In the old days we just made some characters….
Humanity has progressed and refined processes as we continue our march towards the unknown future. Everything, from our foods, clothing, and shelters has advanced to a point of endless combinations and solutions. We can live safely in a small, solar powered house totally off the grid with printed 3d clothing and synthetic foods made from local vegetation. What a time to be alive. The way we entertain ourselves should evolve as well to reflect our growing consciousness. Table-Top games is no exception.
Storytelling is an ancient art, with table-top RPGs viewed as a modern form. The idea of having multiple authors who are actors take up imaginary arms to slay demons of the imagination is a great way to explore the inner workings of our own human thoughts. Table-top games have evolved to a point where some games need no game master. Everyone takes a turn at narrating the story. Everyone becomes part of the whole collective process of creating a live story.
In this vein of thoughts I present to you, dear reader and gamer, the Campaign Story Sheet. This role-playing aid is not a new idea, but a collection of old ideas into something new for this particular game, New Gods of Mankind.
Within the game of gods and men, players can be overwhelmed by all of the ideas and events happening within a campaign. To collect everything in the beginning is a better way of progressing with each game start updating the sheet.
The Campaign Story Sheet is where every god, hero and tribe is listed along with each ally, foe, resource and legend recorded. Players and Game Master contributes to this list and everyone should have a copy. Each adventure completed will create a legend which will give additional belief a god can use to cast miracles. It is a living document designed to guide players on their campaign and create fond memories of game play.
Currently two pages exist a Names page and a Legends page. These sheets are designed to create a collaborative atmosphere and record events current and in the past for everyone. The campaign story sheet should preclude character creation and be the last document updated after each game.
On the Names sheet every player should put down the god they are playing along with tribe and heroes belonging to the tribe. Major resources for each god should be put down as well. This way there is no argument on what is there. It is up to each player to state what they are contributing. Also each player should have a voice on if every god is part of a pantheon or separate. Location is critical and should be a joint decision.
One unique feature to New Gods of Mankind is the creation of legends. Instead of going on adventures and racking up XP points, players will create legends and gain followers. The more followers you have the more belief you gain each year during your celebration. Every legend you create also gives you belief as it is retold by your tribe each year during the celebrations. So your adventures live on in songs sung by your bards and priests. New Gods of Mankind may incarnate on the physical world but hold the status of god spirits, defined not by mere mortal stats, but by the amount of belief they have and followers who worship them. A god will turn into a mere spirit without followers or belief. Normal spirits do have mind and spirit stats.
In this vein of thought, Gods in New Gods of Mankind 2nd Edition can incarnate into the physical world with supernatural powers, and die. Yet they only lose reputation on death. Gods may reincarnate again so long as they have belief and followers.
Fate sealed the Demons and Leviathans in the Demon planes. In doing so it had to seal the world of Naalrinnon from the Celestial Heavens and the Spirit World. Now spirits can only enter the world to be born into flesh. This includes gods. All spirits are drawn into the seal to leave the physical world.
On a final note. The Campaign Story Sheet should be created using questions the Game Master puts forth to players and herself. A full list of potential questions a game master should ask will be in New Gods of Mankind 2nd Edition.
Here is a sample of a few so far.
Questions to ask your players as a GM.
- Do you want to play as gods, heroes or both?
- Does everybody want to belong to one tribe? Or play several tribes?
- Do you like Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter?
- If you had a home, would you place it in the misty mountains, by the turbulent sea, in a tropical forest, a pine needle forest, a frozen tundra, a desert wasteland, on a high rocky plain, in a sea of grass, by a fertile delta, near a well stocked river, in an icy hinterlands, among green hills and running hills, deep in a fertile valley, in well tilled farm fields, in an established city or a small island?
- If your tribe did something well, would it be Farming, Herding, Hunting, Mining, Nautical, Raiding, Trading, or Engineering?
- To narrow down the location, would you rather belong to a united larger pantheon of gods, a loose association of gods or to be among yourself and shun outsiders?
- Do you want to be close to the tropical zones or endure the winter?
- Would your greatest resource for your tribe be its land, livestock, harvested materials or buildings it created?
- What type of stories do you like? Quests, Vengeance, Dramatic, Exploration, Mystery, Horror, Battle, Heroic Sacrifice?
This game should be different yet familiar to those to read myths and tales. The idea of playing a god in a table-top game should be UNIQUE not standard. The Campaign Story Sheet is designed to help bring complex elements of a pantheon and god into sharp focus for all players and game master to see.