator for running games than negative criticism. However, it is still important to recognize some of the major pitfalls that can bring down a good game session and get in the way of having a fun time. Time and again on this blog I have run down some of the biggest mistakes to avoid when you are game mastering. But there are a few in particular that I run into with notable frequency, and I think it would be helpful to put them down here in list form.

These particular problems are surprisingly common among game groups, even if they may seem easily avoidable at first glance. I have played with several different game runners, and many of them fell prey to at least one (if not all) of these issues. And yet some of them avoided making these mistakes altogether. These significant errors can affect any DM or gaming group, but they are especially common among groups that are just starting out or have inexperienced DMs. If this ever happens to your party, there is no reason to make anyone feel bad about it, but it should be corrected before it causes the game to get too boring or disorganized. With no further ado, here are five of the most common pitfalls of game mastering and how to address them.

5. Too much dice rolling
"You want to search the drawer for the treasure map? Roll your perception...*Rolls* You don't find anything." *Players can't continue adventure without the map*

Whenever you call for a roll, there is a chance of failure. Don't force players to roll so frequently that they fail basic actions or become afraid of taking actions because of those failures. Have the players ask before they roll dice, limit the randomness to situations in which you can work around the possibility of failure. And NEVER make the players roll the dice multiple times until they succeed at something. That's just silly.

Suggested reading: Don't Roll Them Bones Unless You Mean It!Fudging The Dice: Honesty Behind The ScreenSlaves to the Dice

4. GM Nerves
"Now that you have killed the guild master, you... Oh man, let me think... I didn't plan for this, guys. It's all messed up...Umm..."

We all get nervous, we all get stressed. Even the most skilled DM runs into situations they hadn't accounted for. When this happens, take a deep breath and take your time. Put the game on pause for a moment if you need to and let the players enjoy snacks and conversation while you collect your thoughts. Don't panic or give yourself anxiety over the game. Your outward energy effects the group, and negativity will begin to snowball if you let it start getting to you. 

The second worst thing to hear from a DM is "Uh oh," or "Oops." The absolute worst thing to hear is "I'm sorry," because it suggests that you don't have a way to fix things, it makes everyone feel bad that something is going wrong, and it puts the players in an uncomfortable position with a lot of nervous tension. 

Believe in yourself and your ability to correct mistakes. You can do it. You can apologize for any snags and snafus after the game is over, but focus on the good that you can do going forward rather 
than the mistakes you have made in the past.

Suggested reading: When To Become DMSharing With Players and Clear Communication

3. Lack of direction/too much freedom
"Now you've killed the town guard, broken into the winery, forged a letter from  the mayor, and saved a random orphan from some wild dogs... what was your quest supposed to be again?"

Lay out a clear objective when a new campaign begins. The DM always has the initiative in the opening scene to establish where the players are and what they are doing. The mission should be clear and present to the players. Don't force them to wander around town looking for work or coming up with reasons why they should care about the quest to fight the goblin clans. Make sure there is a premise for the campaign that is clearly defined and some very apparent directions the players could take to follow their mission.

New players will often abuse the creative freedom of tabletop RPGs to act out and do unproductive and chaotic things. You can curtail this politely by providing lots of cues and hints to direct players toward the main quest and more constructive actions. If the players still don't care about the objectives of the campaign, you might need to re-assess what they want out of the game and make some changes to the planned adventure.

Suggested reading:Running a Tabletop Adventure For New PlayersRaising the StakesKeeping Bad Guys BadSharing With Players and Clear Communication

2. Annoying NPC
"Ha ha! Looks like you ragamuffins need a helpful guide to lead you through The Jungles of Eternity! Never fear, I will protect you bunch of scalawags from your own mischief! Ho ho!"

This obnoxious son of a gun shows up so often that I can set my watch by his appearances in a campaign. For some reason, many DMs feel the need to vicariously commentate or antagonize the players through an NPC that follows the party around on one or more missions. They might range from incredibly powerful to the point of overshadowing the player characters to helplessly weak and constantly getting into trouble. The one thing they all have in common is that they are way too involved in the game. They talk too much, hog the spotlight from the players, and generally get in the way. They often criticize or ignore player characters, and provide more irritation than entertainment.

If your players need guidance you can provide that out of character with polite side notes as a DM. Don't use an NPC as a sock puppet, and don't force players to work with characters that will be unpleasant with no recourse. If you are a DM, your main goal is to provide an adventure for the players to experience and enjoy, not your own non player characters.

