The Fading Suns Game I Would Like To Run

If I had a good gaming group, and they were, oh, even only half as excited about Fading Suns as I am, my ideal campaign would look something like this:

The main adventures would involve the basic PC group, i.e., a questing knight and his or her retinue. I think this option as the default for adventuring in Fading Suns is a stroke of genius: it allows for different kinds of characters to be put together in arational way with clear goals and integrated into the setting’s society just by default.

So the questing knight and retinue, the main group, would have a series of connected but discrete adventures with a clear beginning, middle, and end, maybe 3-8 sessions long each (that’s my ideal), but all working within a larger story arc. They would be doing the generic things that questing knights and their retinues do: explore lost worlds, engage in house politics, look for ancient artifacts, etc. Lots of awesome Mystery in Space.

In between those main adventured, I would run shorter one-off games, 1-3 sessions long each, set all over the setting, all kinds of games. But each more focused and more specific than the questing knight and retinue, and without the need to reflect the basic, default, “iconic” Fading Suns game. A squad of the Stigmata Garrison on patrol. Priests on Holy Terra investigating the murder of a bishop. Spies in Kurgan space. Kailinthi demon hunters rooting out an Antinomist cult. Yeoman free traders. A diplomatic mission. Sathraists on the run. Favayana versus the Invisible Path. Stuff like that. More creative and offbeat. And these short mini-adventures would also ultimately connect to the main ongoing story of the questing knight and his retinue.

It seems like the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too. On the one hand, there’s really a core paradigm for what a Fading Suns adventure looks like, i.e. what really feels like Fading Suns. On the other hand, it’s a large and diverse setting with a lot of great elements and points of view to explore, but which you might not want to run as your central ongoing campaign or which might be hard to sell other players on as the main ongoing campaign.

I also think this approach would work for any large and diverse setting with a core, iconic conceit. You could do it in Star Trek–the main advenure would involve the command crew of a starship, while the side adventures could involve Klingons, traders, almost anything. It might be hard to sell players on that ongoing campaign as Ferengi merchant princes long-term, but easy to sell them on it as a short diversion from–but connected to–the main game that’s iconic enough for everyone to get on board with.

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5 Responses to “The Fading Suns Game I Would Like To Run”

  1. Dr Rotwang! Says:

    That’s beautiful, and I am stealing it.

  2. That’s beautiful, and I am stealing it.

    I insist!

    (the following was added to the post after your comment):

    It seems like the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too. On the one hand, there’s really a core paradigm for what a Fading Suns adventure looks like, i.e. what really feels like Fading Suns. On the other hand, it’s a large and diverse setting with a lot of great elements and points of view to explore, but which you might not want to run as your central ongoing campaign or which might be hard to sell other players on as the main ongoing campaign.

    I also think this approach would work for any large and diverse setting with a core, iconic conceit. You could do it in Star Trek–the main advenure would involve the command crew of a starship, while the side adventures could involve Klingons, traders, almost anything. It might be hard to sell players on that ongoing campaign as Ferengi merchant princes long-term, but easy to sell them on it as a short diversion from–but connected to–the main game that’s iconic enough for everyone to get on board with.

  3. Dr Rotwang! Says:

    So, the short adventures would not involve the regular characters?

  4. Correct! You would play a 3-8 session adventure involving the regular characters, then a 1-3 session interlude with entirely different characters, but connected to the main story arc. Then, back to the main characters for another 3-8 session adventure, and so on.

    The idea is, the inteludes let you play something entirely different and offbeat without being wedded to it long-term, but yet still connected tangentally to the main story and a part of the same continuity. And then you return to the main characters centerstage.

    Although, if a particular interlude was a player favorite, you could always return to those characters at a future point.

  5. Love the idea. One of my favorite campaign ideas (ripped off from Runequest, but I have used it in multiple systems) was to have the PCs be regular adventurers, causing havoc as only the PCs can, and then have a one-off session (or even an interlude in a regular session) where they played the major powerbrokers (primogen, feudal lords, politicians) dealing with the chaos that their own PCs created. First did it with Top Secret long ago. Great way to show players the impact of their actions.

    Friends of mine debated playing a D&D session where they would take on the role of a kobold hunting party returning to their lair after their PCs had torn through it, but I don’t think they ever did it.

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