Hi, im starting my first campaign soon and im really struggling to create a interesting overarching story hook for the sector. do you have any tipps? Like a interesting theme
Darkness is coming.
A huge world-breaking asteroid is in collision course with a very high tech world, only the high level government knows.
They start a war with less advanced but economically strong world, which has a lot of manpower.
To do that they ask the help of a third and savage world, supposedly terraforming huge areas of it in exchange for their army support (wild but with a lot of psy).
In reality the high tech world have access to an old battleship which can win the war by itself, bombarding the enemy (before going out of fuel). Truth is that the terraformation event they are provoking (made by changing the rotation of the planet through Mandate grade tech) will put the savage world near the track of the asteroid, changing its course and saving themselves but with devastating consequences for their “allies”, and the war is just smoke in the eyes of the whole system.
I’d add at least a couple of planets to the mix, but the story is mostly here. Probably I’d put some giant insect monster as the “bad guys” on the savage world, which are actually very angry because they can psychically foreseen the doom of the planet and nobody listen.
Not quite the answer you're looking for, but ask your players. When I was floating my current SWN campaign I told them the basic context and asked what themes they would like to see within that
Wow thats very detailed. Thanks ill think about it
+Calum M thats a good idea thanks!
Embrace sandbox play which is what most of Sine Nomine RPGs target. What that means is, don't make too big of plans. Commit to a few hooks and then stop your planning there. Often the best RPG campaigns are the ones centered around the player characters - not ones that have the player characters thrown into them.
I just went for a detailed backstory because... well it was very late and I got that :D
As for tips, I agree with both "ask player" and "center on characters" and I totally, absolutely agree to suggest the sandobox mechanics as SWN is famous and so good for it.
Not fully support the "stop planning after some hooks" concept: it's not a bad advice by itself, let me be clear, but I'll go full Crawford on that and say "keep creating things if it's fun for you, stop when it's not".
Still, I agree that "planning" is something different and you shouldn't force the player to do something specific (after you all agree on theme, tone of the game and "power levels" - i.e. planetary leaders or army grunts)... but having wide stories and events with which they can interact (or ignore) is part of the "good vibrations" of the sandbox.
There are a lot of advices and guidelines on the rulebook, very modular too, so read those chapters deeply.
Yeah i dont really want a fully planned story just a hook that gets the factions/players going and then just go with flow. Idealy ill tell my players "this is my world and thats whats going on at the moment what do you want to do in it."
(I never used google+ before this community is awesome. I didnt expect so many great answers to my question!)