I’ve started this blog to discuss the mechanics and rules of the campaign that myself and my fellow Transcredible minions will be playing over the coming weeks. Ideally, I’ll post something on here each week following the campaign update on the thread in the forums.
I’ve chosen to separate this out from the main thread to avoid too much digression from the cool and fun bits of our escapades and because I’m incredibly vain and enjoy my own work immeasurably.
The idea for the campaign was born from my inability to enjoy a game without asking ‘Why?’ Why are these two forces fighting? What’s at stake? How did they get to this point? What will happen next?
This probably comes from my background in RPG’s and obsession with narrative. I struggle to not want to devise some sort of story about any game I play and Malifaux is no exception. If anything Malifaux’s ongoing storyline and idea of strategies, schemes and encounters actively encourages some sort of structured play, at least to my mind.
I’d read a couple of other campaign ideas on the forum and Justin’s article in the Wyrd Chronicles and wanted to bring a number of those elements together to form a more cohesive whole. I also wanted to update those ideas to be more in keeping with M2E’s design ethic of less complex but still deep.
Quite the challenge.
My idea is the campaign will play like a game of Malifaux, but done on a larger scale and with a far simpler ruleset. Each player takes control of two masters who form a conspiracy to achieve a number of plot objectives within Malifaux, while simultaneously trying to stop the other players from achieving theirs.
At its simplest, the players move their masters around a map of Malifaux and perform actions using AP, just like M2E. The map is split into Neighbourhoods and Locations. Neighbourhoods are the large named areas on the Malifaux map; you know the ones; Quarantine Zone, Little Kingdom, Slums, etc. Locations are the named and numbered places within those Neighbourhoods; Governor’s Mansion, The Star Theatre, etc. Moving from one Neighbourhood to an adjacent Neighbourhood costs 1 AP and moving from a Neighbourhood to a Location within it costs 1 AP. Players achieve their objectives by moving a master into a pre-determined location and taking a 2 AP Interact action. If they perform this action without interruption from another player, they score one their plot objectives. The first player to score all of their plot objectives wins the campaign. Pretty simple really.
Of course, the fun begins when we start to add in various wrinkles. The first of these is, of course, the other players. Whenever two or more players occupy the same Neighbourhood or location, they must choose whether they wish to avoid or encounter the others. If both players choose to choose to avoid, nothing happens and they may continue on their way. If both players choose to encounter they play a game of Malifaux using the standard encounters. If one chooses avoid and the other chooses encounter, they both perform a standard flip, with the player whose card has a greater value choosing whether they avoid or encounter. Finally, if a player is performing an Interact action to score a plot objective they may try to avoid any other players in the same location, in fact they must play the story encounter detailed in their plot and only score the plot objective if they win the resulting encounter. To make things slightly easier, Locations can only hold up to two masters at any given time, while Neighbourhoods can hold an infinite number.
Each player has a unique set of plot objectives, drawn from the Story Encounters in the M2E Rulebook and fitted together to form a narrative. Each plot objective must be assigned a specific Location and a player can only score a plot objective by occupying said Location when performing an Interact action. The locations available to each player are drawn from a communal pool generated in a similar fashion to the scheme pool in a standard encounter. Thus, each player will be visiting roughly the same locations, but not necessarily in the same order.
Each player gets 100 Soulstones to hire a pool of models to help their chosen Masters complete their plot objectives. Whenever an encounter is played, player’s only have access to models, upgrades and Soulstones in their pool. Following each encounter, players will determine if any of their casualties have injuries and their severity, they will also get the opportunity to earn more Soulstones to expand their Conspiracy and purchase event cards that give them advantages during subsequent campaign turns.
That’s it more or less.
My plan is to examine each phase of the campaign in more detail as the weeks go by and finally post a completed set of rules and resources for folks to download if they so choose.
Next week I’ll look at Plot Objectives and the Location Pool.