Ristin's Campaign Construction Center
Alchemical Exalted Game
Now, the founding principle of the module seemed to be “alchemicals act against their nature and do stupid things that no sensible person would”…so very early on I had to toss out the module except as a vague guide and / or starting point and work out a more sensible chain of events. Said events being “the return of the alchemical exalted to creation”.
Anyhow…since Alchemical Exalted are ageless I started to think that as a mirror to the Lunars Game an Alchemicals Game from their point of view might be fun.
Now, many years later, an Alchemicals game is still on the back-burner. I’d be tempted by a long term game, long time-scale for the characters and map out a few key times over the centuries. Maybe flitting back and forth flashback style? Trying to cover the entirity of the Alchemicals self imposed exile from creation is also tempting.
Alchemicals are made, not born. They are constructed life forms infused with a heroic mortal (formerly mortal) soul which has distinguished itself across multiple reincarnations.
This means each PC should have at least 3 mortal backstories of their incarnation’s epic deeds and then their “I was assembled here and for this purpose” Alchemical Exalted backstory. This also means at least one of the incarnations was born back in Creation in the First Age, and so the Alchemical inherits at least some dim recollection of how things used to be.
I think that could be cool and add a bunch of depth and roleplaying hooks. Conversely getting the players sufficiently versed in the source material may be hard.
General Game Structure:
Assuming a generational game with a few time periods we’d cover in detail (same Alchemical PCs throughout), having a generational threat seems apt. Several do spring to mind, not least of which being the dissonance and contamination plaguing Autocthonia and eventually leading to the decision to return to creation (to save their world / god).
A few things spring to mind in this regard…but I think i’ll refrain from describing them in-case I do run such a game. _
But the campaign would be chapter like, each chapter a different time period and thus different set of challenges facing our heroes. Not to mention the PCs reconciling all their past lives and personal plot-hooks along the way.
Of course as the players swap and change between time-periods they’ll come up against various plots and challenges, some of which will be part of a grander design which will ‘bloom’ for the climax of the campaign.
That’s what springs to mind as a basic structure for Arc-1; and Arc-2 (if any) would be the alchemical incursion back into creation. Just “done right” and correcting / redeeming the published module.
Naturally it needs more thought to it than this before launching into a campaign.
Things I would change:
First off, there’s a lot of stupid in the Alchemicals setting. In the attempt to cover steampunk and some cyberpunk and general gearpunk…a lot of the “life of the everyday mortals” really hasn’t been given much thought in my opinion.
For instance, why are most humans in the setting illiterate and working in Dickensian factories? Why when simple automation is possible would this be the case? It has the feel of the writers having set the technology level but instead of basing the setting’s economy and lifestyle upon that they have decided on a gritty and dark society…that basically makes no sense.
Assuming that’s done as a “slaves to the machine” sort of angle, i would change it up completely for a “lost in the machine” angle. So “the city” would be more than half automated, with the human districts which are settled and pretty pleasant, and then sending expeditions out into the dark and dangerous ‘industrial outskirts’ of the city. The heroes would of course be questing about a lot more than most people, but with expeditionary squads sent out to fix problems too (at great risk). And so your average illiterate slave NPC becomes a mechanic or skilled worker…and instead of fostering a sense of “we have too many people” it becomes instead a sense of “we are few, each life is precious and so are their career skills”.
What’s cooler for the Alchemical Exalted PCs to encounter, between “Field Technician Elisabeth and her squad, three days out from the city in the dark mechanical world of Autochthonia (spelling) on an urgent repair mission for the cities water treatment center” or “a factory making screws with a hundred man production line of illiterate workers who will spend their whole lives in that factory and at their one work station until euthenaised at retirement”? I think the former, personally.
Second on the list is “every decision the Alchemicals make when returning to Creation”. Every single one. There’s just no way to sugar coat this at all.
Ideally it’d either be “The PCs calling the shots” or at least involved, or failing that “their boss” calling the shots and getting them to make it happen, but with a decently sensible plan.