Monday, October 04, 2010

The World Within: A Campaign Arc...

Good Afternoon, All:

One of the biggest things I learned from Savage Worlds in terms of campaign organization is the Plot Point Campaign. If you combine that with the concept of the 5x5 Method of campaign generation, you end up with a very good tool for creating and populating a sandbox setting with adventures and a cohesive back story.

In the case of The World Within, I feel drawn to the original source material for inspiration, and have no qualms with stealing plots liberally from both Edgar Rice Burroughs (Pellucidar) and Robert E. Howard (Conan) if it will help me create a great Sword & Sorcery genre campaign. For example, the first book of the Pellucidar series, At The Earth's Core focuses on the story of a human revolt against the tyranny of the Mahars, the telepathic sentient pterodactyls that control a large area on Pellucidar. Rather than assume that the Mahars are in charge, I'm more inclined to use the decadent descendants of Atlanteans, a reptilian humanoid race inspired in part by the Yilane of Harry H. Harrison's West of Eden novel and its sequels. Thus, a campaign arc that very loosely follows the events of the first Pellucidar novel, adjusted for the setting, might look something like this:

  • Death To The Atlanteans
    1. Slave Raid: In which neanderthals, servants of the Atlanteans, raid a human village, capturing the lord's daughter in the process, and the party is engaged in an effort to rescue her.
    2. Into The Arena: In which the party becomes trapped in an Atlantean city, and must find a way to escape before they die as part of the gladiatorial games.
    3. The Temple of Old Atlantis: In which the party discovers the true depravity of Atlantean rites to the Spirit Lords, and learn the key to ending the Atlantean menace in Mediterrenea.
    4. The Grand Theft: In which the party must infiltrate an Atlantean city and steal the alchemical secrets to Atlantean parthenogenesis, thus leaving the race infertile.
    5. Hunted By Atlanteans: In which the Atlanteans give chase to the party as they flee with the alchemical secrets, and the party must contend with their pursuers.

It could probably use a little more spit and polish, and each adventure would have to be further developed, but this could easily become the foundation for a compelling and potentially rewarding campaign arc. The other story lines should be equally developed. Nothing too elaborate, but there should be enough detail that a sense of story emerges over the course of the adventures. So, what do you think?

If there's any interest, I'll try and post a few more campaign arc ideas later on, simply to get them out there for discussion and input.

With Regards,


David said...

I'm quite intrigued with this Plot Point/5x5 Method of adventure plotting - it reminds me a little of the Traveller Epic Adventures for (T20?) in that a series of scenes in an Act were plotted out, the scene order was not important, but to move to the next Act, the players pretty much needed to do each scene.

The Plot Point Campaign, as you describe it, seems a lot more linear, unless your plot points are actually at the Act level?

James said...

Is there any scope for placing the 5x5 method (or some form thereof) into your MyD20 Lite Referee's Guide?

Flynn said...

Kobold: Plot Points are on the adventure level, which indeed corresponds to the Act level of the EPIC adventure format used by Traveller T20. They are intended to be location-based, for the most part, and in a larger version, the middle section is usually less linear. I hopefully give a better description in the post I reference on Plot Point Campaigns. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

James: I can always ask. Alternately, I can rewrite it in my own words, but if so, I'll give credit where credit is due, and provide a link to the original article for additional information.

Thanks, Guys,

Dave The Game said...

Hmm, I'll have to check out the Plot Point method... I've only ever been a Savage Worlds player and not a GM so I never looked closely at that section, but perhaps I will now!

5x5 Method is Creative Commons License, so as long as the license and proper credit is given back to me, you can use it as much as you like.