Courtesy Fantasy Flight Games

I’m planning on attending MEPACon Fall 2011, and while I’ll be doing demos of both Maschine Zeit and Amaranthine, I’ve been interested in starting a new ongoing campaign. In light of Honor and Blood’s potential return during the convention and my interest in a long-running Legend of the Five Rings game that will also be there, I thought there might be some interest in adding a grimdark sci-fi horror-adventure to the mix.

Rather than simply saying “here are your characters, let’s go” or “okay, here’s how you build characters, we can start playing in two hours,” I’m going to opt for a mix. Players interested in joining the campaign will have a choice of nine different Dossiers, each describing a character on a different career path. Instead of just laying down stats, the Dossiers will instead give a vague notion of a character’s background and set up a few baseline numbers, from which players can build their avatars in various ways.

I think this approach will save time, add intrigue and facilitate storytelling. Getting some of the basic stuff out of the way and focusing mostly on what players want to do to make characters their own, rather than starting from scratch, will help the group get right to the action, especially if someone doesn’t get to the table until others are settled in. But not all of the interesting stuff is limited to that gaming table.

You see, after the initial events that bring everybody together, the events of the adventure as well as aspects from the Dossiers will be brought up to players via email. Players will be encouraged to keep in touch with the Judge and each other. When players gather again in person, the idea will be that much has gone on behind the scenes between meetings, giving them stories to tell each other that will build and enhance their characters even further.

Everyone will have secrets, ties to their pasts and people they’ve influenced, be they enemies or allies. Views on the Imperium, the Inquisition, the Calixis Sector and one’s fellow Acolytes are bound to change. And all of this information, these events and the choices players take, will be added to their Dossiers by the dutiful servants of the Inquisition.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting the initial Dossiers here. I’m looking forward to MEPACon, and I’m hoping this notion will have others looking forward to it as well.