Serenity Articles : The Pilgrims Campaign

(Originally published on December 20, 2007)

The Pilgrim’s Campaign

This suggestion provides the Gamemaster with a campaign concept that might give them a nice variation on your typical Serenity campaign.

Although the following campaign model originally came to me in terms of a fantasy campaign, I think it can work just as well in a Serenity campaign. The central concept is of a pilgrimage, a journey by people of all sorts of backgrounds across distances to reach a holy shrine or gathering. Sort of Chaucer in Space. Let’s look at the core elements.

  1. The concept provides the perfect way for all sorts of characters to end up on a ship travelling together. Some might be on the pilgrimage for actual religious convictions, for others it might be a form of tourism, still others are hiding under its peaceful purposes to achieve darker ends or to escape their own misdeeds. So you have a ship taking pilgrims and let the players create whatever they like.
  2. It gives the adventure focus, whether it is a campaign or a four-hour convention adventure. Getting to the goal location is always the end-game and the GM can lace it with as many fun complications as their heart desires.
  3. It lets the GM take the players to locations in the ‘Verse they might never otherwise see. The most likely spot would be either Bernadette with its many churches or Sihnon if the goal is Buddhist in nature. Who wouldn’t want to see the “ocean of light”?

So, do the adventures tie some of these pilgrims together by their experiences? Do they travel together after the incidents of the Pilgrimage are over with? That depends on how the characters are created and how their long term goals align. Unless care is taken, it will make much more sense for them to go their separate ways at the end of the adventure. But that isn’t always a bad thing.

You can have the pilgrimage be something that happens year-round, a once-a-year event, or even something more momentous, like a once-in-a-lifetime occurance. Whichever way you decide, I hope you and your players have fun with it.

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