Monday, June 1, 2009

Gravid with Campaign

Okay, I think the character sheet is now set. As an example of the campaign creation tasks that I do just because I enjoy them, consider my excel spreadsheets. For my FUDGE campaign the attack roll is determined by the weapon, the skill with the weapon, and the type of ammo. I use nested if-then functions coupled with vlookup functions in excel and drop down menus to create a spreadsheet to automatically calculate everything. This is all probably terribly inefficient because it could probably be done better in Visual Basic but I'm not a programmer and haven't bothered to learn visual basic. I just do it because it is fun for me. My players make fun of me for it even as they use the spreadsheets so it all works out in the end. I've seen a lot of articles on the web about how to pare down the campaign creation process to make in easier for the GM. I think that is all very important, but at the same time, I think it is important for the GM to make sure that the part of the creation process that s/he enjoys remains.

So, here is where things stand. I'm pretty sure that the character creation process draft is complete. I want to send it to one of my crunch monkey friends to invite him to "break" the system but showing me the ways someone might exploit it. I won't necessarily make changes after that but I might know where my GM veto line is if a player builds a PC to take advantage of the gaps. I have a play-test scenario in mind and am likely to cobble together players from both my groups for a one shot for that purpose.

My plot threads are now taut and harmonized with one another. In other words, my nine pages of mission ideas seem like enough to improvise from and I know the arc that I want the elements to follow.

I feel very close to running the campaign and will probably talk with the other GM in my group about either splitting our sessions between campaigns or alternating every other session.

I have done a few other things to prepare that I haven't mentioned. First, I bought some space oriented micromachines to use as ship markers on a battle mat. Though I'm still trying to figure out how to fully represent and run 3D space on a battlemat. I'll probably reread that section of my FUDGE book soon to refresh my memory. It seemed pretty easy when I read it before.

Second, I downloaded Starship Tiles I from Fat Dragon Games off I highly recommended these for ease of construction and flavor builders. I'll share how they hold up in game once I have a chance to use them. I also downloaded some other free .pdf card modeling documents from RPGnow. These are helping to fill some of the sci-fi gaps in my mini collection and are much much faster to create.

Third, I found some old Spelljammer ship layouts on the web and have bookmarked them for future reference. If I need a ship layout in a pinch, I'll find some wacky design Spelljammer design and put it on a mat. I thought I'd never use anything from Spelljammer. I'm usually a purist, and that setting is just too wacky. But in this case I feel like it serves my purpose.