Happy new year everyone! I know from the outside it appears as if we have buried ourselves in a dark cave. The truth is we HAVE been trapped in a dark cave! The dark cave of intense Beta Testing that is! Let me share with you some of the awesomeness that has resulted from the past 4 months of gamming.
Every Friday CotV Co-Creator Wedge and I would run 2 groups, back to back, in a 14 week campaign. The first group (Day Group) would meet up at the always awesome Reaper Game store in Denton TX. The second group (Night Group) would meet up at my pad in Plano TX. Both groups had 4-6 players and our goals were to continue to streamline the combat and leveling systems to a point where they fully achieved our goals of quick, tactical combat, deep character progression and loose, flowing role playing.
The campaign was set on the world of Journ and mainly inside one of Journs major cities Troponopolis. Journ was recently discovered and is dealing with the influx of new technologies and alien presence. There are 3 major criminal originations in Troponopolis. The Web, the Tai-Zen and the Legion. The Web is primarily run and operated by the native race of Journ; the Crylok. With centuries of control and dominance over Troponoplis’s criminal activates the Web is struggling to remain relevant with the influx of outside powers. The Tai-Zen buried it’s talons into the dark corners of Troponopolis 20 years ago. Lead by Ling-Ling, a female Lauxnaut, her iron circle of body guards and hit men where played by the Day Group. The Legion began to assert its place in the Troponopolis underside only 12 years ago. Lead by the heavily modified human Duncan Travento his most trusted informants and assassins where played by the Night Group.
(Crylok illustration by Geoff Trebs)
By the final game an off world cult known as the Crystal Circle had wiped out the Web and invaded a great deal of the Tai-Zen and Legions territories causing much havoc and even death to prominent characters. It appeared they were mining a specific mineral from the locations but neither group could figure out why and what the mineral was used for. At the final game the planet falls under a surprise SERK invasion and the Crystal Circle escapes leaving the 2 gangs to join forces in order to survive.
Phase 1: One of the players is playing a Prime Arbiter named Barnelby. Throughout the campaign Barnelby worked his way up the Troponopolis political ladder and with his connections learns of a top secret military complex in the mountains. In this base is a ship and codes needed to shut down massive containment drones the SERK are using to keep ships from escaping. Arriving at the base the players discover that a SERK scouting party has infiltrated the base and reinforcements are on their way. The two groups decide to send the Tech and Engineering experts into the base to repair the ship they are after and take care of the SERK scouting party. The second group fortifies the complex and fights off the never ending hoard of SERK to buy the rest of the group time.
(Here a Varigator and Javelin Pilot smash SERK giving a Grimkin Swarm and Prime Arbiter time needed to repair the broken ship and find hidden codes in an underground part of the complex.)
(Topside a Human SHARD, Aqasoo Nova, Varigator, and Lauxnaut Outlaw fight off SERK invaders using not so conventional means and improvised turrets.)
Phase 2: After repairing the ship and escaping the military complex the players learn that there are 3 major containment drones in space above the planet but that they have massive shielding protecting. The group again breaks into 2 teams. The first team is comprised of the best pilots. They arm their personal star fighters and fly into space combat ready to destroy these containment drones the second their defenses go off line. The second group located a control port for the SERK planet side and infiltrates it to manually shut done the containment drones shield generators.
Phase 3: After successfully destroying the drones the player’s pilot to safety only to watch from space as their home planet is destroyed by the SERK. Upon escaping they see the fleeing ship of the Crystal Circle. Now having confirmation that the Crystal Circle knew of the coming attack and could have warned Troponopolis potentially saving the planet the players decide to board and exact vengeance.
The players corner Abigail Williams, the one leading the Crystal Circles efforts on Troponopolis and begin to attack only to discover they must cross over to a parallel universe and defeat her source of power before her physical body can be destroyed.
(A scene from the final battle. The bottom end of the map represents reality while the top end is a parallel reflection.)
In a surprising move one of the players attempts to defect and join the Crystal Circle but in the end Abigail Williams is defeated, revenged is satisfied, and the players now have a Crystal Circle ship full of prized resources. With their originations disbanded and their world destroyed what wonders still await them in the void.
(Beta testers from left to right: Darryl Roberds, Michael Collins, Tobias, Matthew Goiffon, Marqus Burleson, Doug Bush, Michael Masters, Wedge Smith, Michael Cooke, Frank Baker. MIA: Ernest O. Cooper III and Scoty.)
Over all the Beta testing was a huge success! With so many moving parts in an RPG balancing can be tough but we are very happy with how the game feels and are moving forward to a new stage (and possibly last) of tweaks and fine tuning to make sure Chronicles of the Void is one of the deepest, most creative and funniest RPGs you will ever play!
Till next time, keep rolling nat 20s!