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55 minutes ago, Spence said:

Of course some kind of campaign setting would help either of them along.

 

 

Well, we do have a campaign setting: Hudson City: The Urban Abyss .

 

Of course it may not be the kind of setting you have in mind. It's definitely on the "grim dark" side rather than "suave and sophisticated." OTOH even James Bond is a lot grittier than he used to be. Jason Bourne kind of infected him. ;)

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15 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Well, we do have a campaign setting: Hudson City: The Urban Abyss .

 

Of course it may not be the kind of setting you have in mind. It's definitely on the "grim dark" side rather than "suave and sophisticated." OTOH even James Bond is a lot grittier than he used to be. Jason Bourne kind of infected him. ;)

 

My joke about the Bourne films is that there is a very secretive, federal level Department of Jason Bourne.  Because there are all these bureaucrats and technical staff and so on, whose sole purpose seems entirely to be keeping track of Jason Bourne.  

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18 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

My joke about the Bourne films is that there is a very secretive, federal level Department of Jason Bourne.  Because there are all these bureaucrats and technical staff and so on, whose sole purpose seems entirely to be keeping track of Jason Bourne.  

 

Honestly, given what Bourne has done and what he's capable of, I wouldn't consider that a joke.

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

Well, we do have a campaign setting: Hudson City: The Urban Abyss .

 

Of course it may not be the kind of setting you have in mind. It's definitely on the "grim dark" side rather than "suave and sophisticated." OTOH even James Bond is a lot grittier than he used to be. Jason Bourne kind of infected him. ;)

Not a Campaign Setting as the term is used in every other RPG line on the planet.  It is a location for a campaign. 

 

I have Hudson City (all versions including the map) and I routinely use it as a campaign location. 

 

Chapter 7 is actually dedicated to discussing how to create campaigns using the location.

 

I have said many times that Hudson City is one of the, if not the greatest RPG modern city location ever printed.   It is a location or even a setting.  But it is not, and never has been the elusive campaign setting that is wished for.

 

M&M's Emerald City is a Campaign Setting for M&M.

Location information....check

NPC and organizations in the location......check

Maps and diagrams for location.....sorta check

Campaign to run for players.....check

 

 

Hudson City

Location information....check

NPC and organizations in the location......check

Maps and diagrams for location.....check

Campaign to run for players........... tumbleweeds

 

 

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15 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Huh. I never felt that a "setting" had to lay out a full campaign for someone to follow, if it had everything I as GM need to build a campaign.

 

Oh I understand that.  Especially here amongst the Herodom.

 

But that doesn't change expectations when modern gamers buy product. Most, not all, but most are looking not only for the setting material, but something they can play with little or no prep in the tiny bit of free time they aren't working or adulting.

 

I know, I know. That line of thought is blasphemy here. :winkgrin:

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

But the only RPG settings I've seen that lay out a full campaign were built around that campaign, and that's pretty exceptional

Campaigns don't have to be multi year complete a degree between start and finish.  But the majority of the location books I have picked up in the last 2-3 years have had campaigns, from the short ones completed in a few sessions, to long one taking weeks.

 

Ones from places like WoTC still like to build campaigns with more rigidly built adventures, but there are many that follow a newer more modern approach.  In these each part/chapter contains all of the write ups and Information about all the participants (npc's, villains, creatures, etc.), all the more detailed location data if needed and any handouts and such.  Then they give the GM a brief on what is going on and any current plans the bad types may have plus any time lines or event interdependencies.  These are the best IMO because they have the GM freedom of the homebrew campaign with the low prep time/work of the pre-built.

 

But more to the point, HC is not a spy campaign anything.  It is a modern'ish city that is easy to use for games running from the 60s to 90s.  It can be easily tweaked for 2000s to present.  I have a copy of the fabulous full color Hudson City map that I modified by pulling out all the interstates and modern highways and replaced the interstates with rail lines.  I built it so I could run a 1935 Pulp game. 

 

Hmmmm....I guess I am wandering a bit.

 

Hudson City is a great city book. 

 

It can even be called a great setting. 

 

But there is nothing resembling a Campaign in its pages.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Spence said:

Then they give the GM a brief on what is going on and any current plans the bad types may have plus any time lines or event interdependencies.

 

This presents a nice intersection of pure setting (ala gazetteers) and plot hooks. It is hard to imagine an interesting setting that doesn't have something epic brewing within it.

 

I like the Savage Worlds structure of the Plot Point Campaign: an over-arching epic plotline engulfing the entire setting. The core campaign setting book provides the major beats of the epic plotline with lots of suggestions for where GM-made adventures could be inserted. For GMs who don't have the time to do that, there are published adventures that have a plug-and-play relationship to the overall storyline. This structure gives you the best of both worlds: broad scale guidance on an epic crisis affecting the entire game world, with space created for GMs to fit their own adventures within it, along with pre-made adventure support for GMs who need that.

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47 minutes ago, zslane said:

 

This presents a nice intersection of pure setting (ala gazetteers) and plot hooks. It is hard to imagine an interesting setting that doesn't have something epic brewing within it.

 

I like the Savage Worlds structure of the Plot Point Campaign: an over-arching epic plotline engulfing the entire setting. The core campaign setting book provides the major beats of the epic plotline with lots of suggestions for where GM-made adventures could be inserted. For GMs who don't have the time to do that, there are published adventures that have a plug-and-play relationship to the overall storyline. This structure gives you the best of both worlds: broad scale guidance on an epic crisis affecting the entire game world, with space created for GMs to fit their own adventures within it, along with pre-made adventure support for GMs who need that.

Yes, the Plot Point books are perfect.  Enough to be able to play, but vague enough to allow the personal touch.

 

They make me wish I liked SW enough to enjoy playing it.

 

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If I were ever to write a campaign setting for the Hero System, I'd use the Plot Point Campaign structure. I think this structure can be adopted for any system, and I'd like to see it become the preferred approach for all future Hero System campaign settings, regardless of who authors them.

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