Friday, February 22, 2019

Campaign Planning: Six Truths in an Established Timeline

On Wednesday I talked about the format I liked for campaign planning, taken from Sly Flourish's excellent Gnoll Campaign. One thing I was thinking about though was what about universes with less - or stricter - norms than D&D and applying the six truths there? For example, if you wanted to run a Star Wars game or a Halo game you can't go as crazy with your truths as you can in a D&D game. The moon can't be blood red for months, and when the game is set could make a huge difference in expectations.

Today I want to talk about that a little.

Establishing Time Period *IS* A Truth
First, establishing a time period is a truth for the game that makes it unique. Setting a Star Wars game in the time period of the prequels or in the time period of the original trilogy is going to change a lot of things. You can use these reference points to communicate that to your players. "The first death star was blown up two weeks ago, and the Empire is searching for the Rebellion's new base" does a great job of grounding your game as starting between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. At the same time, "We're 100 years after Return of the Jedi and the Galaxy is divided between three governments: The First Order, The Galactic Republic, and The Reborn Trade Federation" tells your players that while it is the Star Wars universe, it is not going to be in a time period covered by any lore.

Establish Other Prominent Events/Happenings
Within that timeline you can specify other prominent events and happenings that will be significant to the campaign. If you were running Rogue One as a campaign, you could use a Truth to establish Director Krennic and bring them into focus. Meanwhile, re-running A New Hope could establish Tarkin or the Death Star.

Focus Your Campaign's Starting Point
Even if your game is going to span the whole galaxy/setting, you are going to start somewhere. Use your truths to establish that. The game can bring the rest of the setting to light, but characters can build around where you are starting which gives them links to the world and the game.

Ultimately, the six truths aren't much different regardless of world. Just keep it focused to your game, and let the rest come up as it needs to!

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