The world has ended again!

I am pleased to report that I have been given the opportunity to run Desolation for a group of players new to it and to Ubiquity. The group is in the midst of character creation at the moment, and so I am drinking in all the comments they drop about the game and setting to use for inspiration.

This game will be run via Google Hangouts which is not ideal but spares me a long commute to the other side of the planet and the effort of appearing in 4 communities at once. The game was chosen because it resonates strongly with the players, and everyone wants to get a chance to experience Ubiquity in action.  I am very happy to oblige them in both regards. We will put the system through its paces and in so doing, bring the characters to life in a world trapped in the throes of death.

The players have had one character creation session now and are refining their characters before the first session on July 20th. That gives me time to speak with the group collectively and each member singly before we launch this short campaign. As a backdrop to their chargen meeting, I gave them several items to mull over so that I can frame the opening of the game to work for all of us. While we all know each other in passing through interactions in the YouTube RPG Community, we have not gamed much with each other. In addition, due to schedules and other commitments, this will be a run with a finite series of sessions. It is important to not waste time on the things which might be the meat and drink of a normal campaign set up.

Watch a YouTube Video on this HERE

I asked the group first and foremost to build a group with an established logic to its internal relationships. They do not need to get along, but as survivors in the ruins of Ascondea they need each other. How that relationship has been established prior to the start of the game is essential. Second, I asked the group to consider as players what these characters might be trying to accomplish in the short-term. What goal will be driving them in this short run of 5 sessions? Last, I asked them to create a recent memory of a non-combat challenge they faced as a group and use it to highlight the relationships they want to start with in the game.

The rest will take care of itself.

I will be running the game in short, 2-hour vignettes. It seems very strange to think about what will occur in a meager ten hours of gaming. I am glad the system is Ubiquity as the players will learn it before they realize it, and not even mass combat will slow us down. After working with RuneQuest for the past few months,  I may need a seat belt to keep me in my chair. While RQ is not a slow system by any means, it is not in Ubiquity’s league when it comes to ease and speed of resolution.

We have a mix of play style preferences in the group, so I will be approaching the game as a simulation of genre with the exception that I will not be fudging die rolls. I will be arranging starting events in the campaign to foster the sense that the characters are protagonists in a world set against them, I will not be doling out immunity from consequence to match. Part of this is that I want to share how I like to run games, and part of this is that one of our goals is to see as much of the system in action as we can. Should death present itself, it deserves a chance to be seen.

With only 5 sessions for the whole campaign, I have decided that I will spend the first one being very explicit about game mechanics and push the system itself into the spotlight as we go through each new application and resolution. In later sessions, this will not be necessary and so the characters – so very, very rich in Desolation – will come to the fore and stay there.

From the sounds of initial reports from the character creation session, the group is most interested in experiencing a quest from the ruins through the wilderness, to another ruin….

A lot can happen on the road

For those who may fall along the way it will be important to remember that it’s the journey, not the destination.

4 Responses to “The world has ended again!”
  1. Kyrei says:

    That sounds like a fun setup. Please keep us appraised of how the sessions run!

  2. sameoldji says:

    “We’ll manage to get you killed.”

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