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Beast of Namgakksan – Setting the Stage

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When running a one-shot game at an event like the Go-Play mini-con, it’s important that your players know what they are getting into. Below is a quick summary of game philosophy in a kind of FAQ format.

What is the genre?
It’s not quite historical, not quite horror, and not quite fantasy. It’s not quite historical because the Korea in which the characters exist is not the real Korea, though it might be a reasonable facsimile thereof. The Korea of the story is the Korea of my imagination. It is not quite horror because horror requires tension, and while there may be mystery, I don’t completely expect the tension to be high enough to create horror. It’s not quite fantasy as there won’t be magic or strangeness . . . well, not a lot of it.

Think of it as a historical-horror-fantasy, though it’s none of those.

What kind of game is this?
I’m planning for it to be pretty quick, pretty fast-paced, but taking the time to allow for meaningful interaction with the NPCs. Because it’s a one-shot and constrained by time, character development will likely be minimal. Characterization, though, should remain strong.

How close will you follow the rules?
This will be my first time running a Savage Worlds game, so rules might be an issue. However, I’m not particularly rules obsessed, and Savage Worlds has a simple basic mechanic of dice and target number. Rather than spend time looking up rules, I’ll be winging stuff. If you know Savage Worlds well and have issues with the GM ignoring or missing rules, don’t play in my game.

Rules are a mechanic to tell a story. The story is paramount.

How close will the players have to follow the rules?
As close as they need to in order to tell the story they want.

Here’s the thing, I’m more interested in running a fun, exciting session than I am in running a Savage Worlds session. As long as you let me say yes to what you are asking, I will say yes. If you ask, “Can I leap over the guy in front of me, then kick the shaft of the spear he’s holding to propel myself onto the roof?” I will answer, “Ooo, very cool. Roll an Agility check.” If you then said, “My Agility isn’t as good as my Fighting, so what if I’m using my martial arts skills, directing my chi through my foot?” I’d probably answer, “Pushing it, but if you make a successful Spirit check, I’ll let you try it as a Fighting check.” Give me a reason to say yes. Make it cool. Make it fit your character. Make it fun. We’ll get along fine.

Will we be kicking @$$?
While I do expect combat, I only expect a minimal amount. This will be about the characters learning the mystery, dealing with the villagers, and completing the last wishes of their General. As the name implies, there is a beast, and I expect the characters will at some point come into physical conflict with said beast, but I can’t see much more combat than that.