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A select group of adventurers have been selected by the world governments to found a new town on the contested border. A smattering of merchants, government officials, and farmers looking for a new life join the adventurers in creating a town that will come to symbolize peace between a variety of different and sometimes warring factions. Using the token resources provided by each government, their task is to support Lord Zealand (Lord Mayor of the as-yet unfounded town) in making this noble experiment go.
While the Gamemaster will fulfill his traditional role and duties, this campaign will be collaborative in its direction. Players write their backstory in a world that is not specified in advance by the GM, providing complete freedom in where these characters come from and why they want the town to succeed. Are they a noble samurai, given the honor of staffing this town as a way for his/her noble father to get them out of the homeland? Are they a rogue son of the mayor, caught stealing from a local lord and banished to avoid embarassing his father? Are they clergy, sent forth from a religious oligarchy to convert the heathens? Or something else? Truly, almost anything goes.
Stories will initially be stock (ish) but develop as parts of each character’s backstory comes forward to haunt them. One week the town deals with a marauding band of orcs; the next with their paymaster, the father of one of the characters seeking to blot a stain on their name; and the next simply a visit from a character’s government, seeking to discredit their good works for political reasons. For those who haven’t played with me GMing, I’m very big on Jane Austen-style stories – weak plot, strong character interactions, and it’s how the characters address the plot that decides how the plot is resolved (sometimes I have no idea at the outset what “should” happen by the end and am surprised).
I would be asking for an initially high investment in a character so mortality would be low – I’m not a big GM on “gritty”, leaning more heavily towards comic/funny (that said, I have been known to run some dramatic/mystery/etc. adventures once in a while). When a character does die, you would have the option to make a new character from your own (prior character’s) story, another player’s backstory, or (for a limited time) just pick up an NPC I have not created a solid character sheet for yet.