Thursday, December 8, 2011

ICONS Campaign Creation: Exquisite Corpse Style

Update: This post squeaked out before it was done in the oven. I hope it's not too badly written.

I mentioned that I'd start discussing my ICONS campaign idea so here we go.

I've been running my Swords & Wizardry campaign for just over two years now. We took one break last summer so that I can be a player in a Savage Worlds campaign (which still needs to be completed). Needless to say, I'm getting a bit dry on running a fantasy campaign and a nice change is needed. That is where ICONS will be coming in.

Here's the pitch....

I've learned to let the players create the campaign world while I just fill in what is needed. I love campaign histories too so instead of coming up with this on my own for ICONS (which I really don't want to do), I thought I'd let the group as a whole create this campaign. I also want to be a player more and not be stuck 'behind the screen' so much.

Now ICONS, if you haven't checked it out, is a very rules lite Heroes game. I think it would be easy for anyone to run a session. The mechanics are quite simple leaving all the rolling to the players, that leaves the GM as more of a guide for the session, introducing plots and characters and situations without having to keep all the rules and rolls in his/her head.

I like that. I like that a lot.

So the ICONS campaign will rotate GMs every session. The GM can use whatever the previous GM used such as plot, characters, events etc or just go off on his own tangent. Since most of the sessions will be self-contained there shouldn't be much of a problem. Even if a session is 'to be continued', the next GM can take that story anywhere he wants. Any GM can tap into previous events to spark a session of their own. Think of it as an Exquisite Corpse style of gaming. Everyone GMs and everyone plays. Think of every GM as a comic writer coming in to take over a title.

There will four or five rounds of this. The first round will take place in the Golden Age of comics around the early 1940's, the second round will take place in the Silver Age (the 1960's) while the third will take place in the Bronze Age of comics (70's/80's) and finally modern times. So each GM would run just a single session within one of those ages.

This whole process will create a history rich campaign that any GM can tap into for additional story material. Perhaps a villain from the Golden Age puts himself in suspended animation and returns in the bronze age more powerful than ever? Maybe the outcome of WW II is different than real history which would create a totally different world and scenarios than now? Whatever the case may be, everyone would be involved and invested in the creation of this campaign world.

So I would run the first game session starting in 1942. At the end of that night's session, the remaining players that are interested in running a session all roll a die, we'll say a d12 since it's kind of a lonely die. The highest roll will run the next session which continues the Golden Age era, all the way around until everyone had a turn to run a session then we move on to the Silver Age, etc.

Now I like the idea of not knowing when your GMing turn comes up as it keeps you on your toes, letting your ideas form based on previous sessions. Of course, you can come up with a complete adventure without tapping into anything that happened previously. But my experience with this group is that they're very creative and there's gonna be plenty of things happening that no one else would have thought of but could be a great inspiration.

So that's the general concept. The rest of the group liked the idea too. I'll be fleshing things out a bit more and, of course, posting it here for your reading pleasure!

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