16 April, 2016
Time is a Flat Circle
I had this idea once.
The campaign exists in the form of 12 newsheets, or maybe punk-style 'zines. One for each month of the year. It doesn't matter which month you start with, there are news articles, hot bands to look out for, underground happenings, street commentary, and insight into the world. You start with one month, and certain events will be echoed in the next month's 'zine. A single story thread might spread along two, three, four issues. The characters will encounter things that are at their climax, other things that a developing beyond their control, and other situations that are just starting to unfold.
Each 'zine would have dozens of such stories, where one event might lead to two or three potential offerings in the next issue, and two of three seemingly unrelated stories might reveal different perspectives or opening into a single large event in the next issue.
It doesn't matter where you start in the cycle of 12 issues. But you go through the issues in a single campaign of 12 sessions, one per issue and the game ends.
Thematically you could run with a concept of spring = growth, summer = maturity, autumn = decay, winter = death before rebirth, but you don't have to because different stories will be at different stages of their life-cycles simultaneously.
This could be done really lo-fi... photocopied sheets stapled together with a slightly thicker photocopied sheet in some coloured card as the cover. Maybe some garish use of highlighters, or paper cut outs. Some vulgarity, because "this shit ain't mainstream, so it's don;t need to be f&ckin' nice!!"...That might really work with the Minimalist Rentpunk thing I've got stuck in my head at the moment.
Then I'd think about a second set of recon reports from a classified agency beyond the reach of mundane laws and beyond the scope of understanding for the mooks on the street. Such reports would perfectly mimic the 'zines, but from the angle of "peacekeeping technocrats" who have a daily job of keeping the world tidy and preventing psychic overflow from cascading across the streets. You run one campaign as the rentpunk street mages (carefully noting the things that slip between the cracks, and the paradoxes that should cause problems in the world), then a second campaign of 12 months as the peacekeepers (cleaning up those messes and rectifying those paradoxes).
Or, if you were that way inclined, you could run the two groups alternately (or even simultaneously).