Friday, November 2, 2012

Galactic End Game


The players in my first Star Frontiers campaign had big dreams.  They wanted to eradicate the evil Sathar from the universe, and poured their time and effort into they endeavor.  Trade brought them money; money built them a mega-corp; and with the mega-corp, they built armadas of warships of find and obliterate the Sathar homeworld.

Of course, there were no rules of game framework for any of that, but as a GM, I evolved a game about being a star cop into a giant game of stellar Axis and Allies.  Or, in today's terminology, we created an end game.

One of the things I like about Stars Without Numbers is that it has the end game built in it right from the start.  In creating sectors full of stars, a GM can set up interplanetary chess matches.  Each entity is a faction, with stats and assets similar to a PC, and these groups battle for dominance.  It's secret and behind the scenes as far as the players are concerned, but produces events that the PCs can become involved in.

When the PCs gain enough power and influence, they can from their own faction, step onto the galactic stage, and vie for power.

In previous Stars Without Number campaigns, I've kinda half-assed the faction game - paid lip services to it but just decided what was happening in interplanetary politics as if I was writing a novel.  While that is a completely valid way to play, the faction system offers an interesting and simple game to play that can produce results outside of my comfort zone of creativity.

I really like that idea, and am implementing it for the Redshirts campaign.  I don't know if the players will ever reach that level of power, but it's a game I can play with myself and generate new ideas with.

I'm also thinking of documenting the behind the curtains action on the blog here, if anyone is interested.

- Ark

4 comments:

  1. I look forward to reading about it! I run a Classic Traveller campaign, but downloaded SWN not long ago after reading several complimentary blog posts about it. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

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    1. Dave - I'll be posting - actually - first one is up now. :) SWN and Traveller are so similar in so many ways, it's hard to argue one vs. the other.

      - Ark

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  2. I also would love to read posts about setting up the faction game. I've done some experimenting with "domains", which are basically factions in Red Tide, also from Sine Nomine, but never felt like i struck the right balance between the work I put in and the good stuff that players get from it.

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    1. Crawen - I don't have Red Tide, but I do have An Echo, Resounding, which is an amazing piece of work. I should probably look into Red Tide as well.

      I'll be posting about the faction game. So far, it's not too much work, but I created the PC campaign specifically so that the faction piece would be important, yet simple.

      One thing I've found interesting in is how the faction game teaches you about Kevin Crawford's thoughts of how the 'geopolitics' of post-apocalyptic interstellar should work. Its something he appears to have given a lot of thought about and it meshes very well with the intricacies of the PC-level game.

      - Ark

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