Thursday, March 19, 2009

Campaign Prep for Sunday High Fantasy Campaign

Big stuff weekend-- so I'm doing my Friday and Saturday entries tonight-- pretend they're new when you look at them later. Had some interesting discussion on today's blog post and I want to come back to that-- probably Sunday.

Finally got some structure and just about ready for the next Sunday Campaign. Thought I'd post what I sent out so you can see how I put things.

We'll be playing on alternate Sundays as per usual, with a starting time of 7pm. I'd like to use Sunday, April 5th as a starting night to go do character creation and setting things up. My target right now in terms of campaign arc is one year; however we can negotiate on that depending on how play goes.

Mechanics-wise we'll be using an incredibly steamlined version of Gurps. I should have all the rules you'll need for play in a document by the time we start, so don't worry about books. Plus, I'll be moving fairly far away from the original system so I don't think the books would help anyway. My goal is a fast-playing system with some crunch for combat. Magic will be handled in a flexible way, allowing mages to construct effects on the fly. They'll also be some easier simple versions to allow people to create "hybrid" characters as well. I don't want to worry too much about mechanics after character creation.

Premise: This will be a fantasy campaign, with strong elements of interacting and shaping the mythic. It will take place on the Third Continent, where some of you have played before (Pillar of Fire, Covenants, Pavis and Red Emperor campaigns). However, things have changed significantly since the last game. A century has passed, one in which the hierarchy of the Gods has been shaken. Some have ascended and removed themselves from the world, some have new places, some have fallen, and others are trying to fit themselves into new niches. The Ban, an effect some have said of the Godlearners, has returned but in a different form. Much travel and communication has been cut off-- not only by sea, but also by land. However, those known as the Wayfinders and a few select others have been able to make their way through and lead others. Many places still remain hidden or out of contact, but others have managed to establish trade and communication networks (albeit with some difficulty).

Players will begin as part of a collective community-- one of those places which has gathered a diverse group over time (explaining various cultural backgrounds, professions and gods). It has some trade with neighbors through The ban, but is generally a sleepy place. You will begin as adolescents/early teens. We will do a prologue scenario set there. We will then move forward some years-- with your characters older (late teens, early twenties). I will have a set of event cards for you to draw from in order to help you shape the narrative of the time between the prologue and the beginning of the campaign. You'll get to spent the rest of your character creation points at that time.

The other important part of the game will be that each of you will make up your god. You should decide their personality, their aspects and something about their story. I'm attaching a copy of the old Prosaepedia of the Third Continent to give you some ideas-- NOTE: don't try to read this through!!! I'm only including it to give you some flavor ideas for what you might do-- plus there may be some minor or lost gods there you'd found appealing-- but don't think you have to know this stuff for the game!

These gods should not necessarily be part of an established pantheon or array. The key concept is that your god is a little god and in the course of the campaign, you are one of the few followers of that god remaining. As your character grows-- so will your god, granting you new powers. Your path will shape the stories of that god, help forge a new pantheon, and affect the mythic realm. There will be an element of Heroquesting here-- acting on the plane of the mythic.

Character types-- think about yourself in terms of the classic professions and archetypes. Everyone follows a god, so you don't have to be a Priest or anything. You can be a straight fighter, rogue, diplomat, scholar, acrobat or so on. If you do want to follow the divine path more fully, you can be an initiate or a full-on priest. You can be a shaman, in which case we handle magic slightly differently (or rather there are some additional options). You can be an adventurer will some magical skill (i.e. a hybrid class as it were). If you decide to be a classic non-divine mage (like a Sorceror, Adept, Warlock, etc) then your godcould bea little different-- a heretic Malkioni Saint (but we can talk about that). As you may recall there's some tension between classic mages and everyone else on the continent. There are some mages with religious faith as well.