Today we bring to you guys, a truly awesome showcase of campaign depth and intricacy. The very dedicated and friendly DungeonMasterLoki shares with us a bit about his game, his players and gives us some sound advice. The Spelljoined campaign has been going on since before some of us were born! So ‘ave a seat cutter, and stop rattlin’ your bone box for a just minute and park your ears right here!
First things first. If you’d like you can give us your name, where your from, or any other bio information you’d like to mention.
My name is George Williams and I’m a native New Orleanian now living in Cincinnati. I’ve been a heavily involved in the online communities for both Planescape and Spelljammer for close to a decade now. I started gaming back in 1979 with a little book called Chainmail. It’s been great watching the hobby grow in the time since.
I see the spelljoined campaign has gone on for quite some time now, how did it all start?
It started as a 1st Edition Greyhawk game back when I was in high school. Being an avid fan of things like Michael Moorcock, Dr. Who, and H.P. Lovecraft inspired a multiplanar approach even back then. As the Manual of the Planes and later Planescape came along we simply integrated them and expanded our continuity.
In the early days we saw the groups start in Greyhawk and end up visiting Gamma World or Boot Hill. In later years we had the multiversal range of Planescape and the interstellar range of spelljammer.
Spelljoined is a pathfinder game, but what did it originate as? What decisions led up to making the switch to pathfinder?
The original game, whose PC still turn up as Epic level Characters(tm), was 1st edition. We switched to AD&D mostly because of the skill system. It was about seven character levels into the Seven Stars game that we switched to 3rd edition.
Properly handled 3rd edition is a great system and our group like 3.5 even more so we upgraded immediately. It was not until I had to find a new gaming group after our move to Ohio that we went fully Pathfinder. From a design standpoint its the most solid system out there and iis very user friendly towards our play style.
Add in the new Pathfinder psionics by Dreamscarred Press and it’s the perfect vehicle for our story.
I see a lot of elements familiar to the planescape setting on the campaign site, but it stretches far beyond just that doesn’t it?
In our game the Planescape continuity is used as is, but more is added beyond. The approach is similar to the one taken in DC Comics Infinite Crisis. If you cross the vibratory plane rather than conventional planar travel you can end up in some crazy places. Dragonstar, Call of Cthulhu, the world of Elric, etc. In game I term it The Macroverse.
Who does all the custom artwork?
Silverbade and Paldine do all the CG stuff – the spelljammer ships, the rock of Bral, etc. They’r old collaborators from the spelljammer email list who have allowed me to use their works in my game and on the Wiki. (©)
The hand drawn art is the product of two of our players GwynethRavenscraft and Kenari Sanura on OP. They are truly amazing and are doing the art for some Pathfinder supplements I hope to soon bring to print.
That’s a phenomenal airship item (among others) you have there, wanna tell us more about its origin?
Well, credit where it is most certainly due. Silverblade did that on his own and shared it with the SJ List a long time ago. Loving it I immediately bused it in gam during a boarding action and the PCs loved it! I’ve used it ever since and pulled it all together here on the Portal with his permission.
How much of the game actually takes/took place in Sigil? (I love Sigil!)
The Characters and campaign are based in Sigil and on the Rock of Bral (and asteroid city, fantasy style). At least once a game they run through The cage on their way somewhere else. Often to Bytopia for some truly heavanly glowing blue cheese…
How long have you known your players and how long have you been DM’ing?
One player was in the seven Stars campaign in New Orleans, we’ve been best friends for years. Other than that its a fantastic crew of people I’ve managed to meet since moving to Ohio.
I’ve been pretty much always the DM, started back in 1980 and this is the result.
How about a pearl of wisdom or two for everyone regarding DM’ing awesome games such as spelljoined, or any setting for that matter.
Don’t be afraid to do things on the fly. If your players are any good they will jump straight up when you expect them to jump left. The trick to making it work it keeping track, something OP helps a lot with. If you write down the name, race and a few quick descriptive terms you’re ready when they suddenly decide to go visit that blacksmith from back in the 2nd level days.
Don’t be afraid to junk the rules entirely for the story. Pathfinder is the best system out there right now, but it is at its best when played 1st Edition style. Improv and story over die rolls are both important things to bring to the table. Just use it sparingly.
That wraps it up for April! What do you think? Think your campaign has got the stuff to be featured, let us know or drop a line in the Featured Campaign Submissions thread! Safe travels, and until next time, be open to berks trying nick your jink or worse – winding up as a deadder on one of the dustmen’s tables!