Suggested reading: "The DMPC Must Die!"Players Make the Game!A Conversation With Myself: NPC InteractionsFriend or Foe? The End of Adversarial Game Mastering

1. Player versus player
"The paladin squares off against the thief for purloining The Sacred Tome of Azura, despite the fact that the established purpose of this quest has always been stealing this artifiact."

Here's a tip to avoid a lot of grief and inconvenience in your first campaign: Always vet and approve player characters before the game begins. Make it clear what the adventure is going to be about, and how the party is going to work together as a team. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a new party descend into in-fighting and bickering because nobody was coordinating with the group when they designed their characters. Everybody built characters of different alignments and allegiences, one of the players started working against the group's interests, nobody worked together to establish any history between the characters as a team... it's all so easily avoidable yet all too commonly a problem.

If your players don't want to play characters who work together, then your game is a bust before it even begins. A little conflict or drama can add spice to a campaign, but if your party can't work together then your game is going to fall apart in short order. So collaborate with your players and solve these issues before the game begins. Make sure everyone is on the same page about their roles and relationship to the group. Make sure everybody is ready to get along and your campaign will run much smoother for your efforts.

Suggested reading: Link: Regarding the Phrase "I'm Just Playing My Character"Character MotivationsThere's No "I" in "RPG"

Happy ventures!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Adventuring Gear: Illustrations

When it comes to visuals, you just can't beat the human imagination. The ability of the mind's eye to envision evocative landscapes and fantastical creatures is unparalleled. But not all imaginations are the same, and sometimes it is hard to convey a visual to your players in the way you have conceived it... And sometimes you just need a little extra visual aid to convey a particular image to players. This is when having illustrations is a very good idea, and can improve the quality of your game and immersion of its players.

There are a number of sources for finding the right pictures to illustrate your campaign. The first and easiest place to go is whatever books you are using for the game. Whether it is Dungeons and Dragons or some other game system, most tabletop gaming rulebooks are filled with professional artwork that reflects the style and content of the game. Remember that those pictures included in the book are not meant to be exclusively for the eyes of the Game Master. Flip the book around and share the picture with your players (Without giving away any confidential game info, of course!)

You also might find appropriate images from magazines or book illustrations, or even printed off your own computer. If you use a laptop or a tablet, that makes for a really convenient and portable way to share pictures with people around the table. I have also used a strategically placed TV screen and a digital projector to display images to my game group. 

As for where to find the right pictures, a quick internet search is a good place to start. Anywhere from online art boards like Deviantart, to Pinterest, and beyond. There are many works available online, by terrific artists in every genre of fantasy and adventure. Photo references are great too, using images from the real world that stimulate your imagination. Whatever gets you inspired or sets the mood you are going for is a great choice to use as a visual aid in your tabletop adventure. If you have a copy of the image on hand, you may even want to leave it on the table or in the hands of your players as sort of a backdrop for the current scene. Art is meant to be appreciated, after all. 
For NPCs, I often choose pictures of actors or models to use as visual reference. It helps to create familiarity and identification among the group if they have a clearly defined face to associate with an NPC's voice. Once again, a basic google image search is the easiest way to go to have quick and easy photo reference, even on the spur of the moment.

Remember, none of this is a substitute for good description. You should always be conveying the sights and sounds of the game effectively through your narration and conversation with your players. And you should focus on conveying information as it relates to all five senses. Sound, feeling, scent... they're all important for setting a scene. But these tools can help bolster at least the visual aspect of the game, and clear up any confusions that might occur if the players missed or misheard some of your descriptions. It's up to you how and when you use illustrations to enhance your game, but consider how it can benefit both you and your group, and you will find that it will be a real boon to your campaign!

Happy ventures!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

External Link: "Standard Patterns in Choice-Based Games"

A friend recently directed me to this blog post by game maker Sam Kabo Ashwell, which unpacks some neat details related to game design. Specifically it deals with the creation of flowcharts to map out potential directions for an campaign in which the characters' branching choices determine what locations they travel to, or what events transpire. It shows a few different methods you can use if you are planning out such adventures, depending on your personal preference and the needs of your group. 
I like the "Branch and Bottleneck" structure myself, and I use this layout when drawing overviews of certain campaigns. It allows me to plan certain iconic moments of the campaign in broad strokes, but gives players the option of taking many different paths to lead into those events. In any case, I don't plan ahead very far into a campaign, as there is always a possibility of the game moving in a different direction. Each game master has their own taste for how much detail to put into planning and laying out their overall campaign, but for those who would like a closer look at how it might be done, this is a very neat resource!

Here is the link to this very interesting article.