ZEITGEIST: The Gears of Revolution Gears of Revolution: Notes on my campaign




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  1. #1
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    Gears of Revolution: Notes on my campaign

    - My players stay out -

    This thread is for behind-the-scenes notes and discussion on my Zeitgeist campaign. As such it will contain spoilers.

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    My group is hoping to kick off its Zeitgeist campaign this weekend. I was one of the lucky few to see Island at the Axis of the World before its official publication date, but I have refused all attempts to persuade me to run it early or reveal its contents

    Instead we plan to kick things off with a background and prequel session to get the PCs and the group bedded down.

    The purpose for the session for me is to:
    1. Crash-test the MapTool framework that we're going to be using for the campaign to make sure that it works.
    2. Lay down some of the themes that lie at the heart of the AP so that there's no confusion among the group.
    I'm planning on running an ad-lib session where I extract background information from the players by using a question and answer format. Hopefully, their off-the-cuff responses will make the party a little more cohesive when the formal campaign starts with Adventure 1.

    I'm stealing this idea from DM Samuel's Ruboryn campaign, and his ad-lib session is available to download as a podcast here.

    As the capstone of the session, I want to co-operatively create an investigation with my players, to give them a chance to think about how their PCs are going to solve mysteries and engage with the world. I currently want to put some focus on the politics of the setting (and thus the idea that not every bad guy can be gutted like a fish) and on the sort of threats that the RHC is called on to deal with (ie. supernatural, foreign or significant ones).

    With that in mind, I'm currently leaning towards a crime at the Danoran consulate in Flint or a threat/assassination by the eladrin terrorist Gale.

    If the former, the culprit will turn out to be a member of the Danoran staff and will have some form of diplomatic immunity. If the latter, Gale herself will get away, but the PCs will get to deal with some fey involvement and lay the groundwork for their future decisions on that issue.

    I'm open to suggestions.
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    Sounds pretty good. I like the idea of a prologue session to sort of kick the tires and knock the dust off.

    Since this is a prologue, it might actually be one of the few times where I would recommend having the party not know each other before hand. In other words, this session could be the explanation of how they came together. If you go with the consulate example, the party could get caught up in the attack or as suspects, or with Gale they could be innocent bystanders in the attack who, being heroes, rush to protect others/defend themselves, etc.

    I would also recommend having this session perhaps be about a year before the campaign so that by the time Adventure 1 rolls around, the party is now trusting of each other, etc. More I think about it the more I like it since the campaign has the default assumption that the party are all members of the RHC (which is a bit railroady though on a minor enough issue as to not be problematic).

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    Colmarr, you make me feel a bit uncreative, because for your prologue you picked two prominent elements in the 2nd adventure.

    If you don't want stuff to get redundant (or contradictory), maybe involve a different country, or just not the Danoran consulate itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerWickett View Post
    Colmarr, you make me feel a bit uncreative, because for your prologue you picked two prominent elements in the 2nd adventure.
    I had to read this twice to make sure I understood. Colmarr hasn't seen the second adventure? And he picked the Danoran consulate and Gale to focus on?

    Wow. That's a freaky coincidence! Having been through a play test of the plot of adventure two... how did you do that, Colmarr? Seriously, that adventure features both the Danoran consulate and Gale very, very prominently.

    Weird.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnlineDM View Post
    I had to read this twice to make sure I understood. Colmarr hasn't seen the second adventure? And he picked the Danoran consulate and Gale to focus on?

    Wow. That's a freaky coincidence! Having been through a play test of the plot of adventure two... how did you do that, Colmarr? Seriously, that adventure features both the Danoran consulate and Gale very, very prominently.

    Weird.
    Well, we only mention a couple dozen interesting 'things' in Flint. It's not that unlikely.
    Ryan "RangerWickett" Nock
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    The most cinematic adventure path for 4th Edition and Pathfinder.

    Now available - Admiral o' the High Seas, and ZEITGEIST adventure eight, Diaspora! For Pathfinder and D&D 4e.

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    Good point. Still weird, though!
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    Gale in particular seemed like a possibility based on the player's guide but no worries, I'm sure the adventure will prove to be plenty creative.

    Frankly, to make the player's guide readable you can't list too many possibilities otherwise you'd be looking at a 100 page document that most players probably wouldn't want to read. Though some of us would absolute eat that sort of thing up.

    The Danoran Consulate seems less obvious a choice from what I recall, but still, its not like there's dozens of consulates to choose from.

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    Yeah, I haven't finished reading the Player's Guide yet, so I hadn't realized that there were potential plot hooks described within it. That makes sense. Why would Ryan fill the Guide with useless information that never comes up? It's logical that the things mentioned in the Guide are likely to show up at some point in the adventure path.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerWickett View Post
    Colmarr, you make me feel uncreative.
    Don't feel uncreative, feel "very good at foreshadowing".

    I'm desperate to do something with the Ragman, because it's such a cool idea, but i went with Gale because it would be easier to have her escape convincingly.

    You're right though. I don't want to be repetitive, so I might use a Drakran diplomat instead, who's dabbling with his country's historical penchant for fiends. It lets me focus on the diplomatic theme. It's not as strong on the fey theme, but that theme obviously become apparent pretty early in the AP.
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