Feeling MUCH better now…
Posted by docryder
So, last week, I was in bad shape, so a very brief post got made. My stomach was in knots from a back issue that is now more past than present. I’ve still got some aches and pains in my back, and some in my guts, but closer to what I consider normal. I’ve had back issues for years, and intestinal problems with them, so I’m sort of used to this stuff by now. Last week, however, was a special sort of Hell.
But now I’m back, and I’ve had a few thoughts worth sharing.
I’ve had a couple of campaign/plotline ideas recently (as recently as tonight, even). The idea I’d sparked on earlier this week is really nothing new. I would codename it “Minecraft,” after the video game my friends’ boy is so fascinated with. Suppose the PCs are part of a colony recently established somewhere far from home. They have been hired (or shipped as part of a penal colony) along as colonists and protectors of the other colonists. The PCs can be tasked by the administrators of the colony to explore more thoroughly the environs around the colony. Wood and food should be easy to find, but the PCs need to find potential mineral deposits for mining and clear such mines, at least to a certain depth initially. This would probably be a pretty sandbox-y campaign, at least to start. However, eventually, some threat could rear it’s head, either being pre-existing cultists (Deep Ones in a Mythos-style setting) or some other sort of organized resistance. At that point, you’re almost more looking at something like an RTS sort of game, but I like those, so I don’t have an issue with a campaign that goes that route.
I do believe that an DM who runs such a game be cautious with his players, as it could end up reflecting poorly on you if the campaign becomes too close to the United States’ own history. If the pre-existing civilization is simply a tribal group who simply happened to be there first, and you make the campaign a life or death conflict, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. However, if the pre-existing civilization is only a temporary enemy with whom the PCs eventually have to make peace with and negotiate an alliance with to destroy a third set of villains who threaten both, then you break from potential stigma or uncomfortableness. If your an even passible DM, you should be aware your players’ sensitivities already, and know how to navigate these waters.
SPOILER ALERT! You may want to skip a couple of paragraphs If you watch Once Upon A Time and missed the 2013-05-05 episode. This will be you only warning.
The other campaign starter I’d thought of was while watching Once Upon A Time eariler. Tonight’s episode was a flashback into Balefire’s history, and how he’d come to Earth and ended up in Neverland. Peter’s Shadow is depicted as an actively evil thing. It kidnaps children to Neverland, seeming to sup on their pain at being unable to return to Earth. This campaign idea is similar, in that the PCs will start off as kidnap victims, brought to a location far from home to be tortured. In the first session or two, they escape, but now must live as hunted escapees, and with some luck and forethought, rebels agains the mysterious power that brought them to their current location, at least until they can find a way off the island. Fellow prisoners need to be important to the PCs to keep them from running to quickly, to give them as reason to stay and continue to work against the major evil.
On the StarSea front, I’ve had a couple of thoughts or three. One of those is that I think I need to do a “design precepts” page. This is something I got from Werewolf the Apocalypse, Second Edition. In the afterwards of the book, the designer included a page they’d written as sort of a mission statement/focus document. There were six ideas they wanted to keep in mind as they worked on the game, and I found it a wonderful document that could be used to focus any project. So, at the time when I read it, I copied the format and “rephrased” the paragraphs to a more generic form. I’ve used the design precepts form a couple of times in the past, but it’s been a while. I think it’s time again, as I’ll want to keep my focus as I create the StarSea setting.
Something else I’ve realized about this setting is that so far, I have no character ideas. In the past, most of my settings have actually come second, and a series of characters (usually a group of three to six) come first. From them, I create my villains and nations. I think I need to stop letting this languish. In the case of this setting, I think it will help me start focusing on the technology of the setting.
I’m going to let that sentence be my segue onto the next thing I’ve been thinking about. I know I comment on technology a lot, but in this case, it involves me trying to direct my thoughts. For example, what kinds of technology do the Primal characters use? Do they use technology, or is everything they use simple and rustic, like the Native Americans, or do they shape lifeforms into tools, ala biotechnology? Or are animals more sacred to them, too sacred to be used that way? Do they have war wagons drawn by animals, or is there an animal that could act as a wagon, like elephants? What about the Psions? If they are a group like the Jedi of Star Wars (which at this point I sort of envision), do they use animals only as mounts (which fits the movies), or do they go so far as to use their powers to reshape life? Is that considered evil?
I’ve also bee considering how alignment fits in with the Orders. What happens when a Psion uses his powers to abuse others? Does he lose his ability to use his powers, and is he forced to eventually leave the Order and become an Arcanist? Does a Divine Knight lose his faith, or is it his hubris that causes his fall, and what does that fall make him?If I come up with a corruption system for this setting, I’m going to have to know what becomes of those who allow corruption to take over. Hopefully, if I can start creating characters of my own for this setting, that will point me in a direction for making those decision. Of course, with my dumb luck, it will only cloud the issue. 🙂
That’s really about all I have right now. Of course, I haven’t written this much in quite a while. For now, it’s late and I’m closing things up for the night soon. So, good night, and we’ll see you next week.