As you may recall from the Site and Tech Updates post for May, one of the items that was “in the works” was a software update for the Portal’s community forums. At that time, things were still in the earliest stages, with some basic cleanup and the like having just begun. Well, since that post, work on the update has continued – and John has now informed me that we are “maybe a week out or so” from seeing it released. In the meantime, here is a sneak peek at what’s ahead.
If there’s one thing that players can’t stand, it’s being railroaded through a campaign (or portions of one). The concept of player choice means little when there is only one option available, and as the GameMaster you can pretty much forget about the group having any real investment in their characters, or any genuine excitement about what’s going on in the game. Once the rails have been spotted and the track identified – the only thing you can count on for sure is the players to politely go through the motions until your predictable plot runs its course.
It’s an easy trap to fall into. You have a story you’re trying to tell, and certain events need to transpire in order to get the Party to the grand finale.
Yeeeeahoooo! You’re all clear kid! So grab your lightsaber and dive back into that galaxy far far away with Star Wars: Rise of the Infinite Empire, June’s Campaign of the Month! Search your feelings as we interview GM HumAnnoyed, the Jedi Mast.. er GameMaster at the helm of this action packed campaign using the Fate Accelerated system.
Disclaimer: I was a published author and contributor for Columbia Games Ltd for a limited time, and my name appears in the list of contributors in the HârnMaster Religion book.
Game Concept Synopsis
HârnMaster is a fantasy game designed and published for the gaming world of HârnWorld. Published by Columbia Games and initially written by N. Robyn Crossby; it is in its third iteration. The game focuses on skill-based improvement with a combat system that is generously referred to as “lethal”.
It is difficult to talk about HârnMaster without talking about the background (HârnWorld). HârnWorld is the campaign background for a HârnMaster game. The published regions of Harn to 13th century Europe; and is often described as both realistic and detailed. The world map (and world index) strongly suggest that there are other cultures and a much larger map to explore. HârnWorld is a traditional low magic fantasy setting, but the low-magic limitation is a socially imposed one rather than a limiter within the game system.
Stay with any group of people long enough, and you will learn their ways, their customs, and their language. If you already share a language, then you will pick up the “linguistic individualisms” that exist within the group. These tend to come in the form of words and terms, but they can also be gestures, phrases or sayings that trigger to shared knowledge or experience. They help to create a bond and can allow for volumes of information to be passed from one person to another (or a group) in an instant.
“The End.” – with these words, the six-book Pathfinder Adventure Path that my gaming group has spent the last few months hammering through reached its conclusion, and our collective thoughts turned toward the next campaign (if you’re curious, we played Second Darkness, and our ending was uh… let’s just go with “less than a total win”).
And so, this week our group will attend the character making ‘session 0’ for the campaign of our good friend Fealoce, who despite having more than five years under his belt with the group, is still the new guy. I can’t help but assume that this campaign will be long remembered by our troupe, because it has something that no other campaign we have played together in the last decade or so has… a First-Timer GameMaster.