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Robert Ruthven
Typer of words, player of games, teller of tales.
Typer of words, player of games, teller of tales.

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I'm having an issue in my current campaign that I wanted to share with the community to see if anyone else has experienced something similar.

When I started out GMing, I did a lot more prep than I do now. Part of that is probably that I've grown more confident as a GM, and part is the influence of games like Fate and PbtA that introduced me to lighter prep methods.

Now I've started running a Dragon Age campaign, which is a bit more trad-style to an extent (maps and minis, NPCs have stats, etc), and I find myself trying to re-learn how to prep all over again. I'm not even sure if the campaign actually requires a different prep style, or if I just feel like it should.

Has anyone else experience this feeling of having to re-learn how to GM when switching from running indie games to something a bit more trad-style? If so, do you have any advice on how to re-adjust, or if it's even necessary?

New Star Trek RPG has me in the mood for a Trek marathon tonight. Gonna start with TNG, 'cause that's what got me into Star Trek in the first place.

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So, I'm running a campaign on Sunday nights and I wanted to seek some advice from you guys.

I just revealed a potential alien invasion in the works in the recent session. In response the player of our Outsider felt he should explain some things about the 'Galactic Union' - which is the major alliance of spacefaring races he had in mind when he made his character. Apparently:
- They encompass 99% of the spacefaring states in the galaxy.
- Consider all pre-spaceflight sentient species as under their protection.
- As such, the Ikkarans (my invading species) would have to wipe out humanity in such a way as to hide their involvement, or risk all out war with the Union.
- Since the Union encompasses 99% of the spacefaring peoples of the galaxy, all out war would therefore be disastrous for the Ikkarans.

So...basically, he's saying he comes from this 'perfect' society that has no potential for meaningful conflict and any overt invasion plans by my bad guys are just fucked.

For context, I'll explain a bit about the arc I had in mind. I had two arcs linked to this. The main villain, Vanguard, is a former (Doomed) superhero who has been brainwashed by the alien biotech he had become bonded to and turned against his former team, the Amazing Eight. In the resulting battle he was subdued and sent to the Spike, but not before he killed two of his former teammates and another burnt out his powers, leading to the disbandment of the team.

After a recent prison break from the Spike, Vanguard is once again at large. He is now pursuing two plans:

1) Attempting to contact the Ikkaran homeworld and coordinate plans to create a hyperspace portal for the invasion force to arrive on Earth through.

2) What little remains of his old human self seeks revenge on his former teammates, and seeks to eliminate them before the invasion.

So...what do I do with this?

Ran the first session of my 4-part mini-campaign of +John Harper​'s World of Dungeons Turbo: Breakers, and it was a lot of fun, even though the dice seemed determined to have me kill the PCs for most of it.

I took a few ideas from The Forbidden Steam Tunnels of Emesh Yuu, one of the 2014 entries to the One Page Dungeon contest. The crew faced Critter-esque goblins, mimics disguised as steam pipes, and a gorvil who just wanted people to stop waving lights about in his subterranean lair and leave him alone, but instead got horribly murdered.

Thanks +Brian Wille​, +Harry Morris​ and +YG Mitchell​ for playing, looking forward to the continuation next week. :)

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SYSTEM: World of Dungeons Turbo
TIME SLOT (UK TIME): Thursday 20:00 - 00:00 (Duration: 4hrs)
DATES: May 11th, 18th, 25th, and June 1st. (4 sessions)

The magical realm of Kyvr'ax has collided with Earth, shearing the dimensions and creating a mashed-up borderland between our reality and the monster-infested domain of the wizard Kai Shira Kai. You play working-class heroes who explore the twisted Break seeking fame and fortune. But don't stay too long, or the Cloud of Woe will surely find you!

Breakers is about modern-day, wisecracking characters who go into dungeons and deal with monsters and magic as a matter-of-fact kind of ordinary job. It's a little bit Ghostbusters, a little bit Hellboy, and a little bit Ash from Army of Darkness.


Being able to attend all sessions is preferable, but not required. You must RSVP for each session you wish to attend. Links to each session sign-up page are listed below:

Session 1 (May 11th):

Session 2 (May 18th):

Session 3 (May 25th):

Session 4 (June 1st):

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This is a Fate Core based RPG about characters from Arthurian myth being reincarnated in the modern day, funding on Kickstarter right now. I've got a soft spot for fiction which translates myths to modern or futuristic settings, so it's definitely up my alley. Thought I'd share on here in case it's of interest to anyone. 

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Didn't think I'd be able to find this in print in the UK, but behold!


Our character creation session ran too long to get some play time in, so tonight will be our first session. Since I've got character backstories already, I've started considering some potential arcs and thought I might brainstorm a bit on here. If you're playing in my campaign on Sundays, please don't read any further...

Red, the Janus: Mutant with energy absorption and impossible mobility. Mother not aware of secret identity, and disapproves of Red's heroics, feeling that a girl her age should be living a normal kid's life.

I figure Red got the super genes from somewhere, so what if her mum is actually a former superhero (likely Bronze generation) who retired from the life after a mission that broke her team apart. She disapproves of Red because she reminds her of her own youth. In order to bring this out into the open, I think maybe a former enemy of her mum escapes the Spike and seeks out those that crossed them (and their loved ones) for revenge.

Cassie, the Nova: A powerful young sorceress, abandoned in the woods by her birth parents (who were scared of her powers) when she was a toddler. Found and raised by an evil witch who wanted to use her powers for her own ends. Accidentally killed the witch when she lost control of her powers. Eventually encountered a homeless guy called Boothby, who seemed to understand about magic and offered her moral support and guidance.

I'm thinking Cassie was destined to be the next Magus (sorcerer supreme), but she was lost and adopted by the witch before the Magus could find and train her. He was forced to take on a different apprentice (Everard, from the Deck of Villainy) who took on the mantle too soon after an incident that strips the previous Magus of his power. I'm thinking Boothby is the former Magus, who now recognises Cassie as his rightful successor and hopes to prepare her for that destiny.

Harper, the Delinquent: In and out of supervillain juvie since escaping an orphanage which was a front for Professor Van Brutan's illegal experiments, resulting in his psychic powers.

Either Van Brutan or other escaped test subjects (or both) could show up to cause problems.

Fomá, the Outsider: Sole survivor of an observational team that crash landed on Earth after a run-in with some Poachers (aliens who raid pre-spaceflight worlds for creatures to sell as exotic pets). He doesn't want to return home because he resents the overly structured society, and poses as a 'transformed human' because pre-spaceflight civilisations are not supposed to know aliens exist.

I'm thinking that Fomá is not the only alien living undercover on Earth. A covert agent/bounty hunter recognises him for what he is and maybe enlists his aid in dealing with some alien undesirables seeking to cause trouble on earth.

Those are all my initial thoughts on arcs tied to the characters. Was hoping folks could help me flesh them out and maybe tie a few of them together?

How many arcs do people have on the go at the same time during a campaign? Do you just do one at a time, or two or three? More?
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