Complete Campaign – Lessons Learned Along the Way, Part 4

After finishing up the first campaign that I’ve intentionally completed, I have contemplated the lessons learned.  This was the most character driven and story intensive game I had ever run.  Today I’m covering the Audio and Visual aids that made the campaign feel more real.

Music!

Battle music consisted mostly of movie sound tracks.  Since the Conan The Barbarian movie sound track simply rocks, that was queued up the most often for serious combat encounters.

Bard music was a must for the taverns.  Deathsong had her own music.  I used the songs by ……… for my vampire bard npc.  Every time this music came on, it became apparent that Deathsong had taken the stage.  There was a small bit of electric guitar on a track or two, but I joked that it was a magic guitar.  It also matched her miniature pretty well.

A few well placed howls announced the arrival of werewolf antagonists.

There was some generic “exploration and dark mystery” music that I used throughout the game as background music.

 

Visuals!

The large Chessex Battlemat that I bought worked great.  It was so quick and easy to use.  Along with the Reaper Mini’s that I had painted, the battlemat gave combat and encounters some much needed spacial structure.

I made ancient letters, notes and scrolls for the game.  These were NOT a big hit with either my player in the solo game or the players in the group Ravenloft game.  I was surprised.  Most of the time players would briefly look at a letter and hand it right back.  I had wanted them to be excited about the clues in the letters and keep them with their character sheets but they just didn’t drum up any enthusiasm.

There are two more parts to this series, coming soon!

• Tall Tales – Why not let the character do that?

• Epic Endings – How to make the final game memorable.