Update: a number of the links were inexplicably broken, but they should all be fixed now. I had to delete extra junk characters that had crept in to nearly all the links somehow. If it happens again, let me know.
Continuum GMing Advice:
- Continuum GMing Tips. In short: GM from a computer, keep plots simple and open-ended because things will get complicated fast, have maps but don’t use them, and make history feel real.
- Anachronistic Music is a short anecdote about GM prep and music, and ways it can go wrong. Don't do what I did.
- Proposal for revising the 5 Spans. This alternate version of the ranking system shifts Span 5 to Span 7, pushes PCs as Mentors to much later in the campaign, and smooths out character progression and storylines for the benefit of the players. I think this would really fix most of the awkward story structure and non-mechanical problems with the game.
- What I’d like to see in Continuum 2.0.
Gumshoe Continuum:The longer of my two extant Continuum campaigns borrowed many mechanics from the Gumshoe system. I found that the clue- and point- systems from Gumshoe made it easy to replicate scenes when the PCs revisited events from a different angle.
- The first inklings of the idea.
- Design philosophy for my Gumshoe-Continuum conversion.
- GUMSHOE Continuum - about my experiences using the clue-finding mechanics of Gumshoe to run the world of Continuum.
- Stability Chart for Gumshoe Continuum.
- Range in Gumshoe Continuum - how far through time and space can you travel for a 1-point spend?
Expanding and Developing the Setting:
- List of over 300 corners that exist in either the official books or my own campaigns. They are brief entries, but list corner name, locality and years, fraternity or other corner type, and where to look for further information.
- Current events on Swarm Prime. A 2006 entry on the official Continuum timeline happened in 2010 instead in the real world.
- Chronic Spanning-Related Achronal Nascency Syndrome - a rare Spanner-only disease created by/for one of the players in one of my campaigns.
- Out of Place Artifacts - a few links to wikipedia pages that held interesting ideas for use with Continuum
I've run two different campaigns of Continuum, one relatively short with a definite conclusion, and the other a sprawling five-year-long sandbox.
Caerphilly Cep Campaign:The "Caerphilly Cep" Continuum Campaign was a large open-ended sandbox campaign that ran for nearly 5 years of real time. It started in Caerphilly, Wales in the modern day, with frequent trips to London (in both the 21st and 17th centuries), NYC in the 1920s, Basil and Strasbourg in the 16th Century, and Lhasa Tibet in the 1950s. It eventually collapsed due to out-of-character issues (and growing plot complexity to some extent), which is a shame because I had big plans for plotlines in Ancient Egypt and during The Hunt Of The Sun. Since we never got a really good wrap-up for the game, many of the campaign's mysteries went unsolved and thus were never blogged about in detail. Here's the handful of posts I did make, which is a pretty small number for 5 years of play:
- One of the PCs went crazy after being nearly fragged out. Here’s how myself and the other players conspired to make him crazier.
- I wish I could say the same - a very Zelaznian moment in our Continuum Campaign.
- The Game I Rarely Blog About - a large post with a lot of info on the campaign, and also the logistics of running Continuum over the internet.
- Information Is All - and that’s driving me crazy! A post about how it’s a lot of work to GM Continuum, and hard to blog about it without ruining surprises.
- New Year Continuum - my plans as the campaign started it’s second year.
- A brief update on a continuum campaign, and all the other things I was keeping myself busy with.
- 4 campaigns at once as if GMing Continuum alone doesn’t eat up enough free time.
- Another multi-game post that covers Continuum and a bunch of one-shots I was playing or GMing around that time.
- The Bugger of Pacing is about how hard it is to get timing and plot pacing right when the PCs can time-travel and teleport at will.
- Springing the Trap. Narcissist Hypnotists. I loved it. It was much better than Cats.
Short Bus Spanners:
The "Short Bus Spanners" campaign was for a little under a year, with a single main plot in the (then) modern day, followed by a whirlwind tour of the setting all the way down to Atlantis. I took extensive notes on the campaign in a format that was easy to post to the blog, so this one is covered in great detail.
- Short Bus Spanners Index includes links to all the relevant blog posts, and puts them in proper context. All the links below are listed there, with a timeline and other detail to put them into perspective. If you're really interested in this campaign, start there.
- Short Bus Spanners campaign-key and character-guide.
- Phase 1: Domestic, in which Span One PCs bounce about 2006.
- Travel Itinerary as presented to PCs and alternate version / rough draft
- Arrival in the French court and planned events. What happened instead and the consequences. Guest-starring Joan of Arc and Count St. Germain.
- First stop and Second stop at Soigne Demasque in Piscean France.
- Individual side-trips: Pam in 1643 Italy, Emily in 1500-1700 Spain, Lee in 1721 Spanish Texas, Elizabeth in 1558 Spain, Aaron in 1557 Spain, and Calvin sleeps through 400 years of Europe. Rationale and reasoning behind all six of them.
- Roman visit, plus prep part two, and a special segment on Harpastum. Also, notes on things the players did during the session(s).
- Arrival in Illium on the Cam. Celtic Troy and Homeric Narcissism. Events and Mysteries. Calvin and Kassandra. Aaron and Archery. This whole section owes a strong debt to Iman Wilkens.
- The Norwegian Spanner Hotel that didn't live up to its potential.
- Unexpected orgies and events less shocking. Reactions in- and out- of-character were hilarious.
- Please do not poke the Middens. Sadly, Kelly just couldn't keep from shooting lasers at Inheritor Spacecraft, so I had to take most of the toys away.
- Arrival in Vadistokli Arkun and the implementation of the Midwives Crisis. Brock / Borik shows up and is defeated.
- Hurgle's Merankea, it's opportunities and context, plus a bit more on Archery.
- Back up to the Geminid Era for a famous exit, a famous battle, and the endgame. All wrapped up neat and tidy.
- Anachronistic Music a short out-of-character anecdote about GM prep and music.
Miscellaneous Continuum-related posts:
- Relearning How To Breathe is about how Continuum’s pacing affected other RPGs I was running. So is Side-Effect of Continuum. GM beware.
- Time-Travel and Parallel-Universe Links
- Review of Continuum and a micro-review of the Further Information sourcebook: I really like them both.
- Trouble with Grace - you have to click the other links in the first line of the linked post to really understand the context, but I was turning a critical eye on the Grace system in Continuum.
- I think Continuum has a good skill system, in particular I like that you can create a PC with a high degree of competence from day 1. A lot of games start you out too small. See also for more on the topic.
- Link to a stick-figure video about Time Combat. Kinda.
- Continuum is hard to GM, but it’s easier than Scion.
- List of films that do and don’t prep you for Continuum. Good: 12 Monkeys, Bill & Ted (kinda) and the “Blink” episode of Dr. Who (especially Blink). Bad: Follow the link for a list.
- Four words in your yet covers 4 Continuum-specific terms that have really stuck with me even when not running the game. I use them any chance I get, and it's not nearly often enough.