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Kimberly

Fatemaster Friday - I love it when a plan comes together

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Fantastic Friday Breachers!

While the Wyrd road team are at LVO, I’m treating my extreme case of FOMO by planning my next Through the Breach campaign. Before I get into that, let’s see what @Preposition_the_Noun posted about the flavors of TTB games they favor as Fatemasters.

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I've only run a handful of games so far, enough to get each of my players their first destiny step.  So far it seems I'm best at what I consider to be straightforward adventures.  The players investigate and/or overcome obstacles to reach the source of antagonism then put an end to it with a climactic battle.  That's not to say I don't add in twists and turns with interesting characters, but I haven't really dabbled in other "genres" of adventures yet.

Now, the planning for a TTB campaign varies from Fatemaster to Fatemaster. Some spend a great amount of care and planning to account for most anything the players may want to do, while other Fatemasters have a vague outline formed and improvise as needed. Personally, I’m about the middle of that spectrum. Regardless, here are some tools and tricks that can work for any Fatemaster to make their campaign run smoothly and add some fun to game sessions.

Online tools like Google Docs can be a great way to organize notes, stats for Fatemaster Characters, and Complications you want to create, or even collaborative documents for your players to have handy. Having a folder made that holds all your resources makes for quick and easy access for both yourself and your players!

Maps can be a useful and fun addition to any games. In the past, I’ve made crudely drawn maps with MS Paint or some other drawing program. I’ll admit, my amatuer cartographer skills are something my players have suffered with in the past. But, I’ve discovered resources like https://inkarnate.com that allow for easy mapmaking without worrying about your artistic skills. Additionally, using a battle mat can be helpful to show the layout of an encounter, even if your group doesn’t use minis for combat.

Some folks like to have reference pictures for Fatemaster Characters, and there are several methods to aid that goal. A browser search for what you’re looking for is simple enough, and there are some online repositories such as Pinterest that can be used. Those wanting to make “mood boards” or other collections for their games can use them to make Fatemaster Characters more “real” the campaigns.

Finally, something I’ve decided to do for my next campaign is to make a handy reference for common Conditions, Skill Challenges, and Talents. This is obviously tailored to the players’ characters, but it helps keep the game moving without the need to pause and look up rules. A quick reference sheet can be easily made then shared with your players, and I bet your players will be grateful for the assistance. 

Now that I’ve shared some of my thoughts and practices for session planning, I want to hear yours! What does your campaign or session planning entail, and what do you add to give a little depth to your games?
 

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I know I keep shilling Realm Works. But this is an area of Fatemaster ing where it and Obsidian Portal really shine. With pre campaign planning, you can have all your notes, scenes with full descriptions and photos loaded up into your program of choice and then just click a button to reveal it to the players. 

 

I picked up Campaign Cartographer when the Bu dle of Holding came around and use it for both quick and elaborate maps and dungeon layouts. I load the map into Realm Works and set up the Fog of War so I can reveal things as the players wander through. Realm Works has a nice Player Screen feature which allows me to add any content, including the maps to a 2nd screen. So I can have that screen facing the players and they can't see any of my notes. I can then move photos of npc's or images that reflect the environment well. A good soundtrack can be linked in the Realm Works Sections. So if I find a good Steampunk tavern song, I can just add the link to my tavern locations and hit play when the characters enter. The more senses I can the players with, the better. 

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For my last campaign, I started by simply flipping through the Bestiary to see what caught my eye. I landed on Void Wretch, then I started asking questions:

* They are attracted by disturbances in time, what is attracting them? Some kind of artifact...

* What is this artifact? A time prison maybe...

* Who created it? An artist, possibly by mistake...

* Why hasn't anyone found it? The artist separated and hid the artifact before his death

* How does the antagonist know about it? She has been studying V-Wretches and has discovered a pattern.

* How are the Fated involved? They are Relic Hunters and hired to search and clear out the last known resting place of the artist

And then follow up questions. From the seed of Void Wretch sprang a year long campaign discovering the history of the Artist, the troubles of the noble lady and what happens when you mess with time and have to deal with Aionus. It was great to see the campaign grow and react to how the players responded to the growing event around them.

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