Need input for my campaign

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Mage
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Need input for my campaign

Postby Mage » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:37 pm

Waaay back I was thinking or running a B5 game. I had a lot of ideas, but then I watched the ENTIRE series and I realised some of those ideas sucked.
So to paraphrase, I'd like to ask some of you guys questions:

1. What year should I set it in: 2258, during the telepath wars, during the crusade era, after crusade?

2. Who should the main protagonists be: Shadows, Drahk, Streib, The Hand?

I was originally thinkin of doing a ranger campaign which started out with investigating a terrorist group, which eventually invovled cramming as many races into the campaign as possible, albeit in a non-sensical way.

Granted I have my reasons for each of the above choices, but there'd be to much text to read if I went on about it.

Other ideas include: a 5 year arc like the series, invovling a lot of centuari, having a group of vorlons and shadows remain after the year they leave, avoid the psi-core (could not be bothered reading all those rules just yet).

Of course, I have not seen much crusade, two episodes I think, and the only movie I saw was LoTR. There seems to be a lot of loose ends that were proabably covered in the comics and novels, if anyone could fill me in on what happens between the second last and last episode of the series (the 20 year gap).

Thanks in advance!
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Postby B_Steele » Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:31 pm

1. What year should I set it in: 2258, during the telepath wars, during the crusade era, after crusade?
2258 is always popular. If you want to deal with the Crusade Era/Post-Crusade, you'll probably need to do ALOT of novel reading.
2. Who should the main protagonists be: Shadows, Drahk, Streib, The Hand?
The Shadows are almost too cliche in most cases, they tend to get overused. The Drakh are awesome, but you will have very little direct contact if you like your players. The Streib are pretty much worthless. But the Hand...you will need to wait for a future supplement before you will be able to use anything related to them.
I was originally thinkin of doing a ranger campaign which started out with investigating a terrorist group, which eventually invovled cramming as many races into the campaign as possible, albeit in a non-sensical way.
Again, if you want to do a group of Rangers, there is a book coming soon that will solve your problems of non-sensical races and the like. It will set your game in 2265+, but there you go.

Hope I was helpful in any way!!!

Bry[/quote]
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Postby Reborn » Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:25 pm

Well from my experience I can only really talk about 2258, but I can safely say it's a great year for intrigue and the like, as the Shadows haven't really appeared yet, so you can do plenty of shady stuff with them if you like.

In my campaign the Shadows are working awesomely, but haven't revealed themselves with anything more than the mysterious Mr Morden...

I agree with Brian on the Streibs, they don't really do anything except get beaten up by the Minbari (then again he should know seeing as he's written half the books ;) ).
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Postby DanteC » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:32 pm

I always figured in B5 that the 'big bad' worked hand-in-hand with the timeline; Shadows for the time of the show, Drakh for Crusade etc. Remember that First One's arn't the end-all badness in the void. After all it is a big place. Pitch some of your idea's here, I'm sure at least one person can give you better advice than I can anyway. All your time-settings work, but doing a five-year arc starting in 2258 means you have less work to do since it's mostly laid out in stone. All the other ones you've mentioned need more work, especially the Telepath War which has no real info behind it.

But certainly, my main bit of advice is have a main setting and a timeline before anything else. The main local for the players, where they are most likely to be at any one time? Babylon 5 itself is a popular choice; so many contacts, a hub to the universe etc. Time-wise is very important also, especially if your players are familiar with B5. Before 2258, Clark isn't in power so you don't have problems with Homeguard or other such but the Minbari are still antagonistic to the humans as an example. Different times means different conflicts between different factions. Always something to bear in mind.
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Postby thedarkelf007 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:06 pm

I have way too many ideas when it comes to plot lines and adventures for the b5 setting.

The first campaign I ran was a Psi Corps campaign set during the Dilgar war.

So here are are few of my ideas on timelines and plots.

