Campaign Chronicle

The Campaign Chronicle: Savage WARS - Setup

The Campaign Chronicle is a regular blog series in which I publish my notes, thoughts, and plans for my tabletop role-playing games for which I am game mastering. These feature world-building notes, recaps of game sessions, and notes to keep in mind for future sessions. Enjoy!

In this post I go over my basic plans to start the campaign, possible adventure hooks, and adapting the WARS RPG to Savage Worlds.

The Mumon Rift WARS

Pre-Campaign Notes

SYSTEM: Savage Worlds

PLATFORM: Roll20.Net, Discord

SETTING: Decipher Inc.'s WARS setting

CAMPAIGN GOALS

  • Establish the basics of the setting
    • Five Factions
    • Traginium
    • 1v1v1v1v1
  • Establish a theme of morally gray choices
    • Sympathetic Enemies
    • No clear villain
    • Realistic motivations

Pre-Session 0

Before we actually ran session 0 (character creation and party motivation session), my main focus for setup for the campaign was twofold: First, make sure I have enough information in the WARS Mod for Savage Worlds to adequately create a character where no aspect of that character is left up to question (in terms of the rules conversion). And Second, to ensure I had enough adventure ideas waiting in the wing that I could confidently explore many facets of the WARS universe.

Converting the WARS RPG information was fairly simple for the most part. It also helped that I had started a Savage Worlds WARS campaign over a year previous which never got past session 1, so I had the foundation already. Adding in the space-super powers (called Kizen Powers), and fleshing out the medical and engineering sections, were all I really needed to add to the original document, followed by adding some simple WARS illustrations from the Trading Card Game circa 2004 and I had myself a good starter document for our Savage WARS game.

The most recent version of my Savage Worlds mod for the WARS universe can be found HERE.

When it came to Adventure Hooks, I spent a lot of time pouring over the planet/moon/space station information in the WARS RPG books, as well as all the information about the races and classes, and I cam up with a basic list of general ideas for adventure hooks. This was separated into two different kinds of hooks: ones that centered around a specific location in the Solar System, and ones that stemmed from a specific type of NPC or quest-giver. My final list of potential adventure hooks looked something like this:

Diplomat Hooks

  • FedGrav Field Navigator needs certain leverage in order to properly deal with a gang of Mavericks.
  • A Gongen ex-soldier is being harassed by Mavericks, but refuses to fight back.
  • An Accord negotiator has just breached his deal with the Cogs in order to get a new security bot, and now he is on the run from the betrayed engineers.
  • A Cartel spy has been captured by the Shi while obtaining crucial information.

Engineer Hooks

  • An iCom technician seeks field testers for his radical new 'improvements'.
  • A shy, socially inept engineer seeks to be reassigned to work on the ship of his/her charismatic pilot idol.
  • A pair of Cog tinkerers are prepping their security bots for a combat competition, and both are willing to pay handsomely for the sabotage of the other.
  • A mining colony on Ganymede has recently been retaken from the Quay, and an iCom engineer needs assistance restoring it to full working condition.

The Leader

  • A junior lieutenant on Ganymede has led his squad into a difficult spot through his eagerness to prove himself.
  • A Gongen noble seeks sponsorship in the Tenryu party and looks for help in strange places.
  • A leader in the Regulators is hunting a criminal through the asteroid belt and has him pinned at a small, abandoned mining platform.
  • A powerful Quay leader has been captured by the CGC, and operatives from all over the solar system are infiltrating to learn more about this alien.

The Medic

  • Son of a major military family is serving as a combat medic, but seeks assistance to return to XeLabs Venus.
  • A young Gongen doctor seeks medical guidance from the Shi, and looks to others for assistance in dealing with the aliens.
  • A young medic who 'works' for the Cartel on Titan Station is being harassed by Accord bruisers.
  • A medical craft has been shot down over Ganymede and the cargo aboard needs to be recovered.

The Pilot

  • A freewheeling pilot for iCom has been grounded after too many breaches of regulations. He seeks help to get back into space.
  • A Gongen pilot has become separated from his squad and his carrier and is in need of his ship to be repaired. He, however, may be reluctant to accept help from non-Gongen.
  • A pilot of the Hellcats is prepping her ship for a racing competition through the asteroids, but is missing a key piece of equipment. She believes a Knave, involved in the same competition, has stolen it.

