Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fading Suns: Campaign Premises (Part I)

Because of the Alustro Chronicles, the "noble's entourage" type of campaign premise is well-cemented in the minds of Fading Suns gamers. But what other types of campaign premises exist in this kitchen sink setting? Obviously, given the science fiction / fantasy / horror genre elements present in the setting, many, many are possible and liftable from other RPGs.

Let's take a look at some campaign premises native to other RPGs and translate them into Fading Suns.

Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeoncrawlers and Catacombers

On various worlds -- lost and known -- there are hidden complexes warped by the secrets and sins of the Second Republic. In those complexes reside treasures that can change the Empire for good or ill.

The unlocking and extraction of those treasures requires specialists: fighters and engineers, priests and scravers, nobles and aliens. The dangers they face: strange creatures and twisted remnants of the Second Republic's former glory, glittering treasures and arcane knowledge, mad world engine keepers and blasphemous priests of forgotten gods and demons.

Enter the elite Dungeoncrawlers and Catacombers of the Merchant's Guild!

Call of Cthulhu: Investigators by Circumstance

Some came to help a friend, some were lured by forbidden knowledge, others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and were initiated into the terrifying secrets of mad and terrible intelligences lurking at the edge of our reality.

Using their own resources, struggling to hold on to life and sanity, they battle cultists and servitors to delay the inevitable return of these abominations into our worlds.

How long can they hold out against forces more powerful, more cunning, and more strange than anything they've encountered? How long will their activities remain unnoticed by the local agents of the Nobles, Guild, and Church? How long can they hold back the tide of foul corruption that threatens their world?

Jovian Chronicles: A Ship in the Space Navy

Was this what you signed on for? Becoming one of the pilots for newly discovered fighter golems tied to an ambitious al-Malik noble's capital ship, being sent on secret missions of vital military importance or public missions of diplomatic import, getting embroiled in scrapes against other major and minor powers in the Known World as they flex their own military might?

And what of the wild rumors of the Decados and their own experimental ships that ran afoul of some giant Space Kraken threatening a jumpgate only two jumps away?

By the Pancreator, bring them on! Bring them all on! This is exactly what you signed up for!

All Flesh Must Be Eaten: Survivors of the Husk Apocalypse

It all happened last night. The arrest and burning of that strange heretic who'd been worshipping his strange gods in the public square (Pancreator preserve us!), the strange black rain, the strange shambling shadows from the cemetery, the sudden screams of terror and pain, the walking the dead that hungered for living flesh, and the bites that took your friends and loved one from you.

Now, you and a rag-tag band of desperate survivors from all walks of life -- noblewomen and cutthroats, reeves and heyschasts, chainers and serfs -- must put aside your differences and fears to make your way to the space port and get off this planet somehow while the Church, and the Guilds, and the Nobles find some way to end this madness once and for all...

Well, that's all we have for today for campaign premises. We'll dip once again into the vast collection of RPGs out there that we can repurpose for a Fading Suns mini-campaign next time.

I wonder if there'll be easier conversions from these games into the new 3rd Edition ruleset. Guess we'll have to see.

In Part II, we can look forward to:
  • Earthdawn: Explorers of Lost Realms
  • Code Black: Warders of Old and Terrible Evils
  • Traveller: Mercenaries and Traders
  • Mutant City Blues: Policing the Changed

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