- Dilgar War
- You can be EA coming to save the day
- Dilgar trying to expand
- An almagamation of what would become the League of Non-Aligned worlds in its foundation stages

- Earth / Minbari War
- Fighting on the EA front (hard campaign - always loosing)
- Fighting on the Minbari front (easy campaign - monstly wining)
- Other races trying to gain an advantage out of the conflict

- Babylon station construction
- EA trying to build the stations
- Other races interacting in this period (I expect the Drahk to be active here as well)
- Interactions with other Ancients, and subservient races in EA's (or anothers) race to improve their technology
- Rogue technomage, a big bad of a storyline

- B5 first year
- There are published adventures set here
- Besides this, it could be fun interacting with reported on events related to the station, plus expanding on incidents in the station

- B5 second year
- Timeframe for the 2nd Ed
- The Ragged Edge campaign
- Good for Drahk / Shadow involvement
- A mix of telepaths from different races might gain vorlon support in some way

- B5 Third & Fourth Year
- Lots of opportunities here, but mostly its wartime conditions

- B5 Fifth Year
- This is where the Drahk start to build their own power base, and start acting like the shadow to dominate lesser races. Mentioned on another thread, this could include the domination of the Gaim race, or creation of a genetic subservient offshoot race.
- Begining of the Telepath crisis... an interesting era if you'd like to see Psi Corps fall.

- Crusade
- Telepaths as part of the EA Military
- The search for a cure (no way only one ship is doing this)
- Potential break up / collapse of the EA in a politically cuthroat storyline

- Legend of the Rangers
- Just who is the new big bad?
- Rangers looking after the galaxy (police / customs / negotiators / soldiers)

Though I have a few ideas on how to write most of these into a single story arc for a campaign, but it would need a little ironing out before I discuss that... :)

Though it is best to go for vague plots, and when you have decided what sort of story you want (and what the players are willing to participate in) then you can work out how to get from point A (start) to point B (finish).

The main thing is to plan what you need to happen to get from A to B. These can be dot points. Then figure out if they are related or isolated. If related, what is the order they need to occur. Then use these as the basis for your adventures, determine how many padding adventures you want (not realated to the main story) then using your players backgrounds, weave the padding adventures to use that information which can occur as part of the main story arc.

On average I have about 5 - 10 main story points, and 10 - 20 padding points. This works out at about 10-15 planned adventure storylines with a bunch of loose threads for the group to follow if they wish...

There is more to it than just that, but this is the basics of how I set up most of my RPG campaigns. And I do have a scheduled end, which is good in level limited systems (and stops unlimited ones from becoming stale).

I hope this is helpful in some way.
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Re: Need input for my campaign

Postby El Cid » Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:19 am

The first thing I did was talk to my players and asked what they wanted to do in any B5 campaign.

If your players are open to a 2258 campaign and don't know much about B5, you have lots of background info to help and they'll be able to discover the series as their PCs experience the events.

I'd make sure that they didn't upset the main story and major NPCs but everything else should be fair game.

I have never worried about a BIG BAD since there are so many little bads that your PCs can encounter and have fun trying to stop them.

Best of luck.
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Postby Kizarvexis » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:21 pm

thedarkelf007 wrote:Legend of the Rangers
- Just who is the new big bad?
- Rangers looking after the galaxy (police / customs / negotiators / soldiers)
LotR was set in between B5 season 5 and Crusade. It would have ended up dealing with issues of Crusade, namely left over Shadowtech. The Big Bad in LotR was The Hand, which most speculation had as a front for the Drakh.

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Postby thedarkelf007 » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:29 pm

It was more from the perspective of a campaign theme... the players don't know who the hand are, or even if they are a seperate race, an old race returned, or and existing race appearing diferently...

So the main plot line could be "who are the hand?" though I did try to be as vague as possible, so as to allow plot ideas to be used in other scenarios...

As to when it started, I never looked up the starting time, but having G'Kar back in the picture without Lyta it was after the telepath crisis, and that could have placed it either side... (I didn't remember when LotR vs Crusade started - books elsewhere)
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why not start at the beginning.....

