This week we finally managed to get role playing back to the gaming table! We are once again returning to Spacer's wonderful, watery world of Leviathos but this time with a twist. Originally Spacer had been running this as an open world campaign; basically just laying out the sandbox and letting us run wild in it. He did plan out a few parts of it but he really tried to give us a ton of free reign.... which seems to have been part of the problem.
Things were flying along at a breakneck speed! We were about to betray our former employer as she prepared to start a war against a powerful empire, that same empire had just found the hidden cove that served as one of her bases, we were running to get onto a ship to head to the frozen waters of the north with a crew that we didn't know if we could trust and even other party members we didn't know if we could trust... and then the writer's block hit. Spacer had a mental overload and sadly the story ground to a halt.
Time has gone by and inspiration has struck for him again but this time he's looking at things a little differently. Instead of the open ended epic campaign of all eternity he has scaled it back to a more manageable size and I have to admit that I'm glad. Sprawling epics are all well and good but as I've mentioned before having an ending is so much more satisfying. That's not to say that we can't revisit these characters in the future, far from it. It just means that one story can finish before another begins... and hopefully means that I can get some more of my games to the table but more on those later.
The thing that I really wanted to mention was what Spacer did to tie up the infamous "you meet in a tavern" loose end that plagues so many games. Just why the heck is this random band of misfits together anyway? I mean really, a dwarven barbarian, a half-elven druid, and a very refined half-elven sorcerer of extremely high caliber? (bet you can't guess who I'm playing...) Why in the world would they have anything to do with each other?
To tie us together (and give us a little mechanical perk as well), the story Spacer is telling focuses on a dwarven archaeologist and anthropologist (aka tomb robber) turned tavern owner who we all dealt with at one time. The barbarian has worked in his bar before, the druid has helped on some of his digs years ago, and I was also in his employ in the past as well... no doubt doing something scholarly and noble as fits the skills of one of my high quality and distinction. (yep, this time I'm playing egotistical bastard) The tavern owner went missing and his wife sent us letters asking us to come to the tavern and find him. Three totally random people who have nothing to do with each other except we all know the same guy... who actually isn't missing and asks us all to help him.
Personally I love this idea as the one thing that always seems to be lacking in the beginning of an adventure is a reason for the group to be together in the first place. Our first foray into Leviathos and my Wastelands game had both lacked this and it was really something that bothered me so I'm really excited to see how he's addressed it. Now we just have to do the job and not kill each other. Ah yes, good times.... But more on that later. Until next time...