Game Master's Introduction

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Welcome to this Alternity campaign. For the time being we'll be calling it the "Twilight Sector Campaign." It's a science fiction/space opera setting, using TSR's new Alternity game rules. As I write this introduction the rules have not officially been released. To begin with we'll be using a copy of the pre-release players handbook. So don't be surprised if there are a few rules changes down the line.

When conceiving this campaign, I had reason to look back on a number of failed science fiction campaigns I have tried over the years. Hoping, of course, to avoid the mistakes that had doomed those endeavors. As many of you know science fiction is probably my favorite genre, so it has been especially disappointing to me that I have been unable to launch a successful campaign. In looking at previous campaign attempts I noted two things that in my mind were the primary culprits in their demise. The first of these being the superficial way in which most settings, like Travelers Imperium dealt with world development. This combined with the player's natural wanderlust tended to consume campaign material (i.e., star systems) at an alarming rate. The systems had no depth or substance and so on arrival the players looking for something new and different would be disappointed. Subsequently they'd fly off in search of a new and hopefully more exciting venue. They would never want to come back to the system because; "that place was boring". So your poor Gamemaster found himself in an increasingly vain attempt to try to keep up with the players.

The second problem commonly encountered is one of familiarity. Or lack there of. It's very hard for players to get a feel for a place if there is nothing they can connect with. There are two aspects to this problem. The players need a place they can call home. A base of operations. A place that they can always go back to and have at least a fair chance of finding a familiar face. This "home base", needs to be a place that they know very well. After all they were either born there or they live there. It has to seem familiar to them.

Of course I have attempted to address these problems in this campaign. I believe its success or failure will hinge of how successful I have been. To combat the world development problem, I've done three things in this campaign. The first is I've placed the setting on the very fringes of the frontier. There will be a limited amount of systems for players to explore, at least initially. The second is depth of preparation. I have endeavored to develop each system in depth, so that it is not merely a one-off setting. Hopefully when players arrive in a setting they will be able to see a number of avenues for them to explore. Thirdly, players will not initially have access to a ship. It doesn't make a lot of sense that relatively inexperienced individuals would be entrusted with such a huge and expensive machine early in a campaign. To counter the player's lack of familiarity with the setting, I've designed the players' initial setting (your homeworld) to be someplace already very familiar to you. Earth! Or at least what looks like an exact duplicate. There are of course subtle differences. The political divisions do not match those you know. Because everyone in the system is an immigrant, settlement patterns based on race would not be present. There are a number of other subtle differences you will discover in the course of the campaign. Yet still if you're in Kansas City, you'll know where that is and where it's at in relation to say New York.

This campaign is being designed, hopefully, for your enjoyment as well as my own. Please feel free to let me know of anything you can think of to improve it, or that would make it more enjoyable for everyone. At any rate, welcome to the Twilight Sector Campaign. Hopefully this one fly's (pun intended).

GM: Michael Cross (e-mail)

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