RPT #7: Save Time & Get More Planning Done Through Campaign Newsletters
I don’t know how I lived without my roleplaying campaign newsletter, “The Redblade Crier”. A newsletter is such a fast and easy way to keep your players motivated and interested, plan out your campaign, organize your next session and add depth to your game world that I heartily recommend every game master immediately start one for their roleplaying group.
A newsletter kills several birds with one stone (although no birds were actually harmed during the writing of this newsletter). And the more I get done in less time the better I’m able to fit my roleplaying hobby into my busy life.
For example, I keep an on-going log of all the people and non-human NPCs the characters meet in a section titled “NPC Journal”. This helps me keep my NPCs organized as well as reminds me to bring back an old friend or adversary once in awhile. It also helps me maintain campaign consistency. The players like it because they have a growing reference of contacts, allies and enemies.
Another example is the “Next Session” and “Player Info” sections that I put at the end. What a great way to distribute everybody’s contact information (i.e. for car pooling) and remind them about the time, date and location of the next session. This has prevented a lot of confusion and saves me time as well.
Quick Newsletter Tips
- Keep it short and simple. If it becomes a chore it won’t last and you lose out on a great tool.
- Write from your players’ perspectives. What would they find interesting to read? If no one reads your newsletter it’s just a waste of time.
- Use your newsletter to educate your group about your campaign:
- Game world factoids
- NPC profiles
- Legends and lore (story hooks)
- Rumours, gossip and things of note
- Monster lore
- Magic item lore
- By developing this type of information you end up planning, storytelling and advancing your campaign all at the same time–very efficient.
- Send your newsletter (by e-mail or fax) between sessions, preferably closer to the upcoming session but never on the same day. I GM every other week on Monday evenings, so I e-mail my roleplaying newsletter on the off Monday. This helps everybody associate Mondays with roleplaying, which is important to me because my players and I will tend to keep our schedules clear for that day now–a good habit for generating full attendance.
Start your own roleplaying campaign newsletter and send me a copy. I’d love to read it.