And with this, we leave behind mucky Bogovia for cold Fjordstad, the Land of intrigue and innovation. In many ways, we’re also upping the pace – the next part of the campaign moves from a “Crystal of the Week” format to a… well, you’ll see.

Each of the Five Lands has a theme. This is important for storytelling reasons – it helps inspire unique and different adventures for each one – but it also helps with managing expectations (and subverting them). If the players are aware that Bogovia is where pyrrhic victories are the norm, they’ll be expecting the adventure to end in a sad way. A theme gives a framework for what we’re all going to consider “dramatically satisfying” for an adventure: Having a downer ending in Bogovia is satisfying; having the same ending in Fjordstad is not. It’s important to note that it’s not the ending that matters, it’s the expectations regarding the dramatic structure of the narrative. The same players, playing in a different Land, might expect the adventure to be full of secret motives and hidden truths, but have no preconceptions about how it ends.

This, by the way, means they’ll default to be expecting a happy ending, like “a regular adventure”, because any story element that’s not part a theme falls back to the most basic RPG expectations of all: the experience I expect from the plain rules. In our case, Fast, Furious pulpy Fun, where the good guys win, the bad guys lose, and lots of crazy things happen in the meantime because of exploding dice.


See you in a few months!

As we wrote last week, we’re taking a long break to focus on the setting book. We’re not sure when we’ll be back for the next story arc, but it’s going to be at least two or three months. That’s a long time, which is why we’d really like to post a surprise or two during the break, but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s feasible.

We’ve also paused our Patreon, like we did last time we took a break (before starting Crystal Heart, two years ago), but we’re of course still available to talk on our personal social accounts (boop), on Crystal Heart’s Discord, and through telepathy.

In case you’re a late arrival and are unaware, know that you can download and play the free Crystal Heart Starter Set to get a taste of the setting in roleplaying game form!