Getting the source material for the setting to match your game

Full disclosure: This post is being remade as I have had issues with the website.  I wrote this around a month and a half ago and due to an issue with the website I had to go to a snapshot of the site prior to the post, and so I lost it.  Isn’t web hosting fun… Anyhow, I have been winding up the wilderness portion of our Degenesis campaign.  The players want to experience life in a heavily civilized place, namely Justitian.  I am very nervous about this because there is a HUGE supplement in the city and I am just not across the source material for it.

Matching source material to your game

Degenesis is a source-heavy game.  The main books for the game come with a book for the system and a book for the source.  Big books – both of them.  And you can tell from the sourcebook that it is barely scratching the surface.  I can imagine how much they removed.  What they have is a broad coverage of a large setting with a hint at what is really going on.

The level of detail in the book is impressive, and I have read it several times to get things right for the setting.  I have had one occasion where I thought a particular character’s situation was a lot different from what it said in the book.  I remember reading what they were talking about in the game in a different way.  They got upset because they had based some character detail based off what they read in the setting.  I made a fast ruling on the spot and then, while the players were discussing their next move and checked.  Turns out I was dead wrong.  I apologized, made amends to the ruling, and moved on.

The game is the Game Masters instance of the source material

I get that a lot of people may be thinking the above in relation to this setting.  Some of you probably would have pushed forward and not changed the detail, as it was a source material issue, not a mechanical one.  But I understand the frustration of the player.  If they can’t trust what the setting book says about the career/clan path they had envisioned, what can they trust?

This now has me worried about shifting to the new setting of Justitian in the game.  All of the books for Degenesis are available freely as PDFs now and I have never really branched out to read anything apart from the base books as I do not like reading PDFs.  I have the base books so I am happy to read them, but then I had this feeling that Justitian was a massive part of the game and I needed to know more.


I opened the PDF for this setting and realized that there were again two books covering this area.  Again, they are huge tomes of information, and they are all a mixture of source and system.  Massive amounts of source material really expand the region, city, and threats to help make me understand what it is truly like here.

I do not know if any of the players have read these books, but I know I haven’t. Regardless, I want to make sure that I present this important part of the setting to the players as accurately as I can.  Once the final parts of the “wilderness” phase are done I am planning to postpone the game until I can do the next step justice.  In many games, I am happy to build everything myself, but I feel that all the players are in this game due to the amazing setting of the system

Reading, reading, reading…

So that is where I am currently at.  I have started the books and have an interim adventure planned.  Once that is done I hope to be through the setting and have enough of a grasp on this part of the game to get underway.  How do you feel about the system/setting divide?  Are there games you have played just because the setting is so interesting?  Ever had that setting altered on you that made you disappointed in the game?  Hit me up in the comments and let me know, but most of all, keep rolling…

This is basically the post I made 6(ish) weeks ago.  I feel that the next post I have to write makes no sense without this here, so I have recreated it and will be putting the next post up in a couple of days that tells you where I am at now!  Thanks for your patience.

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