The Scoundrel

  • An underdweller on Earth is fencing some high-profile tech he pilfered from a CEO's supposedly 'secure' hightower complex.
  • A Gongen gang leader is swiftly rising to power on the red planet, and is generous to those loyal to him, and ruthless to those who stand in his way.
  • A Cartel spy is critically wounded while on the run from the Accord, and his crucial information that needs to get back to the Gambler.

The Soldier

  • A neutral mercenary turns into a xenophobic maniac after one encounter with the Shi. Now his fear of being followed by mind-controlled humans is becoming a paranoid obsession.
  • A Gongen soldier is being interrogated, but his discipline is proving strong enough to keep his silence, for now.
  • An Accord pirate was left for dead after a bloody affair with a CGC patrol on Ganymede. Now the Accord is alone with a stash of Traginium, and a band of Quay just over the next ridge.

The Poison Pill (Prestige Class)

  • A XeLabs outpost on Luna has reason to believe a CISyn saboteur is somewhere inside. They need help stopping the poison-pill before he gets off of Luna with crucial information.

The Monk (Prestige Class)

  • A monk of the Ikazuchi kokata has taken it upon himself to remove a gang of Gongen miscreant from their seat of power in organized crime.

The Shinobi (Prestige Class)

  • A Gongen noble is found dead from a bullet wound, but the attacker is not immediately found. Investigating this murder would lead to a shinobi acting under the employ of the Tenryu party.

The Chrome Magnon (Prestige Class)

  • A wild Maverick has turned on the Knaves and fled their employ with valuable hardware in tow. They want assistance in stopping him, as he is a powerful foe composed of more metal and cyberware than organic material.

The Wild Rider (Prestige Class)

  • A stash of traginium has been secured on Ganymede and now a Hellcats Wild Rider needs to be convinced to fly them out of the hot zone.

The Vatarma Duelist (Prestige Class)

  • A Shi Vatarma Duelist has lost his vatarma to an Accord brigand and seeks to get it back.

The Fireheart (Prestige Class)

  • An entire patrol of CGC grunts and Light Infantry Support Vehicles have been decimated on Ganymede. The Traginium well they were guarding is now the domain of a solitary Quay Fireheart.

The Vengeance Bringer (Prestige Class)

  • The Shi have enslaved a number of Quay on Ganymede and make ready to bring the to Seyal. A Quay Vengeance Bringer, now alone, seeks to free his brethren before they are brought away.

Mercury

  • An attempt to reopen the Howard Corporation's installation on Mercury is halted when contact is lost with the restoration crew.

Venus

  • A corporate executive on Earth wants to know about a specific prototype being tested by XeLabs in their orbital facilities and needs a group to sneak on board, locate the data, and get it off-world.
  • The players have direct orders to free a prisoner incarcerated at the Gula Mons Detention Facility, but the warden isn't cooperating with their corporate mandate.

Earth

  • The players are contracted to break into a General Robotics corporate office, hack the computer network, steal plans and payroll information, and return them to CISyn for processing.
  • A Shi scout was discovered and shot down in orbit around Earth, and the ship crashed in the Asian wastes. Now the players have an interest to get to the ship before other Earthers, scrappers, and interested parties.
  • The players have docked at the iCom shipyards on Luna for repairs and refurbishment, but while there, they are grounded when contraband was located on their vessel. Is it theirs? Was it planted?

Gongen

  • A string of gruesome murders are popping up throughout the slums of one of the domed cities on the red planet. Local law enforcement is taking its time investigating, and an NPC close to one of the PCs was a victim.
  • With the war of the five factions, Gongen has placed a strict screening process on all inbound and outbound flights to and from the red planet. The players have some urgent reason to get off-world, but may have to take part in clandestine deals to do so in a timely manner.
  • The players are hired by a Maverick gang leader to harass the defenses of Overwatch Command on Phobos. Throughout the course of the adventure, the PCs learn that the Maverick they were hired by was actually hired by an Earther corporate executive.
  • The players are shot down by Quay quarrels and crash-land on Deimos. Now they have to find a way off of the desolate, abandoned moon before the Quay close in!

All-in-all I felt like I had a fairly strong start to my upcoming campaign. Once I sat down with the players to create characters, however, that would be the first true test.