Rachel "Sparks" Blackman (seattlesparks) wrote,
Rachel "Sparks" Blackman

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RDP and Tabletop (part 2: Aberwyn)

So, lately, I've been missing GM'ing. I've not had any of my attempts at a tabletop campaign really take off since the old Othernight campaign, and my old tabletop group has pretty well fallen apart... and I do miss running something. So I've decided that, long term, I want to build a game as an experiment in using the RDP code... Twilight will use it as well, but I want to design a game around the RDP codebase from the beginning. I also have a tabletop setting I made for a now-defunct thing I began to run for wonderwombat, which I plan to revamp and use as the basis of the RDP game. But first, I plan to start a tabletop session in that setting, to play it out further. I'm hoping to have it meet once a week, and run a campaign in it.

The basic concept is of a kingdom that became powerful. Over the years, it conquered many of its neighbors, forged a civilization and culture that was the envy of surrounding nations. The people of Aberwyn relied heavily on magic. The bounty of their farmlands ensured by weather-mages, their cities lit by mage-lights to keep the streets safe and bright even in the night, their trade routes kept running smoothly by magic to spur the winds for their ships, to carry heavy cargo, and so on. Aberwyn became rich, the envy of most of the surrounding nations...an envy only magnified by how Aberwyn condescendingly gave aid and leftover wealth to their less fortunate neighboring nations.

And so, after centuries of jealousy had simmered and festered, the other nations banded together in secret to find a way to bring down Aberwyn. Several nations claimed they were afraid of aggression from their neighbors, and formed treaties of alliance with Aberwyn -- a nation which had so long ruled supreme that they regarded the other nations as no threat to them, and felt it was their philanthropic duty to help their backwards neighbors defend themselves. These 'aggressor' nations attacked, as planned, and Aberwyn faithfully sent a large portion of their own troops in to defend their backwards allies.

And all the remaining nations invaded Aberwyn, while many of their forces were away. Taken by surprise, much of its army trapped in 'allied' nations that had suddenly turned against them, Aberwyn turned now to magic as its defense as well as the foundation of its culture. The other nations had magic as well, though none as refined and developed as Aberwynian mages could manage. The war turned unpleasant, magic in all forms being tossed around. And finally, in a last-ditch attempt, the Aberwynian mages tried to cut off the enemy mages from the Essence, the source of all magic.

They succeeded far too well; the entire continent was cut off from the Essence. Most mages died within days of the Severing, as the event was called. Even those who did not often went quite mad. Worse still, Aberwyn's culture -- founded on and reliant on magic -- quickly collapsed. Mercenary groups set up their own little private kingdoms and duchies in what was once the richest nation known, like buzzards feeding on a corpse. Many starved as crops failed in the absence of weather-mages, many city-dwellers panicked and fled as all the luxuries of the beautiful Aberwynian cities crumbled.

Time passed. It has been ten years since the Severing, and what was once Aberwyn is still a nation in chaos. Some of the small nation-states established by mercenaries and tyrants have become well-established, and war with smaller ones in hopes of gaining further land. Culture has begun to rebuild, as a generation who only remember magic dimly -- to whom 'Aberwyn' is only childhood memories and stories told to them by elders reminiscing -- reaches young adulthood and tries to rebuild their land. This, then is the backdrop of our story...

Anyway, I think that the setting is a good basis for some interesting storylines, as well as political interplay and tensions. I have several possible plotline/story ideas for a tabletop, and would use them as a basis after I establish who the players and party would be (I try always to tailor things to my players a bit). The idea is that the tabletop in post-Severing Aberwyn would eventually shift over into being the setting of the RDP experimental game as I finish RDP. I don't know how interesting people find the concept of a tabletop run in this world, but I think it would be a neat setting, I think it would be a good basis for the RDP code experiment, and I really do miss GM'ing a good, involved campaign...
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