Monday, September 1, 2014

Elder Scrolls Adventure Set

Elder Scrolls Online: Such a beautiful game.
I will be running a few adventures set in the Elder Scrolls universe with some Demon: the Fallen mingled in using a thoroughly mongrelised system using The World of Darkness.  To help prepare my players I went and used The Same Page information tool so they have some idea what to expect game-wise.  I'll post up a few of the adventures and some of the character generation and mechanical considerations in later articles but this one is mostly focused on player points.

Should I play to win?

-ish.  It's assumed that you will succeed in your endeavours but the definitions of win / lose and success / failure are vague and subjective so more like an RP-heavy Pathfinder game than typical World of Darkness.
Player Characters are:

expected to interact with each other as a group alongside the NPCs, taking an interest in each other as much as the NPCs, and generally working together unless there's a pressing reason for a major conflict that should have been worked into the tale beforehand during character generation.
The GM's role is:

The GM preps a series of scenarios, using the map and other resources from the game world as a backdrop and additional filler, and highlighting different quests as they come up, while remaining flexible to player choices and decisions with regards to the how / what / when / why and even if they will get involved (bearing in mind that players shouldn't unfairly ignore a plot without good in-character justification).

The players' roles are…

…to engage with the game world and each other, making meaningful decisions and occasionally bashing down the door to take down monsters dungeon-style - basically a fantasy world adventurer simulation - play the world, play the personality, play the social environment, but also cut down the monsters and take the loot.

Doing the smartest thing for your character's survival…

…is generally what the average person would do and therefore fits well into the simulationist adventurer scenarios though sometimes themes of self-sacrifice and martyrdom may arise -- it's really up to you how you handle that.

The GM's role to the rules is…

…to invent sub-systems as they come up but once the house rules are agreed upon, they should be reliable without modification unless serious errors become apparent.

After many sessions of play, during one session, a player decides to have her character side with an enemy.  This is…

…where the character becomes an ST-guided PC (somewhat independent NPC) and will only last until the other PCs find out and do something about it.  It should therefore be quite rarely done and only for the most meaningful and powerful of reasons.

A fistfight breaks out in a bar!  The details of where everything is - tables, chairs, where everyone is standing is something that…

…is important though generally there won't be anything but the most rudimentary and quickly drawn maps and miniatures (and then only sometimes).  Clever players can gain dice bonuses or inflict dice penalties for using the terrain to their advantage  - such modifiers will be determined on an ad hoc basis but will generally reflect the World of Darkness rules.  This may be tied into a quick and easy merit sub-system but that remains to be seen.

In order to really have fun with this game, the rulebook is something that…

…is spread over so many different books and inside my own head that I wouldn't really bother with it beyond what you already know about the World of Darkness mechanics.  Even character creation will happen in-game.  Please try to remember the rules as they come up, though.  Most of them are quite simple.

Further details:

You don't need to know the Elder Scrolls universe.  If you would like to discover it in-game, your character's death can be caused via severe head trauma leading to total amnesia.  You will begin the game as one of the major races of the Aldmeri Dominion, i.e. a Khaijit (catperson), Altmer (high elf) or Bosmer (wood elf) unless the concepts of the second tier (easily workable but non-core groups) really flare your imagination.  These include Orsimer (wood orc variety), Maomer (sea elf - think pirates rather than mermaids as they can't breathe underwater), and Argonian (lizard people, generally refugees).

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