Cairnholm – Episodic Gaming

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Tomorrow evening I’ll be running the first session of our IKRPG game and for this campaign I’ve decided to take some cues from action television shows. I’ve mentioned this briefly before but I thought I’d outline a structural idea which I think will make this campaign really fun. Each session will be split up into three sections, the first of which is called:

Last Time On…
This is the section where, just like on tv, the narrator reminds the viewers/players of the events which have led up to this moment. This gives me a chance to draw the players’ attention to those macguffins they picked up four sessions ago. That coded message that has been sitting at the bottom of a backpack, or the strange dream the party shared last full moon, might become vitally important to the mission at hand. Once this section is complete we carry on with:

Tonight’s Episode
This is where the regular gaming takes place. I throw challenges at the players and they either overcome, bypass or retreat from those challenges. Once the mission is complete we have a quick wrap up before moving onto my new section:

Coming Up/Next Time On…
In the spirit of collaborative storytelling, this is where the players have a chance to direct the story arc. If one player says, “the heroes find themselves stranded on a desert island” and the others like the idea, then that will become the direction of the next session. These suggestions, or previews, could be as complete as that desert island idea, or smaller events such as interrogating a prisoner, a rooftop chase, or a drinking contest. While it’s quite likely that not every idea can be used, it will provide me with inspiration for the next session and give the players a sense of agency within the campaign, even if individual sessions are somewhat linear.

We’ve also got our party which consists of:
A grizzled Military Officer and skilled ex-trencher
A Llaelese warcaster in exile who is also a gifted pistoleer
An alchemist whose urchin upbringing has turned him into a skilled thief
A Rhulic arcane field-mechanik and his custom gun-bunny
A Nyss ice sorceror and soldier of fortune
And lastly, a Trollkin Man-at-Arms with sorcerous control over stone

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