Monday, 23 August 2010

Project A Day 1 - A New Fallout Fantasy

And now for something a little different.

Since last time I have done some work on Khalith's Cell Level 2, cluttering and lighting the reception room, hospital hall and surgery room. Damn they're complicated, and I don't know if I'm making them any better than the early work on Level 1 but they certainly feel more complicated at this point. Is that a good sign? All I know for certain is that I had to do something different to stay interested in it in the long term.

So, last night (probably two nights ago by the time I finish writing this bloody thing) was a night of D&D with my core group. The group fluctuates between four of us up to, oh, nine on a busy night. I ended up DMing so we played this campaign that I honestly thought we wouldn't get a change to continue.

The campaign and its setting are called Falling Skies. It is a new region for our - apparently 8 year old now - existing classic fantasy world set about a thousand years after our standard time and inspired by Fallout 3. So it's post-apocalyptic with bands of raiders and bandit. The remains of a large city dominates one corner of the map. What is left of the army have set up base in a fortress on the other side of the main river. Ketai, the first settlement the players visit, is a ramshackle town built around a crater in the middle of which is a large artefact giving off invisible corruption. The mountains are riddled with once-sealed crypts that were at times used to keep many families safe from the dangers of the wasteland. While there are no direct copies of things from the DC wasteland, there are many analogues.

Because I didn't expect to run it again I had only the original session's notes, including a rough regional map and some ideas for NPCs to use in Ketai. Usually I prefer to be very prepared for a session but sometimes winging it is fun and can result in a wider experience for the players. It is of course a greater challenge but coming up with eight fully fleshed, differentiated and original NPCs and an entire city quarter on the fly was very rewarding.

If I left it like that, it would be mostly likely I would forget everything and maybe lose the notes or leave them to collect dust at the back of my world campaign setting folder. I of course don't want that so I spent the evening starting to write up my notes. That started well but I soon found myself writing entirely new content - the timeline of the region to be precise. If this were a well structured, well managed team project that might have been a problem but I find it best to go with the flow. If you work on what you're interested on, you'll not burn out so soon and your work will be just plain better.

Note I've designated this Project A. This is because Falling Skies isn't exactly computer games design and I may not post about it again but it's fairly relevant and worth mentioning, right?

Tata boyos.

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