It’s time to launch the Deeps of Lyrae campaign. (If you like, refer to the last post for a one-paragraph synopsis.)
I find one of the key things about launching a successful RPG campaign is to come up with a good prompt that you give the players in order to help them create characters. Contrary to other advice I have seen about this, I think the best thing is to KEEP IT SHORT. My character creation prompt is usually one sentence.
Here is my prompt for the Deeps of Lyrae:
Your character is in a boring suburb on a backwater planet and has a good reason to want to become a space pirate
Maybe a short prompt works because I meet in-person with players to do character creation with them, so I don’t usually need to specify a bunch of rules. I often play with people who are new to GURPS system, so they likely have zero interest in being handed a specification and trying to decipher it. Instead, we just meet at a coffee shop or whatever.
To be fair I also told them in advance that we would be playing a:
cinematic sci-fi / space opera / space western
(Yes — Firefly fan here obviously.)
*Note that I don’t mean any specific GURPS Cinematic rules, it is just cinematic in flavor.
Over a few years since I started this campaign this prompt has worked very well for a LOT of players. Here are some responses:
- One character wanted to be a space pirate because she inherited a space ship and didn’t know what else to do with it. (I sat up and thought: there’s the first adventure right there, inheriting a space ship.)
- Another wanted to be a space pirate because he is already a petty criminal and for him space piracy means he is stepping up “to the next level.”
- One was a revolutionary fanatic who would do anything to act against the government.
- An amoral criminal, wanted by the police (for bigamy of all things), needs to get off the planet as fast as possible. Space piracy? Fine.
- A hotshot pilot was grounded and unemployed because of his drug addiction. He’ll do anything to fly again. Or he thinks he will. Nearly anything? Time will tell.
- One player decided that her character was previously wronged by space pirates — her passenger ship was attacked and all of her belongings stolen. She swore revenge. Becoming a space pirate herself might be the only way she has a chance of mixing it up with the gang that she’s hunting.
- An interstellar orphan and needs to explore the galaxy in order to find her lost family. She doesn’t necessarily want to be a space pirate, but no other way of plying the trade routes is going to present itself. She can’t exactly get a space-faring job yet: she’s a teenager.
Hope this prompt gives you some ideas too! Feel free to share your SHORTEST prompt. Or just share whatever. This blog is new.