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Old October 25th, 2013, 04:56 AM
Murphy Murphy is offline
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Default Do you employ "persistent world" philosophy in your games?

I'm a big fan of making connections between different campaigns I run.

When I did a mercenary campaign, I wrote down all NPC names, including all members of the unit, and casualties.

When we generated crew for our TTA campaign, it turned out that our NPC engineer had the same last name as one of the guys killed in the first game. This gave me an idea, I decided that the two were brothers. When time was due, the engineer got a letter about his younger brother's death and had to take an extended leave to attend to the family, forcing the crew to look for a new engineer, which became a quest in itself ('cause the NPC guy was very skilled and hard to replace).

If I run two campaigns intermittently, they often tend to influence one another like that for no reason other than to underline the universe's cohesion. Sometimes it's just something mentioned on the news that the players can recognize due to having played in the other campaign. Sometimes it's an NPC appearing in both games.

So far we have run our merc campaign, went halfway through TTA, tried a post-apocalyptic planet-confined game in the Egyrn subsector and now going through Beltstrike.

And I still dream of the day we start Secrets of the Ancients. Damn, that's my dream campaign...

But I digress. Share your persistent universe examples! Ever had your players trigger a "butterfly effect" then experience its consequences as another characters in another campaign?
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Old October 25th, 2013, 07:47 PM
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Garyius2003 Garyius2003 is offline
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No, I haven't. Traveller is huge, though.

In fact I mishandle the larger worlds, because I can't run a Mexico City as the startown and Hong Kong as the location of the computer center on Rethe. I simply can't handle that grand a scale.
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Old October 25th, 2013, 10:46 PM
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Sifu Blackirish Sifu Blackirish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
I'm a big fan of making connections between different campaigns I run. Ever had your players trigger a "butterfly effect" then experience its consequences as another characters in another campaign?
There is no other way to do it.

My first novel is just waiting on completion of cover art to be published. TRAVELLER inspires and gives me examples that I use to create my own reality, so to speak.

(from a future publication, THE ART AND CRAFT OF WRITING)
"What are these words you write? They are little pieces of your soul, distilled down into those almost illegible scribbles. When you do this on a regular basis, it is exhilarating, liberating, cathartic."

Just as a well written novel, an adventure should take you places you do not expect. When I write, everything is in flux, and changing dates forces me to look at new relationships. Some I may have assigned earlier and no details are in mind yet, or there are formerly disparate items now a product of fortunate serendipity.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 09:08 PM
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Sifu Blackirish Sifu Blackirish is offline
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Would I offend anyone if I said you have to treat player characters as children?

Relax, Not in a simplistic way, but with subterfuge. Present them with choices, of course. Only do this. Make every choice one that leads to a location you have data on. Doesn't matter if you have no detail, PCs sometimes provide them on their own.

When I am in an active mood, creativity can strike me at literally any moment. I have to write it down quickly or lose it forever. Afterwards I file it away, where it is read again in a day or a week or a month or a year or once, five years.

That first novel is coming soon, I promise.

Persistence makes it real. Characters realize they are affecting things in the greater universe, and what happens then? If they know they are making a difference, will they be benign, brutal? If what they do REALLY affects the universe, like Secret of the Ancients big, will they be selfish, or generous?

If I may relate a tale...


from novel OBSERVER AND GUARDIAN, story ONE GIANT STEP FORWARD


(Tau Ceti [d’Karaene], 2128 AD)

In a small office, Harris paced and ranted. This did not disturb any work in progress. Some time ago this area had been upgraded with extra soundproofing.

“Six months! We’ve been pouring our blood into this project for six months! We have nothing to show for it but failure after failure!”

Delacroix was a perfect example of composure. He reclined in his chair, sipping the last of his chilled spring water and f’Racaeas root as though he was relaxing at a vacation resort. His only response was a small sigh.

“Friend, you really need to learn how to relax. How can I run things from my end if I am worrying about you having a nervous breakdown?”

Reluctantly, Harris sat at his desk in a plush form fitting chair. Nervous shuffling of papers and micro discs, along with fingers drumming loudly on his desk surface, clearly showed he was not following friendly advice.

“I know you are still upset over apparent lack of progress on our tau shunt modules.”

Harris jumped to his feet again.

“Upset? Of course I am upset! Failure to develop a reliable module has brought this project to a standstill! How can you be so calm?”

Delacroix did not respond. He had something else on his mind.

First, he obtained a fresh f’Racaeas root from a small box. Gently shredding it over the empty glass, he could smell as light aromatic oils and spices were released. Next, he reached for a pitcher and refilled his glass. Then, he used a long handled silver spoon to add a touch of fructose. Tasting the combination, his grin showed satisfaction with the results.

Only after his process was complete did he recline again and

speak in a low, calm voice.

“Harris, remember that it was a very fortunate intervention that enabled us to discover the tau shunt principles at all. There is a great gulf, sometimes impossible to bridge, between a laboratory effect and useful commercial applications.”

Harris returned to his seat. Accessing their local cybernet database, he began cross-indexing circuit schematics. His earlier anxiety had vanished, replaced by grim intensity.

“Reynolds and his power teams are working as hard as humanly possible. I can’t remember when they have even taken a day off.”

Jacques paused to take a long drink, then added more ice.

“Give them time and if there is a solution, they will discover it.”

Harris paused his display and turned to face his research associate.

“Listen, Delacroix. Here is something I have known since I was a small child. I got tired of my ’kids books’ so I would sneak into my father’s personal library in the middle of the night. I read everything from philosophies to G-space theory, even some of his ancient pulp thrillers. I saw that one dedicated person can make a difference.”

“I did not know we had a job posting for ‘miracle worker’ here, or that you had accepted it.”

Harris did not look amused.

“This project will succeed. No matter what!”

Delacroix pocketed his root box and finished his drink without further comment.

Harris was now immersed in whatever task occupied his mind. Four monitors around his desk were active and displaying a variety of information. He was unaware that anyone else was in the room. It would do no good to talk to him now. Harris never listened to anyone when he was in a mood like this one.
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