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How much additional detail do YOU write on a campaign?

Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I admit that I'm terribly detail oriented. My gaming group calls me Annika, mistress of copious handouts =P But I love digging into a region and further developing it. I'm not in the least unhappy with the writers and developers of Pathfinder and Golarion, it's the best setting/world ever imho. My favorite places so far are Taldor, Lastwall and Ustalav, I just started getting into other areas and don't have a real feel for them yet. I just like to build npc's, rumours, local slang, food, costume and all that. It makes it more rich and enjoyable to GM for me. / No one ever complains when I pass out the rumour slips to each player as they discover them or when I hand out menus for the inn or tavern that they stop at. Does any one else do this?

I apparently live to complicate the game with details and cause myself headaches, says my bf =}

What area are any of you playing in and how much or little detail have you added? Curiosity killed the cat.

Silver Crusade

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I don't tend to get very detailed with any official settings as I don't want anything I create to conflict with the expectations of any players who are familiar with the setting. My homebrew settings get more detailed, but my gaming group doesn't see much of it, as they tend to not spend more time in the inn than is necessary to buy a room for the night. Generally the way most of the setting in a game I run gets more detailed is a player will say something off the wall like, "This fishing town sure is weird, I wonder if they all eat squid brains for every meal." That town now has a local dish made of squid brains. It's not the only thing they eat, but it's included. I think players having their own ideas, however silly, added into the game world makes them more invested and interested. They also tend to remember something they came up with themselves better than anything I could give in a handout.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I normally go homebrew, but I always generate excessive amounts of information. Now I don't necessarily share that with the players. I do this partly because I suspect I'm a little obssessive/compulsive, and also because I'm not as good at thinking on my feet as I feel like I need to be.

So instead, I develop so much information about the region that I can actually determine logically (rather than creatively) what happens when the party does something totally unexpected. Basically, I do the creative part slowly, and in advance. Then, on the fly, I can deduce from existing creative work what happens.

This also helps me avoid logical inconsistencies in the world, which frustrate me to no end, and I suspect would come up a lot if I was developing it on the fly.

Shadow Lodge

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I'm making a capaign that will start soon based on the river kingdoms. the starting city will be maashinelle a few years after the official timeline.
since the river kingdoms to me seems to have a very Italian flavor I reworked the whole city.
Razimir made another attempt at conquering lambreth and taking advantage from the chaos a lot of different people took their chances to take control of Maashinelle. the war was fought mainly into the very streets of the city, from one fortfied district to the other. many walls were built inside the city during the war... at the end Arnefax was dead, Razimiran defeated and the new lord of Lambreth was a landless blueblood from Brevoy who jumped into the fray with his warband.
Since the river kingdoms to me feels like they have a lot of Italian flavor I fashioned the city as having a lot of internal factions, that doesn't rule directly but are very influential. the various district afret years warring against each other remained sour towards each other. They are in peace but still they have huge rivalries going on.
and as in the Italian city of Siena they hold a "palio" a challenge between the districts that crowns a winner once a year.

of course every district is very distinctive, from the artistic quarter of "flowerdome" to the scholarly "glaming district" or the dark alleys of "eaglespire" there are 6 district, all with their "theme" their patrons, their factions and their share of npcs

Menus for taverns... A brilliant idea I might have to steal. =)

Everything you just described to me sounds like amazing detail that I wish I had been adding to my campaigns, but that aside, I've always been the outside in GM, making a map of the kingdom, continent, and sometimes the planet before getting to the local village or first dungeon. However I try very hard to detail how every society interacts with others and within themselves, and get a whole lot of gisting potential. The super details like menu items I pull off the cuff as they come up, but I'm descently skilled at that so that's me.

I love handouts, I always love to get them as a player, my current group has gone green on facebook and we have a group we use to handle detailed information, some shopping, occasionally a side mission involving one or two characters, so that come game night we can jump right into the group dynamics.

But yeah, big picture maps (and plotlines), then based of where the players are going I'll detail everything in between, so I guess it's rather middlegroundish.

Check out some of the "Campaign of the Month" on and you will feel right at home. Some people have over 1,000 pages of information about their world!

Thanks! I love reading about what other GM's do in their games. I just started a page on Obsidian Portal, thanks for the info Lord Phrofet. My players may never forgive me when I start posting all of my stuff there =P Scarletrose, that sounds really cool, I'm kind off a history geek, and it actually does sound like renaissance Italy quite a lot.

I'm obsessed with world creation. Thus, I don't generally use official settings.

In recent years, I have reined in a bit, as a lot of the deepest bits of detail went undiscovered by the players, and I realized I could spend some of that time on making minis and detailed terrain sets instead.

But back in the day, I did everything from writing out detailed diaries (with illustrations) to tavern menus, to full bios for every NPC, location, and lich in the world. I sketched, I did digital illustration, I gave names to everybody. I even wrote out funny interactions between lowly creatures like ogres, giving each a name, so that the players could be entertained and get some immersion overhearing them.


This is me, though I tend to fall somewhere near Phelan in terms of detail. I may have to check into this Obsidian Portal thing.

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