Friday, May 1, 2009

The Banestorm Dissipates

It looks like the semi-regular solo game I've been running with Des has been taken off the air for retooling. It came about during a short break in the middle of our last session. The campaign had a reached a point where I felt I was able to throw some more sophisticated adventures at Des and her alternate-reality alter ego. To that end, I used The Veiled Society as a backdrop for the shift of the campaign to the Big City.

Things just didn't gel. As usual. Since starting the campaign, I've been grappling with getting engaged with running NPCs and communicating the setting. Although Des is happy with the direction her character has taken, she was also feeling the blandness. In the end, I decided that Yrth is just too vanilla. I think it would've worked if we'd had a group of PCs banestormed to the world--in that case a vanilla setting is an asset, as it allows the PCs' actions and choices to take center stage--but with a solo PC game, there needs to be a more engaging setting to, well, engage with.

I won't pick apart my issues with Yrth. Better to just pick up and move on. I'll hang on to my Banestorm hardback and use it as an idea mine, because there are quite a few choice nuggets in there. All I'll say, though, is that I've found the GUPRS 4e iteration of Yrth to suffer from the same problems that turned me off of GURPS in general: the writing is so dense and dry. I have several Yrth-related PDFs from the 3e days, and I have to say that although the material is largely the same, the writing/editing/art direction is much more interesting and inspirational. What can I say, I'm an aesthete.

So yeah, the BRP Banestorm campaign goes on the back burner. We've agreed that it can live on, but some retconning will be necessary. The good news is that the campaign was largely confined to a small backwater. So it looks like I'll be transplanting the Barony of Harkwood into the World of Legend. Which means I'll be using Dragon Warriors for two ends: the system will power campaigns set in the world of Magnamund, while the setting will be used in my BRP fantasy game! Ah, what tangled webs we uravel...

So what's to do in the meantime? Happily, the time has at last come to dust off our long-delayed Castle Falkenstein campaign! I'll write more on that shortly, but in the meantime I'm diving back into the CF rulebook to reacquaint myself with the rules; the setting and first adventure are largely nailed down in my mind. It'll be nice to get away from bog-standard fantasy for a bit.
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