July’s Featured Campaign: Shadowrun – Into The Breach

It’s a new month, and with it comes Shadowrun – Into The Breach, a new Featured Campaign. I had a whole write up ready for this one, but the DM for last month’s Featured Campaign Arsheeh beat me to it. Let’s hear what he had to say.

Campaign Highlights

Among the many features of Into the Breach worthy of note are the following:

  • Innovative HTML and Graphics work:
    As previously mentioned, Jim has invested allot of effort into the layout of his site, both in terms of HTML/Textile formatting, and in terms of the graphic images that he has either created or found to adorn the site. Into the Breach exudes the dark cybernetic aesthetic that is the hallmark of cyberpunk. I am not exaggerating when I say that this site layout is one of a very small handful of the coolest and most innovative on the Portal.
  • Character Dossiers:
    Jim has created a really clever set of dossiers for each of the characters in his campaign that is well worth checking out.
  • Karma, Achievements & Special Abilities:
    Jim has adapted a system that rewards players with cool character abilities both for in-game and meta-game contributions to the campaign.
  • Classifieds & News:
    Another really clever innovation to this campaign site is the introduction of a set of News stations and classified adds which offer a variety of story hooks. This allows for a great deal of story options for the players.
  • The Subterranean Village of Throal:
    I just love this idea! Seriously, you gotta read about this location for yourself.
  • Weapons, Vehicles & Equipment:
    Into the breach contains a host of detailed, visually impressive entries on futuristic technology that ought to make any Shadowrun DM drool!

It’s hard to argue with any of that. To celebrate his acheivement we asked JimTriche to tell us about his newly featured campaign.

Obsidian Portal: How much of the campaign/system is original content developed by you and your players?

JimTriche: The world exists as it is, we’ve made up some weapons, made some organizations and corps, and whatnot to populate it, but for the most part what we use exists somewhere to some degree in the original sourcebooks. Some stuff we’ve borrowed from other campaigns or stories we read, and parts, notably the subterranean Kingdom of Throal are creative evolutions based on other material. (Earthdawn, in that case) The storyline is an original construct, and some of the house rules are either fixes for shortcomings in the Shadowrun 2nd Edition rules or developments that were entirely missing. The Achievements idea was taken from other Obsidian Portal members through general forum brainstorming. I wish more people used them.

Obsidian Portal: Your campaign looks great, can you tell us more about it?

JimTriche: Well, the campaign actually has been going off and on for a few years, and it’s ever evolving. We have 2 guys that GM, and we switch off occasionally, though we tend to guard our plothooks even from each other. It helps to keep things fresh I think. It’s currently in a bit of a Steampunk mode, they’re searching for legendary artifacts to battle a Horror, which Shadowrun and Earthdawn share as major badguys. The goal at the moment is to tie the world together and show a bit of the scope of FASA’s creations, as well as tying them together. Who knows, if we play long enough we may evolve into some Mechwarrior fluff as well!

Obsidian Portal: Where do you get your inspiration the story and the world?

JimTriche: The world is Earth, didn’t need a whole lot of inspiration there, it’s just a bit… run down. The storylines come in as conglomerations, various sci-fi/fantasy books, frankensteined adventure modules from various systems, and bad movies and television. What makes for horrible cinema often makes awesome game plots. Then we mix and match. Tolkien+Gibson+King+Lovecraft= a good start.

Obsidian Portal:  How well do you know your players?

JimTriche: I’ve been friends with them for about 10 years. I met two at work when I first moved into New Jersey, and the others were friends of theirs for closer to 25 years. It’s a good group of people, the kind of guys who have keys to your house. The kind of guys that’d be sharing a cell with you. Good guys.

Obsidian Portal:  What kinds challenges are you faced with in your campaign?

JimTriche: Mostly it’s scheduling logistics, our work schedules all differ, Three of us are married, I have 3 kids, one is a farmer, and so on. Sometimes distractions pop up during game too, in the form of random internet pages or accidents at the corner near the house. Usually we keep things moving pretty well though. I’d love to get the players more into using the Portal, but the geeky stuff is my general domain (and I couldn’t have made the campaign wiki look half as nice without some major help from your forum regulars)

Obsidian Portal:  What aspects of your campaign are you really proud of?

JimTriche: I’m liking that it seems genuine. When I say that I mean that the world feels like it makes sense. The NPCs have their own lives, the players have freedom that I lacked in a lot of my games in years past, I like being able to entertain friends as well. Of the campaign plot itself, I like the way Throal is shaping up, Massive Dynamic (Yes, inspired by Fringe – the other GM’s baby) has become a great resource in game, and the overall story is taking a life on it’s own, while remaining malleable enough that we can still switch off GM duties and run our own subplots while keeping the metaplot in full swing.

Obsidian Portal:  According to your players, what have been the highlights of the campaign?

IncCamaro – “I am extremely interested in what’s happening with the Throal thing here. I definitely want to see where this goes.”

Schweedit – “The whole cabin scene was great, it’s not every day someone unleashes a horrific scourge upon the entire world.”

Blitzkreig8881 and CarlPaul71 were not available for comment, though their likely responses would have been “I like to shoot things” for Blitzkreig, and “I hate your stupid Bear” for Carl.

Obsidian Portal:  What future plans do you have for your campaign?

JimTriche: The metaplot is set, either they defeat the critter they let loose or the world dies. Either way, at the end we’ll regroup, restart or continue on with a new metaplot and campaign. We’ll of course be using the portal from the beginning on that one.

Obsidian Portal: Do you have anyone you’d like to thank?

JimTriche: Thanks to Arsheesh, Hardhead, Chainsaw, Gaaran, Idabrius, FrankSirmarco, MadEd, Gnunn and anyone else I forgot at the moment for all the help and support! Also calabacita for making me extra happy very soon.

Congrats again to JimTriche and all his players! If you have a suggestion for next month’s Featured Campaign, drop us a note on the forums!

Award Winning!

Gold ENnie for Best Website 09'-11'

Silver ENnie for Best Website, Best Podcast 2012-2013
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