Saturday, 10 March 2012

Expansion (Society Part 1)

The next couple of posts will likely be on the current stage of my worldbuild. That is the establishment of my principal empires and societies.

I will be maintaining humans as the dominant species, for ease and because the theme of the campaign is the players being on the fringe of expansion of the empire. It's easier to obtain player buy-in for these things I find if they can relate to the force they are getting behind. The other races are allied with the humans, or at least on neutral enough terms that individuals would not be looked down upon for doing mercenary work for them.

The campaign will start with the PCs in one of the border towns of the human Empire, having been instructed that the peninsula beyond needs to be mapped and scouted out. Their main motivations at this point will probably be wanderlust and just a need to adventure. As they clear more and more of the peninsula, they will notice that small groups of people are settling the area they have cleared. As their names become more well-known they may even be offered ruling oppurtunities in the newly established provinces. Even if not, there will be plenty of intrigue and political manouevering to be done if the PCs want to keep their power and indeed their lives as they gain in noteriety.

What all this is attempting to do is raise this above the level of a standard hex-crawl. One of the things that is mentioned in the West Marches information is that you must keep the players out of the towns and on the edge of society. Maybe its my inner story-gamer rebelling but i can't see there being a huge amount of satisfaction with just entering an area and slaughtering the natives. Though if the players wish to do so, that is entirely their perogative of course. But if they wish, there will be a chance for mightier things, both as they reach the upper echilons of their chosen cults and guilds, and the top of society in general. Hopefully, using the RuneQuest 'Empires' book, I can fashion an interesting enough society for them to want to get involved in. Even if its only so they can direct their own adventures instead of being handed places to go.

BUT, and I can't stress this enough, there must always be wilderness bashing to be done. They can establish new trade routes by ousting the Slarge chieftans who rule the jungles, they can become rulers of their own minor kingdoms, they can even lead armies into battle but there will be a great feeling of being able to run off once in a while and slay a dragon or two.

Possibly I'm getting ahead of myself here, so the next post will be detailing the small societies that are established on the peninsula with which the players are likely to come into contact. And more to the point how to establish them in a way that doesn't make the PCs want to kill them all.

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