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Old 08-28-2022, 03:02 PM   #1
Astromancer
 
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Default Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

What it says on the tin. Tell us about your RPG campaigns. When asked, do a little friendly kibitzing.

Also give and get practical advice on game situations when asked.
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Old 08-28-2022, 03:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

I'll be reposting the earlier sessions of this campaign here later. When I mention why I'm doing something, I'm asking for comment on that thing this time.

The three active at this time PCs have started out going down a river with dams and lockes. The Kenku Monk got a natural 20 on his Insight roll and figured how to work the lockes to lower the boat.

The group noticed the powerful preservation magic of the long gone society. The dam and its lockes have been untented for seven centuries. And everything is in perfect order.

While leaving the pool at the bottom of the locke I tossed out a red herring.

There was a plinth with cravings of a skull and a scythe on it and the words "I am in Arcadia also."

They also found scratched onto the stone the words "In the beginning all the world was..." They saw that part of a letter had been made but not finished.

(The second was a real clue)

They had been told that the harpies couldn't go beyond the fifth set of lockes. They had just left the first locke and they were in an insanely overgrown rose garden with a forest of flowering trees.

The roses would have had to have been hacked with a machete to go beyond the river's edge.

The fairy and the owlin searched several pavilions along the river bank and looted some golden plates and bowls, some fine crystal goblets, and elegant table silver. They found more signs of the conflict between the red thistle and the blue oak leaf.

The second lock had a gift shop set up.

The first thing on entering one would see were three fauns. One was a statue, the other two were petrified fauns with looks of horror on their faces.

The PCs soon saw the shadow of the Cockatrice.

After several minutes of sneaking up on it, they discovered the cockatrice was also petrified. They went back and discovered that the dead fauns had been set up as a display.

They found many small animals that had clearly been made to pose in silly ( and, for the animals in question, painful) ways and then petrified.

They also found a chessboard were the pieces were petrified kindergarten children who clearly knew they were being murdered.

This board was marked with a glass butterfly and a steel orchid.

The area after the second locke was parkland. The PCs found a warning.

"Elm he do grieve/
Oak he do Hate!
Willow will walk/
If you walk late."

The owlin picked a fight with a weeping willow. An enchanted tree as strong as a cloud giant and one hundred feet tall.

He nearly escaped. Meanwhile, the oaks and elms placed those members of the party that weren't there into a deathlike trance by sorcery.

While they drifted further south they crossed over a gigantic sun dial. They read the dial motto "Each one wounds, the last one kills." They thought it was a warning about the trees.

They came to the third locke.

There was a small inn. The owlin used Gaseous Form to explore inside. But all clues were lost when the willows ripped the building apart.

The land beyond the third locke was another area of formal rose gardens overgrown into nightmare jungles. There were magically preserved fishing cottages along the river. The Kenku Monk and the Owlin Warlock stole fishing rods and a generously equipped tackle box.

Although they looked inside the windows of the cottages, and found them richly and lavishly furnished they didn't go inside. They went fishing. Although the cottages were marked with elaborate heraldic symbols, the PCs fried fish. In the Kenku Monk's magic fry pan.

The building at the forth locke was a burned out shell that should have collapsed decades ago.

The lands beyond the forth locke were a wilderness of magnolias and mimosas.

The PCs found themselves being chased by otters the size of Nile crocodiles. (These are creatures from Irish folklore, and very deadly).

Unlike the areas above the forth locke, the gardens changed dramatically. The Magnolias and Mimosas gave way to giant flowers.

The PCs (only the Owlin and the Kenku were awake, their players there) had an epic battle with hawk sized dragon flies. The butterfly shamans tried to enchant them. But they got away.

While getting to the fifth locke the Harpies showed up. (They had been seen while the weeping willows were enraged, but it was thought that all the Harpy scouts were killed by the willows).

The actual lockes were beyond the barrier that blocked the harpies and their powers. But the harpies tried to open the floodgates and drown the PCs. It was a race to the bottom.

The PCs once at the bottom of the fifth locke were surrounded by crocodile sized otters, but the harpies actually got the floodgate open and washed everyone away.

The PCs only barely saved the boat.

The PCs soon came into the area of the city they had been shown was downstream.

The first sign they saw was the facade of a building with no building to back it up. The thing had clearly been in place for centuries even though the wind should have blown it down long ago.

Soon they saw the magically preserved streetlights on the city.

When the PCs came to the first bridge they found it was in perfect shape, except for the roadbed had been full of dirt and leaf litter so long a small forest of stunted trees had grown up. The sidewalks were perfectly clean.

The next bridge had houses on it. (Yes I always loved those old illustrations of London Bridge in the Mother Goose books. Why do you ask?)

They came to a pier with stairs up to the bridge and docked the boat. As three of the PCs weren't there playing. I ruled that their PCs were still in enchanted slumber.

The Kenku Monk and the Owlin Warlock followed the sound of music up the stairs. The boat being securely moored to the pier.

When the PCs got there, they found a hurdy-gurdy and a keyboard thing that sounded like bells.

They discovered the unnaturally preserved curtains and stage of a puppet theater. Going inside, they found the place striped of just about everything. The owners had had time to pack. The front room of the theater was a toy shop that clearly specialized in puppets and dolls.

Going out into the street they found a still active mill ready to grind flour and lift water to the upper levels of the bridge houses.

While at the mill they heard singing.

The line "Do you hear Mademoiselle those musicians of Hell?" Repeated like a broken record.

The found the noise coming from a life sized puppet made from the skin and bones of a woman. The sound coming from a cheap amulet.