Postby R Arceneaux » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:43 pm

Why not start at the beginning, just as the station is comming on line, people/merchants are starting to move in, dignitaries are starting to arrive and systems are getting the bugs worked out.

The list of possible hooks that your players may bite is practically endless.

Throw out a few hooks and see what they respond to and then go from there. Remember, B5 series scripts started out with the dignitaries arriving with one of them being attacked which led to all the other probles that arose.

All those new people moving in, being thrown together for the first time can lead to crime, greed, power struggles, vices of all kinds, jealousies abounding and of course those ever so old mortal enemy hatreds as the ambassadors arrive to take their positions.

Why not start out at the very beginning and just see where the road leads?

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Postby Mage » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:46 pm

Thanks so far for all your input guys. Busy with stuff lately so I was away from the computer. These ideas are great. Here are problems I am having:

1. I cannot for the life of me create a good scenario to start a campaign with (so am considereing the Cold Equations as I already have it and it can work with almost any type of character: Centauri agent, Ranger, Narn anything, you get the picture).

2. The problem with the scenario is 2258, but I am sure I could run it anytime.

3. I cannot exactly remember specifics of season 2, as season 2 and 3 I watched back to back, and not it all blurs in together.

4. I could run the Ragged edge, but am not sure what the campaign invovles. Sure I could buy the book, but what if I bought it and I ended up not wanting to run it.... Any reviews people?

5. There are about three things I want to do but all are years apart according to the timeline: Earth Alliance Speical projects (shadow tech, drahk tech, stuff like the Ikaran bio armour, and the shadow hunter), a Ranger campaign fighting off the hand (but again who are the hand and how much work do I have to do?), and the last one was setting it in the standard year for the game, which of course, seems lacklustre to me.

6. One of the players is a narn and has not seen the show, and invovling the group in the narn centauri war woudl be cool, but if the group diversifies, how would a narn soldier, human ranger and pssibly a Centauri one guy is considering playing form any kind of fellowship?

7. Is there rules in anybooks for any lesser league races that only apepar around season 1 (Hurr, N.grath's race and some of the others?)

8. As an answer to item 6 above I thought one wayof doing a game is have the group be mercenaries, but again how would a ranger join? Of course a lot oe people I know run RPGs like this in Star Wars, Cyber punk, star trek, D&D and the idea seems to cliche, but as I drew blanks for adventures in 2258 I figured I could run mainly a space battle campaign set in that year in the B5 universe with the station appearing now and then.

@ R Arceneaux
The more I think of year one of the series the more I want to run a game in it.

@ thedarkelf007
The Hand were my first idea for bad guys but the timeline is sketchy. I remember one of my friends saying LoTR was set after crusade because the mention the drahk plague as being past tense at some point. Not sure I can back this up. You hagve too many ideas for campaigns!

@ El Cid
I asked my group the same thing but they were farily easy going. I like the idea of a big bad though. Fighting two bit thugs and the like is just too mundane for sci fi IMHO. I am going to keep them as far as possible from main characters in the series.

@ DanteC
I suppose starting it in 2258 al of the work will already be done. I have pitched a few ideas, but I don't to add my own races to a B5 game. I saw a friend's star wars campaign fall apart because he did this too much.

@ Reborn
I know about the strieb. I just want to see what baddies I can use. I noticed there is a smiilarity between Streib and another alien found aboard a ship in season 2 I think. The alien was dead and the picture I saw was a blurry close up, and one human out ot two was alive on the ship, which was like 100 eyars old found near the rim. I just liked to imagine there were a good few races under the shadows. I don't suppose there are covered int eh Darkness and light book?
I don' think I could do an intrigue campaign very well. Not my style really.

@ Mongoose Steele
2265 sounds good, and you just gave me an idea. Maybe set part of the campaign during the shadow war, but didn't the vorlons go a bit nuts blowing up planets that were even barely touched by the shadows? Me thinks I got a new bad guy...

On a sligthly different note I heard that Mongoose were at Warp Con last weekend which I missed, and apaprently Gareth Hanrahen was there, running a Cthulhu game oddly enough. I love Cthulhu. DAMN!

