Monday, June 20, 2011

Tonight We Begin

...again.  After Rusty needed to take a departure from gaming for a short while the onus of GMing fell upon my shoulders which I gladly accepted.  Tonight we begin the new campaign.  *sound the trumpets or kazoos*

I won't go into too much detail on how it will begin because I know Rob and Dwayne will read it although I could make something up and pull the old switcharoo on them.  Something I may do in the future.  The other cool news I heard was one of our old gamer friends is graduating college, he's been going for like 3000 years, and wants to get back into the group.  Bonus.  He's a good player and brings another dynamic to the small group.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I am using the old Judges Guild City-State of the Invincible Overlord as the setting using GURPS as the system.  But our homebrewed version, mainly flavored by Rob over the past 1000 years.  Being thrown into GMing I thought why make up a new setting when there is one already rich with history with the group and I don't have to do much work because it is already there and everyone knows it well.  I am setting it a few years after the death of the Overlord Lucius, with no true heir except a distant relative who is only 9 a regent was assigned, Lord Divolick.  This polarized the other dukes and a civil war soon followed led by Duke Draco-Lindus.  This civil war is divided by race and religion.

My campaign starts where the civil war is winding down and it seems both sides have lost steam in their commitment to the fight.  Both sides have taken heavy losses and though some boundaries have changed very little is different after the years of war.  So there is a bitterness that nothing was resolved to have so many sacrificed and a relief that it looks like the civil war may be over.

That is the overall backdrop.  A land still in grips of the final stages of a war.  Now where to begin.

So what I had the players do is make up their characters and I gave them the responsibility to figure out how they knew one another.  What past they shared.  There would be no, You see a mysterious stranger in the corner table of the tavern.  I am not against it and I may use it next session for all I know, but I wanted to hit the ground running and both of them know the Majestic Wilderlands better than me overall.

Both completed characters, Dwayne is a mage who specialized in healing, light and movement colleges.  So he can heal very well, get out of a situation very quickly and has only one real offensive spell, Sunbolt.  Rob is playing a mercenary/guard assigned to mage's guild.  During Divolick's rule the Guild of Arcane Lore who for all its years of existence remained neutral in political matters.  Now the guild allies itself the regent and was used extensively in the war.  As part of this arrangement Divolick made assigned a portion of the mercenary guild to protect mages and are paid very well for it.  And so our little party is born.

With their character made and their professions and likes and dislikes created, I made a more extensive background for each character.  I little family history, developed friends and allies, rivals and enemies.  Both have a little of both. I do this so it feels like their characters have existed in this world before they started rolling dice.  And it provides a little fodder for future adventures.

Now my part as GM is to develop that introduction adventure.  And I am going to say it right here, there is going to be a little railroading involved.  That's right, I said railroading in a sandbox campaign.  Who may think they cannot coexist, but they can in the hands of a master GM.  Well at least one who is doing anyway.  I'm going to jump into this one where the characters are in the middle of something.  Wham!  In your face PCs!

Again, can't say much because Dwayne and Rob are reading this blog carefully hoping I may give them a detail or two.  So to prepare for this first adventure I've had to re familiarize myself to GURPS.  Its been a while since we've played.  And also I need to whip up a few NPCs I have outlined.  This shouldn't take long with the help of GURPS Character Assistant 4.  Probably one of the best tools for a game system ever.

Have a great Monday.  I am thinking it may be a long week because Rob and I are going to Origins this weekend.  Still have to find a hotel.  Man, too many things to do.


  1. I started a new campaign on Saturday (the old one was at a good "semi-permanent retirement point, so I thought it would be good for a fresh start).

    This gave me a chance to use the relationship tags again. Each starting player had to tag the player on their left and their right with a relationship.

    There was a listing of relationships and the benefits they give to both you and the person tagged.

    Choosing "Employee" gives the player an extra chunk of starting cash. Choosing "Family/Like Family" gives the target a free fate point (re-roll) to use. "Life Debt" gives the player bonus XP to start, etc etc.

    So we had such things as one player tagging the player to her left as "like family" while he tagged her as "Romantic interest", one player tagged someone as "Protective of" while being tagged back as "Higher Calling" etc.

    Insta Group dynamic.

  2. Nice Zzz, I like the idea. Did you do a blog about it and if so may I please have the link?

  3. "So what I had the players do is make up their characters and I gave them the responsibility to figure out how they knew one another."

    I think this is a good approach. I tend to suggest interweavings of backgrounds before play so its not the tavern-thing, but I oughta shove that burden onto the players.

  4. sorry to hijack this thread but I hereby nominate

    for the newbie blogger award.

    His latest post...awesome.

  5. Origins? Lucky ducks. Have fun!

  6. Mike Feel free to to hijack anytime. Thanks for the nomination. Always like it when others make suggestions.

    Pro Pope Thanks. It was fun.

    Yeah it worked out well. I make them do a general background then I I do the GM magic weave.