The disgusted monk destroyed the figure in hopes of giving the dead woman's soul rest. He then smashed the amulet. The act of smashing the amulet caused a clearly supernatural sensation of well being and relief.

On the way back to the puppet show, in order to climb down the stairs to the boat, they passed in inn/tavern called "The Dancing Bones."

They investigated the inn. The same twisted mixture of decay and preservation was found. They also found an animated human skeleton dancing on a table in the inn.

The monk also turned this to dust. They saw the table the skeleton danced on was marked with a glass butterfly and a steel orchid.

They then went back to the boat. End of session.
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Last edited by Astromancer; 08-29-2022 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 08-29-2022, 07:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

I'm planning to present the PCs with the chance to explore/loot a royal pavilion that floats about a mile up in the sky.

I want to have had the place damaged in an attack. And as a consequence it doesn't float evenly.

What's do you guys think is a good angle for the pavilion to list at? What is enough of a slope to make walking a serious burden but not a mountain climbing exhibition?

Thank you ahead of time.
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Old 08-29-2022, 08:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

It depends on how slick the floor is. But I think that a 15 to 30 degree slope is good, especially if you have it wobble a bit.
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Old 08-29-2022, 09:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

One of my TFT campaigns is rising to a climax after some character shake-up, with the PCs trying to help engineer a less destructive ousting of imperial occupiers from an important city on a major trade route by a native army than would be likely if the armies simply fought. Two players left the group, one joined briefly and then also quit, leaving a core of three players with characters at about mid-level. Then one of the remaining players decided to retire his character who had been acting as the moral compass for the group. His new character is interesting--a low IQ soldier who is under a curse which makes him come back to life after being killed, but with either lower IQ or a psychological handicap. He's provided a bit of humor, but has so far not had the chance to show his worth as a mercenary.

This is a campaign started with the release of the TFT Legacy Edition, and with most of the original players being grognards familiar with TFT from the 1970s. Although the world the campaign is set in differs from the official Cidri setting, the players keep wanting/expecting things from Cidri--like magic items for sale, and ready access to the Wizards' and other guilds, and I think the players would feel a little disappointed to have them wholly gone, despite my campaign precis downplaying them. So, I've relented a little now and then which has made the players happier, but me less so. I also relented right at the beginning when one player was extremely interested in playing two characters, one the servant of the other, which I allowed. The problem was that the two characters wound up (from my perspective) always being played as though they had a telepathic link and completely understood each other, and the servant character was a nonhuman who could fly, which gave the PCs an easy way to overcome too many obstacles. As luck would have it, he got smacked down to death's door twice, which forced the group to not rely upon him for several sessions. This forced the player to concentrate on playing the master character, who then blossomed into his own.

Frankly, I'm amazed the campaign has lasted as long as it has, since we did not have the benefit of a Session Zero, and the players came up with characters with motivations and core activities that did not suggest any shared purpose. But the story has evolved and the characters grew wonderfully--I was disappointed to see the aforementioned moral compass character retire. With the various plot lines out there for the remaining group to choose from and with the remaining original characters grown to become advanced but not super-powerful, there is a lot of opportunity for the campaign to continue.

My advice would be to have an FAQ document that grows from its origins at the campaign's Session Zero, and to keep that in an easily accessible place (a Google Drive folder or Discord channel). Session Zero should be mandatory AFTER the players have selected from a small set of possible campaign prospectuses, each of which is built around "You are X in Y and are engaged in Z." And only one character per player, period.
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Old 08-30-2022, 03:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

I'm currently running three campaigns.

* Fronteira is a GURPS campaign set on Mars in the year 2240 of an alternate timeline, Shikaku-Mon, taken from GURPS Alternate Earths. It's a mixture of family saga, slice of life, and perhaps a touch of soap opera and workplace drama; all the characters are members of a wealthy family in Pavonis Portal, the city at the ground terminus of Mars's orbital elevator. It's largely going well, but I do need to introduce some added dramatic tension; I'm thinking of having one of the PCs discover that he has an illegitimate son who has now come to adulthood.

* Gate of Horn is a FUDGE campaign set in the present-day Bay Area, but largely taking place within the shared dreams of the player characters—and of one of the NPCs, who is a schizophrenic woman living on the streets and cut off from her own dreams. One of her recurrent dream companions, an anthropomorphic jackrabbit who is now hideously scarred, has been appearing as a PC. In the latest session they cut off the head of the entity that has been inhabiting the woman's mind; they now have it in a metal-bound wooden chest, since it continued to talk to them after its severance. Now I need to come up with further challenges for them to face, since they've done away with the immediate Big Bad.

* Satanic Mills is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer campaign set in Manchester in the 1830s, when it's the most prosperous industrial city on Earth. The big challenge there is external: One of the three players has had to skip recent sessions in the aftermath of a death in the family and will be out for some time, if indeed he ultimately returns. I've had inquiries about adding another player, and if she decides she's interested I'm going to work on a new character for her (the player who's currently playing the Slayer has offered to step down in her favor if she wants to assume that role). A running motif here has been that the current Slayer has become aware of the Watchers and is systematically avoiding revealing herself to them.
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Old 08-31-2022, 12:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

I just started a twilight 2000 4th ed game set up using the movie red dawn expect using the year 2000 and the war has been going on for four years and this was one of last big battles the group is fleeing.
I am setting the game around Rockford, IL. I have 5 players, one sniper, combat medic, ranger, lead by a naval seabed captain and have an 11 year old black girl tagging along as the groups driver.
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