Content of the article: "Your setting is a house and your campaign is a party"
Your home brew setting is like a house. Some of you built your entire house from the ground up. You might have stolen entire rooms or color schemes or landscaping from someone else’s house but you’re the one who built THIS house. You picked out the sink fixtures and the mailbox and the light switch plates. There is no other house like yours.
Some of you live in a house that someone else made. Maybe it’s a super old house with funky fixtures and tiny closets. Maybe there are twenty other houses just like it in this neighborhood. But yours is the one with a tree swing and a satellite dish in the backyard. You also painted the inside and maybe knocked down a wall because you wanted to open up the kitchen.
Some of your are renting because you don’t want to own a house, or maybe not just yet. You might not be ready for a house yet. Maybe you’re not prepared, or just haven’t found the right one, or don’t want to have to fix the water heater yourself.
Running an adventure or a campaign is like having a party in that house. Maybe someone comes over and never even goes in the house; they just hang out on the deck. Maybe someone comes over and brings a housewarming gift, maybe a painting that hangs in the hall, or a rug that really ties the room together. Maybe someone spills wine on the couch or scuffs the baseboards. Maybe no one even notices, much less comments on, the custom crown molding in the foyer, which you spent hours installing all by yourself. Maybe some people want the full tour (and maybe some of them aren’t just being polite). They might even get some ideas for what they want to do with their own house. Others only want to know where to chill their beer, which they may not even be sharing with others.
No matter what kind of house you have, as long as people have a good time at the party, that’s what counts. If you have to rearrange some chairs, or get over how no one ate your cucumber avocado salad, or you have to lend someone a sweatshirt, that’s what parties are like. And if you lit the fire pit and everyone is instead inside playing Rockband, well, that’s also what parties are like.
So the next time none of your players want to go visit the monastery of griffin riding dwarves, just remember how no one noticed your tile backsplash either.
- Looking for D&D friends, or a mentor.
- How can I handle setting up this plot hook without railroading the players towards a failure, or is this acceptable because the loss is not the player’s fault?
- Encounter Advice – How to build an exciting “race-against-the-clock” encounter?
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