Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Now that the old house is almost ready to be put on the market, and I've moved into a new place, I feel like I can start to focus on my writing once again. Most of my gaming collection should be going on eBay with the next few weeks, and I'll be sure to post info here once it's up and running.
I could resume the Isles of the Saharan Sea campaign setting development, but I'm almost done with it, at least at this point. I think I have enough to get started with a campaign, between the work I've posted and some work I've done at home. Well, almost enough. I probably could use a "First Adventure" to kick things off, just to make it easier.
So, what should be in a "First Adventure" for such a setting? I'd likely want to introduce the main antagonist of the setting, and make allusions to the two other major villains. I'd want to explore the concept of a hollow earth setting, and I'd want to make that integral to the entire adventure, if I could figure out a way. I'd want to introduce the concept that all non-perishable magic items are non-standard and unique. And I'd want the adventure to end with the players having their own ship, so that they could travel around the setting of their own accord.
So that first adventure should have ninjas, a gorilla-man naval patrol, some pilgrims seeking Mavarasha, an issue where perpetual daylight is either the cause of the problem or the solution to one, one permanent magic item and someone to introduce the concept of unique items, and a small sailing ship capable of piracy, should the mood take the party after the adventure is said and done.
Hmmm, how about this? A merchant, a recent survivor of one of Mavarasha's attacks, approaches the party, asking them to strike against some pirates that have captured one of his ships and stolen a magic item. He explains the rarity of such, introducing the concept of unique weapons, and offers them a small ship from his merchant fleet if they can retrieve the item. (That's how rare these items are, or how bad off the ship is.) The problem: they can't approach the island where the ship is moored without being seen, because of the perpetual daylight and the concave nature of the surface of the World Within. The merchant mentions that he tried to hire the Black Rose to fetch it, but they wouldn't accept his payment. The party encounters a gorilla-men naval patrol en route to the island. The party will have to find a way to get past the patrol, and either negotiate with the pirates or overcome them (hehehe, yeah, right) to get the item and save the day. The pirates do have some slaves, including pilgrims of Thanatos seeking out Mavarasha to join his crusade. (If the merchant finds out the party helped the pilgrims, he may be sorely upset, given his previous encounter with Mavarasha.)
Well, it's rough, but in a sandbox campaign, sometimes rough is okay. I'm sure more ideas will come to me over the course of the next few months. Of course, the guys may simply change their minds and go with something akin to Odyssey Prime, a cross-genre romp through gates to visit worlds of fantasy, sci-fi, pulp and horror in a quest to save humanity from an impending apocalypse. Players can be a fickle bunch at times, but either way, I feel I'm up for the challenge.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
As it seems that, in the course of events, my players have reached the point where they can pursue three simple adventures that will lead to their performance of the Rite of Worldly Transformation, I actually foresee them not taking the straight and narrow path I've laid out for that particular campaign arc. Instead, I imagine that they will find another goal to chase for a while.
With that in mind, I begin to prepare for my campaign this evening. Since I typically run by the seat of my pants, err, I mean, off the cuff, I have to give consideration to the fact that the player-characters may pursue any of a number of possible plot threads. Each plot thread I've laid out could take them through a series of scenes, based on their choices. However, the significant scenes and potential end results are worth considering, as they make it easier to run games that are more sandbox-style and thus player-reactive.
Several of the PCs are seeking to retrieve magical equipment that they've ordered a few weeks back, and so must travel to a city about four days or so away. Random encounters can add a little bit of suspense, but honestly, they are likely to make it without any issues. Once they arrive, I could introduce a bit of an adventure to let them test out their new gear. To do so, though, I'd have to think about their friends, allies, contacts and acquaintances in the city. One of them may be having trouble, and request their aid for a short adventure (two-four scenes, tops, but enough to let them feel the promise of their newly acquired magical power.)
Alternately, I could step through each of the player-character's sheets, looking at their Hindrances for ideas. One has Heroic, so perhaps a scene with children in distress may be an interesting element that lets him explore that aspect of his character. Another has Curiosity, so any kind of mystery might be enough to give him something to do. They all have Enemies that they've made, and a reunion adventure might give them focus if they drift around too much without direction on their part.
And then again, I could simply wait for inspiration to strike. These guys are always asking questions, going places and looking for trouble, so coming up with adventures on the fly usually isn't difficult. Being prepared for them is another matter entirely. Still, they seem to enjoy themselves, and that's the most important thing to me.
Monday, July 02, 2012
Good Afternoon, All:
This week's posts will likely be short and sweet. As part of my personal adventure, I'm moving into a new place this week. It's smaller than my old place, and I'm having to cut down on my personal belongings. For those that know me, this is a pretty hard thing for me. Perhaps the deepest cut is the need to sell part of my gaming collection. A friend of mine will handle the sales on eBay, but it's still difficult to let go.
I've been studying up in minimalist living. It has helped me realize that if I have copies of the information electronically, I don't really need the physical copies eating up space. If I haven't opened a physical copy of the book in two years, I'm seriously planning on letting it go. For example, I have an almost complete set of World of Darkness (pre-Gehenna) books and supplements, for example. Expect to see that up for sale soon.
So what books are making the cut? What gets to stay in my personal library? I think I'll chat about that on Wednesday.