1 October 2008

Welcome to the Benverse

Update: Added (the beginnings of) a Benverse Encyclopedia to the RPG section

Many of my RPGs in recent years have been set in the modern day, including my current campaign, Kin of Cerberos, and past games New Angel Evolution and Beyond the Bridge: The House. I didn't design these settings to be compatible to start with, and indeed there are some elements in their backgrounds that are quite different. However, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that it would, in fact, be better if the games, and possible future games set in the modern day (or recent past/near future), took place in a shared universe. Not only would it make crossover scenarios possible, but I'd have a wealth of ready material, characters etc. that I could potentially use in future games.

So, as of today, my past and current modern day games officially take place in the same world, which I'm jokingly referring to as the Benverse, for lack of a better name. This move should actually have very little bearing on my current campaign. The characters will be aware that a nuclear bomb exploded in Alaska in 2003 (as told in my earlier campaign, New Angel Evolution), but that's pretty much it. To help bring these game worlds together, I've written the beginnings of an 'encyclopedia' that describes crucial concepts, events and characters from the various games.

I should carefully read through all my old plot synopses, to see if anything needs retconning, as the campaigns weren't initially designed to be compatible. But there shouldn't be anything major, I think. The greatest differences are probably in the backgrounds that I'd thought of in my head, rather than the details given to the players. You can't tell an audience too much, after all. You've got to retain a feeling of mystery.

So what is the Benverse like? It is an alternate Earth, very much like our own, but with some crucial differences. Namely, the existence of various supernatural forces. It also follows a different timeline from ours, including, for example, the nuclear explosion mentioned above.

As I've made clear in my blog, I've been reading a lot of comics recently, both from Marvel and DC. I'd be lying if I said this had nothing to do with my desire to have a larger, shared universe for my games. But the fact is, it makes sense, for reasons I described above. So far I've run, and am running, too few games for there to be much interesting crossover in them, but who knows what the future might bring?

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