“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
The Dark Nebula boardgame is going back in its box, and the box is going back on the shelf. The Aslan Border Wars posts are consigned to the blog’s Vault category, where lurk the things I don’t expect to use again, but can’t quite bring myself to delete.
I don’t expect to repeat this exercise again – although I’ve thought that before, and been wrong. So what have I learned from it? Well, see the post about Crossing the Irrawaddy for the more philosophical version, but here are the lessons.
Overarching metaplots are neither necessary nor desirable, especially in solitaire play.
Hidden planets whose statistics, or existence, are concealed from the players are not very useful; all they do is force the GM to keep extra records. Better to show all the locations and statistics, and put the secrets in the adventures – or in solitaire play, allow them to emerge from the random encounters and events.
Using an old boardgame as a setting does give you a cool map, but you should throw away everything else; trying to follow the boardgame faithfully imposes too many constraints.
I can reuse a setting, but not a campaign story arc. Too much depends on things being fresh for me as the GM as well as the players. I know there are GMs out there who can and do rerun the same campaign for different groups; I’m not one of them.
Meanwhile, Dark Nebula – well done, thou good and faithful servant. Sleep well.