Saturday, April 01, 2017

Savage Worlds Space Opera Campaign

Picture largely unrelated, but it's the least sexist picture of a spaceship crew I can find...

Welcome to this page. If you have arrived here via the D&D Meetup page, read on. If you have not... well, make yourself feel at home anyway.

Background

One of the biggest difficulties with running an RPG campaign is getting everyone together - scheduling conflicts prevent me from GMing as often as I would like to. As a result, I have decided to try a different way of running a campaign: the players for each session will be gathered from a pool, with the party for the session being the players who can make that particular session. The adventures will take place in the same continuity, and PCs will gain experience and level up, but the players for each session (and therefore the composition of the crew for the session) will likely be different. This is still a campaign and not a series of one-shots.

System and Setting

The rules used will be Savage Worlds core rules plus the Science Fiction Companion, and the setting will be an as-yet-undecided a loosely-detailed space opera world. The PCs are all registered members of the Galactic Teamsters Guild. Each session represents a mission subcontracted out by the Guild to its members: the players who sign up for the session.

The fundamentals of the Savage Worlds rules can be found here.

Character Creation

In the interest of time we will create the characters via email or messaging on Meetup (hopefully) way in advance.

The characters will be semi-pregenerated: you let me know what type of character you would like to play, and I will stat up the character for you within the parameters of the rules. The information required are:


  • Name


  • Species - You can invent your own or stick to the stock humans, aquarian, feline/leonid, canine/lupine, robot/android, plant-based, space-elf, reptilian/saurian, hairy brute/space gorilla, or rubber forehead alien. Let's try to avoid avian/ornith and insectoid/bug aliens - they creep me out.


  • Species characteristics - If you want your character's species to have certain special strengths or weaknesses, you can propose them, or I can apply the stock characteristic. I prefer no psionics, but if you want to make a case for it, go ahead.


  • Gender - Binary, or as appropriate to your species. No space bimbo please.


  • Profession/Archetype - Your character's job on the crew and which sci-fi trope he or she belongs to. Professions will include navigation, engineer, security, medical, etc. Archetypes would be things like: ace pilot, gunslinger, brawler, rogue/grifter. It is preferable for your character to have a primary expertise and secondary one. Again, no space bimbo please.


  • Gear - Your character will have all the gear that he or she is expected to have to do the job - I am not too fussy about inventory as a GM, but if you want to have anything specific, let me know too.


  • Weapons - Each character will have a standard-issue blaster and a "utility" knife. You can have an additional signature weapon that is appropriate for your profession/species/archetype.


  • Backstory - A brief backstory of how your character gained his or her skills and how he or she came to join the Teamsters Guild. Please also list an enemy and an ally from the character's past, and the character's short-term and long-term goals.


Sessions, Signing-up, and AAR

Sessions are on a Monday evening, from 7pm to 10pm or so. There will be 3 to 5 places per session.

I will post the session date and synopsis on Meetup, and players who can make that session can respond on the page with their character's name and profession/archetype (so other players know which roles are needed and which are already filled). I will try to post as early as I can so you can plan your schedules.

Generally, places will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis, but if a player has played in the last two consecutive sessions, I may give the spot to another player who has not.

I want to respect everybody's time and confirm the player list for each session as early as I can, so please only sign up for a session if you can make it.

Players can earn extra XPs by writing up an after-action report on the Meetup page; I hope to create a community feel in our pool of players.

Logistics

The games will be played on Mondays, from 7pm to 10pm or so, at my place in Bukit Batok. We typically meet at West Mall for dinner at 6pm, and then make our way to my place afterwards. You can meet the group at my place if you do not join us for dinner.

Dice and stationery are provided. You may bring your own dice but if I think they are not balanced I will ask that you use mine instead.

Bottled water and snacks are provided - we only allow plain water at the table for... historical reasons (don't ask).

My GMing style and Important Caveat

I tend to play fast and loose with the rules, preferring to focus on the narrative rather than the rules. As I mentioned earlier, inventory is not tracked closely, nor ammunition (you run short when the plot demands it) and money (you are assumed to be able to afford things that a space trucker can reasonably afford, and you are up to your neck in debt when the plot calls for it). The word encumbrance is never used at my table.

The tone of this campaign is space opera. More Guardians of the Galaxy than Star Wars or Star Trek. There will be violence, and you will encounter societies which hold views on politics, religion, and human/alien rights which are different from your own.

As befitting a space opera, PCs will generally not die; but if your character is incapacitated in a fight, he or she may not get XPs for the encounter. I will track XPs for this campaign (I don't for my other campaigns) as I want a bit of competitiveness between players.

As each adventure has to be completed in a single session of three hours or so, the plot will inevitably be a bit rail-roady. This means that an adventure can sometimes consist of a series of problems presented to the party, but I will not make it such that there is only one way to solve the problems (sometimes I don't even have a solution myself...), or that they have to be tackled in a particular order.

Combat will be played on battle-maps with figurines. You may bring your own figurine if you wish to.

Finally, I would like to state upfront that players who feels that they don't enjoy my games (either because of the way I run games or who I am as a person) should feel free to leave - just let me know so I can offer a spot to other members on Meetup. Likewise, if I feel that a player is not a match for me or the group, I will ask him or her to leave the group.

Thanks for taking the time to read through all this. If you still want to sign up, please do so on the Meetup page, and I will get in touch with you soon.

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