GM's Corner: Going Overboard

Posted by Labyrinthian in , , , ,

I've haven't been very good about posting as of late. My lack of posts is due to lack of time as of late. As I mentioned in a previous post my gaming group and I are going on a camping trip soon and I've been picked to run the game during the trip. I want this trip to be great, and for that the game will have to be great.

Despite that even I can tell I'm going overboard.

Here are some quick facts...

  • The game is a Hackmaster Basic Campaign (The first HMB game I will run)
  • The game is set to go from level 1 to level 5 over the course of the weekend.
  • I am planning on running a Simplified version of a game I have been designing called Caliburn.
  • Those of you up on your Arthurian mythology will probably have surmised this based on the game's name, but for those of you who aren't, this is an Arthurian inspired campaign. The original inspiration was actually the computer game Spirit of Excalibur, which I loved when I was a kid.
  • I want this game to be a "grim & gritty" kind of game. Kind of a Thomas Malory world that has fallen from grace and has been reduced to something that more resembles GRRM's war torn Westeros.
  • I want to keep house rules to a minimum, but I'm not counting providing my own campaign setting, including my own deities, as house rules.
  • My main goal is for everyone to have fun.
The last one is one I'm working hard not to lose sight of. Anytime a GM loses sight of that goal (the ultimate goal of any good GM in my opinion) disaster may ensue. Yet, like I said I can already feel myself going overboard on campaign design. The problem is that this setting was originally intended for a full length game, and I don't want to cut anything out. For that reason I think I'm going to end up overwhelming players with the amount of background information available.

For example, the last few days I have been working on the various religions available for those who wish to play clerics. At the moment the religion section is over 10 pages long. At first I had intended to only include one major religion, but soon found myself adding more and more options to make sure someone could find something they liked.

The first religion, called Seraphism, is a blend of Judeo–Christian ideals with the polytheistic element of Hinduism. In short, they worship seven Archangels in order to better understand the One God. So I set about creating the seven Archangels and figured I was done. But then I realized that I didn't really give players an alternative to this one religion. What if, for example, someone wanted to play an evil character? All seven Archangels were good... So I needed to include their opposites, The seven Demons that are worshiped in secret cabals around the world. Then I though I was done, but then I realized I still didn't give people an option outside the religion of this single religion, which even the Demons were a part of in their own way. The game's religious turmoil is going to center mostly around the conflict between the old religion (The Druidic religion) and the new religion (Serpahism). Yet Kenzerco has not yet released any information for Druids, so that just wouldn't be an option.


So I created the world's third major religion which is centered around worshipping gods similar to the Greek and Norse pantheons. The gods would be constellations in the night sky, and would be worshiped by people all over the world, though each region would have their own names for the gods. As the north men (think Viking Norsemen) would be the closest group to worship these gods I decided to go with their names only for the basic version of the game. With this religion I would have 12 more options to add to what I had already. Yeah, I know. I told you I was going overboard.

I figured it was important to have a picture of what the night sky might look like and what these constellations were composed of. This is not as easy as it would be for anyone with some artistic talent, but after reviewing what the real world constellations looked like I figured I couldn't do any worse! For those unfamiliar take a look. Anyway here is what I ended up with...

So overall, not too bad. I'll post the game information for the deities when I finish. That's right I'm still not done. I'm sorry guys, but I promise I'll stop being so lax when it comes to posting.

Just as soon as I write 45 pages on the knights of the realm.

Just kidding.

Uh... probably.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 23, 2009 at Sunday, August 23, 2009 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Great ideas for religions. I'm in the process of creating religions for my campaign setting at

November 29, 2010 at 8:04 AM

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