Jan 15, 2023


This week I read:

Roleplaying Games

Cartographic Curiosities

We started this campaign up again this weekend, in which actually not that much happened now that I think about it.

The players explored the Tomb of the Serpent Kings some more and unleashed a Black Pudding, they realised it was weak to fire and that regular attacks just caused it to split and make more puddings, but they didn’t have enough lamp-oil to mount a significant attack. So they retreated back to town and did a bunch of shopping while waiting for one of the PC’s magic swords to be identified.

I feel like I’ve been being a bit stingy with magic items, so I put a few cool ones in the tomb but, well, they’ve not made it to the treasure rooms yet, and the one magic item they’ve located so far is at the bottom of a pool of disgusting opaque stagnant water and they haven’t decided how to get that out yet. Just empty the pool with buckets or something! Oh well.

We ended the session with them leaving town to go kidnap a guy for the Drune, which is of course a totally good and not-questionable-at-all course of action. I’m sure I can spin that into a fun moral dilemma.

Sylea Rising

This week I didn’t found the Third Imperium. I’ve decided to do that in a few weeks, to mark the end of the first part of the campaign. Then we’ll have a little break for a week or two for something else.

Part 2 of the campaign will begin with Flatlined, as an old enemy makes his first appearance in the campaign, which I’m very much looking forward to.

What we did do this week is start Mission to Mithril.

The current “mission” is to take an Ancients xenoarchaeologist to a site he’s discovered on the world of Indmen (and I’ll be basing that site on elements from the classic scenarios Shadows and Twilight’s Peak), which will turn out to be a mostly intact Ancients site with a still-functioning stargate—though without enough juice left in its reactor to power it.

If they can power the stargate (maybe they’ll hook up their ship’s reactor somehow) then it’ll open a connection to a stargate in a lab in the Zhodani Consulate, who will promptly scan the PC’s minds, realise there’s another advanced starfaring human civilisation out there—but one without psionics and still recovering from a large-scale collapse—and will promptly invade through the gate. Hopefully, the PCs will escape, and make it back to Sylean territory to call in the Federation Navy.

If they don’t manage to power the stargate then one of the NPC xenoarchaeologists with them will suggest returning to Sylean territory to pick up a portable fusion reactor.

Either way, they’ll return to Sylean territory, and then they’ll get caught up in the founding of the Third Imperium: a nice dramatic stopping point.

But going back to today’s session: I don’t want any of that to happen yet. I want to run the one-shot some time next month. So, I planned to put some small scenarios like Chariots of Fire and Critical Vector (also maybe have them run into a pirate base when they try to do some wilderness refuelling) along the way, and drag the journey out over three sessions or so.

I’d not planned to run Mission to Mithril at all, but then one player said they were specifically asking around their contacts in the science community to see if anyone had any jobs which they could do along the way, so I said “sure, Dr so-and-so needs 5 tons of scientific supplies taking to Kuurashbir!”, and promptly relocated Mission to Mithril to Kuurashbir. When they jumped to Kuurashbir I called a 15 minute break, skimmed through the first half of the module, and away we went: the session ended with the ground opening up in front of them and a giant snow-worm bursting forth, looming over their ATV!

The one-shot?

What to run, what to run…

I’ve now ordered the Delta Green books and a collection of scenarios, so possibly that. I’m interested in running Impossible Landscapes as a campaign in the future, so it’d be valuable to see what the players think of the system.

Otherwise, I think it’s between the Call of Cthulhu scenario Viral, the Alien scenario Chariot of the Gods (might be a bit long, we’ll see), or maybe, finally, something RuneQuest.

After I read the Delta Green books I’ll give the players a list of options and we’ll pick something.