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.


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


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!