Any long-term gamer will tell you there's something magical about starting a new campaign. That point before you've actually started to play, when there's just a barest idea of what the game will be about and who the different characters are. It's pure potential and anticipation. Like children on Christmas morning, we gather around the table and hold our breath.
There are a lot of pitfalls to starting a new game. Will the players like it? Will it live up to the expectations? Will everyone understand the rules? It's on the shoulders of the game master (GM) to keep it all together.
This week my group is starting a new game called Hellas. It's a space opera inspired by Greek mythology. It blends bronze age aesthetics and culture with fantastic technology, creating a setting filled with both magic and science. Different elements of Greek myth take their place as alien species or updated supernatural beings. There are gods that will favour your heroes for their great deeds, savage titans who threaten to destroy whole worlds, epic space conflicts, battles fought with spear and shield, and an underworld realm known as Slipspace, home to myriad monsters and the means by which interstellar travel is possible.
I've loved Greek mythology since I was a kid. I studied ancient Greek civilisation in school and in college. The game itself promotes heroism and high adventure. When I first read about Hellas, it seemed like a game written just for me, the perfect game for me to run.
Hellas is intended to be run as a generational game. That is, unlike most games, as your characters grow old and retire, or die (or even ascend to godhood!) you take over the roles of your descendents. By the end of the game's 100 year-long campaign, it's expected that everyone will be playing at least the grandchildren of their original characters and get to see how they have shaped the course of history and forever changed the known worlds. Now if that doesn't sound epic, I don't know what is!
I'm very excited for this game. More than I have been for any game in a long, long time. We've got the player characters written up and I have the first several sessions planned out. I have my music playlists ready. I'm cooking some pastitsio for dinner, a Greek dish with beef mince and macaroni, as well as making some fresh red pepper hummus and olive tapanade for table snacks.
This Thursday night is going to be good.