20 June 2017

Some Good Guidelines For Players

This is quoted (except for changing defendable to defensible and adding emphasis to item #1) from a post by user Scott Anderson on The Ruins of Murkhill forum. I'm no longer a big fan of forums and am not a member, but if you like them this seems to be a good one.

1. Always ask, "how do we get the loot without putting ourselves in much danger?" Loot is how you level; combat is how you die.

2. Always have a larger plan. You might be able to afford to build a castle at level 8 but who's going to actually build it? Who will man it? What peasants will support it? A random castle in the wilderness is worse than useless. It's a huge mausoleum.

3. Build up the towns you visit through industry and military power. Make them remember you by leaving a mark on their town.

Industry: build a work house. Like maybe there's clay nearby. You can hire a master potter from the nearby city to show the hapless sods how to throw clay pots, and then build a pottery factory. Or maybe invest in some looms and start a rag maker's shop. Something to improve the lot of the least among the townsfolk.

Military: spend some time with the men showing them how to fight. Introduce them to your gods. Offer to take them out adventuring nearby. And when you leave, give them a way to call out to you if they ever need your help. This will build you an army and make sure the town is safe when you return.

Family: if you are a boy character, take up with a maiden and have a baby. That will tie you and the town together in a way no mere physical connection can. Given enough down time, a lady character could make a baby and leave it with the dad in the same way.

If you plan to stay a while, finance a palisade around the town or at least a bailey. That way you will have a defensible position and the beginning of a fort or castle in the future.

All of these tasks can be completed in several different towns in order to establish a real territory.

4. Clear areas systematically. You will be able to build new frontier out of wilderness piece by piece.

5. Spend treasure to buy legitimacy. Titles and political favors are as valuable as military might.

6. Have stuff your guy wants, and tell the Ref he wants it. Then a good Ref will give you opportunities to find or earn those things. It makes things go easier for him to get input.

7. One of the very important things that all of this requires is adequate down time between adventures! Down time requires a calendar and regular time keeping. So if you want to have a real campaign, offer to take care of time, seasons, and weather for the Ref so he doesn't have to.


  1. Thank you amplifying this Cameron, I am happy you like it.

    I formulated 2, 3, and 5 by examining Konsumterra's campaign recaps and trying to figure out why his games seemed so much more interesting than mine. The answer is, his players aren't waiting for hooks. They're just saying, "this is what we're doing!"

    The other ones are about what works in my games and games I've played in. And especially #7. A calendar transforms an episodic adventure show into a proper campaign. A lot of the big writers in our hobby have discovered this, starting with Gary himself, but it's difficult to work out in practice.

    If anybody wants good timekeeping resources, email me at sanderson2208@gmail.com, or come to my little blog and leave a message on any old post.

  2. my players used to do this
    buy empty houses, house and feed poor, teach them trades to process dungeon scrap, turn dungeons into store houses, sell monster slaves, build churches etc

  3. +Cameron DuBeers thanks for linking. Scott Anderson is one of the good ones posting useful stuff. There is a lot of good information in that young thread. Even if you are not a member, I am happy to have you as a reader.

    1. Thanks! I've picked up great ideas reading some of those threads.