There is nothing more satisfying than a successful campaign in D&D. This is especially true if you have written the campaign yourself. As satisfying as it can be, it can also be difficult. Campaigns get off track and you lose your bearings sometimes. There are also causes completely out of your control. Your players may just be bored with their characters. Be not discouraged when the campaign has lost its luster for any of these reasons. As long as you’re certified in CPR*, you can revive your campaign in as little as one session! Here are some tried and true ideas for reviving your campaign.
Give some or all of your characters a companion. This can go one of two ways as I see it. Give a player another character to play. Maybe his or her brave warrior has a squire tagging along or a servant they have acquired. (I would recommend making the companion weaker and less important with this method) The other thing to do is give some or all players a mount. My players LOVE this idea. They rarely use them but its a connection they build. There is a relationship with mounts that goes unsaid. It’s just cool to have one.
Toss in a Bombshell
Throw a curveball at the campaign. Maybe a beloved NPC dies, a hometown is destroyed, a relative or friend is kidnapped or killed. This can set up all sorts of new adventures and if you play it off right…it will really piss off the players and get them motivated to take down the new threat.
Allow a Character Change
This is the best method for reviving player motivation. I’ve used it thoroughly. Question each player in private and pose the idea that you are not opposed to them wishing for a new class, race, or character altogether. (Changing only the race is tough but not impossible. I have done it in a campaign so ask if you want to know how.) Allow a few players to change their class or race. I usually limit all new characters to one or two players maximum. Have a good story idea for the change as well. It can really build depth into your campaign as it has mine. There is no better method for reviving player motivation towards a campaign than allowing these changes.
The Old Standby
You see it and hear it everywhere. Always say YES to your players. If they want to do something…let them! Just work it into your campaign. You can’t fall in love with your campaign. Like it, respect it, but never love it. It will evolve over time and you need to let it. Saying NO is a quick way to upset players and railroad them into a lame campaign. No matter how good you have written it, they will always want to do something you have not planned on. Let it happen.
What do you do?
Do you have methods other than these for reviving a campaign? What CPR* methods do you use? How have they worked? Have you ever tried any of these and how did it work for you? Comment and let me know!