Saturday, 18 January 2014
Lords of Olympus: Getting Started
I had gotten some requests for advice about where to start when running a Lords of Olympus campaign. I tried to be pretty complete in the GM section when it comes to advice on how to run the game. But here’s some more on it anyways:
What you’re probably looking for is an initial setup; and how that setup will go depends on the type of campaign you’re running: Are you doing a campaign where the PCs start out not knowing their divine parentage? Then the natural thing to work out is what happens at the beginning that starts cluing them into their identity: are they attacked by monsters? Who sent these monsters? Are they contacted by an Olympian? If so, is this one of their parents? Or someone else? Friend, foe, or someone out to manipulate them?
On the other hand, you might be starting a campaign where the PCs know what they are; maybe even grew up on Olympus itself, or at least always knew their parentage. Then where you start will depend a lot on the backgrounds you chose for the players or they chose for themselves.
Did all the players grow up more or less together? Maybe they’re called together by someone (Zeus? One of their parents? Some other big power-guy?) to perform some special task.
Or another way to do it is to start with some big point of conflict. Perhaps an olympian (maybe a parent or other kind of close connection to one or more of the PCs) is apparently killed, and the PCs get drawn into that situation. Maybe there’s a war brewing between a couple of olympians, and the PCs are caught up in having to chose sides?
There are some examples given in the book: maybe there’s a plot (be it from Hera, Hades or Poseidon, or the Titans) to try to overthrow Zeus? Or maybe Zeus is dead and all hell is breaking loose (though it could be one of Zeus’ tricks!). Maybe something really bizarre is happening with the Primordials that could menace reality itself?
The main key is to look at the characters: look at their connections through family, and look at their connections through background (who are their likely friends, and likely rivals or enemies), and look at their connections to each other. There should be a gold mine there of potential events for the campaign, and surely there’s one that can start things off. Figure out what kind of campaign you want to run, and don’t plan every little detail but figure out at timeline of general events you want to start happening in the game.
I hope this helps. And just remember, over and above everything else, Lords of Olympus is an RPG about a big dysfunctional family. Let that premise guide you.
A reminder to anyone interested in more questions and answers about Lords of Olympus that they can get a lot of information over at the Lords of Olympus forum on theRPGsite (which is also the Official Amber DRPG and Erick Wujcik Forum), and more specifically, any questions asked on this thread will be answered promptly by yours truly.
Currently Smoking: Castello 4k Collection Canadian + Image Latakia
(Originally posted November 16, 2012, on the old blog)