Four years ago I wrote about plans I once had to convert Arenanet’s Guild Wars: Nightfall video game into a stirring Dungeons and Dragons campaign, where players could explore a setting inspired by northern Africa, rather than the well-trod faux Medieval Europe of most fantasy games.
Late last year, with my most recent Legend of the Five Rings campaign drawing to a close, a good friend for whom I’d never run a game convinced me to give putting together the comprehensive campaign another go, and so began the genesis of a chronicle I’m calling “The Sunspears,” after the organization that forms the social and moral backbone of the world. With four players, including one for whom this is their first role-playing game, and utilizing the powerful Foundry Virtual Table-Top software, we went live in December 2020.
While the overarching story and primary plot follows the one outlined in the Nightfall game, the very nature of RPGs and table-top gaming in general means that the players, through their characters, are firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to the interstitial aspects of exploring the world—they may take an interest in a particular non-player character they come across, or decide to tackle a problem in a completely unexpected way, with results that throw off any plans I as the game master may have devised. I liken it to Arenanet having given me a rather complete framework but it’s up to me to present a living, breathing world that is internally consistent and reactive to the PCs actions and attitudes.
To help present and codify much of the campaign’s information I’ve even set up a simple website which goes over the characters in our game as well as my philosophy as a game master—namely that I enjoy and find valuable drama in the dichotomy between a character’s desire and their duty, and that I firmly believe that role-playing is a collaborative experience—and chronicles some of the exploits we as a gaming group explore throughout the campaign. And also a plea to Arenanet to not sue me for co-opting their intellectual property for this for-entertainment-purposes-only gaming adventure.
The chronicle plot is largely split into eleven chapters of varying length, and as the players dive into and explore each one, I wanted to present some of their adventures here on my primary blog as a way of exposing more people to the story they—as much as I—am crafting.
I hope you enjoy the posts, I hope you enjoy the game world, and most of all, I hope you find a creative outlet where you yourself can explore and express your own sense of creativity and wonder!
Header image from Mountainwheel Games’ “Stone Rage”