When playing The Artifact, there is a overriding need to find a place to live. This is the perpetual question that natives like the Scimrahn face. Although that is really important to the game, maybe for the 4th edition, players should think about home a little differently.
In the past I’ve thought about adding background details to characters, like what conditions they lived in and what kind of family they have back on Earth. For the most part I resisted that because it was largely irrelevant to the play of the game. There were hints in some of the optional tables, but they didn’t consistently or completely fill in a character’s backstory.
The process of making a campaign is becoming more formalized and it’s centering on the concept of finding a place for the characters to live in. But is the place they find home.
I’m thinking of that a little differently now. Instead of wondering what the physical place should be, maybe the better question is what home means to the character.
For one character, home might mean children playing. For another it could be the solitude of a book. Another could think of home as a safe place where there’s warmth. Esoteric things might include the sound of your grandmother’s voice or a place where you’re in charge. I’m aiming for simple concepts that could inform a player as to what their character ultimately wants.
This might change what a character ends up doing and probably why they act.
The Artifact is a game about leaving a home that’s falling apart to find a place that will last. Ultimately where the characters find it could be in very different places.
Very simply, this is going to be a random table just like the personality tables. This might be a good way to introduce principals and priorities in character generation. Those formal rules might not get used often, but they would easily inform role play.
With that addition, I think mentioning a character’s previous life experience would help new players to imagine where the characters are coming from but would also play off their concept of home. Are they leaving what they though of as home to recreate something or did they never have what they wanted and are looking to find it?