Sundog Millionaires: In The Beginning

Last Sunday, we got the old Storm Point gang together to run the game creation session of our new Star Wars game, using the Fate Core system. We were supposed to meet a week prior, but I really wanted the entire group together for this, and life intervened.

I have to say, that extra week was taxing on me. When I’ve got a new game coming up, I often immerse myself in preparing for it – working out background, roughing in some scenarios, and generally getting ready for play. But with the game creation being a collaborative process ((And I want to be clear here that I think collaborative game creation is awesome.)), I couldn’t do any of that, because I didn’t know what kind of game this was going to be.

That is, however, a pretty minor complaint.

I had prepped all the players by letting them know what the steps in game creation would be, and by sharing with them Lenny Balsera’s game creation tips article from the first issue of the Fate Codex. They all came prepared, and we had a bit of a discussion ((And some dinner.)) before jumping in.

I started with getting each player to give me an individual Want / Do Not Want list, with three items in each category. That’s significantly more than Lenny recommends in his article, but I had a couple of specific reasons for doing that. One was that, as I got these lists from them without them discussing the various items, it allowed me to see what sort of overlap there was, and thus what things most of the group agreed on. Another was that this brainstorming approach would allow us to have a productive discussion about the similar – and dissimilar – items that would lead us to find common themes.

So, once we got our big list, we talked through it, finding similar entries, and talking about what it was about them that made us want or not want them. This allowed us to sort of boil down the list by consensus, coming up with a shorter list that addressed pretty much everything ((The main thing that didn’t get settled was the inclusion/exclusion of Jedi PCs, but I’ll get to that a little later.)) the group cared about. That gave us the basis for coming up with the framework for the game.

What we decided on was a game where the characters were the crew of a somewhat run-down freighter in the Outer Rim, taking odd jobs and exploring strange places. In conversation, the vibe we wanted for the game settled out at about half-way between Firefly and The A-Team. With, of course, all the tropes of Star Wars thrown on top.

So, with that done, we pressed on to the Issues, Locations, and Faces of game creation. I’m not going to go through the details of setting creation; I’ve put the initial results up in the Obsidian Portal wiki. I’m working on putting together a setting bible for the gang, but that’s going to have to wait until character creation is done, so that I can incorporate the things they come up with then.

The game got it’s name from our last little discussion on that evening – after much debate ((And some god-awful stupid suggestions.)), they settled on the name Sundog for their ship. And one of the players said, “So, obviously, the name of the campaign has to be Sundog Millionaires.” And the name stuck.

Soon, we’ll have the character creation session. I’ll post about that when it happens.

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One Response to Sundog Millionaires: In The Beginning

  1. Rick Neal says:

    I forgot all about coming back to the Jedi PC thing.

    Okay. We had PC Jedi characters show up in both Want and Do Not Want lists – concerns of balance being the primary issue. I figured that, rather than using that part of game creation to rule for or against Jedi, we would ignore it until after game creation. My idea was that, instead of making a ruling, we would build the setting, and then see if anyone actually WANTED to play a Jedi during character creation. That way, we didn’t have some of the group telling others what they couldn’t play.

    As far as balance goes, I think requiring two aspects to be devoted to using the Force, plus the powers being built by stunts, should keep things in line. Also, the nature of the setting we’ve devised – with the Jedi defeated and scattered in the wake of Order 66 – will impose its own limitations on Jedi specifically and Force-users in general. But we’ll have to see. I’m still curious to see if anyone chooses to play a Force-user.

    And for those who are curious about how I’m modeling the Force in Fate Core, you can see that here.

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