Prepping and playing stress free, an account



hey everyone! I wanted to tell you about my recent experiences with the runehammer methodology of running a campaign, so to speak. I decided to write it down instead of writing on the discord because it will probably be a wall of text so I don’t pollute the discussion on the channels.

to prepare the campaign I began by defining the evil guy with a few sentences: what he wants, what he’s going to do with it if he gets it, what he did in the past. then I thought about the setting. even here, a few short sentences to describe the world to me and to the players.

then I prepared a small fight, just like the dark sun scenarios hankerin described in a video, with a few hooks to possible directions for the next sessions.

during the first session we rolled the characters,
I thought of a campaign hook, why are they there as a group, and we discussed it together.
and then we entered the fray and we had a blast. the encounter was thought to be as deadly as possible and I modified some of the notes i took in order to have the party just barely making it, crawling their way to the success.
after the fight, they briefly gathered clues and decided on what to do next.

end of session one, one week to prepare something for next session.
they wanted to know stuff, so I gave them some mystery. I went back to my notes on the campaign and I created a criminal scheme in the main settlement for them to uncover. I also added some reason for the scheme to exist tied to the evil guy intentions and that’s it.
to design it, I mainly used the three clue rule by Justin Alexander, I wrote about two pages of journal in total, probably less than 100 words.

and we had a blast again!! I improvised a lot more and since I only got the info I needed to feel confident to know that my overall picture was solid and I wasn’t making stuff up that wasn’t coherent with the campaign, It was very fun for me, too. for once, my “plans” have never been destroyed by the players. actually their ideas were very interesting and I also tried to incorporate them by filling the HUGE gaps in my story, in a seamless and effortless way. still kind of magic to me.

some additional notes on prep: for the places, I just wrote a few bullet points to remind me of how I envisioned them, ex: Ankhmor, lots of homeless, stench of piss, red and white banners everywhere. this I took from Ironsworn.
for the node based scenario I just wrote one sentence for each clue, but I didnt write where it would be found or who would give it. this, i read it in “the lazy dungeon master’s guide”.

I must say, what I learned by watching runehammer videos and listening to podcasts and reading ICRPG is not entirely new to me but what made the difference for me is:

  • the practical examples given by hankerin
  • distilling what matters the most to achieve the end goal, in a “product development” sort of way.

So thanks Hank and community, and I hope to get even better and make even more interesting stories and have fun with this wonderful hobby.

i Don think that posting my journal would be interesting since it’s in italian but let me know :slight_smile:


This was a great read for my morning so thank you for that! It’s always revitalizing to read these recaps. And even more so for myself as I often over plan my sessions and need to remember to just develop a few points and then go with the flow. So thanks again!