One of the things DM/GM’s can struggle with is finding the right campaign to run for their new or returning group of players. This can be especially challenging when you have some returning players with established connections through the previous game(s) or personal connections and the introduction of new or unknown players into the fold.
Regardless of how your party is coming together, we hope this article can help you to find the right fit for you and your players.
I am a firm believer in “Session Zero” and prepping a brief overview of potential campaigns that you can easily reintroduce at a later date while also expressing enough details in the description to interest the party joining the new story.
For example, in the last campaign pitch I developed 5 potential campaign ideas to my players. Though I won’t go into great detail about each pitch since I plan to elaborate on these at a later date, here is a general overview and idea of where these stories would take us:
Monster Hunting Carnival Troupe
Convicted Criminals Banished and Thrown into the Underdark
Crew and Travelers from a Shipwreck Struck with Amnesia
Death of a Nobleman, Sabotage and Conspiracy
A Great War
Writers Note: Please feel free to use these campaign ideas for yourself! I do plan on creating some downloadable content this year that further explains these prompts, but I highly encourage you to try these out!
If you are stuck or feel like you are out of ideas it is completely okay to explore avenues in media such as books, video games, television, and movies. For one, some players may be receptive to the idea of playing through a familiar story. And added bonus is finding lesser known content and pulling inspiration from said content and potentially rewarding players if they “figure it out” or catch the reference.
When creating your pitch prompts, you can outright ask your players what stories interest them and which ones they are tempted to explore. Just make sure that if you choose to stream or record your content that you aren’t breaking any rules or laws protecting creative content ????
Moving on in the process, I find 3-5 pitches are the right amount of prompts to offer your party since this gives you plenty of creative freedom as the GM/DM while also allowing the players to explore unexpected storylines with characters that they are invested in.
After pitching the campaign ideas I have my players rank their top 3 choices over the course of a week. This prevents everyone from choosing a different story to follow, or feeling that they made a rushed or wrong decision and gives you a good idea of what your players expect from your next campaign.
Once the players offer me their input I calculate which idea was best received, issue out a TTRPG consent sheet (which I will be adding to the site’s content section which is coming soon! ), announce to the party which campaign idea will begin our new journey, and request that my players submit their questions, comments, and concerns and character ideas to me before we sit down for “Session Zero”.
What are some of the ways your pitch your ideas to your players? Do you include your players in the process or do you tend to make the campaign decisions for yourself? Which tips would you offer to other DM/GM’s? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments on our post!