Shared Campaign Worlds – the FORSE Project18 July, 2011
Off and on across the gaming journals, I have seen the ideas of shared campaigns and shared worlds being discussed. Back (in the dawn of time) when I first started playing D&D, characters bounced from campaign to campaign, world to world, depending on who wanted to DM but there was not really anything resembling a coherent storyline or plot, it was just a lot of storming dungeons, killing things and taking their stuff.
But, as campaigns became more structured and tied to game worlds, those days of easy campaign hopping faded into memory. Sometime ago back when we lived in Oregon City, we tried a new version of a shared world, we called it the FORSE (Friends Of R’Lyeh Shared Earth) Project. Each member would have a section of the world and a character, as we moved from section of the world to section of the world, the creator of whatever part we were in would be DM and his character would be an NPC. We played under AD&D (2nd ed) rules and started in my part, the Isles of Reason, a quasi-Hellenic archipelago, visited a Viking-like land, then took ship to a Moorcockian Ancient Empire and ended in the Celtic Caer Dhu (DMed by my lovely wife). Unfortunately, the group broke up when we moved to Athens, Georgia.
Some years later, with a mostly new group, we tried FORSE again. This one was played using D&D (3rd ed) Starting with in a strange mediaevally-colonized Australia analog, moving to a Slavic-Russian land and ending in my Genus Bestia Res Publica setting. Sadly, that group broke up too for various reasons just as it was beginning to really gel.
For those interested, the ‘ground rules’ for the FORSE Project are here along with a system neutral version of the character creation rules we agreed on.