Terror on the Outer Rim [Edge of Empire]: Session 0

Character and Setting Generation

Well we held our character generation and campaign creation session (christened session 0) for our Edge of the Empire game that we’re going to be running soon (now named Terror on the Outer Rim): you can see the intro crawl I made for session 0 here:

This was the first actual session we’ve hosted on Twitch and it wasn’t without technical problems, including:

  • The footage uploaded to Twitch seemed to be quite laggy and I was constantly receiving messages about it ‘dropping frames’ during the broadcast, not sure what I can do about that (being at best an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to IT) but I’ll have a look into it.
  • Not being able to use the layouts that had been created since one of the players was fairly late and adding an extra person would’ve changed the screen capture areas.
  • The sound quality varying considerably on Skype depending on how many people were online.
  • For some reason people seemed to talk over each other more, I’m not sure whether or not this is just a consequence of having more players.
  • Skype restricting video calls to four hours.

Despite those problems along with myself and several of the players not being 100% up on the FFG EotE rules yet we were able to get through character creation and also come up with several potential future conflicts for the area where the game is going to be set. There were a couple of additional issues:

  • Generating characters for people without the rulebook is a bit of chore; this is no fault of the people involved (since I certainly wouldn’t expect all players to have to purchase a copy of the book) but compared to games I’ve used with more streamlined character creation I did find the process a bit lengthy and I must say was longingly eyeing the Fate Star Wars hack by Ryan M. Danks at one point (you can find that here for anyone interested).That said I’m determined to persevere with the FFG system and hopefully it’ll get easier as we all become more familiar with the rules.
  • It’s obvious that one or two of the players are more familiar with the EU of Star Wars than I am (having not played any of the related video games) and I can see people quoting obscure “facts” about the setting potentially being a nigglesome issue; I’ve decided to deal with that by assuming that only the current cannon (as established by the films) is guaranteed to be accurate, I may introduce EU elements as the game goes on but it should not be assumed this is the case.

You can see the videos of session 0 below:

Part 1

Part 2

Our next session is a couple of weeks; anyone interested in watching it live can do so on our Twitch channel:

https://www.twitch.tv/reddicediaries/

 

How many games can you actually run?

Have you ever had one of those ideas that seemed like a brilliant one at the time, but then in the cold light of day, maybe not so much?

I’m sure we all must have done right?

Well I had one the other day, it was late, must have been nearly midnight, i’d got up early at 6:00am to play in a StarWars Edge of Empire one-off run by Runeslinger (you can find a link to the AP of that session here) and really enjoyed that, banged a load of energy drinks down me, went to a local RP convention then I came home, did some blogging, drank some more energy drinks and kept writing until near midnight. It was as the witching hour approached that I was sitting at my keyboard, Edge of Empire corebook tantalisingly within reach that a thought occurred to me:

“I could probably run an Edge of Empire campaign at the same time as my Jadepunk game”

I was chatting to a couple of people online at the time, but the idea seemed like a really good one as I started to crash, the last of the caffeinated goodness from my earlier feast of energy drinks spent; I went as far as to start writing down the skeletal notes of a campaign outline and began musing idly about what day I could run it on – Saturday was out because otherwise i’d be running games on both days of the weekend and I’d never manage to get into a one-shot, how about Tuesdays? I was going to be playing in a bi-weekly StarWars game run by somebody else on Tuesdays, but perhaps I could slot my game in on the other weeks; i’m pretty sure that some of my Jadepunkers would be interested and I could always look for other players on the many RP Facebook groups I’m a member of.

Luckily for me it was at that point that I really started to crash and, making my excuses retired to bed. When I woke up the next morning the idea of running another campaign seemed a little silly in the cold light of day, after all, it would effectively halve the planning time that I’d have for Jadepunk and would mean that I’d have to organise two groups of people, with all the scheduling difficulties, correspondence and other things that entails.

If you find yourself in the situation where you’re thinking about running another campaign, I’d suggest asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you have the energy to run another campaign?
    Although running games is fun, a lot of effort goes into them and it can become exhausting if you take too much on, leading to the dreaded GM burnout.
  2. Do you have the time to run and plan another campaign?
    There’s only so many hours in the week, work and other real-life stuff tends to eat up a lot of time for most of us, so seriously consider whether or not you have the time to devout to it, keeping in mind that you’ll be splitting this time between your new game and any current campaigns you’re running.
  3. Is your significant other going to murder you?
    A very important consideration, whilst playing non-stop RPing games would be a dream come true for some, even if you have a very understanding other half, they may frown on the amount of time you have to devote towards running yet another game.
  4. Could you get your fix another way?
    If you’re just looking for a change of pace or maybe want to try out a new system, perhaps running a one-shot or one-off session might help to scratch that itch and, since it’s only a one-off it won’t chew up so much of your time.

