Behind closed doors

Posted by  | Saturday, November 20, 2010  at 10:45 AM  

Before we publicised the existence of Liber Malefic at all there was a threshold of understanding that was decided needed to be reached by its primary conspirators. While it's fun to ponder new ideas and post them publicly to allow our peers to muse over whatever ingenious designs we've been dreaming up, this has a tendency to diminish the opportunities of creating any longterm impact. I'm a sucker for establishing anticipation! Usually I'm a patient fellow yet I would confess to be chomping at the bit to turn the first few leaves of that new Wulfrik adventure novel from Black Library. I've read the sneak peek PDF online. It's going to be immense.

What's this got to do with writing Mordheim campaign settings I hear the Town Cryer holler? Playtesting is what. There isn't really any point in releasing new campaign material (unless it's for the purpose of Beta testing) if it hasn't be trialled. In the immortal words of an infamous Vampire Hunter; There is a time to think, a time to plan, and a time to take action!

What are the most important elements of a campaign? My first answers would be development, narrative and (after the enlightenment of Border Town Burning) defining strong objectives. None of these can be achieved to maximum potential without research.

What is the most popular aspect of a new campaign setting? Easy, new warbands. New warbands, for me, are one of the less important features of any new campaign setting! The protagonists should surely be defined by the motives supporting the narrative and the plot lines which subsequently determine the objectives in the setting. Regardless of my opinions on this, many new 'lists' seem to sprout up for (generally) no worthwhile reason in particular. That sounds a little harsh (and it is) when many genuinely good ideas originate in the Mordheim community. I've recently written the first complete draft for a new warband spec. This is for Mutiny in Marienburg. Only one other person has seen it and it's not a gang that would be my first choice to game with. I've completed the draft because it's my friends birthday next week and she wanted to collect a certain type of new warband which I happened to want to raise the profile for in the new setting we're working on. They're a characterful bunch whose motives have quickly become an integral piece for the puzzle behind structuring the City of Islands & Bridges. Researching them has been far more of a pleasure than a chore.

I had thought to begin riffing on these secret deals and how these can impact on players in a Marienburg campaign. This was the intended mystical topic of my blog post this week! Maybe I got distracted by birthday gift deadlines, and email offers from potential Beta testers questioning whether we'll be championing new warband lists for Night Goblins, Elves and Fimir!?

Perhaps secret deals are best left shrouded in mystery for a little longer. After all they wouldn't be kept secret if I revealed what they are.

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