Being Immersed in my campaign worlds
Why jog when you can blog!
Saturdays are one of my favourite routines of the week! I’ve written before what I actually get up to but the highlight of the day is writing this blog! As the subheading suggests I much rather be sat inside enjoying a coffee and some toast than jogging outside in the snow and cold! But this week I want to write about how I am actually missing my campaign worlds.
Spending time in my worlds
If you are a GM or player, you probably enjoy those moments when you are immersed within the world of your game. You get to interact with both NPCs and the environment. You get to progress on perilous questions and become champions of the world! But as a GM, I actually spend a lot longer within the world. My engagement with it is not only restricted to the playing sessions. For me I often can spend extended times wondering through the world.
Creating as a wander
I love being immersed in my worlds. Although players see small areas of the world, my perspective is much wider. I not only see the small area that they are interacting with, but often zoom out to look down across the whole continent. Its a bit like Google maps. I can zoom in and out focusing on different areas to see what is happening there. Sometimes, it is as if I have the clipping plane set in such a way that every time I step I have to create and colour in the world within my view. Sometimes, especially when I am walking into work, I actually feel as if I am creating parts of the world within my imagination. I see the terrain, the sky and weather, the vegetation and even the people who are living there. With each step I am literally like a new explorer, first to find hidden temples, dank, dark dungeons and evil tyrants.
Continuing story lines
I have never enjoyed one-offs. They are great to play at times, but I much prefer to have a campaign where characters and the world develops. I like having NPCs returning and hearing the players comments and sometimes cries of anguish when they reappear or they suddenly realise they have to visit them again – Sylvester McHoon is fun to play! Especially if the time before didn’t go well! As the players/characters are enjoying one story line, I always keep other plots working and running. In Mythras, the party has been away from Lindowe for sometime, but time hasn’t stopped here – things are still progressing. Only when they get back will they realise this. I currently have two plots running within the adventure, and several more proceeding around the continent. Beyond these many more lying in wait to spring into action when I need them – or if the players want to involve themselves in them
The right type of players
I’m very lucky with the players I DM for. They enjoy the development of the world and characters and seem to enjoy being engaged in the plot lines. In Mythras, although they have two parts out of three to meet Cassini, there appears to be other things happening which some characters have been tasked with. I have often thought about DMing for other groups however wonder whether they too would enjoy the depth of my campaigns. Writing sometime ago about character progression and races and feel that I am somewhat of an unusual DM. Guess I am lucky that the players put up with my and my campaigns.
Campaigns in deep freeze
I am always thinking about new plot lines and campaign ideas. One of the reasons that I don’t like having two fantasy worlds is that if I have a fantasy idea I only want to put it into one game. Having different genres help me with this, Mythras=fantasy, Shadowrun=CybperPunk, Starfinder=Space, Call of Cthulhu=Horror. At the moment, only my fantasy campaign world is alive – the others have been dumped into cryogenics due to lack of players to play them and busy schedules. The worlds are on pause, not moving, but actually gaining ideas and future adventures and plot lines. Sometimes I even actually generate NPCs so that they are ready to play!
I guess that I spend my time in other worlds which I have created and which I am completely in control of. It’s probably a form of escapism, but one which I really enjoy. But unlike escapism in my imagination with RPGs I get to share my ideas and world with other people. But even better than that, the players get to influence and alter them. Although some of my worlds have stopped, do not worry, because they are ready to erupt from the ice and come back to life. With the right players and available time, I’m sure that characters like Casper and Ida from Shadowrun, The Shirren Sisters from Starfinder and even the Carlton club from Call of Cthulhu will be alive and living again soon.