Although we haven't sat down together for our first session, with the work and excitement of preparations I already feel as though we are "playing" and so I'm starting an actual play thread. I hope this doesn't curse our actual plans to commence. I have 3 players committed to meeting me on April 4th to start a Sorcerer Campaign set in our here and now: Halifax, Nova Scotia – a salty little town-city on the east coast of Canada. This will be my second Sorcerer campaign and my second game set in Halifax. The Campaign title "deep apnea" is a reference to the answers to the two questions. Halifax has a deep harbour that leads into a massive inland cove called the Bedford Basin. In the game the harbour and the basin will be the source of the demons. Apnea refers to the the practice of not breathing. In real life I practice apnea as a hobby with a group of freedivers. We train our bodies and minds to go without air as long as possible in order to plumb the depths of the ocean and our souls. One of my fellow divers is joining the campaign. Lore will be related in some way to the practice of not breathing and or diving into the sea…
All of the players so far have a personal or professional connection concern with the sea and the effects of human activity on the marine environment and the future of the ocean's effects on civilization. I foresee a powerful ecological element to our definition of "humanity" in this game but I have yet to nail it down. This is not meant to be a simplistic moralizing endeavor. I don't even necessarily want the game to be about plastic pollution, climate change, or rising sea levels… but I am interested in these elements as sources of anxiety, revulsion, and guilt.
Demons are wet, slimy, viscous, alien, highly toxic. Though the sea is already home to truly other-worldly looking organisms, demons will always be distinctly recognizable as incompatible with our natural order. They can be contacted and summoned from under the sea but they do not belong there anymore than they belong perched our our shoulders or walking down the streets with us. Perhaps they are harbingers of a post-human world — and summoning them accerates our eventual extinction as a species. I don't know yet. I have always had a romantic (unscientific) fascination with the tale of cyanobacteria and the Great Oxygenation Event: in which our elder anerobic organizisms dominated the earth but poisoned themselves with their own sucess leading to the Dawn of the Planet of the Eukaryotes. There may be a source of inspiration there.
This is pretty much it for now. One other bit of game prep I'm doing is taking more and more pictures on my phone of my city. I hope to print them in black and white and use them during play as provocations, scene back drops, or in other ways. In between play sessions we might hone our photoshop skills to encode the scenes with teltales or other hints of our adventures.