Friday, June 07, 2013

Return to Mar Tesaro - Misfire

Truth be told, the current campaign is actually my second attempt to run the Mar Tesaro setting again.  The first attempt failed through no fault of its own.  Like so many games before it, real life ended up getting in the way.  After the conclusion of a prior campaign, a number of people went on hiatus to spend time with their families, and one of the interim games became the reborn Mar Tesaro campaign.  We had about four sessions or so before the remainder couldn't spare the time to play.  By the time they were ready to play again, so was the rest of the group, and it was the consensus that starting fresh would be better in the end.

The short campaign that resulted ended up having little in common with the current campaign, although a large part of that was the result of being unable to introduce the larger themes and ideas right away.  I still think what resulted is interesting enough to write about.

The two characters in the group (and I must say that running D&D 4E for two people is really complicated) were Traster Dewshining, an eladrin* swordmage who survived the transition to the new campaign, and Dertritus Grubstake, a dwarf ranger with a huge spider companion.  Dertritus didn't make the transition, and I'm rather glad.  Why?  Well, here's his inspiration:

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Return to Mar Tesaro - The gods must be crazy

In the last installment of this series, I introduced the various factions that would be inhabiting Mar Tesaro for a new campaign.  I want to focus on the founding of the Council of the Nine, the organization of leaders from the major religions present on the island.  This group ends up becoming a major player in the campaign.  Before I can explain the Council, however, I need to talk about the first campaign.

When you run multiple campaigns out of the same setting, I imagine there's a lot of temptation to maintain a storyline for the setting.  Events from the previous campaigns become the stories and legends of the new campaigns.  PCs transition into important NPCs, historical or otherwise.  This can be satisfying for the GM because you're now telling one coherent story, which makes your setting deep and detailed.  Players, on the other hand, probably find this a bit obnoxious.  Homebrew settings can be a pain to learn already, but throwing in multiple campaigns worth of history can really complicate matters.  Add in NPCs who the GM favors, since they used to be PCs, and you can really alienate the players.

Still, the potential to tell an interesting story can make the effort worth it.  I might not have made my PCs from the first campaign part of the canon, had it not been for the actions of one elven cleric:  Amelia Lightfoot.
I'm assuming she's so happy because she just got out of her armor.  Artwork by Mario Pons.
(See the rest below.)