Sunday, June 25, 2017

Changeling the Lost Campaign Post Mortem

"I Loot the Body!"  "No, I do!" "Fuck, I never get any loot."

My Changeling the Lost campaign started in 2008 and played until 2014, when it went hiatus.  I ran 22 sessions, averaging 3.6666666667 sessions a year.  Zak S's blog Playing D&D with Pornstars recent post, Old-Schooling the World of Darkness, is a response to a fan's query on how to make their NWOD game more Old School.  He does this with eight suggestions that really would have saved my Dungeon Master/Game Master/High Priest/ess of Sunday Morning Mind Cartoon-Puzzles/Storyteller/Keeper/WranglerofCats bacon.  In reading them today, I find that I actually nailed/pulled off/figured out/stole shamelessly a few of them.  In analyzing what I did and didn't have or manage in that campaign, I'm able to do a post mortem on why I thought that I floundered and ultimately put the game aside.

My CtL Campaign Notebook has been sad and lonely since 2014

1. Make sure they're fighting things that can kill them in like 2 hits

     Nope.  I was lousy at this.  One of the SAS (White Wolf term for adventure module) had a nasty Gentry IIRC, but I sucked at throwing enough big bad meanies at 'em when I was making my own material.  I thought of Raymond Chandler's advice all the time, foolishly not ever using it enough, lol.

 2. Make sure they are weak, hunted and isolated, but have a chance to tear it all down

     I had ebbs and flows with this.  The game setting bounced across the USA about 4 times so different places had different Changeling enclaves and other supernatural entities of a variety of densities/concentrations. 

3. Don't use the words

     I used all the words.  ALL THE WORDS.  Oops.

 4. Making preying on humans hard

     I did this ok.  I used the "you have to harvest the glamour you are emotionally attuned to" rule, and that automatically throttled down the human juice box effect.

 5. The story is that it's hard

     I did this well and there was some great play that emerged from characters' hardship.   Somehow I got better at this as I went and the players took their characters to cool levels of guttersnipe I couldn't have foreseen.

 6. Use historical and occult stuff

    This was another thing I pulled off.  Inspiration is everywhere. 

7. Actually be scary

     Sometimes the game was unnerving, unsettling, spooky, or tense.  I don't think I achieved scary with this:-(

 8. PS There is actually a version of Vornheim re-written specifically for Vampire

I picked Vornheim up in early 2013.  It was a revelation.  I used the connections between NPCs diagram, the I Loot the Body Table, and I used the Vornheim/Vampire version to make my own City NPC Table for one of the cities in my game.

Left: NPC Relationship Diagram.  Right: Map from the Salt Lake City portion of the campaign.

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