Choosing a Campaign.   Posted by the Creator.Group: 0
the Creator
 GM, 3 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Mon 18 Jul 2016
at 03:03
Choosing a Campaign
Maybe "campaign" isn't the right term, but I would like to discuss the general concept of what sort of game we would like to play within the SenZar system. Are we saving the princess from the dragon? Are we saving the dragon from the princess? Are we dragons hunting wild princesses?

I have a few ideas, but I am very open to suggestions.
the Creator
 GM, 7 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Wed 20 Jul 2016
at 04:40
Choosing a Campaign
Here are some options based upon previous games of SenZar that I have run.

#1: The Legends Game
This idea is ripped directly off of the plot for the first SenZar novel. All of the player characters were heroes on the alien world of Senzar. --or perhaps they were villains. They lived in different ages and developed different powers. Then, they died. Instead of being dragged into one boring afterlife or another, the intelligence of the universe decided to send them to our world where they were reincarnated as magic-blind humans. They live on the world of Terra in the local year of 2016, but their minds are liberated here. Free of the Codes and religious dogma which restricted their behavior in an earlier life, they are reborn as practical beings with very modern minds. Old enemies will soon reach through the Dream Wall into this world. Old abilities and forgotten lore will be remembered, and the fate of two worlds will be determined.

Basically, we will make basic SenZar characters. Then, we will decide how our own PCs died during their first lives. We will begin roleplaying as contemporary reincarnations of these characters on Earth. Regardless of their previous racial templates, everyone will be a human during this early part of the roleplay. Perhaps we roleplay as ourselves, or maybe our PCs are all musicians in the same rock band. When trouble arises, past lives will be revealed.

#2: The Accelerated Epic Campaign
SenZar is geared for quick advancement. In one table top campaign I ran, characters advanced from 1st to 16th level in a matter of months. I was being generous, but I stuck with the rules. In a play-by-post environment, we could never do that. Let's do some sampling instead.

We create basic 1st level characters with racial and profession templates. We roleplay a brief adventure involving these neophyte adventurers. Act 2: Then, we skip ahead through five years off camera, and we advance our characters to 5th level. A 2nd profession template is available, so every character is effectively double-classed. We play a second adventure which draws these same characters back together and pits them against more dangerous hazards. Act 3: 10th experience level veterans, 10 years into the campaign timeline. They can also pick up a Freak Template at this point. Instead of a Freak Template, they can optionally pick up a 3rd profession template. Act 4: 15th level legends. Bring on the big monsters! Act 5: As the characters reach 20th level, they are on the cust of divinity. If they survive -- but I won't make it easy -- they have a solid chance of joining the ranks of gods and immortals.

#3 A Saving Remnant
At the end of an Age, the civilization of city-states on the Dragon's Peninsula faces collapse. Invasions from three fronts squeeze inward. The gods have turned their backs. One wise ruler, however, has a plan. Survivors will be evacuated across the sea to uncharted lands beyond. The PCs are officers of the crown, authorized to select and secure anything worth saving in order to bring it for the long journey into the unknown. What will you save?

This concept is an idea from game designer Kenneth Hite. I just reworked it to fit the world setting of SenZar. Kenneth based his high fantasy horror concept on the political situation of Western Europe circa 1000 A.D.

#4 Knaves of the Round Table
We run a round table campaign. I promote all of the players to admin-level status. Then, we take turns running the game. Each of us runs the game for -- say one month in real time -- then the next player takes over as GM and builds on what has happened recently. The campaign events develop in a more organic way than following any certain outline in this way.

#5 Pitch Me an Idea
The best concepts are those which I have not thought yet.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:10, Wed 20 July 2016.

Morty
 player, 3 posts
Wed 20 Jul 2016
at 15:42
Choosing a Campaign
somehow, I think #2 set in the actual SenZar world could be the most fun(ny) choice.

#3 is interesting as well. Troy is burning, what will you take with you to Sicily? :) There are moral conundrums for all kinds of moralities. Come to think of it, I just might steal the idea ;)

Once we get eachother, $4 would be a winner, with campaigns running in parallel.
Smithy
 player, 3 posts
Wed 20 Jul 2016
at 15:51
Choosing a Campaign
2 and 3 are cool, maybe even something along the lines of a Conan-esque world?
Morty
 player, 4 posts
Wed 20 Jul 2016
at 16:00
Choosing a Campaign
Conan has the race problem. Nonhumans are monsters there ;)

Hmm. How about a world drawn by Frazetta? Like Ice Age?
the Creator
 GM, 11 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Sat 23 Jul 2016
at 00:07
Choosing a Campaign
Groovy, there seems to be equal interest in suggests 2 and 3.

The Accelerated Epic Campaign is something I feel confident about running effectively on RPOL.

The Saving Remnant would be fun, but it will almost certainly take longer. Again, the bulk of the credit for this concept goes to Kenneth Hite. He introduced the idea as part of his Suppressed Transmission column in Shadis Magazine. In Ken's version, it was Europe being invaded by Werewolf Raiders from the North, Lizard Mages from the South, and Orc Barbarians from the East. It's pretty easy to figure out which group relates to which faction in real European history.

I feel the temptation to combine #2 and #3, but I know that wouldn't work right. Players in the Saving Remnant would want time to explore and hoard whatever it is that they attempt to salvage. The Accelerated Campaign handwaves those sort of things.

A Conan-esque setting would be most like Senzar during the 1st or 2nd Age. Senzar history is divided into eight Ages (and yes, that word is capitalized) each lasting a few thousand years. The Ages are separated by a time of cosmic strife called the Weirding which lasts for about two weeks, radiation from the third moon baths the surface of the planet, and particularly nasty monsters roam the world. Accept for the 4th Age in which the bad immortals ruled the world, there isn't a lot of difference in canon between the Ages. The designers left history loose like that on purpose, I suspect.

For my own satisfaction, I divided the Ages into genre pieces.

1st Age: Stone & Copper Age
2nd Age: Bronze Age
3rd Age: Medieval Age (steel, chivalry, all that stuff)
4th Age: Dark Age (emphasis on gothic horror)
5th Age: Enlightenment Age (rebuilding empires & some Post-Apocalyptic themes)
6th Age: Renaissance Age (Golden Age of Sail & exploration, alchemy)
7th Age: Steam Age (steampunk)
8th Age: Digital Age (options for Space Opera & Cyber-Punk themes)

Those descriptions are just my head canon, and I am not devoted to them.
Shadowsmith
 player, 3 posts
Sat 23 Jul 2016
at 00:17
Choosing a Campaign
My preference would be 2; the Accelerated Epic Campaign. As far as the Age goes, I prefer 2nd with 3rd being close behind. The 5th Age has its own appeal and could be lots of fun so list it as my third choice.
Manticore
 player, 3 posts
Sat 23 Jul 2016
at 00:35
Choosing a Campaign
The 5th & 6th Ages fit my thoughts better than the rest do, but I'm thinking art, performance, and mystical creativity rather than battle.
the Creator
 GM, 14 posts
 gamemaster
 a.k.a. Chupa Bob
Sat 23 Jul 2016
at 01:03
Choosing a Campaign
I count three votes for the Accelerated Campaign. That is what we'll do.