January 22nd, 2008

  • gillan

[Burning Empires] Penance

We did world and character burning last night for Burning Empires. The world we came up with is pretty hot, which I think is generally a guarantee for world-burning. (As a side note, some games are just engineered for fun pre-play like Burning Empires and Spirit of the Century). I got the idea of a colony civilization built on the ruins of a crashed hammer ship from watching Lost, threw it at the group, and they dug it. The planet is named "Penance" after the flag ship that crashed.

I like the energy that sprouts up from people throwing ideas out there and getting charged up and excited about them. Sometimes people are like "meh" and it can be ignored or turned into a footnote, and other times they're like "fuck yeah!" and it becomes a core concept. I feel like nothing frustrates me and kills a game more than dead silence and apathy.

So we have this military society founded on the ruins of a crashed fleet, with a noble line that was marginalized when the grunts decided not to take commands from them anymore after the crash. You have a criminal city that sprouted up on the edge of this rigid society, that exists because those in charge know it exists. There's a religious cult that worships the dead Hammer Lord of the crashed fleet as a martyr-god. Oh, and there's indigenous aliens with their own weird motivations. And on top of it all, the human society is in enclosed, life-supporting structures which should give it a cool, claustrophobic feel. I worry that the world might be a little too "busy" but I think the game will naturally gravitate towards what interests us, and if something doesn't then it'll drop off the table.

The main characters in this are are crime lord, one of the marginalized nobility, a senior officer in the military dictatorship that runs the planet, one of the indigenous aliens, a leader in the cult of the Hammer Lord, and a Vaylen fleet commander whose stumbled upon the old crashed fleet.

Coming up with beliefs was really difficult at points. Josh had a real hard time and Andy struggled for awhile. I wish there was some way I could help, but it seems like wrapping your mind around Beliefs and whatnot is kind of a learned skill in terms of figuring out how to turn what you want out of the game into a character aspect and making it cool and charged. Beliefs are probably the hardest part of the whole game.

I'm just finishing up reading the rules and I have to prep for next week's game. We're starting in the Infiltration Phase with Josh's crime lord and the indigenous alien as the featured figures of note. I'm excited.

[for those that care about x-posting, it's in my journal and on RPG.net]
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Cthulu Pentacle

Developing a Stone Age Setting - Primitive Themes

Following on the wonderful responses to the last post and after throwing around a few initial ideas for my Stone Age setting it occurs to me there are several thematic decisions to make.  I want this to be a Stone age setting, but I also want it to be a fantasy setting so now I have to decide what elements must be present to keep it feeling primal and savage enough to capture the fun and feel of "stone age" while allowing for fantastic elements and enough variety to allow for a fantasy campaign.

Some elements I want to include are the following -

1)  Magic as a force of nature to be harnessed

2)  Fantasy races evolving along side of one another

3)  Evolution in a fantasy world

4)  A world where a Stone Age is ongoing allowing for unique adaptations and developments with Stone age tech.

I also imagine this as a world where there may be some large permanent settlements among the older races (Elves, Dwarves) and even among the humans who have managed to settle in areas with plentiful natural resources.

WhatI am curious about is what others feel are important elements to include and maintain in such a setting to keep it still feeling primal and savage, even with the inclusion of fantasy elments.  I'd appreciate any input or even blatent brainstorming you have to offer.