Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Sharing and Caring

With the possibilities for physical meetings being limited a little update to the Centuria generator seems in order. Introducing the Dice Session page where a GM can share a space with players where everyone can roll dice and see each others' results. 

Its still very basic and require user interaction to pick up each others' rolls, but as the function is intended to use alongside some meeting software this hopefully won't be a problem. Suggestions for improvements are always welcome if presented in a nice way 😉




Sunday, August 30, 2020

GM Diary: Justice Wanted


It was a strange thing to realize that while most players (to my experience) choose to play characters who considers themselves to be righteous they had one hell of a problem adjusting to being officially recognized as such. On more than one occasion clandestine options where being discussed before everyone realized they could just demand or acquire access/resources or whatever it was that they needed through public channels.

Setup

What I wanted to explore in this campaign was the life of upstanding citizens of the Union and how society seemed from their perspective. To add quite a bit of contrast I wanted to explore this both from a dystopian and an utopian perspective, as Union cities vary greatly in both prosperity and reputation. For the dystopian perspective Merm City was the obvious choice; for the utopian one I picked the city of Gothmor. 

In most Age of Information adventures the players have in someway strived to work against the system. Here the situation was to be the exact opposite and for that reason all characters where to be Union arbitrators; law enforcement officers something akin to Judge Dredd. 

As a final challenge I decided to test the players' flexibility by having a plot involving an arbitrator commander as the bad guy. I imagined that the characters couldn't really get to him without working slightly outside the very system they were set to uphold; he would simply be too good at covering up his own tracks and using his position against them.

Development

The characters started out in Merm City where they faced crowd control challenges and criminal gangs and where introduced to a very cynical frame of mind. It was a (fun) challenge for most to suddenly be the ones with the law on their side, but still having to wrestle with moral choices due to societal segmentation. This was then sharply contrasted as the characters were transferred to the city of Gothmor to investigate a series of murders with suspected links to Merm City. Very different from Merm City, Gothmor was a pristine place with no slums, little apparent poverty and a rooted respect for law enforcement among most citizens. 

The players had to adapt both to the new perspective and the shifting setting and unfortunately I think I brought this on a bit too rapidly to give room for the roleplaying to catch on. But nevertheless the characters progressed in their investigation of the murders, but never really seemed comfortable enough to step outside of the established procedures. 

In retrospect I have mixed feelings about this campaign. Mostly I think this is because how it all ended. I had prepared an ending scene in which the characters could choose to side with one of two arbitrator commanders, one bending the rules for good, the other (the villain behind the murders) for his own gain - though they couldn't know for sure this was the case. In the end the characters choose to walk a middle ground; refusing to bend the rules for unclear reasons and thus ended up without allies against an overwhelming foe. To their credit they survived, but for the players it was a big anti-climax to find themselves without much closure beyond my explanations off game. 

On the plus side, I don't think I've played a single Age of Information campaign since when a reference to this campaign haven't been brought up. Having an understanding for the arbitrator perspective both for me as a GM and for the players have been very valuable for deepening our understanding of the world we're playing in. Thus Justice Wanted was a wonderful reference and I would love to return to the setting again with players now familiar to the challenges ahead.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Serious production

Going through the Age of Information rulebook I noticed some inconsistencies in the Commerce chapter (p 232) regarding commodity quantities, basically turning most production facilities into horrible investments due to much smaller production than maintenance costs. This has thus been rectified and an updated version is available on the download page.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

2020

Its been a quiet year on this blog so far, so here's breaking the silence.

The CG3 character generator has been moved to MS Azure and is now available at cg3.centuria.se. The old address will probably work for a while longer though characters created there might not be migrated to the new site (current Dagger's Watch residents have already been migrated).

There's also some plotting for LinCon 2021 going on, but don't expect any updates on that for a while.

With all rule books now available in print that is certainly a milestone worth mentioning. While there are adventures and campaigns being written and played there currently aren't any plans for new text material - though I know for experience these things can shift fast when I get an idea into my head...

So for now Centuria lives on mostly in the way it was intended to be: played, with friends. Thanks to technology we can continue our journey - currently exploring the workings of the Gothic Inqusition from within.

