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enentol

The Mission Hub: Building Players a Home

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EDIT: New version below!

 

A common problem that has plagued many of my games, as well as those of my friends, is the issue of how to manage downtime – the awkward pauses between missions and adventures. Often, players feel forced into narrative and social situations without the feeling of any real, lasting impact.

 

I was really unsure of whether to post this topic in House Rules or General Discussion, but as I didn't actually make any new mechanics myself, I figured it was better suited here. Additionally, the larger discussions about managing player downtime, creating social interactions, and building player "bases" would probably find a better audience here.

 

The Mission Hub:

 

I started toying with the idea of a meaningful, mechanically-impactful mission “hub” that would help utilize player downtime, foster socialization, and create a few alternative goals for players to keep in mind during their adventures. The hub that I created quickly allowed my players to create and build relationships (inter-player as well as with NPCs) and develop and pursue new side-missions.

 

Additionally, as you’ll hopefully see, this hub also served to help contextualize Second Edition’s new Influence mechanics – inspiring players to pursue Influence generation and flesh out Reinforcement options.

 

For my players, their hub has reinforced the feeling of a living, breathing game-world and has fostered a true feeling of freedom and player agency.

 

I figured that I would share the details with you. A PDF document is found in the link below.

 

This document includes a narrative overview of the hub that I’ve created, a few sample locations, as well as a few sample characters to populate these spaces. I've also included a few tips and ideas for GMs on how to best use these spaces and how player interaction with these areas can create lasting impacts to gameplay.

 

Download:

 

I’m not sure if you can attach files to a post, so I’ve provided a Dropbox link. I’ve made the document into a handy, printable, booklet-type format.

 

Any comments, feedback, or discussion is much appreciated.

 

 

New link below!

Edited by enentol

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Love the amount of work that's put into this, and it's phrased in a way that players can choose what they want to learn more about. Having a place to call "home" really does make those lulls between missions more natural, narratively. This is a healthy way to provide for players without having them worry about having access to the right facilities or where to go after a mission ends. Great job on this.

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My group in DH1 had a converted cargo container (like on a cargo ship IRL, but much bigger) with its own small generator and other support systems along with lodging, common areas, security systems (alarms and locks), and a few servitors. It was loaded onto various ships and stations at different times as missions required. It was a relatively low-cost option that didn't involve giving the PCs direct access to a ship.

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I created an account just to say Thank you! This is awesome and great work on the PDF. Downloaded, printed and will introduce this weekend.

 

Thanks again!

 

No problem! I'm glad you like it so far! Please let me know how it goes or if you have any questions or feedback.

 

My best piece of advice is to give your players really noticeable chances to search out services and products during missions. The more chances they have to upgrade their hub, the more invested they'll be.

 

Good luck!

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As one who has fallen into the traps of both hub genericness and downtime stasis, I salute your hub! 

My current hub is mostly a briefing room and an armory, as those are the services used, which is awfully bland and unimmersive - although my group's inability to make inquiry checks has lead to the armory receiving a reputation worthy of Monty Python's cheese shop. Any useful item, weapon, tool or piece of apparel will at any given time just have been requisitioned by the Inquisitor himself in his ongoing struggle against the dread cult of Capri-Sonne The Caprine Sons.
Giving the players a way to improve their own equipment situation in their hub by making deals and connections is a great way to alleviate this.

I will certainly borrow your ideas for a future campaign, thanks!

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This is really nice looking.  I also use hubs in my games quite frequently.  I don't have many formal rules for them, but they really do help,  I think, give the players a sense of ownership.  I know that my SWN GM has a lot more luck with his hub because obviously those stories revolve around a small firefly like starship.  

 

 

I think unlike you though my hubs are almost entirely visual affairs.  Like a player castle in something like Dragon Age.  I'll post some pictures of hubs soon.  

Edited by fog1234

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