Thanks for all your help guys.
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Postby B_Steele » Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:23 pm

Mage wrote:4. I could run the Ragged edge, but am not sure what the campaign invovles. Sure I could buy the book, but what if I bought it and I ended up not wanting to run it.... Any reviews people?
Gar did a great job with it, it is totally worthwhile and coudl prolly be slightly adjusted for a different timeline. But if you are looking at non-2258, you might want to look elsewhere.
5. There are about three things I want to do but all are years apart according to the timeline: Earth Alliance Speical projects (shadow tech, drahk tech, stuff like the Ikaran bio armour, and the shadow hunter), a Ranger campaign fighting off the hand (but again who are the hand and how much work do I have to do?), and the last one was setting it in the standard year for the game, which of course, seems lacklustre to me.
Leap of Faith comes out this month, I think it will cover what you are looking for nicely on most counts. And I'm not just saying that, either. It will be difficult for your Ranger, but see below for ideas concerning him.
6. One of the players is a narn and has not seen the show, and invovling the group in the narn centauri war woudl be cool, but if the group diversifies, how would a narn soldier, human ranger and pssibly a Centauri one guy is considering playing form any kind of fellowship?
Not all of the Centauri hate the Narn, especially those who might feel sorry for the awful stuff that happened in 2260. And as for the Narn, if you set it post-2261 he could be a disciple of G'Kar's writings - meaning that he should forgive the Centauri and try his damndest to move along in the greater scheme of things.
7. Is there rules in anybooks for any lesser league races that only apepar around season 1 (Hurr, N.grath's race and some of the others?)
Heroes and Aliens has that sort of stuff.
8. As an answer to item 6 above I thought one wayof doing a game is have the group be mercenaries, but again how would a ranger join?
Corporate politics are also good from time to time, and a Ranger could totally be incognito as a spy or somesuch for the Alliance, especially if the mercenary company/corporation is rumoured to be supporting bad guys on the side.
The Hand were my first idea for bad guys but the timeline is sketchy. I remember one of my friends saying LoTR was set after crusade...
Nope. LoTR is in 2265...I just finished a sourcebook all about it.
2265 sounds good, and you just gave me an idea. Maybe set part of the campaign during the shadow war, but didn't the vorlons go a bit nuts blowing up planets that were even barely touched by the shadows? Me thinks I got a new bad guy...
Careful with using the Vorlons or Shadows as direct bad guys...they can be really tough and frustrating. At least Drakh and Hand minions can be killed, y'know?

Good luck, I think you have it in you...

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Postby Mongoose Gar » Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:24 pm

I've been at Warpcon every year for the last eleven, and I've run the Cthulhu game every year. It's my home con.

As for the Ragged Edge - the PCs are hired as troubleshooters for a shipping corporation, which turns out to be a front for a galaxy-spanning conspiracy. Unfortunately, they've joined just as the agents of the Shadows are plotting to destroy said conspiracy. Hilarity ensues.
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Postby Mage » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:37 pm

It sucks that I never made it down. Some of my friends said you were there alright.
Thanks for all the tips guys. I better save them onto my hard drive.

@Gar:
I run Cthulhu myself. My First and favourite RPG. Might see you there next year.
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Postby thedarkelf007 » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:32 pm

I'm currently running the Ragged Edge, though with my own plot lines running as well, and it is going quite well...

I even had one character, who got into a lot of trouble while drinking, to be assigned to the cleaning staff for the duration of his stay... not exactly where you would expect a diplomat character to end up... but if you ring Ivonava's doorbell in the middle of the night and run, you can't expect much more. :D

As for a starting point, any is good, the Cold Equation gives your characters reasons to work together...

What you need if you are not running this, is a set up for them to get together, or have the players work out how they got together before the first game. The best way I have done this is to state that each character knows at least two others in a friendly way... this makes starting a lot smoother, but allows some party conflict... the main thing with this is that the two friends, don't specifically have both way friendship ;-) but at least they are someone who can reason with them.

Just a few ideas.
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