After a long hiatus from role-playing, I’m planning to kick off a new campaign soon, which I will run by way of Facetime video chat from 8:30 PM to about 11:30 PM or midnight on Fridays, Australian Eastern Time¹. So far the only person signed up to play a character is my old friend Paul, who has played a bit of Flat Black over the years but is not a not a veteran of the long run of early campaigns. I’d be happy to recruit another keen player or two, but I don’t have high hopes of the schedule (which is dictated by our time-zone and Paul’s commitments for work, family, and other hobbies) attracting anyone, so it’s probably going to be a one-on-one.
I plan to post after-action reports in this thread.
The campaign will be set in my perennial SF setting Flat Black. I think Paul would be keen to have a look at what is going on the Fringe as the older New Worlds become self-governing and prepare to appoint their first Imperial senators.
Serial rationalised planetary romance. It’s what Flat Black is for.
The campaign will be a series of largely unconnected adventures. In each adventure the PC or PCs will come as an outsider or outsiders to one of the 1,000 inhabited worlds in Flat Black, with a job to do, a task to accomplish. This will bring him or them into contact with the bizarre society and culture of the inhabitants of the world, which will at first be an obstacle to the PC’s or PCs’ mission, but which may be circumvented or even turned to advantage.
Adventures will all contain significant elements of
- finding out and figuring out what is going on
- and then doing something about it.
But the PC or PCs will not have the responsibility, right, or resources to address large-scale social or humanitarian problems on the worlds that he or they visit.
I aim to produce a varied diet of action, adventure, suspense, mystery, combat, and drama, mixing up the usual stealth & slaughter with chases, races, infiltrations, exfiltrations, dialogue, impersonations, dissimulations, surveillance, and stalking. The focus will not be on combat or tactics, but violence will [almost] always be an option both for PCs and their antagonists.
The player character or player characters will be "effectives"² working for some sort of interstellar non-government organisation, perhaps as troubleshooters, perhaps as secret operators, perhaps sometimes as one and sometimes as the other. They will not have official authority nor official duties. They will be involved in unofficial investigations of thefts and missing-persons, hostage rescue, object recovery, a bit of espionage sometimes, counter-espionage sometimes, and sometimes subversion of government and non-government agencies, but seldom if ever tasked explicitly with assassination.
It is as yet undecided whether the PC or PCs will be working for an NGO that has or that lacks a grand political agenda. I think Paul would like a look at the political skulduggery that is going on as the new worlds in the Fringe become self-governing and appoint their Imperial senators. I’d slightly prefer that the PCs be effectives of a politically neutral NGO such as the Reporters’ Guild, Human Heritage etc. That’s subject to discussion.
Tone & Content
TV content rating: M 15+ : for mature audiences.
I won’t emphasis the brutal, but there will be violence and its effects may sometimes be graphic.
There will likely be some bawdy content. Sexual incident will likely occur from time to time; it will be mentioned explicitly but fleetingly, not described graphically.
There will be anthropological content, including character nudity and bizarre social conduct.
Warning: colourful Australian figures of speech.
I will probably run this game using ForeSight, a 1980s-style SF RPG based on Victory Games’ James Bond 007, SPI’s Universe, and SPI’s Commando, though that is subject to discussion. A Fate or Gumshoe hack ought to be suitable, but I don’t have the hang of them.
So far I have one fellow signed up to play, and I expect that this will end up a one-on-one campaign. But if you’re interested despite the time-zone, let me know.
I have three character-players signed up to play now, and that seems to me like the right number.