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Fraser Valley RPG > Tips and Advice > GM Discussion: Avatar the Last Airbender Camaign

Posted by: Greg Feb 15 2011, 12:39 PM
I am planning on running an Avatar the Last Airbender campaign for one of my little sisters, as well as some of Aggregate's younger siblings. They are relatively new to RPG's as they have, for the most part, only played about five sessions of a Star Wars campaign that I've been running for them the past couple months.

I've noticed that some of the players were not finding the game all that enjoyable. Partly due to the system being too complex for some of them to handle, but also partially due to the fact that they were not all that invested in the setting (Star Wars: Old Republic Era). Now, Aggregate had recently bought his family the entire series of Avatar: the Last Airbender for Christmas, and they had enjoyed it immensely. Aggregate and I have also had discussions about how great the Avatar setting was for a campaign. Given that the setting features characters in the same age group as my potential players (pc`s of their age seem more feasible), it seemed to be the ideal setting for a campaign for the group.

I pitched the idea of running an Avatar campaign for them using the Savage Worlds setting (a generic system that, while being simpler than Star Wars Saga Edition, should still have enough crunch for them to understand). For the most part, I was met with eager enthusiasm. My more annoying sister however, was totally against an Avatar campaign, on the grounds that she thinks it's "retarded", but doesn't want to be left out of the game, because she wants to be present when other people are having fun. I've managed to solve this by telling her that I'd try to run the games on the same day that she goes to her youth group, so that way, she will be busy having fun while we are playing the game.

I`ll be designing the magic system for bending by combining the magic system creation rules from savage worlds with the material from the TV show. I may need to design a couple subsystems of my own in order to better capture the feel of the setting in a way that the players will be able to understand, so to that end, I`ll be posting whatever information on the setting and new mechanics that I can here, so I can show you what I`ve come up with, as well as receive ideas from my fellow GMs.

Posted by: Greg Feb 15 2011, 01:32 PM
Initial thoughts on the setting.

The game will take place several centuries in the past, to a point farther back in history than the Avatars listed by name in the show. This gives me an opportunity to restructure the cultures somewhat, to allow for new ideas regarding the four nations to be introduced, in order for new epic stories to be told within the setting. Listed below are some thoughts regarding the state of the four nations in the new time period. These are currently just some rough ideas, and are probably going to be changed before everything is complete. If anyone wants to comment on my ideas or suggest changes or new ideas, I`d be eager to hear what you have to say.
Water is the element of change, and has the most potential to be used for both good or evil. In this time period, the Water nation is a vast militaristic empire, with an incredibly powerful navy, that through the use of waterbending, can travel much faster than the ships of any other nation. While most waterbenders in this time prefer icebending in combat, the elite circle is largely composed of waterbenders who possess great enough power to bloodbend as long as there is any moonlight in the night sky. The Water Empire has established colonies on many of the islands belonging to the Air Nation, as well as a large portion of swamp and forest within the Earth Kingdom.
The Earth Kingdom exists much in the same state as it did in the TV show, though there is a larger degree of Nationalism, even amongst the smaller villages due to the war with the Water kingdom. Most of the coastal villages, however, have either been occupied by the Water Empire, or abandoned from fear of invasion of the water tribe.
Fire is vastly different from what existed during the time of the television show. The Sun Warriors are still in the height of their power, spreading their knowledge and culture to the people of the islands south of them, who will one day become the great Fire Nation. However, at this time the fire nation is a collection of peaceful, yet vibrant fishing tribes, that are for the most part peaceful, yet are very vibrant. They are known for hosting a great many festivals, at which there is much feasting and dancing. While they are not a very militaristic people, they are still capable of defending themselves in a time of conflict, and in times of intense trouble, they enlist in the aid of the Sun Warriors, and their mystical dragon riders.
The Air Nation is currently split into two separate factions. The first, are the pacifist Air Nomads, who for the most part either travel amongst the lands of the other nations, or congregate at the various air temples to train their monks.
The second faction are the are a loose alliance of city-states, who use their airbending powers to craft illusions from the air, in order to hide themselves from would be attackers. While they have no known name for themselves as a goup, they are frequently known by outsiders as Shadowbenders, due to their primary military tactic is to send very small groups of assassins to eliminate the leaders of the opposing force, as well spreading misinformation along the chain of command.

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