Mechwarrior: Running A Time of War ~ pt.5

One of the things I look forward to the most when I start a new campaign is that very specific moment when the players are ready, willing, and able to step into a more proactive stance – and do so. I find that moment, when the group is growing more and more confident with the setting and system, have a clear idea of their character and their goals, and understand both what is going on around them and what options they have as a result, to be extremely satisfying.

 In many ways that moment is the signal that the work to play ratio on my side of the screen is going to shift farther toward the play side. That is never a bad thing.

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Charging Destiny in the Inner Sphere's Most Reviled 'Mech

This week, my A Time of War campaign, Hair of the Dog, reached that moment. The tipping point in the ongoing accumulation of information, the establishment of character roles and in-game roles within the unit, as well as the discovery of the levers and standing point for them to start moving the world took place in a flurry of lengthy posts back and forth over the last few days, bringing the scene close to its conclusion and gearing us up for the last scene in the Story. Once that Story reaches its conclusion, the gloves are off, and War breaks out!

The group is now wrestling with the dilemma of going on the offensive or defensive right out of the gate. They are assessing whether it is better to strike a blow for open rebellion, or to steep themselves in strength over the long, cold winter and rise up with the Spring. They need to worry about guessing and second guessing the plans of the Lyran occupiers, and being there to stop them in their aggressive seizing of land and assets, while simultaneously needing to cement a hold over assets which will assist the rebel force they are building to maintain a sustainable and effective resistance.

No easy task.

The player of the unit commander, Lucas Rom, spy and pilot of the group’s somewhat eccentric Shadowhawk, hit the group with a massive array of data points and decision charts, modeled on all the hints, statements, established histories, and his comprehension of my predilections as a GM, and got them all working on fomenting a real and rousing rebellion.

What followed was a blizzard of posts, some running 4 or 5 pages of densely packed text, bandying ideas about, challenging or supporting assumptions and deductions, and more than that – moving the project forward.

Imagine my joy~

The next stage will have us shifting completely from events sparked entirely on my side of the screen, each with ulterior motives of establishing setting, introducing characters, forging links, and conveying massive amounts of exposition, to the implementation of a purely plot-based timeline put wholly at the mercy of PC action.

I can’t wait!

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