Every so often, I happen upon the campaign journal of another group. If nothing else, it reminds me that “what you find on the Internet is what you look for,” which goes to show that I must have campaign journals on the mind.
Recently, Jeffro has written about dropping the worlds of Appendix N into an ongoing campaign top change the pace. (Part of Gygax’s advice about running a great game, I believe.) Sound advice.
I can think of two broad reasons for wanting to incorporate an existing world of fiction into your campaign: to use the nouns, and to use the history.
I’m not sure if this separates me from other people, but I tend to want other works for the latter reason rather than the former. (I can never tell when something actually distinguishes me, I am seldom the topic of discussion with anyone but myself.)
For the most part, I like to have events in the history of my world to serve as a precedent for things which may be done: if a character had done X, then another character could do X. They function as templates, as case studies.
I might be one of those players who thinks in terms of rules rather than rulings, and I may be closer to being a lawyer in the literal (professional?) sense than a ‘rules lawyer.’
I don’t want to use my encyclopedic knowledge of the game’s lore and rules to gain an advantage over the other players (as is often the case with the rules lawyers I’ve met over the years), I want to use the rules and lore as precedents for what can and has been done.
I like precedents. I like canon precedents. I don’t like ad hoc rulings. I don’t trust the judgment of others, in part because I’ve been witness to (and the subject of) alot of arbitrary and unfair rulings.
I think I get more out of reading other people’s campaign journals than the typical reader. Maybe starting from the point there probably isn’t a typical reader.
It seems players are most interested in reading about their own characters, if they’re interested in reading about the game at all.
By the way, here’s a link to the wiki I’ve been working on for my campaign.
It’s coming along nicely, even if I only get a few hours of work in on it a week. There’s a lot of room to grow of course, and I’m sure it had its share of errors already.