Fate of the Norns

Living Midgard
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Author:  andrew [ Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Living Midgard

Similar to Living Greyhawk and Pathfinder Society, we're looking to create a "living" campaign where your deeds influence the end of the second age. This won't be setup in time for DotN, but maybe we'll have it in place for Giants & Gods... and it will most definitely be in place for the trilogy of sagas that is to follow.

Greyhawk used a kingdoms structure, and Pathfinder uses societies. We're thinking something along the lines of battlelines that have been drawn since the first age.

Jotun (both Muspeli and Rime)
Vanir (undecided)
Dvergar (decidedly neutral)
Unaligned (Nidhogg, etc)

Any other structures? The Alfar book will follow the trilogy, so they may or may not be included in this. However the more I htink about this, the more I see a need to complete all 3 lore books (DotN, G&G, WoS) before the saga trilogy is published.

The saga trilogy will have a massive sandbox feel. You can go anywhere, take on any quest (small or large) in almost any order (however some quests have a better success rate at higher levels). The result of each quest will apply modifiers to about a dozen global variables. These variables affect the victory conditions in subsequent quests. For example, complete a quest that brings you into favour with King Aethelstan, and you now have a extra set of hurdles to overcome in Gorm the Old's quests. Free Loki and your quest dynamics received from Aesir gods changes drastically.

Anyhow I hope to create a server where quest results can be submitted as your game group completes them. This begins to shape the end of the 2nd age and how we will approach the third age. I'm guessing it would be a democracy, where the majority of results holds sway. Anyhow I open it to you guys for further ideas. You can also use this info in spreading the word about the KS. All extra funds will help us in the creation of this sandbox framework.

Upwards and Onward,

Author:  DavetheLost [ Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Living Midgard

This smells like a metaplot for FotN. You should know that I generally do not like meta plots. This is because when executed poorly they ramrod campaigns and stifle GM creativity.

When done properly they are awesome. If you are familiar with Tribe 8, that is a crowning example of metaplot done right. Through the whole series of books for that game there is an ongoing chronicle of the Tribe of Joshua and it's growth and development. All subtly handled, and woven into the game world in such a way that even if an individual campaign focuses elsewhere the game books are still useful.

World of Darkness lost me as a fan in part because of metaplot done poorly. Crossover between game lines, huge elaborate plots, but none of it gelled together.

With FotN, I think there is a very good opportunity for metaplot done right. Indeed the setting almost demands it. Like King Arthur Pendragon or the various Lord of the Rings based games the Three Ages of Ragnarok present an overarching narrative structure. We know that certain events will occur at certain times. We also know of many lesser (and some greater) events whose timing and outcome are uncertain.

Certainly for the trilogy of sagas at a minimum copious notes should be made available to Norns giving an outline of how player actions will effect future events and interactions. This would not require the massive undertaking of a "living" campaign, but would be for each individual campaign, and will probably need to be done in any event.

I think that a "living" campaign would really shine in the opportunity it gives gaming groups to feel a part of shaping he course of Ragnarok, at least while the first play though of the thing is happening. Do the Aesir or the Jotun prevail? It depends in part on the actions of players. Whom they ally with and what actions they take could ripple through the World Tree. I think that a weight of results would be a fair way to determine what happens. If lots of Aesir aligned player groups have success then the Norns spin more threads favoring the Aesir into the tapestry, if the Jotun aligned players prevail then the balance tips again.

I will admit FotN still feels incomplete to me. Not only are we still missing many character archetypes (yes, I know you are working on them), but we are also lacking details on the Alfar, the Dvergar, Gods and Giants, etc. So much richness in the world yet untapped. I am cautious about a "living" campaign until a bit more of that material is available.

Author:  mamama [ Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Living Midgard

I'm totally for the living campaign but I agree with Dave, let's get all the source books out before it starts. I know someone else asked in another thread about some saga hooks since the saga trilogy is still a ways off, so I'd voice a definite "yes please" for the Midgard related saga hooks. I think one of the extended stretch goals may be just that, but I'm not sure.

Author:  andrew [ Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Living Midgard

Dave I hear those concerns loud and clear and I agree with all of your points raised. This living experience needs to be very well thought out and cannot be rushed. Hearing back from folks convinced me that the best rollout plan is to get all 3 lore books out first, and during that time work out a very robust system to coincide with the saga trilogy.

I don't want the living Midgard system to interrupt the second age. I want all of the material to be relevant to 2nd age players in 2014 and 2018. What I want it for the players to help shape the entry into the 3rd age. Some play-throughs of the trilogy may lead to some very cool ideas that we didn't think of, and we'll incorporate them. Tapping Dr. Who, there will some fixed points in destiny that won't get altered but everything around them might. We have time, I was just throwing the idea out there so the community can provide feedback over a few months.

Thanks! :)

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