So happy playing everyone and keep safe! Centuria will be back with at least a few campaign descriptions this year and then we'll just see what comes along.





Sunday, December 22, 2019

The CG3

It is not without pride that I can finally announce the release of the Character Generator v3: http://cg3.centuria.appcloud.se/. Much is of course the same as the previous version but apart from being implemented in the outstanding Blazor framework I've introduced some additional changes!


I've added save and load functionality for characters in progress (the Dagger's Watch will still display completed characters). I did deviate from the rule books by introducing archetypes and personalities (personalities are technically in the rulebook but not used for PC:s) to speed up character creation and help produce more plausible backgrounds. It feels like a suitable way to take advantage of the possibilities a generator grants in a way that would probably not work so well if incorporated into the rules themselves.


There's also a lot of small bugs and such stuff which have been fixed or improved. Then I've also gone and implemented a 'description' option for random businesses, which will add a neat little description to each business generated (if you've checked the option). Not a whole resume but something to get you started with some ideas.



I hope you enjoy!

The old generator will be around for some time still, but eventually it will be removed.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

GM Diary: In service to the Falcons

Really digging down into the archives now as, admittedly, I haven't run very many Age of Steel campaigns for some time (with one notable exception - but that's for another post). In service to the Falcons was actually played in 2010 - several years before Centuria actually came to be, but it still served to bring to life some of the core aspects of the world.

Setup

In service to the Falcons was a quite classic roleplaying campaign but with a mission setup - probably the first time I tried that actually, to deal with the problem of players not being able to show up each and every time. As for preparations it also employed a style I have enjoyed ever since with a few early missions decided from the start and some outlines for several plots which I could later expand depending on what the players decided to engage in.

The core concept was for the characters to be initiates in the Order of the Falcon; their first mission being to survive and escape a dungeon prepared as a final exam (on a side note I later wrote a one-off adventure featuring this mission, called The Blood Maze). Following this they were sent on a fairly easy mission collecting late taxes, giving me the opportunity to introduce their homeland, some characters and also the rather harsh position held by the Falcons towards the people living in their land. 

Important characters, such as the local commander and the grandmaster of the order, were invented beforehand - but beyond this I used a list of random names quite frequently. However, as part of preparations for each occasion I wrote a lite script: 
  1. A quest name (never really used towards the players)
  2. A short description similar to what you might find on the back of a book presenting the major plot
  3. A list of skill tests which could progress the quest
  4.  A short description of expected/possible outcomes and possible rewards

Development

Being almost a decade ago I certainly had to dig through my old notes to remind me of this campaign - but surprisingly enough I still remember some of the missions we played quite well. For instance it was the first appearance of a character which has reoccured in many campaign since: the rather deplorable adventurer known as Killian Drake. In this case Killian and his companions had managed to get trapped inside a temple, surrounded by a large band of orcs. The characters managed to get them out of trouble, for which Killian was moderately grateful (his companions more so). 

By and large, the characters did what they were asked to do, which earned them fame and promotion (which in turn granted better gear and access to special skills).

Eventually the characters got involved in southern politics - more precisely the civil war brewing in Arbea. The campaign ended in a story telling fashion I have used many times since; where I as GM describe what happens to the character after the end of the events constituting the campaign, with some input from the player. The success (or demise) of the character was determined by how the player had roleplayed the character in combination with how events had unfolded.
(In such story telling I always try to avoid killing the character (even through old age) as this is a bit harsh on the player but also leaves me with a possible NPC with great backstory for a future campaign)

While I'm not overly impressed by the overarching story, which was rather bland, I fondly remember this campaign because it worked well - and the individual missions where very well written and very interesting. I could certainly see myself running this campaign once more. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

Back in business

It's been very quiet here since the hacking, but I thought I should write and clarify that everything is back up and good to go. Download material is now available via dropbox and the character generator is up and running.

Also plans for LinCon 2020 are under way - but given an abundance of to-do's there is a risk of some continued inactivity here on the blog.

Over and out for now!