The mechanics and the cast.
Back in 1993, I introduced my wife of 23 years, Hope, to table top RPG by using the Dragonlance saga as her first campaign.
From there, she was hooked, looking for and finding several of the original modules and adding to the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rule book collection. (somehow, I have three players handbooks and one with the first edition cover). But not only that, we moved beyond AD&D and explored other game systems as well. Over time, we became familiar with the mainstream systems of the day and several independant games also. To this day, we look out for new and exciting games to try out (yes, I have been very fortunate to have a fellow gamer as a spouse).
As we backtracked into our own game history, we wanted to something that would be fun, yet not too complex, just in case, of a severe deviance from the main adventure, improvisation of the situation would be simple (as no one ever had a player drop a monkey wrench into their campaign that brain froze the GM, ever!)
Keeping with a similar mechanic to the 2119 campaign, I chose to use the mini-D6 rules, (by AntiPaladin games, found on-line) because we wanted a system that offered a chance for players to be creative in the action and have a little more liberty than traditional systems, as well as, the cinematic style was far better to use, since we had younger players now joining the player pool (and kids will do the darkest things in a game setting, "Dad, my familiar is an skunk or Mom, am I allow to summon a pikachu? And who could forget the Walking Fart spell?)
Good thing is, by the time we began this campaign, our sons, five in all, we're much older and helped lay the foundation of this campaign and really helped define it.
In creating her, she wanted a character who was strong and independant; yet, deep down was broken inside as well as someone whom did not seem extraordinary at all.
Xavier is the only character I modeled as close to myself as allowed; I usually love the quirky NPC (Fizban quirky) but given the setting We were in, another quasi-serious character was needed.
Landess Burton=our oldest son, JustinII.
Justin was a teenager (about 14 at the time) as Landess was created; so the attitude of Landess was born to be cocky, hot headed and a ladies man. Justin, being mature for his age, also helped develop the character of Jim Lawson, by having Landess quote Jim Lawson in passing during the character's interaction with other characters.
Jonathan Goldstien= Joshua and Daniel. (our third and fourth sons respectivly) Josh started to play the character of John, giving him an innoccence that fun him the "Rookie". Justin took it upon himself to pair John and Landess together, creating this Mentor/Student relationship.
As the campaign went on, Dan begin to sit in and listen, offering thoughts to Josh about John, eventually inheriting the part from his brother.
With the cast in place, I presented the first case of these eager detectives, establishing the equal player rule, meaning in this kind of environment, the players were to ignore the family relationship to each other and speak as the character's should. Justin was given the role of being the senior Detective of the squad and he dove in with out reservation, (the idea of chewing out your parents and NOT get in trouble, suited him just fine).
From there, the case that became "On the Edge of Fire" was presented for the players to run through with each adding their own flavor, thoughts and reactions to the story, as well as, almost all the action and quirks were created by them.
So "On the Edge of Fire" is not just a story, it's a record of how a family of gamers interact.
Next week: What is Kinetisim and how does it work in the game setting.