Perhaps because we were talking about Downton Abbey before the game we settled on a related theme.
The Players: Ben R, Jonathan, Erik, Terry
Seed: The rise and fall of a great family over a thousand years. Another primary idea was that the founder of the family was adopted and placed as a legitimate child.
Setting: Our world, within modern history. We started the family in 1400's - In Germany. Ended in 2400.
Yes: Ritualized Dueling, Matrilineal descent.
No: Unnatural, starships, premature technology.
We made a pretty wide sweep of history, we focused on the early trials of the family, in the end the family dispersed.
We begin in Hansian League Germany where an adopted child takes over a dissolute merchant family and ends up taking over the League.
The family survives the Black Death, only to be nearly extinguished in religious wars. They survive when the mother calls our her treasonous son to a duel and wins (through treachery, of course).
By this time we have established a few patterns in the character of the family. When things get tough, they leave. But they usually regroup and comeback stronger. Each time they leave they not only become stronger but they spread their influence.
The end starts with a scandal, that the ancient duel was rigged. This is the beginning of the end of the family. They are persecuted, then join together to form an international corporation and finally split again where some of the family escape the confines of the earth. In the end the family cannot regroup and are rendered asunder by cultural differences.
* How did the family survive the religious schisms?
* Family's flight from persecution into space
* The origin of the family: who was the first of the family?
Wilhelm's poisonous seed - Wilhelm was the son that betrayed the rest of the family which lead to a sham public trial. Wilhelm mother managed to turn the tables on him, but his legacy lasted through out the rest of the family's history, especially when it came out much later that Wilhelm was poisoned to win the duel.
Agnecia the first granddaughter of the founder. Her legacy lasted till the end of our story. Her name keeps appearing, and also her legacy of being able to consolidate the family and effecting positive change in the world.
Agnecia Orbital - the beginning of the real end for the family - the family's refuge in space fails to regroup them.
Overall I think it was successful. It was at its best when we focused on family drama. The son betraying the mother, the founder not revealing her origins to her kids, the patriarch taking a risk on keeping his legacy going by adopting a kid, the kids betraying honor to save the mother, the wacky dissolute cousins.
Great summary, Terry! I agree, lots of really solid drama across all the generations of the famliy. I wrote a whole post about it:
Erik, Jonathan and Terry, I loved all the stuff you guys contributed. Really good game.