Thinking about why my current campaign has worked out so well:
@valinard I've been fortunate enough to run and play in a few games like that, and they really are magic. The key element you identified is the new players and "old hands" in common purpose all helping tell the story.
I'm not sure I see how each of your examples are "loops" though. Care to elaborate?
A treasure haul and dungeon "grind" surely is, but how is avenging a death and building relationships? Each of those feels like a complete, unique story element. Part of the "cool stuff."
@pseudonym You're right, those are the 'cool stuff'.
The loop in "returning to down to level up and build institutions and relationships" is "go into dungeon/wilderness -> return with treasure -> spend treasure & downtime actions -> go out again".
Building relationships and institutions are just examples of downtime actions in the system we're using.
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