So I gamed with some guys the other day, that'll be in a different post. This post will be about the campaign. This campaign is still in Hekinoe, but it takes place on a continent called Orcunraytrel. The premise of the campaign is that the pirate nation of Haven is expanding to the north and doing so by setting up colonies in a continent to the north. That continent is called Orcunraytrel and it is already full of nations and races unheard of in The Known World. The players are fresh off the ship pirates of Haven seeking plunder and glory and whatnot in this new land. The basic goal is for the players to inflict mayhem and bloodshed upon the native inhabitants of Orcunraytrel to give Haven an opportunity to gain a permanent foothold in that land. Lance is convinced we are heading towards a western theme, rather than a pirate theme, but there has been some talk of piracy implemented via zeppelin. Not that I object to a western theme in any way, as The Known World was supposed have a sort of Sixguns and Sorcery feel to it, rather than Dungeons and Dragons.
Anyway. This campaign gave me the opportunity to implement some new rules I've been working on and to revamp the campaign book (it now has bookmarks and is a pdf!). The work on the campaign book had lulled significantly even before I ended the Psychogenic Fugue Arc campaign and it was nice to get excited about it again, in only for a short while. Added in a few feats and clarified some rules, it was swell.
Very central to this campaign is the idea of factions and bounties. Each faction has specific goals in mind for their time here in Orcunraytrel, and to achieve those goals they offer monetary rewards to pirates that take care of them. New Haven is primarily interested in military matters, they want to know where all the Asosan fortifications are and want all their soldiers dead, so they offer cash rewards for those sorts of things. The Kussethian Merchantmen Association is interested in securing slaves and riches to ship back to Kusseth, so they offer rewards for those sorts of things. The Tradesmen Guild is clutched in the iron fist of Haven and unable to get supplies on their own, so they are forced to use Haven supply lines and are charged exorbitant prices for their goods and services, so they are interested in things like ore, animal skins, farmland, and so on. The Haven Raiders like to get drunk and start shit on fire, so there are bounties for both of those things.
In addition to this, each player has an affiliation score with each of the factions, and as those scores rise, they unlock special abilities that come from being a popular member of the faction. For instance, the first rank of the New Haven affiliation allows the player to use scouting information obtained by other pirates. I should explain.
So I have a map of Orcunraytrel, all filled out with all the cities, fortresses, mines, and special events, the players have a similar map, but nothing is filled in on it besides a few spots around New Haven and Je'Clre. Mostly mountains and hills, one special event, and a tower. So, they have to explore stuff to find out where stuff is, as there is no filled out map of the entire continent. The scouting ability fills in a few squares for them and then an additional one every week. This gives them an idea about the terrain of the continent, but unfortunately, they won't get any bounties for discovering stuff in those squares and there is a chance that any mines or fortresses or things like that have already been taken over by other pirates. So the whole thing is kind of a mixed blessing at best.
As your affiliation with the Kussethian Merchantment Association rises, you get better interest rates on any deposits and loans you make. You also can be made into a Lord of Kusseth. The Goebleen have a scouting ability for the underworld, and eventually the Goebleen King rewards you with an entourage of Goebleen Gunslingers. The Haven Raiders give you explosives.
Basically all it is is adding another semi-complex system of numbers tracking to the game, but I like that sort of thing. Since some factions are interested in the same things or don't like one another, it does offer a certain amount of choice and deliberation for the players to do as they figure out who they want to be most allied with. I recommend the Goebleen.
In addition to the affiliation I have a table that explains what happens as each faction grows in power. This table is based on mark payouts for bounties, and as the players are paid for tasks it adds up to a certain point, at that certain point, changes occur. These changes can be simple, like a population increase, or Je'Clre gaining electricity, or somewhat interesting, like a thieves guild now performing paid assassination. At a certain point, most of the affiliation will have enough power to expand and found their own outpost, assuming a suitable spot has been found for one. Each of these improvements that occur have specific effects, population increases result in a stronger economy and increased resources for Je'Clre and New Haven, so they reduce the inflated prices slightly.
I am really interested to see how this campaign progresses, Orcunraytrel is big and full of stuff and I very much like the idea of them being explorers in a completely unknown land with no shared language with the natives. I can't wait until they break out the blankets, hehe. Also interesting to note is that I think this is the first time we've played an evil campaign since the Black Claw Clan days, I wonder if they'll be able to top Kane, Algar, and Bic the Red exterminating an entire city of dwarves. They already tortured a guy in the first scenario.