It was too long since my roleplaying group last played A New Dawn – sixteen months, in fact. I’ve been writing fiction instead, for the most part.
But it was time, and on Friday I hoisted on the Weskit of Narrative Consistency to run the game again.
Since it had been such a long time, a lot of this first session of the season was reintroducing the characters to the setting. There were several unresolved threads from the last session we played, and I got to disinter some NPCs to help the players remember what they were. I was especially pleased to remember the voice I used for Dr Leslie Perfect (a character who is meant to be a lot more than a nod to Agent Simmons in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD).
Here are some of the storytelling tricks I used to start the season.
Get the Players In the Mood
When I was introducing A New Dawn to the players, I had them all prepare some description of a typical day in March, and some description of how they would discover their powers after they wake up in June.
For this reintroduction session, I did a similar thing: had the players write a short title sequence segment that would describe their character and encapsulate that character’s powers. Then I made up some pumping title music on the spot* and flipped pages to simulate titles. It was pretty well received, overall.
Remind, But Don’t Resolve
As I mentioned above, there were some outstanding threads from the last session – in particular, some equipment which they’d recovered from a cult site and which needed to be decoded.
We spent probably the best part of a half hour chewing over the specifics of the device, the effects on animal subjects, and how the team wanted to proceed with the investigation.
Don’t Be Afraid To Tweak Things
But the point of the evening was not about the device research, but about getting the characters to flex their powers again. We needed combat.
I thought it was time for some werewolves. At a furry convention, to boot.
… except that looking at the werewolves in the Savage Worlds bestiary, I did not like what I saw. Immunity to any weapon except silver? Victims rising from the dead to become werewolves?
Nah. None of that appealed.
My modified version made the werewolves a lot harder to kill than most creatures and also made it possible for surviving victims to become infected (none of the PCs were sufficient’y damaged for that to apply). I’m not going to go into specifics, but my point is that if the material in the game doesn’t fit the narrative you want to convey then change it.
The only requirement is that you remain self-consistent. Now I have werewolves, that is what werewolves will look like in my world.
On to the next scenario, now.
[*] probably very derivative and trite because I am no musician, but it got the point across.