    If you want to run a one-shot I highly recommend giving the Tabletop RPG One Shot Group Facebook community a look.

Hopefully once you’ve answered those questions you’ll have more of any idea of whether running another RPG campaign is actually desirable and feasible…

…and I definitely can’t run another game…

…nor do I want to…

…definitely not…

…mmmm …Starwars.

 

[Session Write-up] Sapphire Islands – Dungeon World Mini-campaign – Session 9

Korra stood on the deck of the ship, emerald green sails billowing in the wind above her, Mikhail was stood nearby steering the mighty vessel on it’s course back towards her home, the Sapphire Islands, he had bought them worrying tales of the Sapphire Emperor joining the dark forces of the The Child that even now marched on the Kingdom; but the bards thoughts were far away, dwelling on the deal that she had made with Hel half-rotten, northland goddess of the dead when the boot of an orc-man had crushed her chest and the corpse-deity appeared before her with her damnable bargain. She had three days to send a soul of equal worth to the depths of Hel’s dark domain or her own would be forfeit; Korra didn’t want to die, no-one did (well maybe those berserking northlanders but no-one else), and for a moment she had entertained keeping her side of the bargain, she had even sized up a couple of people such as James, the vessel’s young chef, but how could she honestly live with herself knowing that someone languished in the underworld, condemned in her place?
Demanor meanwhile stood far away in the halls of the mountain dwelling elves, she was lead to where three ancient members of their tribe stood encased in thick white ice, the people of the floating fortress had gathered around, eager to catch a glimpse of one of the rare stangers to their kingdom; a small child darted from the crowd and handed the forest dwelling druidess a necklace crafted to look like a snowflake which she accepted gracefully. A soft but commanding voice in her head from one of the frozen figures informed her that they had felt the corruption of the twisted elven blashpemies that roamed the mountainside but that they had also sensed Demanor and her pure link with nature, Thalin had been sent to guide her to them; Demanor began to speak, to warn the ancient elves of the danger posed by the The Child, and felt the minds of those ancient elves join with her, as she spoke they walked through her memories seeing the visions that she had seen of The Child, his part in the burning of the ancient elven settlement and his initial meeting with the savage orc shaman known as the Rugorim.
Hesitantly Demanor asked the ancients whether they could sense The Child and told them that her friend was making for Ironholme, in return she saw a vision of a great force of orcs and humans besieging the city, Strike was camped nearby with the ragtag group of tribes that he had rallied to his banner.
Strikes scouts had returned with news of the orcs around the city, but they did not seem to be actually attacking it, they seemed to be waiting, undeterred the would-be king of the north strode through the horde almost daring anyone to meet his gaze and challenge him; a huge orc strode infront of him but, rather than lifting a weapon as Strike expected, he simply said “Azgog wants to see you.”
Allowing himself to be lead to a hide tent near the city, Strike met with the leader of the gathered orc tribes, a huge female orc known as Azgog, left behind as a lieutenant when Rugorim departed for the mainland to join The Child’s attack, taking most of his man-orcs with him; it seemed that, although Azgog had initially supported Rugorim, the old shaman’s pollution of orc bloodlines to create the man-orcs had soured her opinion of him, she had only been waiting for a sign to act with the man-orcs and the shaman himself gone, and here Strike was. The burly orc proposed that they join their tribes in marriage according to the ancient customs and that together they could take the northland and hold it against Rugorim’s forces should they attempt to return; realising that such a marriage would give him a huge force and almost uncontested rulership of the tribes not directly under Rugorim’s control Strike agreed and shortly afterwards the ceremony was held according to the ancient northlander customs.
“This isn’t right” shouted Captain Mikhail as the wind dropped to nothing and his ship fell becalmed, “there’s some devilry afoot here!”
Korra barely had time to look up, she had been composing an ode to Hel, hoping that her words might mollify the ancient deity somewhat, when a huge tentacled beast burst from the water, the body of the ancient goddess sprouting from the end of one of the tentacles like a rotting bloom; before anyone even had chance to shout or register surprise, Korra was snatched from the depth and pulled into the waters icy embrace, disappearing from view forever.
“The price has been paid” said the Hel-beast in a sombre funerary voice and the beast vanished back into the depths.
James the young chef rushed to the side of the ship, peering into the water, “She’s gone lad, no-one crosses the gods and lives, the winds coming up, we’ll all live longer if we get out of this damned place.”
Standing in the icy floating city Demanor gasped as she saw a vision of Korra’s death and somehow knew that what she had witnessed had happened and that she was too late to prevent it, startled voices filled the air and she realised that the ice containing the elders had started to darken and turn black; in her minds eye Demanor watched as the mainland burned and the dark forces of The Child destroyed all who did not surrender.

