Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Approach to Troupe Style Play for Fading Suns (Part I)

Here's the first part of the initial draft of the Troupe Style Play Charter for our Fading Suns group:

GAMEMASTER GUIDELINES
The primary philosophical approach for multiple gamemasters in a single Fading Suns campaign is similar to those held by the editors and writers of shared world anthologies like Thieves World and Wildcards: each gamemaster represents a different point of view of the multi-faceted universe of Fading Suns.

Keep this in mind when tackling the proposed guidelines for handling the system and setting.

CONCERNING SYSTEM
We’re currently using the 2nd Edition (Revised) ruleset as the starting point. Gamemasters are free to make slight tweaks and add a few house rules to their individual gaming sessions.

Rationale: This allows GMs and players to use the same set of rules to create characters that can easily shift between the various GM sub-settings with minimal character conversion. It also allows some experimentation for each GM to modify the rules to fit his/her particular philosophy on their individual session gameplay “tone” or “feel”. Some GMs, for example may want deadly combat and role-played interpersonal reactions, while others may prefer more “wahoo” adventures and prefer to let the dice rule interpersonal interactions.

CONCERNING SETTING
In general, the Fading Suns 2nd Edition (Revised) rulebook is considered canon, along with the Fading Suns Companion. Within these books, anything written in 3rd Person POV is considered canon, while the story vignettes and 1st Person POV segments are considered apocryphal – they may or may not be true depending on the GM.

Rationale: These variances can be chalked up to GM preference and/or the size and sheer variety of experiences in the worlds of the Fading Suns.

Books concerning the Empire, Nobility, Clergy, and Guildsmen are all considered ‘timestamped guidebooks’ meaning that the material in these books were true at one point in time. However, that may not necessarily hold true at this point in the timeline.

Rationale: This allows GMs to start from a common base, but not be shackled by canon for their adventures.

Each GM will select a world in the Known Worlds Jumpweb as their primary setting. Most of their adventures will take place here, or at the very least, start there and shift to adjacent worlds. Ideally, no two GMs should have chosen worlds adjacent to one another.

Rationale: This grants a GM complete setting authority over a given location big enough for most adventures that he/she will want to run.

Furthermore, certain worlds are to be identified as off-limits for selection due to their importance to all GM settings (such as Byzantium Secundus, Holy Terra, etc.). However, GMs may use these worlds as settings for their adventures so long as they do not substantially change them (blowing up Holy Terra, infecting Byzantium Secundus with a large scale husk plague).

Rationale: This helps ensure that certain key elements of the setting -- ones that most GMs will be relying on -- will remain the same.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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