View Full Version : I'm at an impass...need Sagely DM advice

2009-06-14, 04:30 PM
Here's the setup:

You just created a full fledged Campeign (1-Epic Levels) based on your own little world (Think of it like Ravenloft, where it can pull in characters from other realms, but not necessarily follow those realm's rules). The place is writhes full of stories, interesting creatures, etc...dreamy.

You even created the storyline such that it branches off in two directions, and deep down inside, you want to actually encourage players to head off in their own direction. (I suppose this would be like Temple of Elemental Evil? Never played the campeign (PC or Table Top). In short, two factions are trying to find the same six artifacts, but for differant reasons...the party can decide who to help. They can decide not to help..but then..the game just ends...the only way off the island, and back to their realm/destination is to assist in finding these relics.)

You dream of the day you get to DM your creation in such a fashion, but when actually sitting down to plan it out, you realize that this is a dreadfully mindboggling process, quite possibly even impossible as just one DM...or is it?

How would you do it?

My best idea is to 'hire' a second DM. Then we would have a 'good DM' for the 'good party' and an 'evil DM' for the 'evil party' I would give them the copy of my notes, and they would DM their group as they see fit, even change some encounters if they didn't like how I had them, etc...so long as they follow the storyline.

Both parties would be happening 'at the same time.' This means that while Party A is exploring Dungeon B, Party B is setting off to Castle D. Notes would be taken from both DMs, so if Part B goes to Dungeon B a few days later, they will find possibly a few creatures that moved in/was left behind in the onslaught..but generally find out that Party A might have been here already.

Further more...from time to time, both Factions would eventually find out that it is possible that the other faction has an artifact of their need...or just that the other faction has found one an aftifact than they themselves need, and that the enemy faction is just keeping it from them..and thus initiate a plan to attack...

...this is where both DMs would come together, as would both parties..and a sort of PC battle would ensue. Perhaps have high level clerics in the back with Contingeny spells to pull a PC out before death (At -9 hp, or the moment a save or die spell was failed) in order to keep their 'employers' alive and well.

The end would result in Either both of them unlocking what was achieved, and having a 'final battle' to see who is the victor..or just one party finishing the task before the other, and thus winning by default.

Is there a better way to do this? Am I just dreaming? I think two DMs would be ideal, but where do I find another DM?

I am seriously considering doing this on these forums...but want to know the best CoA.

2009-06-14, 04:35 PM
I think that you should just do it all yourself. As hard as it sounds, if any details are left vague, one DM or the other will have to make the details up on the spot, and that will lead to disparities from DM to DM. Because of this, inter-DM strife will be caused, and the game will likely derail after it becomes obvious that the DMs are DMing two different parties in the same campaign, but rather DMing two different campaigns in similar, but not identical, game worlds.

So, do it yourself. It sounds daunting, but it's the way that it needs to be done.

2009-06-14, 05:24 PM
The sad truth is that even if you had two teams and two DMs the reality of different approaches and different schedules would force each DM to invent what was going on with the other party.

Its a great idea but my suggestion is you DM it yourself (after all you know the whole setting like someone else is not likely to) and adjudicate each party after the other. Don't make one party actually wait on another but satisfy your curiosity by trying both party rosters.

I've tried to organize multiple DMs in the same setting. Even with gobs of time and all the players in the same place you can only achieve a sort of loose concurrent activity.


2009-06-14, 06:22 PM
Damn...I suppose I'll give it a shot going solo. I was worried about the two DM thingy too...not having the same idea's and all...but didn't know what else to do.

2009-06-14, 06:27 PM
I'd say that you get some help, but not another DM. Up at my college, we had one guy who was pretty good at DM and he was running a game with multiple parties so he had somebody who wasn't involved in the current game but had experience with RPGs basically to help him write stuff up, design encounters, that sort of stuff.

My suggestion is to find somebody that is like-minded and would be willing to help you out with designing stuff, making the world more concrete, help you bounce ideas off of, etc. Maybe even help run non-fluff encounters. For example, running combat between multiple groups can start to bog down quickly with just one person, even on forums. Your "helper" could run one encounter while you run the other.

The problem, of course, is finding somebody who is like-minded. If you start advertising "Looking for someone who can help me DM. Must like running fantasy games that slowly turn into Lovecraftian horror" than any potential player could have something like that ruined. And plot development and twists is usually where people working together start getting friction!

I'd say that it's entirely fine as long as the person knows that they're helping out and not running the show and as long as you don't start treating them like a gopher.