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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 176 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: A Non-Island-hopping Campaign?  (Read 2290 times)

Posts: 5

« on: May 24, 2007, 03:13:25 PM »

Has anyone tried to run a campaign (long series of connected quests) outside of the typical Agon "island hopping" paradigm?


Posts: 61

« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 03:05:54 AM »


I like the island-hopping ideia, it allows me to focus on the quests and space/time at hand and provides an iterative cycle of learning (both on mechanics and players tastes), and well, considering the setting and characters, the Greek Islands makes perfect sense hehe.

But if you want to distance your self from it I can tottaly see something like a Band going from kingdom to kingdom, province to province, and if you want to Dog it a little, maybe town to town.

What is that you're trying to achieve/explore by not playing within the island-hopping paradigm?

Diogo Curado


Posts: 5

« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 07:36:12 AM »

I will definitely use the island hopping idea during the learning phase of the game with my players, but I feel a bit constricted by it when I'm trying to plan a larger storyline.

Think of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  They start in America, travel to Venice, Berlin and then to Syria.

A large scale epic story (say, the Return of the Titans, or the Rise of Atlantis) would involve numerous quests spread across many islands, cities an kingdoms, but I don't feel that Agon properly handles this "out of the box".

I want to know if anyone out there is weaving long-term campaign threads through their games.
Darren Hill

Posts: 861

« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2007, 01:47:58 PM »

It's my belief that Agon, like many games around these parts, weas designed specifically not to need the prep-heavy setup that the long-term campaigns you describe involve.
In Agon, you have a long term campaign by playing islands, one after another. Then, when you finish one island and plan the next, you take note of any characters or events that cropped up last time that grabbed the pcs attention, and see if there's a way you can involve them in the next island (or maybe the one after).

For example, I played an island in which there was a sorcerer who was after the same things the players were. At one point they worked together to get by some god's barrier, and then turned against each other. The players enjoyed having him as a nemesis but they killed him.
In another game, I'd have been able to have him escape the combat once things started to go bad, but that would have been cheating here.
But he was a villain they enjoyed, so I immediately started thinging of ways to build off that.
I could simply decide that he somehow escapes Hades (there's certainly precendent for that), but I feel suhc a thing should involve the PCs.
Maybe in a later adventure, they'll need information he knows, it'll be a quest objective. One way to succeed that will be to break him out of Hades (certainly, that's what he'll demand), but Agon quests are flexible - it'll certainly be possible for them to get it another way. But however they do it, they'll have another opportunity to match wits with this guy.

Another enemy they came up against was a commander of mercenaries, and he too died. But that gives me an entire band of mercenaries who want revenge, so I'll be looking for ways to involve them in quests.

They also came across a band of amazons, who they parelyed and bartered with - the conflict that occurred here was a simple contest, and left the amazons healthy for use later. I felt they had more potential and I could have used them better, so I am now planning to make them more heavily involved in a later adventure.

Then there was the island king they deposed. He will be in exile with relatives in another island kingdom - guess where the players end up next...

It's using techniques like this that you use to build a long-term campaign in Agon.
Don't pre-plan it - wait to see what happens in an adventure, which characters or events grab the PCs attention or have potential that wasn't fully explored, and reuse them later.
When the campaign is over and you look back, it'll look a lot like one of your normal long-term campaigns, but one which responded more dynamically to player interest and actions. But it takes a lot less work to create, and needs a lot less constant adjustment to make it work in view of changing player interests than planning a typical long-term campaign.

John Harper
Posts: 1054

flip you for real

« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2007, 02:27:58 PM »

That's exactly what the island-hopping structure is supposed to do, Darren. Well said.

I think it's okay for the GM to have a very general theme in mind for a the longer campaign, though. Something like "Return of the Titans" is good, and you really don't need to flesh it out much more than that. Think of it as an overlay for the Color of the game. When you need a rival supernatural force, you can insert a Titan. When you need a cult, they can worship a Titan. In this way, the GM can give a certain flavor to the game and link the various quests together conceptually without having to pre-plan everything ahead of time.

Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!
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