I first ran an RPG campaign at the tender age of thirteen. My brother and I sat down with my brand-new GURPS 3rd ed. Basic Set (back when it was one book instead of two!). Running a campaign fills me with nostalgia. I’ll spend this series introducing basic concepts and working through obstacles so that anyone can start their own campaign with friends.

To start off with, let’s define ‘campaign': A series of (usually weekly) gaming sessions, fulfilling by themselves and contributing to a larger plot. Think of them as episodes in an ongoing show. Already, you can get an idea of the scope of preparation necessary to keep such a venture straight.

I find that the best trick is to want it. I dream about it between games. I’ve bought the GURPS 4th ed. Basic Set and fallen in love with the system all over again. I’ve come up with quite a few ideas for storylines. I have the drive.

If you get stuck, delayed, or feel blocked at any point in this series, return to this step, because it is the most important.

Right now, if you’re reading this series for the first time, you probably long to start a campaign but are worried or confused. Take a deep breath and tell yourself, “This time, I’m making it happen.”

Here are some of the reasons you might be daunted or delayed in starting a campaign:

I’m pretty excited about this series, and hope you’ll follow along as I examine each of these steps carefully. In the meantime, do some googling of your own and read over the material available. To help out, I’ll list some handy resources at the bottom of each installment.


The Harrow’s How to Start a Campaign: Pre-Campaign Planning

Gnome Stew’s 17 Steps to GMing A New RPG for the First Time

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A novelist from northwest Arkansas, Fiona's range of topics include writing, tropes, and self-improvement. She goes by 'FekketCantenel' online.

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