[generic] #RPGADAY2020 - 30 - Portal

#RPGADAY2020 - 30 - Portal. This #RPGADAY thingy is a portal into the minds of #TTRPG players across the world. Thing is, this year - with its one word prompts - it’s been more of a peek. Can we have some really challenging if not controversial full questions next year?

A long, long time ago I played a game that had a bit of Stargate theme. A portal had been discovered somewhere which lead some pre-historic era, Jurassic or something similar. We were a team of scientiests who were going to go through the portal. The GM instructed us to make all the preparations and compile a detailed list of equipment we needed. That took half the session.

We go through the portal only to be instantly seized evil space elfs and have all our gear taken away and slave-control collar placed around our neck. None of us player were amused by this twist. The game pretty died there. Apparently this was based on a set of novels called The Multi-Coloured Land. With hindsight the GM should have just started the adventure we escaped from the evil space elves (I assuming the GM expected us to escape at some stage?) and left the scientist going through the portal bit as background exposition.

So, not really much of portal related story, but a cautionary tale nonetheless.


Rune Priest
Apparently this was based on a set of novels called The Multi-Coloured Land.
I remember feeling the same sense of 'bait and switch' reading the first novel. I was really looking forward to the various historical reenactment groups etc setting up communities in the past, only to have them emerge into a society ruled by the aforementioned space elves where they are all taken as slaves. I persevered with the novel, and it was ok in the end, but I don't think I would like that to happen in a game.

ObPortal: just before going to university, a couple of friends and I created an SF setting based on the Justifiers RPG, where humanity had spread to the stars through the use of interstellar portals from one star to another. The distance that you could travel from a star was calculated somehow from the stellar classification (I don't remember how), and only links that could be travelled from both ends got portals.
I got an astronomy book of nearby stars from the library, and started plotting them on an A2 sheet of graph paper. I still have that initial plot lying around the house somewhere, 30+ years later. Never used it, though.