Well. if you didn't know, I love role-playing games. From the famous Dungeons and Dragons to the more obscure such as the HERO System, tabletop role-playing games are collaborative, creative storytelling exercises at their best. I've written before on why I think everyone should play role-playing games, so I won't go into detail now, but suffice it to say: role-playing games are fun, imaginative, and social games that teach you problem-solving, teamwork, and imagination in a way that creates amazing memories.
That is if you find the right group of people to role-play with. I think I've found that. My crew consists of my brother, Connor, and my friends David, Jared, Trevor, and Becca. Many others have joined us for many different role-playing games over the years, and at some point I will reminisce about many of those campaigns and the moments that made those games incredible. The list I gave above, however, is the core group right now and has been for a few years. Unfortunately, during the past several months, there has been little time for any sort of role-playing, because of everyone's extremely busy schedules with work and school and so on. We're finally getting back into it now and I didn't realize how much I missed it until we started the initial planning of our summer campaign.
I spent a week downright obsessing over the beginning of the campaign, and getting more and more excited as the concept for our game evolved over that time before the initial session. We were trying to decide what kind of game we wanted to run, and kicked around some ideas such as revitalizing our old Proanadi (the main fantasy setting I've been shaping since 2010) game, From Heads Unworthy, run in the Mistborn Adventure Game system by Crafty Games...or starting a new game set in the mega-universe we created to house our various fantasy worlds under construction with the HERO System.
We sort of settled on the latter since there were a few other people who had been playing From Heads Unworthy that wouldn't be free or didn't want to play anymore, and we were in the mood for a new start (that mood has become a problem over the years). Then we had to decide what world to run the campaign on. We spitballed for a bit with different worlds that we had already made up, but Trevor finally suggested the thing that got the ball really rolling.
"Why don't we create a new world using the Dawn of Worlds game? And then when the history of the world is in place, run a campaign?"
For those of you who don't know, Dawn of Worlds is a small, open license tabletop game you can find on the internet as a PDF that has rules for the creation of a fantasy world. You play as "gods" per se, creating and shaping landscape and races, playing out the history of a world until you decide to stop. It is used to create worlds for books, role-playing games, or other such things.
We all liked the idea, and so that became the plan. Monday, June 1st was the tentative starting date, and though June 8th ended up being the actual starting date, that initial talk and decision set off a chain of ideas that evolved into something so much cooler than a simple HERO System campaign would have been.
As the day drew nearer, I started thinking more and more about the campaign. It had been decided up to that point that I would be the Game Master, which is normal--I've been the Game Master for almost all of the campaigns we've run over the years, if for no other reason than I'm the only one who knows enough of the rules of a said system to run a game. That's been changing lately, with Connor running a campaign in the Mistborn Adventure Game system in the actual Mistborn world, playing through the same sorts of events that occurred in the trilogy, albeit with some heavy twists. It was a blast being able to play a character in that game, instead of having to run a world, and that experience stayed with me. But I was still on board for GMing another campaign, as I always am.
That's around the time I started listening to the On RPGs podcast. I started hearing story after story of campaign after campaign and all the fun moments that happened in them. That was probably much of the reason I was getting obsessed (well, re-obsessed) with RPGs. There was one story, however, that set the next phase of the idea in stone. Donald Dennis, one of the co-hosts of the podcast, told of a mega-campaign he had planned out once, in which the players would begin the first arc as mythological creatures and heroes of one sort or another. After the end of that arc, the next arc would begin with the players as Bronze-Age humans, and their previous characters would be the gods of the world. The players would then continue the campaign, arc by arc, going age to age, with their characters defining the history behind them.. Then I had my idea.
What if we did that with Dawn of Worlds? We would begin, creating and shaping the world from a macroscopic point of view, and then, whenever we got to a point in the history of the world that was thrilling, intriguing, and interesting, we would pause Dawn of Worlds and zoom in to the microscopic level, playing a campaign centered on that historical event. Everyone else jumped on the idea, and from there it was a whirlwind of creativity.
We decided that there would be no ultimate Game Master. We would all be collaboratively building the world anyway, so why not have all of us have equal weight? For each campaign, we would vote on who we wanted the Game Master to be, and what RPG system we wanted to run it in. That's where it gets a little more interesting. As I was talking it over with Connor and David, I started getting interested in the idea of using this as a springboard for our own role-playing game system. I had been thinking lately of how cool it would be to design my own game, using concepts that I liked from all the games I'd played to create something perfect to me and my friends' tastes. That spawned the idea of doing a different system for each campaign. We'd pick and choose from the ones we knew (and learn new ones) to find the perfect system for each campaign. We'd figure out what rules from each system we liked the best and try to incorporate those ideas into the mega game we would design somewhere along the road.
Then it evolved further. What if this concept was the game? Jumping from the macroscopic to being a part of the history unfolding and then back again? The concept got us so excited that we immediately started inventing rules. That's where History Points where invented. Currency that you would earn throughout the mega-game (macro or micro) that could be translated into any sort of experience or points in any of the systems. Such as worldbuilding points in Dawn of Worlds or advancements in the Mistborn Adventure Game and so on and so forth.
That's where the name came in. We needed something to call it, and so we looked up the Greek word for history. Voila! Not too creative, I know, but hey, it's something.
There's still a lot to tell, and, unfortunately, I can't really say much about the first session because this post has already gone on quite a long while, but suffice it to say, I'm really excited about this idea and this campaign and I can't wait to see where it goes next. If you're at all interested in tabletop role-playing games, feel free to leave a comment and tell me your favorite system, a favorite character, a favorite moment, or anything else related to gaming. Also, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. Thanks for reading, everyone!