4th Edition at the Beach: The End of Questions of Faith, Season One and Localizing RPG Campaigns

In my last post, I announced that we at My Girlfriend is a DM would be spending the Holy Weekend at the beach. Most of us got nothing in the way of a tan, and not for lack of trying. However, we finally completed our run of Jammi’s Questions of Faith campaign through the heroic tier. The game’s final hours involved the deva Malak, being reincarnated as a revenant teaming with Carn, the cunning artificer to harness various rituals to track down Gunther and the twin daughters of S’jora.

It was a very melancholy game, filled with a lot of heartbreak for Malak as he gave up his devotion to Sehanine to pledge allegiance to the Raven Queen. He lost most of his memories during reincarnation, and we ruled that he could roll even or odds to determine whether he would experience  flashback. Eventually, they faced off against Gunther, who happens to be a rakshasa who had been magically rewriting prophecies since the very start of the campaign.

There was a lot of chaos: Soulless warforged were being manufactured for a war to be waged from the underbelly of Arcanix, S’jora’s twin daughters were being engulfed by an aberrant eye monster and a sinister goddess was looking to be reincarnated into the world. In the end, my character Slam, the warforged warden, sacrificed himself to undo the ritual, as he happened to possess the twin souls necessary to convert the twins back into blank slates.

Next, we’ll be switching GMs as we dive headlong into Star Wars SAGA Edition and Shadowrun. We’ll be setting the former in the post-Revenge of the Sith/pre-A New Hope period. Jammi and I have already decided to play against type by creating Jedi characters, while the other player portrays a force sensitive soldier. As for Shadowrun, we’re making it local by setting it in the Philippines, in the city of Makati! Despite the almost non-presence of the Philippines in most RPG settings, Shadowrun has lore which covers its place in a world transformed by goblinization, corporatization and black ops freelancing.

Granted, we wouldn’t be the first RPG group to localize their game. Many tales have been spun of people running modified versions of D&D set within a contemporary world, or placing the tentacle-sporting horrors of Call of Cthulhu into their own hometown. Heck, the old Marvel Super Heroes RPG from TSR originated as a homebrew superhero game that Jeff Grub set in his alma mater state of Indiana. (Even the maps that came with the final product reflected this.)

I’m interested to know if any of you have attempted to place your campaigns within more unconventional settings. Perhaps you were in a Spycraft based primarily on the geopolitical tensions between your South American hometown and the United States, or you ran a game of Marvel Superheroes where heroes operated out of the Middle East? Let me know!

7 Responses to “4th Edition at the Beach: The End of Questions of Faith, Season One and Localizing RPG Campaigns”
  1. Tourq says:

    I ran a Spycraft mission in Reno, Nevada. We have a street that runs around the whole city, so it was pretty cool to have a 120+ mph car chase there. It was even more cool because we knew of certain intersections that weren’t exactly level. There’s no way we could have survived that in real life – it was cool just playing it out.


  2. Mark says:

    I ran a game of D20 Modern Urban Arcana in my hometown of Spokane, WA. It lasted only a few sessions, but everyone enjoyed going around town and seeing the city in a different light.

  3. beej! says:

    I’ve always been intrigued at the idea of setting the games here in the Philippines. To me, our country is filled with lore that is mostly unused (other than in local movies where it’s mostly just a ripoff of some foreign film >.>).

    To answer your question, I first tried to run Urban Arcana set in UP Diliman… but that didn’t last too long. No matter how much we loved D&D 3.5 at the time, apparently, d20 Modern failed to capture our interest. We’ve had more success with our Diliman by Night, a series of NWoD games set in, well, Diliman. XD

    On the D&D side, our ongoing project is to convert various elements of Philippine Mythology into the D&D 4E rules system. It’s going a little slow, but we’re churning them out fairly well. ^__^

    • I’m beginning to get this impression that WoD is really REALLY popular among the generation of Filipino gamers that precedes mine.

      I’ve always thought that Urban Arcana makes sense for a Filipino setting simply because much of our folklore already assumes that the supernatural and the arcane lie hidden from us rather than just lying “oh somewhere under the subway” or “they hung around a long time ago.”

      • beej! says:

        Hey, I’m not that old! 😛 I like to think that the generation that came right after mine are in 1st year college at most (and most would be in High School). But for the record, we usually play NWoD in particular as a change of pace to our more regular D&D sessions.

        As for Urban Arcana, I do agree with you that the system fits Urban Manila. I think the problem for me as a GM was that while the characters were all students, they all wanted guns. >.> It was a case of a (then) novice GM being unable to adapt to what his players wanted.

        Also, our only copy of Urban Arcana disappeared one day. We gamed at a woodsy part of the campus, and I think some people took that as a sign that the fey didn’t want us to roleplay something so close to them. >.> lolz

      • My apologies. I measure ‘generations’ in gaming at smaller increments. After all, it’s less than ten years that separates the people who grew up with Fallout and the people who grew up with Wasteland. So I think associating you with a ‘previous generation’ still applies, as less than five years make the difference between people playing Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition and Magic: The Gathering.

        As for students with guns, sounds pretty appropriate for a post-Columbine era. Perhaps it would’ve worked had you set it in the near future of when you ran that game, with a kind of Battle Royale “re-imagining” of the years 2001 and onwards.

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