[Let’s Study] Fading Suns – The Opposition

Posted: November 2, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Fading Suns, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games

Let me say that after checking out the setting for Fading Suns, I was starting to see why Mage: the Awakening had so many disparate threats for the protagonists.  Not that this is a bad thing, considering that Mage: the Awakening is one of my favorite games.  I like the idea of having different threats all over the universe of a game, it keeps things interesting, after all.  It’s boring to play Us versus Them, then one could easily play Us versus Them, Them, Them, and Those Guys Too.

The Fading Suns a remarkably diverse setting as far as threats go.  Aside from the standing conflicts between Noble Houses, Church Sects and Guilds, there’s also the threat of marauding space barbarians, oppressed alien races, an insatiable symbiotic race,  and another alien race with superior firepower.  There’s so much going on that it can be overwhelming but in my eyes that’s a great way to hammer home the point that the universe is a harsh place, and that mankind’s position is less than secure.

I’m very impressed with what Fading Suns has for a setting, considering that I can scale it up and down, with stories about corruption in a Planetary Government, to a Murder Mystery inside a Noble’s manor, to a space-race to acquire necessary materials to fend off the symbiotes.  It is a ridiculously fertile game and I can understand that many new GMs might be tempted to try to pop everything into a single campaign.  I’d advise against it though, parceling the threats in a moderate rate will keep the game more interesting, and you’ll at least have some way to keep something in your sleeve.

  1. And depending on how you structure the campaign- PCs from one or two Houses, you can build some interesting large-scale opposition that way.

  2. thorynn says:

    I had never heard of Fading Suns before your series. Thanks for the detailed write-ups!

  3. ZilWerks says:

    The difficulty is that the PCs can come from such a diverse background that focus can be lost. E.g.: A Hawkwood noble, a Oban spy, a Charioteer huckster, and a Avestite priest walk into a bar…
    This makes a proper long-term protagnist is critical for Fading Suns. Take one foe and focus: Symbiots? Provincial Corruption/Slavery/Feudalism? Vau? Vuldrock? Annanunkki relics?

    After running three campaigns and being in four lack of a unifying villian resulted in subtle PC intrigues against each other, twice culminating in party fights, one of which killed the campaign.

    More so than standard games, work with PCs BEFORE to focus their efforts and character design. Some party stress is good but FS’s wonderful rich and detailed universe can overwhelm and factionalize the PCs.

    This is, of course, IMHO.

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