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The Joy of Bases

Listening to Douglas and Dragons I found it intriguing listening to a group discussing how to covert a conquered drugs warehouse into a base with conversations about decor, layout and who was taking which room.

This got me thinking. Most of my recent games have featured ‘carousel’ parties where different characters drop in and out.

  • Firstly this has been so that players can play a variety of characters – in Captains of Atlantis both Deck officers and below decks rapscallions which allowed a lot of different scenarios.
  • Secondly if a player was unable to make it wasn’t unusual if the character was off having other adventures.
  • Thirdly if allows for teams for missions to be more tightly tuned to the task at hand.
  • Fourthly it casts a wider and larger world with a variety of characters coming into and out of the adventures. Rather than the same 5-6 adventures hogging all the action.

However having a more traditional stable party does allow for ‘base building’ where characters can develop a home and that’s provides interesting roleplaying alternatives. Of course Captains of Atlantis had a bit of both as the characters were based on a ship. But thinking of current campaign ideas:

  • Drakesdoom: Characters could be paid to clear off a homesteader whose blocking the construction of a toll road – the road gets built but they get the homestead and maybe a town develops around it.
  • Prodigal Empires: The obvious one would be a spaceship belonging to a freelance trade or adventuring party. ‘Firefly’ TV series was a good example of how characters can personalise their cabins which would be fun to develop in an RPG.
  • Reidston: Every Super-team needs a base!
  • VBCW 1938: An established commando team based out an abandoned house.
  • City of Legions: Knights and squires clear Irish brigands out of a ruined Roman villa which then becomes their feudal seat.

So I think next time I run a game I’ll try a more settled set-up and see what fun there is. I can always switch to a carousel set up at a later stage.


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