25 Words

Trollsmyth points out a Malevolent & Benign post asking folks to describe their campaign in 25 words or less.

This sort of thing is actually a great tool to help you get to the root of what you’re after. A quick, limited summary makes you distill your thoughts down to the bare essence. If you can’t get it down to 25 words, maybe you’ve got too many things going on and your campaign is a bit scattered, or maybe you just haven’t decided/figured out exactly where it is and where its headed.

For instance, here’s my Forbidden City Sandbox campaign:

Swords & sorcery in a cursed city of demonic snakemen and mongrel humanoids surrounded by trackless jungle filled with savage tribesmen, giant apes, and dinosaurs.

In only 25 words, I think I pretty much summed up what I’m shooting for. Now, the campaign is still in development and lot of things are still up in the air. But that description is likely to fit whatever form it has at kickoff and will probably be accurate even after many sessions of players doing exactly what I thought they wouldn’t. Because the summary is short on details and long on setting and mood, little details like whether the PCs are heroes or mere tomb robbers won’t affect the high-level view.

Trollsmyth is having a little trouble coming up with his summary:

It’s a tough challenge, more so for me because I think the players and I are still feeling our way around the Labyrinth Lord campaign I’m DMing.

He points out that revisiting in a few months will allow him to have a better idea of exactly what the theme of his campaign is. And, to tell the truth, I’m in the same boat with a small campaign that I’m running, also in Labyrinth Lord. It really doesn’t have much in the way of theme or design or even a developed setting. We just rolled up characters and dove in. And that’s cool. We don’t really have a description, because there’s no real background or setting to describe. Maybe we’ll get to one eventually, maybe not.

But if you’ve got a specific idea in mind and want to put an effort into getting the most out of it, maybe the 25 word exercise can help you define exactly what it is you’re going for and be a sort of mission statement about what it is that your campaign is.

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4 Responses to 25 Words

  1. Brian says:

    Thanks for the link!

    Yep. I was just chatting with noisms about this. One of the joys of Labyrinth Lord is how flexible it is. I kinda have a setting in mind, and a few themes, but I don’t know what my players will find interesting and that will make all the difference.

  2. bat says:

    That is one of the best “25 words or less” that I have seen. Excellent.

  3. Kilgore says:

    Thanks. It really captures what I want to go for, but it reads a bit wordy. I’ll have to refine the exact wording a bit, but it is my mission statement.

  4. Pingback: Forbidden Jungle « Lord Kilgore

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