[RPG] Players Characters don’t meet the fundamental requirements for campaign


I'm planning to do a DSA (The Dark Eye) campaign. I told the players what characters I need in the campaign (at least one character strong in fighting, one in socialising with royals, and so on).

The problem now is that the players presented their concepts to me and I know that they don't match the fundamental requirements for this campaign. I said that to them, and they said I should then change the campaign so they can play what they want. But these changes would change the campaign in a way that changes everything inside it, which is not possible (at least not for this campaign).

How can I deal with this situation so that everyone is happy?

Problem fact is, the "normal" playing time is about 5 years.

I do the answers to the questions in answers or comments here:
First: yes, the average time to finish the campaign is about 5 years.
Second: I have talked to my players to find a consens. They want to play this campaign, I want to play it with them, so we decided to do a meeting to clarify what I need to play and maybe find ways their favorite characters can be played. I know that not everyone can play their favorite characters, but I think everyone can find a character they like to play. I also asked them to think of alternative concepts which are completly different to their actual concepts so we can take one of their concepts.

Best Answer

Plan A: Preparation and Communication

Published adventures for DSA often tend to be very linear. Some challenges are unavoidable in a manner that the story collapses when they are missing. DSA focuses on the story, not on the characters. It's a lot of hard work to shape such huge campaigns to your characters.

  • First read the whole adventure. It's the key requirement to change parts of it. After you know what will definitively happen you can estimate how much and what you can change.
  • Ask your players how willingly they are to completely change their concepts.
  • Then compare how far the concepts your players gave you deviate from this frame. If a gap is very large try to think of a way you can replace/modify scenes. It's (unfortunately) not uncommon for DSA that there are some NPCs or mysterious beings who are the only one who can overcome an obstacle. Or maybe you can merge some scenes. For example if there is an item to find, maybe you can locate it somewhere else. Think of special qualities those concepts have. Priests will have the support of their church and maybe even their gods.
  • Now it's time to talk to your players: Take them all together and try to close the remaining gaps. If you for example only have a lesser fighter like a hunter tell them that some fights will not be doable even if you scale them down (if that is even possible). Maybe someone is ok with modifying his concept to fill in the gap. The hunter for example might change to a mercenary who is a former hunter or someone else might like playing some competent fighter instead of his other concept he had before. Do not force someone. This can very easily ruin the fun for everyone.

Plan B: Pull the brake

If you and your players cannot adapt to this adventure then don't play it. DSA books are quite pricy but don't make the mistake to play this campaign and waste your time. If it's not fun to play ~5 years or you abbandon it in between, then in the end you will be sad and maybe quite frustrated (I know this, it happended to me as a player).

Find some other campaign. Maybe even one which is shorter. You can keep this campaign for later. After your first campaign your players might agree on making new characters for this campaign.

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