Recently, I decided to GM a campaign.  I GMed over the summer and had a blast, but I rarely have enough time for campaign prep so that I can do the game justice.  I build worlds like crazy, but it’s hard to coordinate a bunch of overcommitted college students for at least two or three hours a week.  This time around, I’m going to try a new take.

I’ve heard a great deal about sandbox games, and the concept appeals to me.  To be clear – I am not planning a sandbox game.  It is, however, related to a sandbox style of play.  I will write or find adventures to run, which I will post on the “job board.”  The job board will be a combination of in- and out-of-game stuff, where I, as GM, play the roles of various employers, but the characters/players are very much at their liberty to choose which jobs to take and which characters to play.

The job board will likely be a series of drops at drop.io, though I am considering doing something like Epic Words or Obsidian Portal, too.  Most likely I will host media and briefing files in drops which will be listed and updated via the campaign blog at one of the two sites I mentioned above.  Players get to peruse the jobs on offer and pick which ones they want to take.  They put together a team and contact the GM to schedule it.

Each adventure will have its own briefing, which usually include text, video, or audio components, as well as relevant deadlines, qualifications, payment options, and contacts.  This will give the job board depth and help immerse both players and GMs in the game.

There are a number of benefits to running a game this way.  Players have the option of playing multiple characters, and GMs can even switch off from adventure to adventure.  Biweekly or triweekly meetings also allow continuity between gigs so that it doesn’t just seem like a string of oneshots (unless the GM(s) and player(s) want it to be that way).  The size of the gaming group can fluctuate without causing too many problems, thus letting players and GMs commit to as much time as they want to.

Now…as for this particular game.  I’m not sure where it’s going to go, since that’s really up to the players.  I’d like to run a high or noir fantasy game, preferably using either 3.5E or 4E D&D.  I am also open to using Savage Worlds, since I haven’t had a chance to actually run a game using that system.  The game will most likely be set in Thelenia, the fantasy world I’ve been building for quite some time now.  It’s got some kinks to be worked out (like maps) but it would benefit greatly from playtesting.  I look forward to trying out this experiment and I shall be sure to inform you, my readers, as the game goes forward.

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