|Deathless Gods Campaign Folder|
This is not an original observation.
There has been some discussion over the different phases of a game. Traditionally these phases have an order. However this traditional order is not the only way they can be presented.
I am less interested in the straightforward differences between the phases then I am interested in what materials allow Dungeon Masters to run the different kinds of games.
Each of these categories is a literal game within itself.
We will begin with defining each phase of the game for the sake of discussion, and then examining certain specific resources that can be added to an online folder or campaign notebook for each phase.
Because we are looking for a broad campaign, we will be studying my notebook for my Deathless Gods campaign, as opposed to more specific game like Numenhalla, my megadungeon. The Megadungeon itself is focused on certain specific phases and resists being moved outside of those phases, which is as it should be for a megadungeon. These phases listed below are constructed using the four styles of adventure design, Line, Space, Time, and Power.
Site Exploration: A space or line structure explored by the party. Characterized by it's limited scope and often paired with a time structure to introduce dynamism. (The Moathouse)
Area Exploration: A much larger space structure explored by the party. Characterized by the influence of various power structures. (The Caves of Chaos)
Civilization Management: A power structure that must be managed by having the needs met of various parties under the influence of a time structure. (Running a Domain)
Military Campaign: A space structure systematically dominated by the party. Often with large elements of power and time structures. (Battlesystem)
Picaresque Adventure: A line structure followed by the party. (Dying Earth, Module series or Adventure Path, The Sunless Citidel)
Political Intrigue: A power structured manipulated by the party. (Vampire: The Masquerade)
Mystery: A combination structure: Line framework, Space scene, Time triggers, and hidden Power structures, discovered by the players. (Call of Cuthulu Adventures)
and, Mission Based Structure: A line structure where each space is explored by the players to accomplish a specific goal. (Shadowruns)