My problem with player driven campaigns is usually the players. No offense to my game group, who I doubt read these forums, but I have tried time after time to establish motivations for their characters. With only few exceptions the most common answer I get is: "Phat Loot! We want Loot!' This even went so far as my players demanding they get to "go shopping" in those exact words.
Players that have no motivations for their characters will not do anything without being lead by the nose...and then they might complain of railroading.
To that end, I have been working on some player motivational tools. The first is my creation I have dubbed BIM Cards (Backgrounds Interests and Motivations). The following is the text I sent to my players on a handout explaining the BIM card purposeBIM cards represent a very important aspect of your past. Use the information provided on this card to help you understand your character's goals and motivations.
If the situation or theme presented on this card is ever resolved in any fashion you are welcome to request another card.Take a look at the table below and either pick or roll to determine a motivating factor in your character’s life. This of course is not an end-all be-all definition of your character, but rather just a small tool for you and the DM to help create a richer, more personal story.
The best part is you don’t have to do a lot of work! Just pick or roll and let your DM know the results. The DM gets all the hard parts, like thinking, writing and brain using so you can save your energy for swinging your sword at that orc! You will be given a card to remind you of your choice and the significance it will have in your game. That’s right! You won’t even have to remember. Your handy B.I.M. Card will do all the work for you!
d20 roll Theme
A second idea for getting a party motivated and cohesive I learned from the Fear the Boot podcast (www.feartheboot.com)
. The hosts of fear the boot talk about building a group template. During that first session when you make your characters have the group decide what they will be doing and how they can create a better story on their end. You can find the group template here http://www.feartheboot.com/resources.aspx
Unfortunately I haven't really tried either out yet as I am reserving all my tricks for the unveiling of 4th ed. We shall see.