[GM tools-RPG] Edittable old newspaper template

This is a resource that TheRogueDM put me onto for use in my Jadepunk campaign, it’s a Powerpoint presentation that allows you to create an antique style newspaper:

[RPG] Jadepunk Character Sheets

Some small alterations have taken place on the characters getting them ready for the first session (I tend to allow players to make minor alterations to their character sheets up until the third session), below are the current backgrounds and character sheets that we have.
Ba Tu Satoru
The man who would be known as Ba Tu Satoru was the son of the sculptor Yutaka Kazami. When he was a small boy, he made a friend at school, whose father was Isaku Jirou. One day, the fathers collaborated in a contest run by one of the council of 9, the goal was to present to them the greatest clockwork sculpture (fame and fortune as the reward). Kazami, being a sculptor by trade, lacked skill at engineering and making clockwork, while Jirou was poor at aesthetics, but they worked together to cover each other’s faults. Additionally, since his father’s eyesight began to fail, Ba Tu would help Kazami by working on the finer details of the sculptures for him, though everyone else believed that he was just there to watch.
On the last day of the contest, Jirou betrayed Kazami. He made his own son stop Kazami’s son from trying to help his father. Jirou’s son, while crying and begging for forgiveness, bound his best friend’s wrists and legs and went into Jirou ‘s hideout with him. Jirou locked him in, until he could come back .Meanwhile, Kazami killed Jirou in a rage and then fled the city, abandoning the search for his son. Since Jirou could not arrive back to release Ba Tu after the completion the boy began to starve in his prison.
Ba Tu would have eventually died, had it not been for the chance arrival of Dogen Hōinbō, a blind professional assassin who just happened to be passing by at the time with his dog Kuro, who noticed the pair. Hōinbō saved the boy and took him in. The trauma caused by his near-death experience left him unable to recall much from before his rescue.
Sora Yoshida
Born to a Naramel nomadic tribe called the Red Talons Sora Yoshida spent his child hood years hunting for red jade out in the desert wastes with his family. Educated by the elders of his tribe Sora, became accustomed to the traditions and beliefs of the old gods, the pursuit of virtue.
While navigating the dune sea Sora came across a long abandoned village, uncovered by the erratic winds that trap the unwary. Upon approach an airship crashed into the village with a thunderous roar, not unlike laughter to Sora’s ears. Racing to search for survivors, only one is found close to death and covered in strange, almost animated tattoos. 
Before Sora could react the man grabs him by both fore arms and whispers to him, “My time is at an end but yours is just beginning, you have been chosen for a great task, Sora and I am afraid a difficult burden”.
The deserts are no place for children, so unlike the other clans Naramel’s youngsters grow up fast, usually gaining a hard survivalists edge. Sora already had enough problems with the weird dreams and compulsions that seemed separate from his own. He had though the incident at the abandoned village was a nightmare he had dreamt up until the incident at grey tower trading post. He had been unpacking satchels of red jade to be bartered for provisions when he suddenly found himself involved in a dispute with a water merchant and the local militia. 
With a strength that seemed beyond him he threw the guards into the fortified town wall.
To prevent his execution for this folly his clan smuggled him out and sent him to a distant relative in Kausao city.  There he confided in what would become his mentor about what he had witnessed, He believed the solution was to honour the old gods through an ancient series of traditional dances. Secretly also a martial art Sora spent several years practicing and perfecting this tradition. That is until his mentor’s temple is shut down by corrupt law enforcement cracking down upon any form of martial arts.
This leads Sora to end up coming into contact with the City’s less savoury characters in order to survive.  
In return for a favour owed Sora was able to learn something of his “condition” from a contraband book. It tells various tales of the land, some familiar to him while others totally alien. The tale of the laughing emperor was particularly interesting. It spoke of a legend of a man who managed to imprison a powerful spirit referred to as a djinn whose magic came from magical ink that adorned its body. Forced to aid in the creation of an empire, when the mocking emperor made a grave error in insulting the creature wishing it could stop him if he could, knowing that spirit could no directly lay a hand upon his owner. The djinn in retribution sacrificed itself into a thousand shards reportedly imbuing individuals who come into contact with them with the power to fight tyranny. 
A small faded illustration of a man bearing remarkable tattoos not dissimilar to Sora’s own was also provided. Most interesting was the bracelet the sketched described as being the way in which this dangerous legacy can be used. 
To find this item if possible and learn to control his tattoos Sora decides the time has come to fight back.
Kaiyu Yuuto



Background TBC

[Actual Play] Skyless City – Session 1

This is the first session of our new Jadepunk campaign, it finds our heroes aboard a sabotaged Aerum airship plummeting towards Kausao, perhaps our heroes weren’t the only ones attempting to take advantage of the Governor’s aerial tour of the city? But can they allow the massive collateral damage that the airship crash will cause?