Sunday, September 11, 2016

Thief's Covenant (Gaming Edition)

Thief's Covenant
Written by Air Marmell
A Widdershins Adventure

Thief's Covenant is one of those novels I picked up on sale at one point for probably $1.99-$2.99 in kindle format. It was a quick read. If I saw the other novels on sale for a similar price, I'd buy but currently they are $9.99 for the Kindle and $16.99 in hardcover, although the Amazon sale price is $11.09.

In terms of gaming ideas, the start of the book, a prologue, would make a good point for a starting adventure. Too many times I've seen the dreaded "you all meet at a tavern." It's an old trope at this point.

One of the options writers are encouraged to use, is "start at the action" or perhaps "after the action". How many times for example, has a movie started off with someone walking through a battlefield, or waking up in a battlefield after the battle itself has already ended?

Thief's Covenant starts similarly with the main character, Widdershins, hiding from a demonic entity while those she knows are slaughtered beneath her.

One quick way to start a campaign, have the characters be in a huge fight that their side lost. The giants broke through the gates. The farms have been burned to the ground by enemy soldiers. The temple has collapsed due to demonic assault.

Another interesting point the book tackles, is faith and religious evolution. I've mentioned before how you can have an apostate for a church when the church changes and what was once canon is now heresy. This can also change by location. What is standard practice in one part of the world, may be different in another part of the world.

Even official game settings like the Forgotten Realms do this with Lathander temporarily becoming Amaunator and the whole church temporarily changing its focus.

Religion can play a large role in your campaign if you'll let it. Don't be afraid to have the actions of the deities and the church itself have an actual effect on the campaign. Incorporate those actions and the results of those actions into the campaign.

Another bit worth tinkering with in your campaign, is how do the various deities of a panethon get along. Do the pantheons have clean breaks as they often seem to in fantasy role playing settings or is there a lot of mixing as there tends to be historically? Do gods and goddessess become saints and angels? Do favorite tales and myths get repackaged?

In this setting, the gods belong to one faction and a foreign god is not expressely forbidden, but has no allies, has no structure to fall back upon. Another aspect to keep in mind when world building and letting the characters explore the campaign setting.

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