Friday, October 30, 2009

Gold & Glory

Enough about rules (although, I'm sure I won't be able to resit more posts) time to get Gold & Glory campaign rolling! I'll be closing on my first house Nov 23rd. Finally will have a dedicated game room! Should be settled in and recovered from holidays mid Jan. Perfect time to start campaign.

It's good to have themes, outlines, brushstrokes and what not. So, I'll start there. Actually, I'll start with a couple of quotes that capture the essence of the D&D I'm offering
"To me, D&D is not about trying to recreate 12th century England. It's Conan meets Aragorn and Boba Fett to go kick Kulan Gath's boney behind." -- Hussar on EN World
"Hey, I've created this world for you to come mess around in. The basic idea is that your PC is seeking fortune and glory. We'll riff off each other and see what kind of cool stuff comes out of it..." --

I dig the seven +/- two concept. Whether it's accurate or not it forces me to pair down my mega-long lists to something resembling a core. Still, I managed to create two such lists.

  1. Fast character generation. Good to go in 10min.
  2. Low rules. Pick it up in 10min/during play.
  3. d20ish resolution mechanics. Ability based Skills/Saves ala C&C.
  4. Low level/power. At 9th, "name", level character retires from adventuring.
  5. Magic (possibly other stuff) is not balanced.
  6. Unlockable content. As players explore/spend time gaming, they gain new class/race/magic/etc options.
  7. Anything goes. Want to play a bucket wielding robotic sea-lion, you'll be the only one and will stick out but go for it!
I like #6. An example; players discover/activate the Portal that leads to Shard. Now they can create characters using Shard's races. The idea being those new characters are entering my campaign from Shard via the now open Portal. I think that's keen.

Flavor & Style
  1. Desirous of Entourage / Western Marches style play, but it's all good.
  2. Exploration & Discovery. Sandbox, Megadungeon.
  3. Mythic Wilderness & Mythic Underground.
  4. Layers of history. Rife with ancient & forgotten ruins/empires/aliens/treasures.
  5. Portals to every Genre, Setting, and other people's campaigns.
  6. Numerous Gods, Cults, Demons, Cosmic Alien Intelligences. They are important. (channeling a little Glorantha)
  7. Magic is not a substitute for Technology. Technology is a substitute for Magic!
  8. A little S&S, S&P, S&H. More Arduin, Mythic Europe, Otus, Howard. Less d20, Eberron, Elmore, Tolkien.
Magic as everyday occurrence / tech replacement is the thing that bothers me most about many modern settings. The "Technology is a substitute for magic." part just came to me. I like it very much. It nails exactly how I view science fantasy in my RPGs.

The world is old. Having already seen spring and summer. It is now late autumn, a time of decline. Golden ages are over. Demons and horrors have long been released. The seals separating dimensions are sundered. The old gods are dead. The new gods struggle against Cosmic Alien Intelligences. Great kingdoms and empires are but memories. Cults and religions hold society together more than kings and nations. All politics are local.

Won't you come and play?


  1. Very cool. Not sure if you caught it or not, but back in October I posted about this exact topic (and someone mentioned the 7 +/- 2 idea).

    Iconic Elements in Campaign Setting Design.

    I think this sort of big picture bullet point idea has a lot of merit, and can help sharpen and define the focus of a game a lot better than one might think.

  2. @Badelaire and someone mentioned the 7 +/- 2 idea

    Wonder who that could have been :)

    I tend to think of games / campaigns a little bit from a marketing perspective. You need some sound bites, you need a hook to draw the audience in, and you should have a "trailer" that makes people say "wow, I want to play in that".

  3. Heh, who indeed...

    And marketing - yep. It's like the back copy of a book or movie. You need to pin down the most Iconic Elements of your campaign in such a way as to make it immediately obvious what the game play will be like, what it's strong points are, and what sorts of characters are likely to thrive. Boiling the campaign down to a concise but powerful list very much facilitates that approach.


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